Today’s Throwback Thursday post features a long-standing favorite designer of mine from the 1970’s, William Gaylord. His style defined the clean, crisp, classic and contemporary aesthetic of California design at the time, a style that would usher in a new American chic with the advent of the California Look, made popular by Michael Taylor.
For his 1870 shingled Victorian on San Francisco’s Russian Hill Gaylord transformed its eccentric and prettily appointed interiors into stream-lined open spaces trimmed-out in gleaming polished chrome with expanses of windows opening onto the theater of San Francisco Bay. A restricted palette of butterscotch, black and white further enhanced his vision for a luxurious hilltop aerie that combined both modern and classic design elements with fine and humble materials.
Gaylord transformed two parlors and a porch into one continuous, flowing living area (above three photos). Warm-toned silk upholsters the walls, providing a luxurious foil, while buttery soft leather covers armless sectional units, paired with Louis XVI-style fauteuils. The segmented marble cocktail tables and geometric patterned carpet are Gaylord designs. The fireplace was inset with mirror and chrome, a decidedly 1970’s glam statement – but one which is tempered by the warm and restrained color scheme and simple, though luxurious, materials.
In the dining room Gaylor placed a non-structural 500-pound transom to symbolically delineate the entrance from the dining room. Surrounding the marble top-and-chrome-base dining table are Mies van der Rohe chairs set before a minimalist painting by James Dykes.
Unabashed luxury defines Gaylord’s bedroom, with walls lined in dark suede and a bed draped with camel’s hair wool. Marble topped gilt wood consoles inject a note of traditional high style in contrast with the modern chrome-and-mirror fire surround.
Gaylord’s hilltop perch afforded views over San Francisco Bay toward the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County beyond.
From Architectural Digest, May/June 1977. Photography by Russell MacMasters.