Design lovers wait with anticipation every year for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase to open come spring. From bold, risk-taking installations to the latest attention-making trends, an entire mega-mansion-palette is ready for the best design hands in the area to impart their beauty and vision. And one of our all-time favorite designers lit it up this year…with 35 lanterns to boot! Chloe Warner of the now East Bay based firm, Redmond Aldrich, turned a Gold Coast era dining room into a contemporary and chic space, while preserving the home’s architectural integrity and authentic design details. Chloe gives us the scoop on the room that you have to see in person so keep reading to find out what inspired the design, and what she hopes people feel when they walk in!
24 East: What inspired the design?
Chloe Warner: We had some guidance from the homeowners, who are planning on moving in after the showcase. They are a blended family with six children and everyone in the house is creative – artists and scientists and engineers. They love the old character of the house but they don’t seem formal – it takes a huge sense of adventure to volunteer your house to be a showcase house, – and so I wanted to give them a dining room that could double as a study and a salon and a drawing room.
24E: Were there any particular challenges to the installation?
CW: The paneling was incredibly daunting when we started. Between the 8’ tall wood walls, the wood floor and the detailed wooden bar and fireplace mantle I felt like I was living in a gold-rush era saloon. We didn’t have the money to repaint or stain such a huge room, so our plan was to offset the oppressive brown-ness with a blush ceiling and this huge lantern installation. The lantern cloud is 35 paper lanterns massed just so over the dining table, and it brings a ton of light, informal ambiance and glow-y energy to the space. We also did a custom silver-paneled screen with de Gournay that obscures the bar and reflects a ton of light back into the room. Both of these choices helped enormously!
24E: What surprised you about the final design?
CW: The room has such a strong feeling of nature, which I never pursue directly but I always seem to have in my rooms. The lantern cloud with the moon mirror, plus the abundance of greenery just brings me to this enchanted moss garden at night vibe. Fingers crossed other people feel it too!
24E: What do you hope people feel when they walk in the room?
CW: I hope they feel a sense of chic livability, where the mix of polished and un-done is just right, and a great dinner party is right around the corner.
For more on Redmond Aldrich, go here.
Images by Aubrie Pick via Redmond Aldrich Design