Photos by Dean J. BirinyiLiving Room at a Glance
Who lives here:
A retired coupleLocation:
Lake District neighborhood of San FranciscoSize: 170 square feet (16 square meters)Designer: Sabrina Alfin
A few years after completing a beautiful kitchen remodel, this retired San Francisco couple wanted to match its style in the adjacent living room. “My clients told me that this was likely the last decorating job they would ever do, so they wanted it to be high-quality, long-lasting, comfortable and beautiful,” says interior designer Sabrina Alfin. Their needs included a sitting area, a table for two and a very comfy chair for him. They also wanted to be able to
watch their beloved San Francisco Giants from all over the room.As soon as they had signed on with the designer, she assigned them some homework — putting together inspiration photos in a Houzz ideabook, along with comments about what they liked in each space. The ideabook revealed that their style leaned more transitional than traditional, that they loved blues and grays, and that they were drawn to sectionals with a chaise. Then, based on what she saw in the ideabook, she presented them with mood boards.
Check out a copy of the Houzz ideabook they made (their ideabook is private, so this one is an exact copy).Find a local interior designer on Houzz
Before: “Their house is a classic old San Francisco Victorian-era row house, and their furniture was a mishmash of different styles. Some of it leaned more midcentury modern, and we wanted to come up with a style that fit their home’s architecture better,” Alfin says. One major issue was the bulk of the TV, which they wanted to be able to watch from all over the room.
Before: The transitional kitchen is mostly white with simple Shaker lines. A granite counter in shades of gray provides color and pattern. “The jumping-off points were the simplicity of the white Shaker style and the gray tones,” Alfin says. The lines inspired tailored yet comfortable furniture, and the countertops provided a color palette. The original mood boards she created also reflected the global influences of the diverse city.
“A room needs three elements: color, texture and shine,” the designer says. “The colors and tailored style in this room could have skewed cold, so warmer textures were important to keep it from going cold and flat.”
These clients also love throw pillows, so Alfin splurged by designing them in special fabrics. The Greek key motif on this one was crafted using a fabric trim tape — check out the way the corners of the tape are mitered.
The coffee table also brings in texture and shine. It is covered in lacquered linen, and the bottoms of the legs have a mirrored finish. The wool rug’s transitional pattern reflects the global influence inspiration.
The top of the Thai drum side table has an intricate medallion-like top.
A rattan table and chairs bring in a big dollop of warm texture. And the hairpin chair legs nod to the midcentury modern style the homeowners like. The granite-topped bar cabinet to the right was part of the prior kitchen renovation. Alfin flanked the other side of the table with a white TV console that balances it nicely. Now they can watch the Giants while having game-day food at the table, relaxing in the sitting area or prepping snacks in the kitchen, thanks to a full-motion swivel TV mount. When they are done watching, they can place the TV flush with the wall — it’s no longer a bulky behemoth hogging the corner of the room. Shop for bistro tables
At the peninsula, two new counter stools and their chair pads match the bistro chairs.
In addition to the glints of silver on the side table, lamp, artwork and coffee table, Alfin added a mirror over the existing bar, which faces the end of the peninsula, for more shine. It’s a great transitional blend of modern (simple geometric shape) and traditional (pieces of antiqued mirror between the bevel and the beaded edge).