Design Daily: The Best of Design San Francisco 2013



If you’re following our Twitter and Instagram feeds—and you should—you’re probably keeping pace with all the happenings at Design San Francisco (taking place Feb. 6-8). We were busy handing out the 2013 CH+D Awards and unveiling our new issue, but we still managed to take in the trends, talks and parties going on this week. The events aren’t over, but read on for our take on a few of our favorites:

Mind-Bending Backdrop and Rhinocerous at Coup d’Etat

Did anyone else stop to stare at the Op-Art trompe l’oeil window display at Coup d’Etat? It was designed by San Francisco artist William Racké, who does eye-popping decorative painting and creates custom wall treatments, murals and finishes for designers and architects in the know (check out his handiwork on the walls of Castro watering hole Churchill). I was also enamored of the giant rhinocerous, which is actually a chest made of lacquered wood. Each drawer opens with the help of keys made from arrows, and it was designed by LA-area designer Sylvan.


Partying With Jeffrey Alan Marks at Palecek

The Palecek showroom celebrated its partnership with Bravo designer—and Palo Alto native—Jeffrey Alan Marks with a rollicking party co-sponsored by California Home+Design and 7×7. The Million Dollar Decorator star held court and took us through his two furniture lines, which feature natural materials and a clean, coastal vibe “that is so California, but would be just as at home in the Hamptons,” says vice president Andrew Palecek. He worked with Marks over the past year to develop the line, and we admired the hand-woven pendant lights and twists on the classic cane and wicker designs that Palecek is famous for.  



New Fabrics From Textile Grand Dame Rose Cumming

With an upbringing on an Austrailan sheep ranch and a bold mane of lavender hair, Rose Cumming managed to become a staple of 1920s New York society while also establishing her own decorating firm. Her showy fabrics and wall coverings were hand-painted works of art, and she combined periods, styles and patterns seemingly at random, with results that were always colorful and dramatic. Recently, Dessin Fournir has kept her textiles alive (Cumming passed away in 1968), and CEO Chuck Comeau was on hand at Kneedler Fauchère on Wednesday to show off the newest designs interpreted from her archives—Comeau discovered old boxes full of Cumming’s hand-painted fabrics when he purchased the company. The 2013 designs feature restrained patterns in washed-out colorways (think nude with pale pink and mint-green chintzes with room to breathe).


Historic A. Conger Goodyear House Restoration

Eric Cohler was in town to sign his book, Cohler on Design, but I really enjoyed his talk on restoring the historic A. Conger Goodyear house in Long Island, NY. The international style home was designed by architect Edward Durell Stone in the 1930s and has been celebrated as a landmark building in modern architecture, though Cohler got his hands on it only after it had laid derelict for decades. There’s a great gallery of the finished, staged property here, but check out the console table through the window of the open living area in the image, below. It’s Isamu Noguchi’s prototype for the yet-to-be-famous Noguchi coffee table. Cohler had a lot to say about working on such an important building, especially in regards to knowing your historical rules and stretching the mold a bit: “You can break the rules if you know what you’re doing. As designers, we should all take poetic license to corrupt things.”

Photo courtesy of Architect magazine, circa 1940, by Ezra Stoller

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