Blog by Beebe Cline

<< back to article list

Hilltop Palace in San Francisco

Unparalleled views of the city and bay were what drew Geoffrey De Sousa to this San Francisco home, but it's his stunning combination of natural materials and exquisite product selections that truly sets it apart. An interior designer and one of the owners of the showroom De Sousa Hughes, De Sousa was living in a Victorian house in the city when he found the perfect location for his dream home. Perched on top of the highest of San Francisco's hills in Clarendon Heights, his new home has views of the city in almost every direction. 

De Sousa opened up the house to take advantage of the views and natural light, working with architect Mark English to double the square footage and create a crisp and clean look. Then he outfitted the home with impeccable product choices to show off its clean architecture and contrast the surrounding fog.
De Sousa significantly expanded the space, opening the main floor into a gallery-like foyer, stairway, dining room, living room and kitchen. The dining room is just one of the many rooms that opens up onto the home's brilliant view.

Dining room table: Stephanie Odegard
The simple and modern dining table is made out of hammered metal, and the Robjohns Gibbons dining chairs are among De Sousa's favorite finds. "It took five years to find all 6," he says. "We found them in San Francisco, in Palm Springs, even in St. Louis."
An elegant custom glass and walnut staircase leads from the foyer to the upper floor, which contains the master and guest suites. Another set of stairs leads down to a media room and exercise room on the ground floor. The combination of warm and cold materials on this unique stairway is the perfect transition between the spaces and serves as a great way to highlight pieces of De Sousa's art collection. "The foyer is like a little gallery space of its own," he says.
De Sousa's previous home was a Victorian decorated entirely in white, so he decided to do something completely different this time around. Lush colors, modern lines, and integrated indoor/outdoor living define the home's aesthetic. The blend of products in this main-floor living room certainly echoes that. Both the yellow upholstered chairs and the coffee table in this room are De Sousa's own designs.
De Sousa chose plush textiles in rich browns, grays and reds which play off of the city's cool and cloudy disposition perfectly. 

Chaise: Charcoal Velvet Preston Chaise, Geoffrey De Sousa
Tables: Plexiglass tables, Ted Boerner
Mirror: Blackman Cruz
A cozy outdoor seating area, complete with a fire pit, sits just inside the entry courtyard. The stacked stone walls and soothing water feature have made this a relaxing outdoor sanctuary.
"We live at the banquette in the kitchen," says De Sousa. "I have really wonderful memories of friends and family gathered around that table." The beautiful rope chairs are made by Christian Astuguevieille, one of De Sousa's favorite designers. The black-and-white photos above the banquette are part of a series of 1950s circus photos. 

Black and white photos:Robollo Home
The open kitchen design allows for a clear view of the San Francisco Bay. Clean and crisp architectural lines keep this space simple but stunning, and automatically lead the eyes out to the view. De Sousa wanted to emphasize natural materials in his home, and used a combination of walnut, Brazilian mahogany, stacked slate, and Calacatta marble throughout. The contrast between wood, glass and stone creates an artful and visually satisfying look. 

Art: Paintings by Alon Langotsky
Chocolate brown accents liven up the soothing taupe tones in this bedroom. 

The home's look is a result of a love for several different styles and eras. "It's also a synthesis of the cities where I've lived," he says. "Boston, where I grew up amidst classic American architecture and interiors, to San Francisco, to Palm Springs, where we have a little mid-century-style retreat."
The master bathroom is a serene, light-filled space that emphasizes natural wood, stone and tile. Using the pebble-style tile around the edge of the room adds a unique contrast that ties the entire space together.
Even the rooms on the bottom floor have a clear view of the city. A small outdoor patio off a guest bedroom allows visitors to fully enjoy the occasional sunny San Francisco day.
Of course, the terrace has by far the most stunning view in the house. The Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge are visible here, and are best enjoyed with a warm blanket and a glass of wine.

Archives