Thanks so much to the San Francisco Chronicle for the two page feature this weekend! Special thanks to writer Paige Porter Fischer who helped edit my design inspirations and work her wordsmith magic. The article is below (or you can click online HERE) I’m still not quite sure what to make of the cartoon-like portrait of me…
You are where you eat: restaurant-inspired design options
Which restaurant’s style do you covet? Grant K. Gibson delivers a design take-out
Interior designer Grant K. Gibson has a novel way of discovering his clients’ personal style. “I always ask them where they like to eat,” says Gibson. “And I’m not referring to the food, per se, but rather the design of the restaurant. San Francisco is home to some of the most stylish dining rooms and cafes in the country, and the decor is as diverse as the food they offer. A person’s answer tells me a lot about the kind of look he or she is drawn to.”
Gibson, whose eponymous design firm has been featured in Elle Decor and House Beautiful, was recently named one of 15 designers and architects to follow on Instagram by Architectural Digest. His feed (@grantkgibson) regularly boasts stunning snapshots from restaurants around town. “It may be the impeccable, tufted leather booths at Cavalier that inspire a chesterfield sofa at a client’s home, or it could be an unforgettable color, like the deep aqua at Bar Jules that we use in someone’s powder room,” says Gibson. “What is so fascinating is digging in and figuring out what it is about a particular space that speaks to someone.” We challenged Gibson to bring home a few great ideas from restaurants where the interior design is as thoughtful as the menu.
The vibe: “This is where I like to go on a cold, foggy San Francisco night. It’s rustic and organic and cozy at once.”
Bring it home: “I really love the plank walls in the dining room. This piece delivers the same rustic look in the form of a coat rack.” (CarpenterCraig, $378.58,http://etsy.me/1rS2f5V)
4001 Judah St., San Francisco. Interior design by owners Dave Muller and Lana Porcello, architecture by Charles Hemminger.
The vibe: “As you walk into Namu, you can’t help but see the giant wood slab table. … (It) makes you feel like you’re having dinner at someone’s dining room table.”
Bring it home: “I work with a local builder in Petaluma to build tables in the same feel and style. I love that the wood is reclaimed and has a story.” www.heritagesalvage.com/new-arrivals/western-red-cedar-slabs
499 Dolores St., San Francisco. Interior design by Brian Ford of Metropolis Design.
The vibe: “The Mill has a clean, modern look with all the white tiles, but it’s warmed up with all the Doug fir custom shelving.”
Bring it home: “I really love the geometric wood shelving that’s so simple and graphic at the Mill. For similar geometric wood shelving, check out Zin Home.” (Geometric wood and iron bookcase, $1,199, www.zinhome.com)
736 Divisadero St., San Francisco. Architecture and interior design by Seth Boor and Sarah Fucinaro of Boor Bridges Architecture.
The vibe: “This place has such a fun, contemporary look – with all the clean lines and black accents.”
Bring it home: “I adore the various undulating pendant lights here.” For a similar look, check out the Tom Dixon Beat pendants ($595; www.ylighting.com).
1 Ferry Building, San Francisco. Interior design by Kallos Turin.
The vibe: “My entire wardrobe is black and white – so I’m obviously a big fan of the color scheme in here. And I love the large mirror that expands almost the entire length of the room.”
Bring it home: “You can’t walk into Jane for a latte and not do a double take of the wallpaper. Here’s an example of black and white done right.”http://www.grahambrown.com/us/product/20-192/Camille
2123 Fillmore St., San Francisco. Interior design by Ken Fulk.
Interior designer insights from
Grant K. Gibson
Q: What restaurant in San Francisco most matches your own style?
A: Frances. I love the crisp white interior, and the wall that they have created to display wine bottles is fabulous. It’s a cozy neighborhood restaurant that feels almost like you could be eating in someone’s home. The architecture firm Apparatus Architects designed this space. I work with them on lots of projects around the Bay Area.
Q: What hotel do you feel most at home in, style-wise?
A: Carneros Inn. I have spent many happy nights at this comfortable and casual – yet sophisticated – hotel. I love that each room is its own house, so private and secluded. And the indoor/outdoor shower just makes me happy.
Q: If you have a design-savvy friend coming to San Francisco and can only hit up three spots, where would you go?
A: March, Sue Fisher King and Hudson Grace. My interior design studio is on Sacramento Street, so all of these gems are just down the street.
Q: Do you have any advice for people who are trying to figure out their own style and fashion a living space that feels true to their own aesthetic?
A: I often ask people a lot of questions when we have our initial meetings. I want to know about their lifestyle and how they live in the space. (Dinner parties? Or cozy nights for two in front of the fireplace?) I ask people where they travel and to tell me about hotels and restaurants that they love. This helps me determine if they are more modern or traditional and gives me clues about their style. My firm works on projects that really are all over the spectrum. At the end of the project, I want the house to look and reflect the client – and not look like I have been there. A space should not be overly designed. It should feel inviting and be livable.
Q: You are known for being able to mix high and low seamlessly – what’s worth the splurge, and where can you save money, when it comes to decorating a space?
A: I always tell my clients to splurge on the key pieces – pieces that you are sitting in and spending a great deal of time in. Your sofa, dining chairs and bed should be your splurges. Invest in quality pieces that are timeless and not trendy. You can change out your throw pillows, add accessories, and paint the walls on a budget.