Four Seasons Private Residences

Paris-born interior designer Guillaume Coutheillas is proud to call SF home. He founded his award-winning interior design and branding studio frenchCALIFORNIA here in 2016, partnering with the world’s top collectible design and art galleries, real estate developers, and collectors to curate distinctive, eclectic commercial and residential interiors — projects regularly featured in Architectural Digest, Robb Report, Modern Luxury, Wallpaper*, and Town & Country. 

Ahead of San Francisco Design Week (June 3-12) we explore one of Guillaume’s recent projects here in the city: a furnished two-bedroom apartment with dining and office spaces within the Four Seasons Private Residences at 706 Mission.

“When we’re working on show houses, depending on the city, we always imagine who’s going to live in these homes—is it a family, a couple, or a single person? Do they have pets? What does their lifestyle look like: are they super active, are they readers, do they entertain? Our projects are always contextual because you want to do something that relates to the size of the space and the environment but also hints at travel. 

“This is definitely an apartment for entertainment. There’s a foyer, an informal living space, separate dining room and a large formal living room with great views of the city.” 

“The office showcases frenchCALIFORNIA’s style of mixing vintage and modern furniture encapsulated in one image. The desk is leather-wrapped with metal ‘stitches’ and complements the vintage lamp, which almost looks like a woman wearing a straw hat in the sun—beautiful and very delicate—which I personally sourced along with those paintings when traveling home to France. 

“Even though it’s sturdy and very comfortable, the chair has really thin legs, contrasting nicely with the desk without blocking the view. The office a separate space but not enclosed, providing flexibility during the day for working, writing a letter, or serving as a vanity.”

“We like to create landing moments so that, psychologically, when you’re entering an apartment, you don’t fall into the living room right away. Your eyes rest on a series of items and objects, creating the sensation of an even larger space beyond while providing an area to decompress from the city around you. This little landing area features a chair, console table, and lighting fixture right when you enter the apartment. If this is a shoes-off home, this is the perfect place to remove them.” 

“This is our reinterpretation of the parlor, or informal living room—a conversation area to pass through that also adds seating when you’re entertaining. Let’s say you’re receiving guests and they have to wait for you while you’re getting ready—they would sit in this area, rather than be in the formal living room. Spaces like these are great for kids because there’s a plush rug and a low, vintage pedestal table where they can play.” 

This kitchen is really large and looks like the kitchen of a single-family home. We chose paint that isn’t inherently rustic but wouldn’t look out of place in the countryside or even the South Bay. To complement the new fixtures and appliances, we chose vintage art, like that vessel on top of the pedestal that brings a little warmth, and a vintage cutting board that also warms up the space.

“In the dining room, we created a place to dine, with a sturdy table and modern, traditional chairs but featuring modern photography and a floor lamp by Michael Anastassiades for Flos, which is very contemporary. You see a sculpture on the windowsill—I love using surfaces like that for unexpected placement of objects.”

“On one side of the dining room, we chose a modern contemporary credenza to store ceramics and plates, with a ceramic piece that’s meant to be hung but placed flat on top of it instead. The installation is asymmetrical, with two paintings on the right and a sconce on the left, the mirror, and a table lamp with citrine shade. The lamp is probably one of my favorite lamps I’ve found while sourcing decor and furnishings for projects.

“frenchCALIFORNIA created a capsule paint collection in collaboration with San Francisco-based company Color Atelier and we’ve developed custom colors for all rooms. A few years back, the trend was to paint the entirety of the room, including the ceiling, so everything was monochromatic. Now, we’re drifting back to preserving and featuring all the architectural details with paint. 

“In this room, we left the trim white and painted the walls with a custom limewash that provides amazing texture, giving this new construction an almost pre-war detail. The primary bedroom is very large so we created a seating area to enjoy the classic San Francisco view.”

“It’s always nice to have a little vanity in the bedroom because bathrooms typically don’t have natural light, and sometimes you want to take out jewelry or put shoes on with natural light and a mirror while having a conversation with the person you’re sharing the bedroom.

“We added just a few accessories: a shagreen-wrapped console table with vintage artwork and then vintage object and stool.” 

“This chair and the one like it in the living space are my favorite pieces in the entire apartment. These two are part of an incredible vintage set from France. (I have one in my house too!) 

“We use a lot of vintage, which to me is the best way to be sustainable. It’s always a conversation we have with clients: depending on where people are from or how they grew up, they might think vintage is old and dirty; we try to show how dropping that one antique chair in their living room can transform the space. Beautiful pieces with a history will make your home feel even more full of life and soul.”

“Where the primary feels like you’re in a cloud, we wanted to go slightly bolder with color in the second bedroom, earth tones that are neutral, soothing, and calming, but darker. 

“We elevated everything to exaggerate the ceiling height: you see the brass-tone nightstand bases are fairly thin, and the table lamps are also tall and thin. Linen curtains that are almost sheer add to the softness.” 

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Follow frenchCALIFORNIA on Instagram @french.ca. Follow Guillaume on Instagram @gcoutheillas.