Thursday, February 18, 2010

My 2010 San Francisco Decorator Showcase Room

“Ivory Tower”, a Room for Thought

I’m so excited to be participating in my
forth San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

You may remember my previous Showcase rooms;

  • 2006 “Travelers Hideaway” a Guest Retreat (Washington at Spruce)
  • 2008 “Orient Passage” a Sitting Room (Scott Street)
  • 2009 “Reverie” the Master bedroom (Pacific Avenue)

My room this year, entitled “Ivory Tower”
, is a charming third floor dormer-windowed space in an historic Albert Farr (architect) Pacific Heights Mansion. I will be continually sharing my thoughts and ideas as I develop the concept and space and the challenges that come with the process.

Where to Begin: Here is my room, very empty. (See photo) The first thing I do is study the architecture of the entire house. In this house, the architecture is compelling and full of historic details. How does the room make me feel? I let the architecture speak to me. I observe the architectural details, windows and light and which direction the windows face. One challenging thing about this room is the angled wall on the south-facing dormer side. This presents challenges and requires careful thought and inventive solutions.

Scale Drawings:
I measure the room, noting length, width, height, window sizes, and door placement. I identify the electrical outlets, switches and any ceiling fixtures and heating units .

Room Use and Mood:
Decide how you want to use the room and, very importantly, how you want to feel when you are in the room. I decided this would be a peaceful room for thinking, studying, reading and contemplation. I found the dormer windows to be charming. I wanted the room to be cozy and enveloping. I like to design rooms that are really comfortable, where you feel like you never want to leave them.

Furniture Plan
: It is important to make scale drawings of the floor plan as well as elevations for each wall. I draw all the elevations because I had training as an illustrator and I develop my ideas as I draw. If you don’t draw you can cut out paper the size of the furniture and lay it on the floor. Decide how the room will be used, the traffic pattern, and start to place furniture in the plan. This is a very small space, 11’-5” – 14’-5” so it is important to leave enough space to maneuver about the room comfortably. The asymmetrical placement of the windows breaks up the wall in a way that requires careful consideration. (See drawing)

Perspective Drawing: I like to do a perspective drawing so I can get a feeling for what the room will look like. I have done a bit of research about what pieces of furniture I might want to use in thechose to deal with it. (See sketch)

Make a List:
I make a rough list of the furniture, lighting and accessories for which I will search.

Next…Color and fabric and architecture.

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