C California Style

The Wiseman Group, with BAR Architects, recently completed this residence high above the Napa Valley.
The Wiseman Group, with BAR Architects, recently completed this residence high above the Napa Valley.
The Wiseman Group, with BAR Architects, recently completed this residence high above the Napa Valley.

Fine Lines

by C California Style

San Francisco interior designer Paul Vincent Wiseman celebrates his firm’s 35th year with a lavish monograph.

Paul Vincent Wiseman.

Paul Vincent Wiseman.

Though his boyish grin and nerdy specs might suggest otherwise, Paul Vincent Wiseman founded The Wiseman Group in 1980. Decades in design later, Wiseman is more in demand than ever, and TWG celebrates with a new book that illustrates his passion for classicism and craft. Inner Spaces: Paul Vincent Wiseman & The Wiseman Group ($75, Gibbs Smith), by Brian D. Coleman, features photography by Matthew Millman and forewords by Frank O. Gehry and Paul Goldberger.

The 20 residences pictured demonstrate finesse with every artistic inch of real estate, whether custom-dyed fabrics, drapery trim, handloomed silk carpets, sculpted hardware or unique lighting. His practice works in tandem with the brilliant work of local muralists and makers, from Evans & Brown and Stancil Studios to Tuell & Reynolds. Perhaps their success is in part due to such a collaborative spirit. “The designer is no longer a dictator, and there is a heightened awareness of design and architecture today, so our clients come to the table with a great deal of knowledge and a very refined taste level,” Wiseman explains.

“No one wants a period room anymore. Fine antiques today are used almost as sculpture or art, as part of the mix in a very eclectic way—not a museum-like statement.”

Inner Spaces, $75, Gibbs Smith.

Inner Spaces, $75, Gibbs Smith.

Highlights of the vivid portfolio include two Legorreta‑designed family compounds, a Tudor residence with modern art on the S.F. Peninsula, Wiseman’s superb retreat in Marin County, a high-rise apartment in Chicago, an art-filled flat in New York and dramatic residences of noted art collectors in Pacific Heights, all individual and custom-tailored. The firm also works on the interiors of jets, lake cabins and country lodges. “My three rules of good design are appropriateness, appropriateness, appropriateness,” says Wiseman. “I don’t do trendy. Furnishings should be right for the location, the architectural style, the purpose, and the people and their lives.” For Wiseman, the goal will always be to design a residence curated precisely for the client. Down to the last detail. wisemangroup.com

By Diane Dorrans Saeks.
PHOTOS: Matthew Millman.