Wednesday, 25 July 2018 08:55

Discover a total remodel of one San Francisco apartment that has been transformed into a Neoclassical dream

    This 6000ft² residence, located in one of San Francisco’s most sought-after buildings, still had its late 1970s interior by Valerian Rybar. A total gut remodel was needed to transform it in a Neoclassical style, reflective of this beautiful Beaux Arts building. Architect Andrew Skurman reconfigured the floorplan beautifully to create a circular flow for living and entertaining.

    The oval entry, with spiral floor pattern and sensuous curves, spins off into both formal and private areas.

    In the living room, fluted pilasters frame views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the North Bay, and Parquet de Versailles floors add tonal depth. The dining room’s etched mirrored details are juxtaposed with a creamy glazed strie wall finish.

    The library incorporates an apse-like curve for books and intimate dining. Its stained walnut panelling brings out the colours in Frank Stella’s Study for New York Interpreted and intensifies the contrasting effect of the custom-embroidered, citron-hued curtains. An early 20th century Chinese wedding blanket upholsters the top of the ottoman, adding a vestige of history.

    With bleached white oak cabinetry, cafe au lait marble countertops and honey-coloured oak floors, the kitchen is a tranquil space for breakfast, cooking and casual entertaining.

    From the art placement to the faux-bois, marble and tortoiseshell finishes, from the Fortuny-clad powder room to the bleached oak in the kitchen, from the gently curved crown mouldings to the elegant plasterwork and fluted pilasters surrounding the doors and windows, all interior elements now speak to the French style consistent with the Neoclassical facade.


    With an inlaid floor setting the tone, the oval entry hall spins off in five directions. Posing above the swirl is an arresting sculpture by Manuel Neri.

    Living room

    The cinnamon silk velvet of the living room sofa complements Nathan Oliveira’s Stele/Head hanging above. Enhancing that palette further is the lacquered melon-shaped taboret which reproduces a Ming design. A wheat-coloured linen damask adds subtle texture and depth to the walls. The fluted details of the antique French commode mirror the pilasters framing the doorway between living and dining rooms. Adding a contemporary voice is David Hockney’s Table Flowable hanging above. Juan Hamilton’s sculpture, For Annie, stands beside it.

    Richard Diebenkorn’s Blue splashes unexpected colour above the antique desk.

    Dining room

    Parquet de Versailles floors add tonal depth to the rooms. In the apricot-and-spice-toned dining room an antique Austrian chandelier sparkles over the antique dining table. Richard Serra’s T.W.V #4 offers dramatic contrast.


    Providing an infusion of colour are four ‘casino’ chairs upholstered in chartreuse calfskin. Presiding over the room is a 17th century sandstone Burmese buddha head.


    With bleached white oak cabinetry, cafe au lait marble countertops and honey-coloured oak floors, the kitchen is a tranquil space for breakfast, cooking and casual entertaining.

    Master bedroom

    In the master bedroom, a rock crystal chandelier adds allure to the recessed oval dome. Quieting the room are neutral-toned textiles of subtle patterns and textures, embroidered curtains and bed hangings, and strie silk upholstered walls.

    Dressing room

    In her ultra-couture dressing room, luscious velvets, Lalique touches and a custom-woven tiger-patterned wool and silk carpet heighten the glamorous effect.

    Her bathroom

    Her bathroom doubles as a full boudoir, thanks to a custom-designed vanity in a white gold finish faced with antiqued mirror and restoration glass. Strategically placed to catch the sunlight is a 19th century tortoiseshell mirror and a pair of sparkling rock crystal lamps. An inlaid marble mosaic in tones of pale gold and soft apricot traces the perimeter of the tub.

    His bathroom

    The ultimate masculine statement, his bath is fully panelled with stained walnut cabinetry. It houses a glass-enclosed shower, cocoa-brown marble counters, alabaster fixtures and a handsome marble floor.

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