San Francisco’s Bayview District Welcomes Tina FreyAuthor:Robyn Wise
Joining a growing community of artists and maker-types in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, Tina Frey Designs has reopened at 1485 Bancroft Avenue. “The wide-open space, the natural light—it feels so nice,” says founder Tina Frey of the sleek, 7,500-square-foot renovated warehouse that now contains her studio, showroom and production facilities under one roof.
Since launching her line of minimalist, cast-resin accessories in 2007, the San Francisco-based designer has earned high-powered devotees such as Barney’s New York, Restoration Hardware and Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse (who features her tableware in his restaurants). So, it only makes sense that Frey’s expanding empire should call for a bigger creative playground.
When it came to the showroom’s look, Frey turned to local architect George Bradley to help translate the brand’s signature aesthetic to the new space. Simple lines and a limited palette—polished cement floors, unfinished blonde maple, gallery-white walls—echo Frey’s pared-down sensibility and love of pure form. Visitors to the ground-floor showroom, which is open to the trade and public for onsite retail, will find the brand’s latest eye-popping spring line alongside classics such as the elegant Artisan Collection, cast in brass and stainless steel from hand-formed clay molds. Also dotting the space, impeccably curated vintage furniture and art collected from Frey’s travels are a delight to peruse.
But the highlight of the build-out is Frey’s semi-private sculpting studio and office, which, perched on a lofted mezzanine beneath newly added skylights, serves as mission control. “Having my creative space separate from the showroom is the biggest upgrade,” notes Frey. She also points out that the translucent polycarbonate paneling used to wall off her studio and other back-of-house areas was inspired by typical greenhouse applications of the material. Indeed, with her team bustling to fill orders and her brightly hued wares sprouting like sunny flowers in the middle of a white-box setting, Frey is cultivating the next chapter of her artful brand.
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