Tailor MadeAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Lauren Geremia customizes a cozy and cool San Francisco home
Understated cool with a touch of edge is how many might describe the work of interior designer Lauren Geremia. Well- known amongst the San Francisco tech community, Geremia and her all-female team have curated homes, offices and hospitality projects for many of Silicon Valley’s most innovative thinkers.
When hired by a young client, whose company was acquired by Facebook, to renovate and refresh a classic San Francisco residence, Geremia was tasked with creating a space that defines the Northern California sensibility: restraint meets unpretentious with low-key comfort. “We started by opening the floor plan to create a more useable footprint and elevated the kitchen with a clean palette,” says Geremia. “The streamlined design provides a clean backdrop for the home’s furnishings and a collection of works by emerging artists.”
At just a little more than 3,300 square feet, the new design offers a bright and open space full of rich wood, cozy furnishings and clever details. At the request of the client, the plan was to knock down a wall separating the dining and main living room; however, a load-bearing wall stood in the way. Rather than accepting defeat and designing around the wall, Geremia created an architectural screen to mask the structural columns. “The walnut slats create visual flow between spaces, allowing light to filter through and recapture square footage,” she says.
Not too far away, the designer installed a custom bar constructed with Botticino Classico marble and the same solid walnut as the dining room screen, which continues the modern, masculine tone. Continuing to the kitchen, Fireclay tiles in Frost were installed on the backsplash to illuminate the existing cabinetry, while a Trapeze Light by John Liston from Coup D’etat was hung to incorporate Geremia’s signature touch of cool.
A custom breakfast bench, upholstered in S.H. Frank Leather, was selected to complement the clean, rectilinear lines visible in the upper cabinets. “We’ve become agnostic about placing custom work versus predesigned pieces because there are so many wonderful furniture designers,” says Geremia. “However, when there are space constraints, custom pieces are great. For a design to feel cultivated, we like a combination of custom, predesigned and antiques.”
One of the most interesting elements in the home is the art, all selected by the designer and her team. “Art is foundational to my design practice and consulting is one of my favorite aspects of the job. I earned a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in painting and have carefully followed the careers of many classmates, artisans and fine artists,” says Geremia on her passion for curation. In fact it was her notable experience with art that elicited an invite to curate a special exhibit at the Minnesota Street Project in conjunction with the 2018 FOG Design+Art fair, focused on the intersection of art and design, at which her client purchased two pieces. Selecting the art was a portion of the project that both the client and Geremia were moved by. “We presented him with many different artists from around the world,” she notes. “The discussions we had as a result were intellectual and fun.”
She completed the collection while on a gallery and studio-hopping trip to Mexico City, where she was moved by a piece by artist Franco Arocha. “It’s made from paint chips Franco collected from old buildings in Mexico and throughout his travels,” says the designer of the work.“We hung it over the fireplace so that the patina of the paint offers a perfect counterpoint to the furniture selections, and our client prefers having art as a focal point in a room with no wall space.”
With this project, Geremia was able to capture what so many love about San Francisco. “It was our goal to create a relaxed haven that quietly celebrates the integrity of beautiful materials and a growing art collection.”