About a year ago, I first wrote about the late San Francisco design legend Anthony Hail. I received many emails from readers expressing their thoughts on Hail, a man who obviously had many fans. Most agreed that Hail was witty, worldly, and sophisticated. I suppose it's no surprise that a man like Hail would end up living in San Francisco, a city which, in my opinion, just might be this country's most refined.
When I look at photos of his home, the word that keeps coming to mind is elegance- honest to goodness elegance, something which is missing from much of design today. Hail's possessions were all of the finest quality, and one can tell that much thought was given to how best to display his pieces. One of my favorite Hail rooms is his bedroom. I found these photos in two of my favorite books, San Francisco Interiors and San Francisco: A Certain Style, both by Diane Dorrans Saeks. (If you want to see why I think San Francisco is the capital of refinement, just read these books.)
While the room is a bit more masculine than I usually prefer in a bedroom, it's just so warm and so drop-dead chic that it makes me forget about feminine, frou frou bedrooms. I think it's a great example of how elegance and comfort are not mutually exclusive design principles. In the words of the great Hail, "Beauty and pleasures are givens, but rooms must be usable, not fragile or intimidating."
In "San Francisco Interiors", Hail said that the antiques in this room were either Russian, Danish, or French. He wanted pieces that were "architectural and understated. The last thing I'd want in my bedroom are antiques or colors that are flamboyant or over-the-top."
The fabric is a French striped silk. A pair of c. 1790s Danish commodes flank the bed. The black lamps were a gift from friend Billy Baldwin.
(Photo #1 and #3 from "San Francisco Interiors" by Diane Dorrans Saeks, Alan Weintraub photographer. Photo #2 and quote on beauty from "San Francisco- A Certain Style" by Diane Dorrans Saeks, John Vaughan photographer.)