Tour a Japandi-Style San Francisco Home That’s Fearless in Its Use of Color

For a newly blended family in San Francisco, home is not just the place they lay their heads at night. It’s a respite where they are building a life together. This 3,500-square-foot two-bedroom house in the city’s hills marked a fresh start for a couple with a young daughter. They tapped local AD PRO Directory design firm Chroma to create it in their vision: comfortable, colorful, and intentionally dedicated to their hobbies.

The father is a work-from-home entrepreneur who needed an inspirational office to dream up his next venture. He also wanted a listening room where he could enjoy classical music records as well as a place to store his extensive collection of board games—and to play them with the family. For the wife, a spa-like primary bathroom with a large soaking tub was a must. Family gathering spaces for reading, cooking, and relaxing were essential too. The design process involved “peeling back all of their interests, and then showing the family what we can do for them visually,” explains Chroma managing partner Leann Conquer. By uniting the studio’s signature fearless use of color and texture with the father’s appreciation for Japanese ryokan design, Scandinavian furniture, and nature, Chroma created a personality-driven sanctuary for every member of the trio.

Tapping into the colors of the world outside its walls, each room of the home is accented by dynamic shades of blue. However, the base palette is far more subtle. Custom oak cabinetry and wall paneling throughout capture the simple coziness of the father’s beloved Japandi style, also supported by Chroma’s bold mix of furniture: low-slung vintage and bespoke pieces that are upholstered in tactile fabrics or deeply hued leathers. All are made with natural materials, paralleled in the environmental subjects of the home’s art collection, curated by Chroma.

These low-lying furnishings were chosen because sitting closer to the floor creates a more grounded feeling, something the family was seeking in their first space together, says Chroma creative partner Alexis Tompkins. In the living room, Farrow & Ball’s Dove Tail gray paint provides a neutral backdrop for a space meant for playing card games on a pair of custom ultramarine daybeds with squat wood-block legs; browsing a book in a circa 1960 Jorge Zalszupin Presidencial Jacaranda armchair; or snuggling by the built-in fireplace atop a multi-fabric cushion or a circa 1970 Giancarlo Piretti Alky chair with a new sheepskin seat. The custom wool rug underfoot is patterned to evoke a Japanese rock garden.

The nature references continue across the house. In the media room, the family enjoys friendly game nights at a bespoke table lit by a sculptural Dieter Vander Velpen pendant. Watching over is a 2017 Adam Fuss photogram of smoke, hung adjacent to a picture window toward the English-style garden by San Francisco–based landscape studio Erica Timbrell Design. For the primary bedroom and bathroom, Chroma designed custom metal screens to separate the punchy blue shower plastered in “tadelakt,” a lime finish that dates to ancient Rome and Morocco, as well as the sleeping nook with its ancient wood bed and custom linen headboard from its adjacent vinyl record lounge. The partitions’ geometric apertures are another nod to the environment—their lines inspired by the Hiroshi Sugimoto photographs Lightning Fields the father loves.

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