C California Style

The Finishing Touch

by C California Style

3 ways to up your design game

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of C Magazine.



Caroline Lizarraga is the architect of her own decorative art renaissance. From the constellation-emblazoned windows at Kim Alter’s Hayes Valley restaurant Nightbird to the agate-inspired painted concrete floors at Sacramento Street boutique Betty Lin, Lizarraga’s old-world-made-modern masterpieces are on display all over town—most recently at The Riddler, a new Champagne bar whose ceilings she gold-leafed. A self-professed Italophile (“My boyfriend is Italian, my dog is Italian…,” she confesses), Lizarraga studied in Florence at age 20 before returning to her native San Francisco and finding a mentor in Gail Lawrence, an expert in high-end finishes. Almost two decades on, the designer is tweaking the scale and expected color spectrum of traditional techniques such as chinoiserie and marbling for decidedly fresh results. “You have to break the rules, while keeping some of the old ones too,” she says. carolinelizarraga.com.





What’s old is new again for floors. Southern California homes are warming to time-honored European plaster surfaces. And Domingue Architectural Finishes—a dedicated sub-brand of the Houston-based antiques importer Chateau Domingue—is fueling the trend. The appeal is in the versatility. “The finishes are timeless and lend themselves to a variety of architectural styles, from modern to classic,” says Ruth Gay, Domingue’s founder. The warm, neutral topcoats blend lime, marble dust and natural pigments; are eco-friendly; and are durable enough to go the distance—as any 18th-century palazzo can attest. 713-961-5270; dominguefinishes.com.





Those with design commitment issues will welcome the new line by Wallshoppe. Printed in L.A., the vibrant eco-friendly wallpapers can be ordered in traditional or removable versions. To launch, the company called upon designer Nathan Turner to create a mini collection imbued with his West Coast preppy vibe. “The styles embody California spirit…bright, cheerful, fun with lots of color,” says Turner. “And we kept the palette consistent so you can mix and match a floral with a bold stripe.” Enliven an entry or breakfast nook with the Pacifico Palm—a twist on the classic botanical motif, offered in six hues. “I love a tropical print,” he admits. “This one’s a classic—and so L.A.—but the background colors make it feel fresh.” $96/roll, $58/removable panel; wallshoppe.com.