Jerry Jacobs Design | Best Interior Designers in San Francisco

Best Interior Designers in San Francisco

Best Interior Designers in San Francisco.

The Best Residential Interior Designers in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Some suggestions on how to find one.

Best Interior Designers in San Francisco search. Just Google it right? That won’t do much if you reach the wrong match for you. To start if you skip  “Residential”, it would include Contract Design firms, and there Gensler is not in the first page, nor is Foster and associates; each, one the largest “Design” firms in the world. So make sure to include “Residential” in your search.

Gensler Architects was founded and is headquartered in San Francisco; they are the Architectural designers for the just completed Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world. They are also perhaps the worlds largest and very good indeed Contract Interior Designers.

Norman Foster. Certainly not a San Francisco designer.

Foster and associates, designed both Apple’s new headquarters in Silicon Valley and Apple’s Flagship store in Union Square San Francisco, as well as the new Airport for Mexico City, to name a few projects in progress.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Norman Foster was asked what his hardest ever project had been. After doing many Airports and high-rises. He answered “Simple, a residence. In the morning the husband calls and tells you the wood floor will look terrific in the new house you are designing for them; in the afternoon the wife calls and says, Norman I think the limestone floor will look fantastic…”

Some of the merits of Residential design are patience and phycology…. As well as love for smaller things and projects.

W. Gaylord.AD May.June 1977. Photo Russell MacMasters

William Gaylord. Architectural Digest. Russell MacMasters photography. Very clean and contemporary lines, timeless (designed before 1986). Use of Black and mirror.

ASID.

As a past President of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers San Francisco and North Bay Chapter), I had the opportunity to look at the Interior Designer community in the Bay as a leader pointing in some direction. I learned from many in the community something different, they are all good interior designers and some are the best, each has something different too. Perhaps they can improve on some qualities and improve to become the best.

Interior Design is not like my favorite sports, Tennis or the Formula One Grand Prix, where points are gained. In both you determine who is best, those with the most points. Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton, each today the World number one. Numero Uno!

Recently a friend told me I was nominated for the 15 Best Interior Designers in San Francisco, and that she was going to vote for me. I felt honored someone had thought of me. I thanked my friend, and confessed I had no idea I was being voted on. Weeks later I checked, voting had been concluded and I was at the bottom of the list #15. Am I the worst of the 15? Maybe, as they were all very good designers, and I’m a terrible campaigner. I wouldn’t mind being at the bottom of the 100 list.

The Architectural Digest 100.

Almost all other lists and deserved awards certainly make you the best interior designers. You appear regularly in print, lists or awards. You are the best if you provide the Best Service, your clients are pleased and you achieve your goals and your work looks great. So from time to time you earn some points. Are you the best?
John Dickinson. Galvanized steel console. Tin table 201. Photo courtesy of David Sutherland Inc. at Shears and Window, San Francisco.

John Dickinson. Galvanized steel console. Tin table 201. Photo courtesy of David Sutherland Inc. at Shears and Window, San Francisco.

There are so many well-recognized and best Interior Designers in San Francisco, so rather than be another directory and name some and miss others, or create a debate on who is who, we focus on providing a list of qualities to help rate who could be the best for YOU! These are qualities we as Interior Designers and Architects strive daily to accomplish.

Then we list who in our opinion deserves recognition for contributing to San Francisco’s Interior Design Mecca status.

 

Qualities.

The same qualities that make a designer the best interior Designer, will help you a customer find them as well. You will know they have the qualities when you meet them. Perhaps the next Interior Designer you meet is the best, we certainly hope so.

Here are what in our opinion makes a designer one of the best in their class.

  • Experience and a Portfolio to show it.
  • An open mind. Unique design solutions.
  • The Eye. Exposure. Attention to detail.
  • Recognition. Some or non.
  • Broad experience. Culture.
  • Community participation
  • How they work with you.

 

Experience and Portfolio.

  • Do you find something you like in their Portfolio, everything or nothing? Some consumers have limited educated taste, and may not know what they want (who does?). If you don’t like what you see forget the rest and interview someone else.
  • Are projects a variety or role-outs? Homes and apartment interiors, large and small Interiors, contemporary and eclectic. Do they look unique interiors? The best Interior Designers can do both, large and small projects; contemporary and eclectic; Residential and commercial too. Are the same colors used over and over again? Black and white or actual colors. Are they inventive?
  • Timeless work. Is their early work still looking good?

Charlie Pfister. Primavera Triple Chest-onChest by Baker. At 1stdibs.

Charlie Pfister. Primavera Triple Chest-on-Chest by Baker. At 1stdibs.

 

Creativity.

  • Do you find their solutions good, or different than what you have seen before?
  • Let the designer tell you what they get excited about from one of their projects.
  • Can they mix? Modern with contemporary, color contrasts, Art and so on.

 

The Eye. Exposure. Attention to detail.

  • Best designers are well traveled and have experienced different environments and cultures and how they reflect in Architecture and Interior Design. Historical perspective. In those trips, and museums specialized in the trade, you look, enjoy the shapes and forms. Have they enriched the eye? “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” St. Augustine.
  • As Interiors are contained in Architecture, or for some like myself are intertwined, the best designers will have an architectural culture. They should be familiar with the newest buildings by Foster or Gehry, or with who did the Louvre pyramid. Or what is an Oculus?
  • Best Interior Designers; react to the space they are in. They will make comments on what you have at home, or at least be sensitive about it.
  • Attention to detail. Can you see rich and elaborate details in their work? 

Schiaparelli Sofa, by Michael Taylor. At Michael Taylor Designs, San Francisco. After designs by Syrie Maugham

Schiaparelli Sofa, by Michael Taylor. At Michael Taylor Designs, San Francisco. After designs by Syrie Maugham

 

Recognition.

  • If your work has been featured numerous times, and you have been awarded and recognized, that is great. Though remember JK Rowling’s Harry Potter manuscripts were first rejected.
  • Best Interior Designers are recognized, first by their previous clients then their piers. Check their referrals.

 

Broad Experience.

  • Is Interior Design all the designer has ever done? And in the same geographical area, and with the same limitations. Or have they been around. Background.
  • Have they done International work, or something in the east coast, or on the beach? It helps to work under different circumstances. All clients and projects are different.

 

Community Participation.

  • Does the designer share, in a Blog or any other media, or teach? Do they give the community something back ideally as Designers? Are they up to date in what is going on in SF and other communities? Sustainability and other causes are important even if not your cup of tea.
  • Accreditation and responsibility. Are they members of AIA, ASID, IIDA, and CCIDC certified and insured? In spite of their limitations, philosophies or bylaws, these institutions are what is there and they do have requirements and minimum standards of compliance.

 

You. How they work with you.

  • Some designers mention; in the end when the project is completed and the client is happy, clients feel like they did it themselves. The designer was helpful, and now even a friend, but the client (YOU), feels it is your project. That is great. It is important to give up the ego and realize that the client is a part of the team. After all they are going to live there, and enjoy or hate the space.
  • Is the designer educating you? Obviously the designer knows more about Interior Design that the client does, but every single action, showing, explaining, convincing and selling, are or should be done in such a way that the client learns why and how.
  • Are they dependable?
  • Does the designer have a sense of humor? The process should be fun!

 

Qualities.

We give you the 20 qualities and check list above we believe make a Best Interior Designer out of a good one. We strive to achieve them as Residential Architects and Interior Designers in San Francisco. In most arts, including design, you usually achieve your best after much time and practice. See Picasso and Philippe Johnson, you keep trying and only get better as you age, they did in their 80’s.

Designers, who score well in 8 or more qualities, are on your way and will get there. Good luck! We do recognize starters and younger generations, as talented and creative. Look at what William Gaylord achieve  before he passed away at 40; or Maya Lin, her first project hit the jackpot.

Other qualities are very important too: ethics, knowing how to listen and reading a client well, kindness, are qualities that apply to all professions.

Historically speaking some of the Best Interior Designers from the San Francisco Bay Area, and the best example of how one can have a critical perspective, are listed below. We choose to include some of their furniture designs too, as they are still produced and used (timeless), and their images are better in the Digital era. Some of these great San Francisco Interior Designers have created schools of followers that worked with them and some inherited their Master’s businesses. We do use their furniture designs in our projects as often as we can.

 

Just  to mention a few of them below listed alphabetically, you should read about them:

  • John Dickinson. Married fantasy and function. Had done retail design. We love his furniture and his interiors.
  • William Gaylord. A minimalist and syndicated writer. His use of the color Black was great too. Died in 1986 at age 40, imagine if he had lasted longer…..
  • Anthony Hail. Antiques and classic. Mixed modern art. Very Eclectic.
  • Charles Pfister. An Architect who did both commercial and residential Interiors. Had worked for SOM and was so contemporary. Passed away at 50.
  • Michael Taylor. Created his own “Casual Californian Style”. Big following.

 

I’m tempted to list many others, specially alive, but will keep the above list where it is, sorry if I missed other important designers including you! Please feel free to comment and add from history too.

  Bathroom in Pacific Heights San Francisco, by Jerry Jacobs Design. The 1991 winner of House Beautiful’s “America’s ten Best Showhouse room award” at the San Francisco Decorators Showcase. John Vaughan† photography.

LINKS.

Thank you to my clients. I tremendously enjoyed the process.

Thank you for visiting!

Jerry Jacobs Design. San Francisco . Belvedere-Tiburon.  +1.415.435.0520  www.jerryjacobsdesign.com     Contact

JACOBS DESIGN, INC.©2020-2021

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