Living Green is an enchanted showroom in the design district of San Francisco, California. When you enter, it is much like traveling to a distant utopia, furnished with exotica at every turn, all contained within brilliant walls of celadon green.
It’s not just a store, it’s a world–“a laboratory for design and for select beautiful objects,” said owner Davis Dalbok.
Bursting with striking art and alive with foliage, I can best describe it as a lustrous bizarre sanctuary that reminds me of the surreal and exquisite Hieronymus Bosch painting, Garden of Earthly Delights–a place where art and artifact collide.
The two-story, 9,000 square-foot space is drenched in beautiful natural light and brimming with a collection of curious desirables. Here are a few of my favorite things at Living Green.
The lounging buddha above, $50,000, was originally made for a Burmese temple. Conceived between the 1920s-1950s, it still has its original paint.
Davis is pictured above with his favorite piece, a giant gold buddha, which is part of his personal collection. “It’s really not for sale,” he said. “I would consider letting it go but it would have to be the right situation…some day I will be taking it to Hawaii where I am designing a home.” The house, he told me, is being designed around the buddha.
Literally larger than life, the buddha is 7-foot tall–sitting–and that’s not including the pedestal. Created from papier maché and adorned with real gold leaf and black lacquer, it is, surprisingly, extremely lightweight.
“Upon my demise the buddha will go to a buddhist sanctuary to rest forever…I think it’s important to return the piece to its origin,” he stated.
The outer courtyard, above, is furnished with four Chinese musicians carved from Vicenza stone. From a private collection, they date from the 1700s and cost $18,800 for the set.
The pair of monumental stone-carved male caryatids above are priced at $48,800, and are from a private collection.
I love the Indonesian banyan tree root chaise, $6,500, and the modern fine art piece titled “Unquiet,” in bronze with a black patina, $30,000, by Kristin Lindseth-Rivera.
The Hindu elephant God Ganesh above, $35,000, “was cast in the 1920s in Cambodia for a French industrialist who was building a garden estate in the Northern part of Cambodia,” Davis told me. “He commissioned two bronze Ganeshas, and this pair of them flanked a giant waterfall in his garden,” so hence the beautiful patina.
“That’s nearly 100 years of monsoon that created that beautiful color,” Davis said.
“It took my supplier many years to convince the heirs of this estate to let go of this pair of Ganeshas,” he added. “To think that there’s a pair available makes it even more amazing.”
The table above is a mosaic of semi-precious stones with marble and costs $3,500. The doves were commissioned pieces for a Burmese temple. Carved from wood and gold-leafed, they are $1,800 each.
The églomisé dragon painting above, $7,500, is by Bay Area artist Jane Richardson Mack, and is flanked by black slag glass candlesticks, $1,800 for the pair. Bright tangerine citrine geodes, $1,300 and $1,800 and a Vietnamese crane on the right, further enhance the visual vignette.
You can also find the stunning wire sculptures by artist Kué King at Living Green.
If you seek the unique, Living Green is a must for your shopping experience. It’s beyond exotic.