Luxe Life

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase



Nancy Evars.


The countdown is on to experience the San Francisco Decorators Showcase, which is on view through May 27. This 45th edition, benefiting the financial aid programs of University High School, is an exquisite dazzle of design created by some of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed practitioners of the craft.

Since 1977, the beloved fundraiser has generated more than $18 million to support hundreds of students getting access to a world-class college preparatory education. It also affords real estate lookie-loos the opportunity to experience some of the grandest estates in San Francisco.

Led by co-chairs Amanda Hoenigman and Jenni Zaidi — with assists from UHS head of school Matt Levinson and philanthropy director Shaundra Bason — the 2024 Showcase palette (which has starred in such Hollywood films as Jagged Edge and Blue Jasmine) is a beaut.



Framing panoramic Bay views along the City’s coveted Gold Coast — home to old-school blue bloods and tech titans — this brick-clad, 1899 Dutch Colonial Revival–style home was designed by storied architect Walter Bliss, creator of such icons as the James Flood Mansion and St. Francis Hotel. Spread across 11,155 square feet, the four-story home (with ten bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms) features luxurious touches like a solarium, hand-carved oak fireplaces, and coffered ceilings.

This year 31 spaces were reimagined by 28 design firms, including the exceptional talents of Jay Jeffers, Nancy Evers, Chantal Lamberto, Sindu Peruri, Amy Weaver, Marcus Keller and Robbie McMillan, Tineke Triggs, Ansley Majit and Stephanie Waskins, as well as architects Zoë Prillinger and Luke Ogrydziak, who also share UHS parenting duties. They all incorporated such sumptuous details as de Gournay wall fabrics, Da Vinci marble, and a knockout Diebenkorn painting on loan from Berggruen Gallery. It was also an anniversary for the home, which starred as a Showcase darling in 1989.

Designer Jon de la Cruz, who created the dreamy top-floor Observatory, joked that his biggest design dilemma was the room’s locale: “How do I compete with a view that encompasses the Golden Gate Bridge?”



But that magnificent vista informed his vision to create custom designed furniture and fabrics.

“The San Francisco Bay and the city’s famously foggy skies and tree-lined streets were our inspiration in reiterating those blues and greens inside,” said de la Cruz, now in his fifth design Showcase. “Child-size club chairs echo the idea that this is a family-friendly room, where everyone can gaze at the view instead of looking at their phones.”

Suzanne Tucker, a vaunted AD100 designer, was thrilled to be reassigned the formal dining room which, as a former Michael Taylor protege turned fledgling designer, she first designed 35 years ago.

“Showcase 2024 is a different ball game with a new roster of designers and parents supporting the school,” Tucker said. “At this point in my career, I’m not trying to impress anyone. I don’t do ‘trendy,’ but I do know how to design ‘pretty.’ So taking on this same room is the fun and fantasy of a showcase.”



Now in her tenth year as a Showcase designer, Tucker sought to redefine the space with a lighter, more youthful touch that melded with the formality of a grand dining room.

“In 1989 I accessorized with heavy swag curtains, tiebacks, and tassels. Today I encourage my clients to use their dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or enjoy it with pizza and cocktails,” she enthuses. “This year I combined pieces like the perfect Quan Yin bust, Sue Fisher King dinnerware, and a fabulous amethyst stone console that I designed. Mixing elements is what makes any room sing and have soul.”

The Bliss Estate is currently listed at $32 million. And if it fetches that price (hello, Max Armour!), this magnificent manse — which hasn’t changed hands in 35 years — could achieve the year’s priciest home sale in San Francisco.


Jenni Zaidi, Amanda Hoenigman.


LEFT: Jay Jeffers, Susan Chastain. RIGHT: Amanda Ahlgren, Suzanne Tucker.


Tineke Triggs.


Matt Farron, Heidi Castelein, Lily Beischer, Summer Tompkins Walker.


May 6, 2024

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