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San Francisco Decorator Showcase Features Sartorially-Inspired Office

Sunday May 13, 2012

San Francisco, CA - Catherine Kwong Design transforms a sitting room into a sartorially-inspired office at the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.  With work ranging in scale and scope, from historically-significant homes to urban pied-à-terres, Catherine Kwong brings her signature elegance and careful attention to detail to create an enviable office for a magnificent home's resident visionary. 

"I've always been inspired by fashion," says Catherine Kwong, the firm's principal designer. "And, right now, San Francisco is full of incredible fashion bloggers who have a unique perspective on the latest trends.  With this type of writer in mind, I set out to create a dream office -- complete with pinup boards for tear sheets and look books and, of course, a custom closet to display a truly inspirational wardrobe."

Adjoining the master suite in a lavish, turn-of-the-century classical revival mansion, the office is perfectly appointed for a fashion writer.  Personal style, timeless elegance, color, scale and subtle contrast of form conspire to inspire missives from fashion's frontline. 

Pale, grey-stained quarter-sawn white oak floors create a sumptuous canvas for the room's artful mix of classic, luxurious details and clean, contemporary lines.  Silk-lined drapery and upholstered walls provide an elegant counterpoint to the room's modern elements, like the stunning graphic Blackman Cruz metal chandelier. 

Julian Chichester’s "Cortes" desk serves as the room’s centerpiece.  Wrapped in hand-dyed black vellum, with a gilded steel base and sycamore-lined drawers, the desk is an elegant update to a classic design.  This desk, along with the vintage Eileen Gray desk lamp and Mansour Modern’s "Porcelaine" wool and silk rug, all borrow influence from French deco design. 

Throughout the room, nods to fashion abound.  Andy Warhol’s famous "Chanel No. 5" print greets guests as they enter the room.  Closet doors display inset panels featuring Hermes’ colorful and iconic silk scarves, and the westward wall showcases an oversized Mark Shaw photograph, taken backstage at a 1954 Balmain fashion show.  Custom wood cabinetry lines the wall, filled with fashion books, and laden with the room’s true inspiration - a dazzling collection of this season’s most covetable clothing, shoes and bags. 

"Catherine has worked on an impressive array of interior design projects for some of the world’s design greats, including Ralph Lauren, Bill Sofield and San Francisco’s own Paul Wiseman," says Diane Dorrans Saeks. "Her tutelage shows through in her adept mix of materials and the disciplined but glamorous elegance of her inaugural San Francisco Decorator Showcase room."

With offices in San Francisco, California, Catherine Kwong Design provides high-end residential design services, including: interior, architectural and furniture design.  Ranging in scale and scope, from historically-significant homes to urban pied-à-terres, Catherine Kwong Design is dedicated to creating exquisite environments grounded in sophistication and comfort.  The firm embraces classic design, but brings a fresh and modern sensibility to each project.

Over the course of her career, Catherine has worked on interior design projects all over the world, which have been featured in Architectural Digest and Interior Design.  Early in her career, Catherine Kwong honed her skills, working for design greats Ralph Lauren, Bill Sofield and San Francisco’s Paul Wiseman.  Catherine holds degrees from Brown University and Parsons School of Design.

Since 1977, the annual San Francisco Decorator Showcase has benefited San Francisco University High School’s financial aid program, and garnered a reputation as the West Coast’s premiere design show house event, renowned for featuring the work of the region’s top interior designers.

The canvas for this year’s event is a magnificent Pacific Heights classical revival mansion, built by Julius Krafft in 1902 for then Wells Fargo Bank President Isaias Hellman, as a wedding gift for his daughter.  However, it served instead as the temporary headquarters for Wells Fargo following the 1906 earthquake and fire. 

The 11,500 square foot property features a grand floor plan including four distinct levels with sparkling San Francisco Bay views a double-curved grand staircase and sumptuous mahogany wood paneling.

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