Dream House: San Francisco’s 2013 Decorator Showhouse


The Herbst Manor is an interior design triumph as part of the annual San Francisco Decorator Showhouse. An 8,000-square-foot, three-story Georgian mansion in the Pacific Heights neighborhood got a major makeover with the combined talents of 27 of the West Coast’s best artists and interior design firms.


With room after beguiling room of creative, brave, welcoming designs, all I could imagine was what it might be like to wake up in the mansion in the mornings to have my breakfast in the front courtyard, surrounded by the beauty of Living Green’s vertical garden, above.


Titled ‘Birds of Prey,’ it’s a space painted with more than 1,500 plants. The reflections of Jane Richardson Mack’s églomisé panels hanging on the left–each a rendering of a predatory bird–glisten like Versailles, bathed in the morning light.


The penthouse retreat and its terrace were created by Villanueva Design. A serene spa aesthetic is punctuated with an intricate, hanging Turkish lamp. The perfect space for in-house masseuse and morning yoga. Pictured below is an elegant sitting area and wet bar in the penthouse entryway.


The European-style kitchen below, designed by Alison Davin of Jute, features herringbone flooring in neutral tones that are reiterated in the terra cotta tiles behind the stove. It’s an ideal spot for family meals or homework.


A whimsical room for all ages, “The Danger Zone,” below, features orange teepees with lucite rods and a modern, eye-popping rug. The space, both bright and friendly, was designed by Martha Angus and Eche Martinez of Martha Angus, Inc.


A neon sign and funky blue bubble chairs for seating contribute a playful vibe to the atmosphere.


Darren Waterston’s bold lava sculpture sits majestically at the base of the home’s staircase, a fearless tribute to nature that contrasts the home’s architectural characteristics.


Heather Hilliard Design‘s classic yet modern dining room features contemporary furniture and restrained pops of black for graphic interest.


The first room you see when you enter the home is Catherine Kwong Designs‘ brilliantly imagined and executed tribute to Mick and Bianca Jagger, the early years. The highly-glossed floor design, inspired by the iconic paintings of Cy Twombly, adds a sense of unapologetic rock and roll chic to this classic space. Floor to ceiling drapes in glamourous silver emphasize the height of the stately room.


Catherine maintained and emphasized the detail of the intricate gilded ceiling with a pair of vintage Italian light fixtures and an ornate gold mirror above the fireplace.


Designed by Kevin Hackett and Jessica Wiegley of Siol Studios, a living wall of plants behind the bathtub in the upstairs bathroom needs no further embellishment. It’s ripe and alive in verdant brilliant greens.


The master bedroom, designed by Phillip Silver of Bigelow + Silver, challenges traditional sensibilities of furniture placement and engages the senses with pale neutrals and opulent textures.

Brick Wall Background

These are just a few of the more than 20 rooms that were so expertly conceived and executed by San Francisco Bay Area’s finest artists and interior designers.

The San Francisco 2013 Decorator Showhouse is open to the public through May 27.

One Comment

  • jane richarson mack

    Thank you Shannon for your (as always) interesting comments, and thank you for your appreciation of The Birds of Prey Courtyard. It is indeed a very successful Showcase, people are raving. Almost always intriguing, this one has an extra spark, (especially the first floor I think, most especially the floor in the living room!) The master bedroom, the “Chanel Hallway, a little gem, and of course the “chocolatier pantry”, it’s all fantasy and such great fun to indulge our imaginations.

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