“When we first met her she lived in a small, old, but quaint apartment with all her art displayed, gallery style, and plants for days,” designer Regan Baker says of her client, an executive at a tech company. “She’s obsessed with colorful textiles, loves to travel, and has an amazing collection of art and decor from her many trips.”
When the client moved to a new-construction condo, she called on Regan. Since the condo was so new, it was a bit sterile and very white. To make the space feel comfortable, Regan and her team opted to play up some of the apartment’s unique elements, such as the concrete wall and columns. “Our goals were to warm up the space with bold colors, textures and patterns, and to keep the style modern while blending in our client’s eclectic style and collected finds,” the designer explains.
The client also loves to entertain, but since the apartment was quite small, there wasn’t room for a proper dining table. “We designed and engineered a beautiful kitchen island that usually seats two people, but expands out to seat six comfortably,” Regan tells us. “We also installed more cabinets for storage, and spruced up the all-white kitchen by tiling an entire wall with a sage colored tile from Heath. The texture and color of the tiles brought in the warmth we were looking for, and also grounded the space.” During the design process, Regan and her team had originally selected a white tile, but she wanted to bring in more color, so they quickly found something that would complement the concrete wall. “This helped define the two spaces, without competing with one another,” the designer says. “The goal was to create an artisanal and eclectic style.”
The open concept of the living and kitchen areas required some delineation of the two spaces. They brought in a custom, angled sofa that would maximize seating and mirror the quirky angled ceiling. This trick makes the living area really feel like a room of its own.
In the master bedroom, they installed custom blackout drapery for the floor-to-ceiling windows. Above the nightstand are tiny wall hangings by Sully String—a textile artist the client discovered herself and who happens to be from her hometown of Tulsa. Inspired by a local restaurant that utilizes color blocking, she also challenged Regan to do something unique with the paint. “This led us to a fun painted wide stripe that aligns with the headboard and carries onto the ceiling,” Regan recalls.
In the master bathroom, they clad a cement column in wood, which allowed for a medicine cabinet. It mimics the look of the kitchen island, bringing a cohesive feel to the entire home. Regan also brought in the client’s style here, sharing “Another way we reflected our client’s playful personality was with a Hermes wallpaper, which adds texture and a wow factor.”
Though the condo itself is on the petite side, it’s got quite a large outdoor area — 500 square feet! “It made sense to make the patio feel like an extension of the living room, so that our client gained more entertaining space,” Regan explains. “San Francisco can get pretty chilly in the evenings—even on summer days—so we incorporated a Galanter and Jones heated bench to make it even easier for our client to spend time outside.” Regan’s suggestions for achieving a similar look is to create cohesion by carrying your indoor color palette out. She says, “We carried our palette of blues, greens and pinks into the furniture and decor outside. You can also do this by repeating themes inside and out—we chose white outdoor dining chairs to echo the white counter stools at the island.”
Finally, art put the finishing touches on nearly every room in the house. The client’s collection was quite large, and she was used to doing gallery walls. With Regan’s guidance, she was excited to find new ways to display her artwork. “We took a slightly more modern approach by giving solo pieces more white space to shine, like the piece in her bedroom (called “Taking Granny for a Walk”). It shows how representations of women in art have changed dramatically—Barbie is juxtaposed with one of the first depictions of women in the arts, the Venus of Willendorf. It definitely deserved to be displayed in a space of its own.”