Melding Historic Home and Marvelous Modern Designs: San Francisco's Decorator Showcase

By NanaWall Systems, May 15, 2024

San Francisco Decorator Showcase NanaWall folding glass wall

Nestled in the heart of prestigious Pacific Heights' "Billionaires Row," the marquee venue for the 45th San Francisco Decorator Showcase is a historic $30 Million Dollar mansion that has been utterly transformed. The Dutch Colonial Revival mansion has four unique floors of living space with sweeping top-floor views of the Golden Gate Bridge through a panoramic folding glass wall.

Historic Home Decorator Showcase 2024

San Francisco Architectural Jewel Reimagined

The 125-year-old home originally debuted in the 1989 San Francisco Decorator Showcase and has since been recently transformed with stellar design-forward delights and updates throughout. This grand Dutch Colonial Revival beautifully merges its century-old legacy with modern design, and prominently features a NanaWall folding glass wall to frame the iconic views. On the home’s top floor is a solarium and observatory that leads to an open deck and putting green via a folding glass wall overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The folding glass door system harmonizes beautifully with the existing architectural legacy while introducing a modern element to the space. Read on to explore how Designers like Jon de la Cruz among the others at this year’s decorators showcase transformed this historic home into a timeless legacy.

decorator showcase Jon de la Cruz observatory

Transformation by Iconic San Francisco Designer Jon de la Cruz

"The Observatory," a standout creation by Jon de la Cruz of DLC-ID, showcases his ability to blend vibrant patterns, rich colors, and dynamic textures into a cohesive and inviting environment. Jon’s design philosophy comes to life in full spectrum. The room is a whimsical ode to pattern, color, and graphic allure, designed to serve multiple functions — from a media room to a game room, a breakfast nook, and an intimate space for evening cocktails. The richly hued wall paneling evokes the twilight hues of the horizon, creating a backdrop that complements the floral sofas, which themselves echo the verdant landscapes visible through the expansive folding glass wall. A hand-tufted carpet, reminiscent of the lush outdoors, guides the eye toward the stunning views offered by the opening glass wall system, effectively blurring the lines between indoor luxury and the natural world outside. 

San Fransisco Bay from Decorator Showcase

“The Observatory is a lush around-the-clock space that flexes as the sun travels along the panoramic folding glass wall from morning to evening. Coffee in the morning, a quiet study during the day, board games after school, watching the boats traverse the bay, and stargazing at dusk,” states Designer de la Cruz. The result is a space that not only respects its historical context but also embraces the possibilities of modern design making "The Observatory" a true highlight of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. The transformation would not have been possible without the meticulous craftsmanship by Larkspur Builders Construction who ensured that every aspect of the renovation respects the integrity of the original structure. Its initial construction in the late 19th century was set by the original architect, Walter D. Bliss, whose designs are significant landmarks in the history of San Francisco architecture. 

Decorator Showcase home predesign

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The Art of Historical Transformations

At this year's Decorator Showcase, NanaWall innovative solutions shine in "The Observatory". Here, the folding glass wall system transcends mere architectural features, becoming an integral element that enhances the mansion’s historical charm with its sleek, minimalistic design. The folding glass wall maximizes the stunning panoramas and redefines the interaction between indoor comfort and the expansive outdoors, perfect for redefining historical spaces with modern architectural integrations. By aligning with the geometric symmetry and the refined aesthetic of the original architecture, these systems offer a seamless transition from the rich, historical interiors to the breathtaking million-dollar views outside. 

NanaWall aluminum clad folding glass wall in historic home

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Modern Living with Historical Echoes

Opening glass wall systems allow space to be transformed in moments, supporting the mansion's dual roles as both a private residence and a venue for public exhibitions. With NanaWall transparent opening solutions, views are experienced, not just seen. The opening glass walls create a panoramic living portrait that changes with the time of day and weather, ensuring the landscape is a constant, celebrated backdrop to the luxurious interior decor. This folding glass wall system was installed over 16 years ago which is a true testament to the durability of NanaWall folding doors and proves the timeless nature of designing with large openings. The doors are made of energy-efficient aluminum clad with a wood framed interior painted by the designer to match the trim. The durable aluminum exterior combats the famous turbulent winds and fog of the Great Golden Gate.

observatory before Decorator Showcase

Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future 

When updating any historic property, there is a delicate balance to maintain: respecting its historical essence while steering it toward modern living. The minimalist design of the opening glass system complements the mansion’s intricate moldings and classic columns, proving that modern innovations can enhance historical integrity rather than overshadow it.

NanaWall folding glass wall at Decorator Showcase

Architects turn to NanaWall as the leading single-source design solution that can instantly update historical structures. Historic renovations present a unique challenge to honor the past while integrating modern amenities and aesthetics that meet today’s standards of comfort, design, and code compliance. Folding glass wall systems provide an ideal solution for this complex issue, offering a seamless blend of contemporary functionality with timeless elegance. Their sleek, minimal design complements varying architectural styles, from Victorian, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival to Art Deco to Modern, without overshadowing the historical elements that give a property its character. Like the fine craftsmanship of historical architecture, NanaWall systems are engineered to endure and stand the test of time.

wood framed aluminum clad folding glass wall

Final Thoughts

For architects, designers, and homeowners, the transformation of the historic mansion home relays the powerful sentiment that innovation can honor tradition, and spaces can be as boundless as the vistas they frame. Through meticulous design and engineering, builders can ensure that even the most historic homes can step gracefully into the modern age. By choosing NanaWall opening glass walls, architects and builders can preserve historical elements while providing the functionality expected in modern living.

view from San Francisco Decorator Showcase via NanaWall system

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For more information and examples of how NanaWall can transform your renovation, visit our inspiration gallery or get a quote today. Let us help you create a truly timeless space.

jon de la cruz interior design

We applaud all the extremely talented designers who participated this year. Wish you could visit the Decorator Showcase home for yourself?! Take the virtual tour from the Decorator Showcase: