Wednesday, June 19, 2013

San Francisco Social Diary

Acclaimed San Francisco-based interior design partners Jeffry Weisman and Andrew Fisher toured the Americas with their book, Artful Decoration: Interiors by Fisher Weisman.
FISHER WEISMAN’S ARTFUL DECORATION
by Jeanne Lawrence

After seeing what author friends go through to have a book published, I’m beginning to think the writing is the easy part. What really requires tenacity and stamina is promoting the book!

Case in point: the whirlwind of activity that swept up San Francisco-based interior design partners Jeffry Weisman and Andrew Fisher as they launched their first book, Artful Decoration: Interiors by Fisher Weisman (Monacelli Press, 2013), with a foreword by Architectural Digest editor Margaret Russell.
The first stop on the book tour was Gump’s in San Francisco, renowned for high-quality home décor, gifts, and other goods.
Showcasing 13 of the duo’s design projects, Artful Decoration demonstrates their flair for exquisite, unique styling and attention to detail.

For two months I’ve been following the adventures of the pair as they’ve traveled from their Nob Hill studio to Napa Valley, Chicago, LA, New York City, and Mexico for book signings and parties galore.
A destination for shoppers in search of beautiful objects and furniture, Gump’s was a perfect choice to premiere the Fisher Weisman book.
GUMP’S BOOK SIGNING

Fans showed up for the book-signing event at Gump’s, one of the country’s leading lifestyle emporiums.

People snapped up the book, an intimate glimpse at Fisher Weisman’s designs for such diverse residences as a Nob Hill apartment, a Napa Valley stone winery transformed into a contemporary living space, a Sonoma County tree house, and a Moroccan-inspired retreat in Palm Springs.

One of their most memorable creations is the design for their own Casa Acanto, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the 16th-century Spanish colonial town. The indoor-outdoor compound, originally an 18th-century tannery, is located right in the city’s historic center. (I’m sure everyone is hoping for an invitation!)
In Jeffry and Andrew’s Nob Hill pied-a-terre, the walls of the living room are covered by grand panels of antiqued mirror.
The duo designed not only this Sonoma residence’s interiors but also the furniture, including this stunning Acanthus Major Executive Desk, part of their new furniture line. In this Moroccan-inspired Palm Springs home, Fisher Weisman created a dining area that opens onto an entertainment room lit by exotic lanterns.
This former dining room in a Nob Hill penthouse was transformed into a unique library and home theater to better display antique books and objets d’art.
Would you believe this grand guesthouse with soaring ceiling is actually a tree house situated among a pair of fir trees in Sonoma?
The designers’ sprawling Mexican home, Casa Acanto, features a dining terrace shaded by a canopy of jacaranda trees.
Andrew’s original artwork is the centerpiece in this room at Casa Acanto.
The roof terrace of Casa Acanto’s guest casita offers stunning views of the surrounding town, especially at sunset.
At Gump’s. Andrew Fisher and George Jewett. Margo Graham, Leigh Edwards, and Kirsten Fisher.
Gary and O.J. Shansby. Andrew Fisher and Brenda Jewett.
Joy Bianchi. Nelson Bloncourt, Mary Moore, and Shay Zak.
Paul Weaver, Jack Weeden, and Vaughn Walker.
Belinda Head, Dan Worm, and Gail Defferari.
David Shearer, Anna Roth, Beatrice Bowles, and Terence Clark.
Suzanne Tucker, Fay McGettigan, and Meriwether McGettigan. Lucy Jenks, Stephanie Werner, and Carol Edgarian.
BOOK SIGNING AT WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM

Another day, another book party for Jeffry and Andrew, this one a cocktail reception at the Walt Disney Family Museum in Presidio, hosted by the California chapter of New York’s internationally renowned Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). The event brought in many other designers and architects eager to support their colleagues and enjoy a rousing talk given by Jeffry.

A QUINTESSENTIAL SF DINNER PARTY

After the ICAA reception, Suzanne Tucker, her husband Tim Marks (of Tucker & Marks Design), along with Michael Taylor Designs co-founder Paul Weaver hosted an intimate and lively dinner to honor the duo at Paul’s home.
A wall of floor-to-ceiling windows affords a sweeping panoramic view of the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, the downtown Financial District, and Angel Island.
Together with Andrew Skurman (with whom she co-founded the San Francisco chapter of ICAA), Suzanne has designed and decorated some of the most exquisite homes in the United States.

Paul lives in the Kahn house, the architectural gem designed circa 1939 by modernist Richard Neutra. It sits atop Telegraph Hill, one of the seven hills on which San Francisco was built. The view is spectacular!
The locavore moment is strong in San Francisco, a culinary capital of the world. We dined on local sea bass, locally grown seasonal vegetables, and local wine from our friends at Napa Valley winery Clos Pegase.
The roomful of designers and architects included architect Dante Bini and his wife Adria, and Brenda and George Jewett III, whose family has been involved with the America’s Cup regatta for years. (It’s coming to San Francisco this summer).
Host Paul Weaver toast the authors.
Suzanne Tucker, who took over Michael Taylor’s decorating business and subsequently renamed it Tucker & Marks, Inc., has launched her own fabric line, Suzanne Tucker Home.
Andrew Skurman is an ICAA international advisor, author, and expert on French architecture from the 17th to 19th centuries. His Andrew Skurman Architects specializes in classical residential architecture.
Surrounded by good food and friends, animated conversation flowed.
Alessia Armeni, Paul Weaver, and Jeanne Lawrence.
Dante Bini, Jeffry Weisman, Adria Bini, and Paul Weaver.
George and Brenda Jewett.
The evening was a dream — a quintessential San Francisco dinner party in a sublime home with incredible Bay views, superb food and wine of the region, a relaxed atmosphere, after-dinner laughter, and a roomful of talented people. As a bonus: a full moon.
Andrew Fisher, Jeanne Lawrence, Jeffry Weisman, Alessia Armeni, Suzanne Tucker, Paul Weaver, and Tim Marks.
MORE BOOK PARTIES – NAPA TO LA

Next it was on to Napa Valley for two more book parties, one hosted by good friend Catherine Schmidt and another at the luxury lodge resort Calistoga Ranch. The guest lists included many friends the designers had made in wine country when they owned a fabulous weekend home in Sonoma overlooking the Russian River.

Then Jeffry and Andrew headed to LA for signings at Hollyhock, designer Suzanne Rheinstein’s chic furniture store, and the Michael Taylor Designs showroom—plus a panel about producing a book with designers Eric Cohler and Jennifer Post at the Pacific Design Center.
Andrew Fisher, Suzanne Rheinstein, and Jeffry Weisman.
Andrew Fisher, Fred Rheinstein, Madeline Stuart, and Jeffry Weisman.
Andrew Fisher, Architectural Digest editor-in-chief Margaret Russell, and Jeffry Weisman. Artful Decoration principal photographer Grey Crawford and Suzanne Rheinstein.
Roger Thomas, Andrew Fisher, and Ruth and Hutton Wilkinson.
Suzanne Tucker, Andrew Fisher, and Suzanne Rheinstein.
CHICAGO, DALLAS & NEW YORK

Jeffry and Andrew then flew to Chicago, where Jeffry’s sister Laura Werner and her husband Michael hosted a party in their glamorous Gold Coast apartment, which is featured in Artful Decoration.

The next stop was Dallas, where decorator Michelle Nussbaumer held a party at her Ceylon et Cie showroom.

Finally, in New York City, there was an event at the Walters showroom in the Decoration & Design Building (the “D & D”) for members of the trade to get a first look at a new outdoor furniture line Andrew and Jeffry designed for The Wicker Works, a subsidiary of Walters.

Fisher Weisman has also just introduced its own innovative “Casa Acanto” furniture line, a 27-piece collection, which they are marketing through a website of the same name.
The “Casa Acanto” furniture line includes the clever Veracruz outdoor dining tables, which come in different interlocking shapes with tops in Cumaru (Brazilian teak) or distressed concrete.
Desks and tables such as this Cloud Box Tea Table (left) and Oak Cocktail Table feature sculptural legs hand-cast from recycled aluminum.
NEWEL GALLERY

A second party was organized by antiquarian impresario Guy Regal at the freshly redone Newel Gallery, which shows decorative and fine arts. Fantasy-like and visually stimulating, it is filled with exotic antiques.

If you saw the recent film, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf, you saw scenes shot at the Newel Gallery, whose pieces are often used in the store’s legendary and fanciful Fifth Avenue window displays.
Interior designer Stephanie Stokes arrives at Newel Gallery for the book signing.
The gallery was dripping with fabulous crystal chandeliers. Andrew and Jeffry decorated Newel Gallery’s large windows facing the street with Venetian grotto furniture, blackamoors, and stacks of Artful Decoration.
Newel Gallery’s sense of whimsy resonates with Andrew, for it is one of his special talents. He honed it working with the late legendary designer Tony Duquette and studying metalsmithing, drawing, and sculpture at the California College of Design.

Jeffry’s more classical approach was developed at Stanford, where he studied art and design, and during stints at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill and Gensler. He founded his own firm after returning to Stanford for his MBA. 

Their different styles complement one another perfectly and result in unique designs incorporating pieces you won’t find in a catalogue.

“They do really beautiful work, have terrific clients, and are so much fun to be with,” said decorator Ed Lobrano of New York and San Francisco. What more could one want?
Jeffry Weisman, Mandy Lee, P.D. Fyke, and Ellen Spilka.
Andrew Fisher and hotelier Bruce James.
Jeanne Lawrence and Jeffry Weisman.
Fisher Weisman’s editor at Monacelli Press, Anthony Ianacci, with Keith Scott of Chanel.
Stephanie Stokes, who just published her first book, Elegant Rooms That Work: Fantasy and Function in Interior Design, with fellow author Jeffry Weisman.
Guy Regal and Elle Decor editor-in-chief Michael Boodro.
Lisa McMahon with Newel Gallery’s Nicole Kapit.
Jennifer Flanders and Becky Birdwell. Newel Gallery provides props for movie and television productions and window displays worldwide.
A FIFTH AVENUE BOOK SIGNING

Christy Ferer, CEO and founder of media services company Vidicom, hosted a final book signing that drew many fashion world luminaries to her art-filled Fifth Avenue apartment with marvelous views of Central Park.
Jeffry Weisman and Andrew Fisher.
Andrew Fisher, host Christy Ferer, and Jeffry Weisman.
Perfumer Paul Anthony Austin, Joan Jakobson, and Carl Adams of Brown Harris Stevens Real Estate.
Anika and Kenneth Natori, whose mother Josie Natori founded the fashion line Natori.
Sandra Horbach of the Carlyle Group, Jared Reichart of Tom Ford International, and Doug Gellenbeck of luxury brand Belstaff.
Jacques Correia of Ralph Lauren and Jeanne Lawrence.
Jeffry Weisman, Jeanne Lawrence, and Andrew Fisher.
Jeffry Weisman, Andrew Fisher, and Stephanie Stokes. Jeffry Weisman, Alex Brannian, and Andrew Fisher.
A very successful night!
Later, Jeffry and Andrew enjoyed a cozy dinner with friends on their last night in New York. The tour was over, but the selling of the books had just begun!
Photos by Jeanne Lawrence, Drew Altizer, Stefanie Keenan, Grey Crawford, Matthew Millman, and Edmund Barr.

*Urbanite Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in San Francisco, Shanghai, and New York, and wherever else she finds a good story.