Doffing his hat to Victorian formality and his client's lavish entertaining, architect William H. Hamilton incorporated generous hallways and grand rooms into the Pacific Heights mansion he designed in 1894. To impress guests, he coffered ceilings, crafted wainscoting, and built a central staircase with liberal amounts of oak, mahogany and walnut. More than a century later, the current owners, a stylish young couple with two children, asked San Francisco interior designer Kendall Wilkinson to re-envision the grande dame as a space that would accommodate their relaxed lifestyle while preserving its elegant legacy.
On her first site visit, Wilkinson began by removing several windows worth of heavy, traditional draperies, opening the home up to the sunlight and fabulous views of Alcatraz, the Bay and Golden Gate bridges. She also imagined the 7,000-square-foot house with lighter woodwork, but says, “The thought of painting everything white struck me—and the clients—as sacrilegious.” They compromised with an experiment: The owners allowed Wilkinson to try whitening the paneling in the family room if she promised to reverse it if they were unhappy. “Luckily, we all thought it worked,” she says. Read the rest of the article on SFC&G (San Francisco Cottages & Gardens).237