Before the Facebook and Google billionaires who have redefined the cultural fabric of San Francisco, creating a gold rush whilst simultaneously flattening the dynamic character of a once bohemian town, there was a small coterie of San Franciscans living in some of the most beautiful residences in the world.
Today, Denise Hale carries on that tradition in her Russian Hill apartment, whose interiors are little changed since having been designed by Mark Hampton in the early 1980s.
Hampton created this watercolor for his insightful and beautiful book, Mark Hampton on Decorating, depicting the scheme he used at the Hale residence. Describing how he came to use green as almost a neutral, Hampton said:
“The real way to understand color is to spend a lot of time looking, and when you think of it, green is one of the most pervasive colors in nature and in art. Whether or not it is predominant in decorating, it has an ability to settle in with practically any other color.”
Hampton combined many shades through the linen velvet walls, silk taffeta curtains, damask upholstery, and marbleized woodwork. One wonders if anyone is still decorating this way in San Francisco. Probably not. But perhaps someone is making an app for that…