As a person who has been called to spend her life improving and creating environments, I choose to recognize and respect the history of the land our homes are built on. Before colonization, these grounds belonged to native Bay Area tribes who lived in peace for thousands of years, integrated into this beautiful landscape of the Bay, the redwoods, the golden hills. I invite you to join me in honoring this truth, paying the Shuumi Tax I pay for my business and property taxes quarterly.
It doesn’t right the wrongs, but for me, it is an acknowledgment of the lineages whose land we now live on, and allows me to share about my work and offer others the opportunity to live and conduct business here with reverence to them. The Ohlone Tribe is still very much alive, and doing what they can to restore our waterways and clean up what has been made a mess by our modern ways while maintaining their cultural heritage.
And now, onto the topic at hand…
I’m sitting in my home office on the day after attending a party at the annual San Francisco Decorator Showcase House. The showcase is a herculean effort by the designers and contractors who implement the redesign and remodeling of some of San Francisco’s most architecturally significant properties. The investment of their creativity, resourcefulness, and effort on behalf of this annual fundraiser for University High School is staggering. It astounds me what these designers and their generous vendors pull off in short order: hustling to create design boards in under a week, then waiting on the edge of their seats to see if they are accepted.
For the few who are accepted, they must execute on production in only four short months. And then there’s the showcase: dressing up and commuting and standing in their rooms for a month while visitors tour, and vendors – like the generous hosts of last night’s event, DaVinci Marble – host parties. Finally, the designers and contractors break it all down if the homeowner doesn’t purchase it. It’s a huge feat!
Some of you may know my own bittersweet experience with the Showcase House. Twice rejected, it sent me down a spiral of self doubt, touching on the wound of feeling not good enough. Of course, “not being good enough” wasn’t true at all, but no one could have talked me out of that at the time.
Like all good disappointments, I can now see that putting so much into the Showcase would have been terrible timing for me, when I could barely keep up with the business I had. Along with parenting and writing and the abundance of self-care I need in order to feel resourced enough to do life well, investing in the process would have stretched me in ways that might have pushed me toward breakdown. I am happy to simply appreciate and bow to those who have the capacity to pull it off now.
It’s hard to pick a favorite from the Showcase, but I can tell by the countless photos I took of Tineke Triggs’s primary suite that it enraptured me. The ceiling detail was on point, and the bathroom featuring tile and marble from DaVinci was innovative and handsome. The dressing room was enviable. If you know me, you know I LOVE wallpaper, and I love how she wallpapered its ceiling.
I was also taken by the kid’s playroom with a swing, which the designer shared was needed, given the lack of yard space on the property… a trade-off for the epic bay view visible through most of the rooms on the back side of the house.
Last night’s party did not disappoint. Old friends and new, spectacular views, and innovative design delights all culminated into a night to remember.
By Laura Martin Bovard. Photos by Laura Martin Bovard unless otherwise noted.
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