Pacific Heights Metropolitan Design

Today’s design inspiration comes from a pied-a-terre apartment located in San Francisco’s exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood overlooking the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.  This residence has been created to serve as a glamorous stage for entertaining with interiors completed in a metropolitan design by San Francisco-based interior designer Nicole Hollis.

The two-bedroom apartment spans an entire floor of a classic prewar building dating back to the 1920s.  The original millwork and trim have been maintained and restored to honor the history of the structure.  The designer prefers to layer texture and shapes in lieu of color and pattern which she has done here achieving a scene of high contrast with a neutral color palette to form an excellent backdrop for the homeowner’s enviable art collection.

..designed to serve as a glamorous stage for entertaining with metropolitan design

nicole hollis metropolitan design living room side view

Creamy white paint is used on the walls throughout most of the apartment, while the wood floors are stained a rich, deep brown.  The photos above show the home’s living room where the designer has created the main seating area using the fireplace as the focal point.  A shimmery velvet-upholstered sofa groups with leather armchairs, all by Christian Liaigre, and gather on a plush Moroccan rug from Tony Kitz gallery.  The side table is by Troscan Design, and the floor lamp is from Blackman Cruz.  The designer had the ottoman upholstered with a hair-on-hide which perfectly balances the space opposite the fireplace and adds to the worldly appeal.  Linen draperies dress the windows.

Nicole Hollis metropolitan design living room fireplace focal

The dramatic fireplace surround is bespoke designed by Hollis, created with Nero Marquina black marble with white veining.  The artwork above it is by Antony Gormley, which is flanked by a pair of hand-blown glass sconces from John Pomp Studios, which are placed about the room to impart a warm glow.  A collection of books and collectibles, including a wooden bowl by Philip Moulthrop, gather on the central coffee table creating a personal and inviting feel.

nicole hollis metropolitan design living room through to study

nicole Hollis metropolitan design study

nicole hollis metropolitan design study detail

To create a counterpoint for the metropolitan design, the study, located just beyond the living room with pocket doors to close if needed, was painted Pitch Black.  The main focal art in the space is the Secretive Three Graces, 2008 by Debbie Han.  The table in the center of the room is an Eero Saarinen-design from Knoll.  Above it, a Gino Sarfatti lighting fixture from Flos suspends.  The large metallic sculpture right outside the space is Artificial Rock #146, 2011 by Zhan Wang.

nicole hollis metropolitan design foyer

In the minimalist designed foyer, a Louis Poulsen PH Artichoke pendant hangs above a table from Atelier Gary Lee.  Square Word Calligraphy: After Apple Picking 2003, a poem by Robert Frost drawn to look like Chinese characters, by Xu Bing, displays on the wall.  For more foyer design inspiration see Grand Entrances- 15 Designer Foyers.

nicole hollis metropolitan design dining room

nicole hollis metropolitan design dining room art

In the formal dining room, the large oak-and-bronze dining table is bespoke designed by Hollis.  A large modern design bronze Lumiere Chandelier by Jean de Merry suspends above it.  Christian Liaigre linen dresses the windows.  Robert Rauschenberg’s Japanese Sky I hangs between the windows along with several pieces of art around the room.  For more dining room ideas be sure to check out 20 Outstanding Designer Dining Rooms.

nicole hollis metropolitan design breakfast nook

For the casual breakfast area, Hollis designed a comfy corner banquette upholstered in leather by Garrett, paired with a custom wood table and Dzine side chairs.  The arrangement completes with a honeycomb lighting pendant from Tim Clarke Interior Design.

nicole hollis metropolitan design kitchen detail A

nicole hollis kitchen detail B

The kitchen and master bath were the only spaces that really needed a full structural renovation which was handled by the architect.  Hollis designed new cabinetry and created a minimalist design aesthetic.  Here in the kitchen, the designer painted the cabinets pitch black and selected Waterworks subway tile for the back-splash and Calacatta Gold marble for the counter-tops.

nicole hollis metropolitan design bedroom

The mood is kept light in the master bedroom with shades of white bed linens and Romo drapery fabric.  The art in this space is all oil-on-wood by Liu Wei, which intentionally cracks and changes color over time.

nicole hollis bathroom

The master bathroom floors are Calacatta Gold marble, which was also used to customize the vanity from Restoration Hardware.  The geometric lighting chandelier is by Tom Dixon.  Windows, glass doors and the flowing architecture demonstrate a nuanced play of light, shadow, and mood throughout the day.

To see more dramatic metropolitan interior design be sure to check out Boscolo: Contemporary Luxury Design, for a look at how it’s done in London.

nicole hollis building entry

This photo shows the classic design details in the entrance of the residential building the apartment is located.

That concludes our tour of this Pacific Heights residence my friend.  I hope you enjoyed today’s metropolitan design inspiration.  For more info, be sure to check out the designer’s website.

As is clearly demonstrated here, Nicole Hollis imbues spaces with beauty and emotion through her multidisciplinary design practice grounded in artisanship, conceptual rigor and materials exploration.  A lush textural canvas, nuanced study of contrasts and emphasis on the Fine Arts characterize the firm’s strategic approach.

Interior Design:  Nicole Hollis @

Photography:  Laure Joliet

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Showing 3 comments
  • Margaret Simpson

    I so enjoy your Design Quality and Style…..Thank you for sharing……I Love Interior Design…..



    • Margaret Simpson

      I so enjoyed the Design on Pacific Heights Metropolitan Design…. Congrat’s

    • JD Knight

      Thank you so very much Margaret! I am so happy to read that!! Thanks so much for commenting and for continuing to read along with us!!

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