Thursday, April 30, 2009

Orlando Diaz-Azcuy

Sometimes it's easy for the ennui to set in. You know, you see images of interiors and think "Been there, done that". Sometimes, you just want to be shown something new. Well, I found that in Diane Dorrans Saeks' upcoming book Orlando Diaz-Azcuy. Of course, Diaz-Azcuy is not a Johnny come lately. In fact, he has been in the design business for more than forty years. And while I was familiar with his name, I knew nothing about the Cuban born, San Francisco-based designer's work- until now.

I certainly wouldn't call Diaz-Azcuy's look traditional, but there is a luxuriousness to his interiors that appeals to this traditionalist. Some of his interiors are spare, some are edgy. But on the whole, they make me want to step outside of my comfort zone and try a little something new. I think that the rooms that appeal to me most, though, are the richly layered ones. There is one media room that had me swooning. Unfortunately, I can't show the image here, but trust me, it's to die for (think dark green silk walls, gold painted ceiling, and marbleized door frame).

I've long been a fan of Diane's books, so I had high hopes for her newest tome. Fortunately, the book did not disappoint. The author gives the reader great insight into Diaz-Azcuy's design process- both the nuts and bolts and the inspiration too. I love how she described Diaz-Azcuy's work as minimal but with a "touch of va-va-voom". Each chapter focuses on a specific project, including the designer's own homes, and there is also an interesting section titled "Talking Design", a conversation between the author and the designer. And the icing on the cake? Diaz-Azcuy has included a brief list of books that have inspired him. Beautiful images, a story well-written, AND a book list? What more could you ask for?

(Diane Dorrans Saeks is currently at work on her upcoming blog,
The Style Saloniste. Look for the official debut in the next few weeks. I'm confident that not only will it be well-written (would you expect anything less?), but supremely stylish as well!)

This tableau seems quite poetic. In fact, it's Diaz-Azcuy's Pacific Heights penthouse. (© David Duncan Livingston, reprinted from Orlando Diaz-Azcuy by Diane Dorrans Saeks, Rizzoli New York, 2009)

A closet cum media room. Definitely va-va-voom. (© Tim Street-Porter, reprinted from Orlando Diaz-Azcuy by Diane Dorrans Saeks, Rizzoli New York, 2009)

The lush outdoor terrace of one of Diaz-Azcuy's homes. (© Matthew Millman, reprinted from Orlando Diaz-Azcuy by Diane Dorrans Saeks, Rizzoli New York, 2009)

Image at top of Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, © Tim Street-Porter, reprinted from Orlando Diaz-Azcuy by Diane Dorrans Saeks, Rizzoli New York, 2009.


  1. So proud that he is a fellow countryman.

  2. Yoli- I'd be proud too! He's quite talented.

  3. Beautiful pictures
    I love the one from the penthouse

  4. it's such a tricky art to achieve, that minimalist with a touch of whimsy, while maintaining spartan elegance


    Thank you you so much.
    Your readers may wish to come to a booksigning next Thursday May 7 at Gump's in San Francisco, from 5.30--7.30.
    Orlando and I will be there signing the new book.

    all best and a million thanks, DIANE

  6. The grey penthouse room is very museum-like, in the best sense: zen and contemplative.

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  8. Love, love these images and so the book seems like a must. Have a lovely weekend, xv.

  9. Love these images, the day bed was luscious!

  10. The pink media room is divine!!

    Love these!!

  11. Orlando could possibly be one of the NICEST designers I know.
    Such a generous man with a very calming and polite self.

    He has also done a room at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase House:

    You can check out his amazing dining room in PERSON! I also heard from a little bird that he is doing a room in the upcoming Met Home house in San Francisco as well.

  12. Beautiful images. Traditional furnishings yet eveything is treated in a minimalistic way... It gives an impressioin of air and space.

  13. Thanks Jennifer for the review! It's on the list.

  14. Excellent tip!!! Where have I been? You mentioned that Orlando Diaz-Azcuy isn't a "Johnny come lately" to the design field, but this is the first I've heard of him. I'll be ordering Diane Dorrans Saeks' new book asap - but am bummed to miss the book signing Diane posted about earlier!! I think you hit the nail on the head when you described his work as having a "luxuriousness that appeals to traditionalists".

    Take care,

  15. Anonymous1:08 AM

    I used to work at his firm. Congratulations!