Poole-Bell House

Built circa 1871, this New Orleans style Victorian was originally a two family residence and  first owned by Thomas Bell, Teresa Bell, and most notably, Mary Ellen Pleasant, an early Black activist, former slave, and shrewd businesswoman. Pleasant amassed a 30 million dollar fortune speculating on mining and real estate. She chose to pass as white for many years and used her socialite status to employ hundreds of African-Americans in San Francisco. She was  rumored to have financed much of John Brown’s Abolitionist activism, as well as funded the Underground Railroad. I am very excited to work on this jewel.

Peralta St.

Upper Castro

320 Alabama

Our design goal here is an artful and modern treatment. The current colors are overly systematic, repetitive and dated-looking.


Whitney Detail

Marina Blvd.

Cesar Chavez

Burlingame Auto (2 views)

Duncan Before

Duncan Almost Finished

Countrywood Mall, Walnut Creek


Mission Pet Hospital

I will be designing both the exterior and interior colors.


Dorantes Ave


29th St.


Lily St.


Pierce St.

3427 Pierce St before

Duncan Ave.


Pacific Ave.


Pacific in Progress






Grove Sample


10th Ave Before

turetsky-before10th Ave After


10th Ave Doors


Hartford & 18th St.





333 lyon

Beep’s Burgers


Tiffany St.

159 tiffany master

Tiffany Proposal

159 tiffany master_option2-FINAL

Whitney Ave.


19th St.

19th St.

Pacific Ave.


Berkeley Condos (Miami, FL)

berkeley-condo2I am excited to give this 60s charmer a full and much needed transformation.

Russian Hill Landmark


767 Bryant Condos

767_bryant_loft_500Our task is to transform this quasi-Tuscan box into  modern Soma style without the benefit of any architectural changes. The Board is mulling over two designs. Below is a rough idea of where an accent color will be laid in to create rhythm and dimension to said box.

deifiori-north deifiori-west

Embassy Hotel New Design

white-embassy-withawningMultiple owners have settled on a uniform color concept. We have chosen Pratt  Lambert Gray Moire for the body color.

Iyengar Institute of San Francisco (New Location) Before

iyisf-newlocation before

Embassy Hotel


This beautiful building looks like the county jail. Stay tuned for a much needed transformation that does justice to the Art Nouveau period.

Rendering for Embassy Hotel


Hoffman St.

119 hoffman before

Vallejo St.


San Felipe


9th Ave




Bay St.


Bay St. Sample


Hyde St.


Ashton St.


Jackson St.

j3120 ackson

Los Palmos

loa pLMOA

Filbert St.


Jordan Avenue


Jordan Avenue Detail of Sampling


Sausalito Living


Sausalito Resident


Major Intersection


Everyone in the city is no doubt familiar with this large building on the corner of Valencia and Du Boce. (Be very careful trying to cross the street here.) We are about to begin painting on this project. I look forward to sharing with you its transformation into chic funkiness.

Victorian Renovation in Bernal Heights


In 1858 the US issued a patent for asbestos and burlap shingles to a New York inventor and by 1908 they were being manufactured. After the 1906 earthquake, fire-proofing became a major concern in San Francisco and these shingles became very popular. Asbestos in construction was completely banned in 1999. My clients’ home is in the center between two such shingled house, the one to the left is a Victorian similar to theirs from the same period (early teens), and the one to the right is more modern (50s).

Bernal Victorian Detail


When they removed the asbestos shingles they discovered, as is common, lovely designs in the clapboards and fish scales that unfortunately were in such a state of disrepair (also common) that the whole facade had to be reconstructed. Stay tunde for the bold color to be applied for this multi-cultural (Guadalajara,Mexico and Juneau, Alaska) household.

Yoga Loft on Divisadero

Entry Before


Entry After


Studio A Before


Working on Studio A


Entering Studio A


27th Avenue in Sea Cliff: The Oldest House on the Block


Coyote Community Santa Cruz


The Coyote Community is an intentional community built in Santa Cruz about fifteen years ago. The architecture is sort of rustic and the buildings were painted per the architect’s specifications at the time. The community has been hankering to repaint since the very beginning. The challenge here is to strike a balance between idiosyncrasy and cohesion, so that  residents have an individual say in the color of their buildings, while the property hangs together harmoniously as a whole. As you can imagine, with this many people, there is a wide range of taste and motivation. Per usual, a great part of my job has been that of diplomat and mediator.


At this stage of the project I have presented three color designs that are somewhat modular in nature: each palette has 4-5 body colors with corresponding base colors,  a color for the top section (light here and bordering the roof), and a choice of a light or dark trim. Therefore, for each design, residents pick their preferred body and trim color. The result is that no matter what is chosen, each building shares one color in common. Stay tuned.

Lake St. Before

Lake St. Samples

21st Avenue Before

21st Ave. Sampling Our Big Idea

Our intention is to paint each clapboard a different color in a succession of five hues. Because the house resides in a rather muted part of town, we chose strong yet stately colors, to balance our somewhat jocular approach. Stay tuned.

Green St. : Assignment: Modernize while paying tribute to the Victorian Era

Moffit Street: Assignment: Create interest, integrate into the natural environment.

Beaver Street: Assignment: Enrich, create more presence on the street.

23rd Street Makeover

This house is currently two pale shades of pink-beige with a subtle accent of warm mint green. The challenge here is that the house is petite with not a lot of space between the trim and body;  it is important therefore, that the colors be tightly knit in terms of value, so the house does not look stripey. The owners would like a much richer treatment of their house. Stay tuned.

Buchanan 1880s Victorian

This lovely building is quite tall and is made to appear even more so by its current yellow palette, which is the same color as the stone base that holds the garage. Our challenge here will be to make the scale a bit more petite through a palette that is complementary to the base, so the house is thereby “shortened” and also to choose colors that are interesting without being overly ostentatious. The latter is important both because the architectural relationships are such that the colors cannot be too graphic and because the neighborhood necessitates a certain reserve.

Powell Street Visibility Project

In the picture below you can note three very strong and beautiful buildings in the center. The buildings on either side are creams or whites and have virtually no presence on the block, a portion of Powell St. that is a tourist’s mecca. My client’s building is on the immediate left to the red brick. My main concerns are to align her building with these ones, since they are the most beautiful-rather than the plainer ones; to give her building some substance; and per her request, “to make people smile,” as people are always standing and staring at this side of the block.

Powell Street

To address her first concern I am choosing a strong and luminous blue-grey, Philip’s Perfect Colors G12 Funston Gray, so that her building has the strength of her three rightward neighbors. I also like this choice because it creates a nice rhythm in color temperature (from right to left): warm yellow brick, cool ivy cover, warm red brick, and then cool, watery blue-grey; this will further “lock” her building into the series.

Powell St. Detail

In the above detail you can see the intricate molding that adorns the top; there are really no other details on this building. This is where we are going to provide some punch. This detailing will be a lovely spectacle and also further connect the client’s building to the three on the right, as they all have either some kind of molding, beautiful roofs or both.

Powell Sketch

Santa Ynez

No, It is Not Primer; It Was Painted White

Making A Change

Ace Hardware Billings, Montana

I received a call from the owner of Ace Hardware in Billings, MT regarding their flagship store, which is in the middle of construction. Jeff sheepishly asked me if I would be willing or able to do an interior consultation remotely. I usually decline such a request because I do not think I can do my best work without being on site; there are too many missing variables, and because each design I create is unique, I do not want to put myself in the position of bag-of-tricks temptation: that is to say, pulling out stock designs that I know will work, to save time, but that do not reflect the idiosyncrasy of a particular site/audience/purpose.

Hangar-Sized Flagship Store

In this case, I told Jeff I would give it my best shot because there is no natural light whatsoever coming into the interior. This meant for me that the most tricky element in color design was completely predictable and so I had greater confidence I could do a good job. He gave me the type and temperature of the lighting. The task is to humanize a large (twenty-six feet high) cube at the far end of the store, which will house customer service, a coffee window, a post office, as well as staff offices. I have suggested an effect for the cube, designed to humanize its scale, with each face a different yet complementary combination of colors, one bolder and the other more neutral, with harmony created by both color relationship between the two faces and the use of a consistent color/color family for all the apertures. Stay tuned!

Towering Customer Service Cube

Victorian Commerce

Cortland Avenue

This tiny Victorian, nestled in between two large houses in the middle of Cortland Avenue’s main drag is being converted into a combined commercial and residential property. An apartment unit was built above the petite Victorian and the courtyard in back is being refurbished and landscaped, where there is a second rental unit.


Courtyard View

Condo Conversion

I have been hired to do the exterior color on a 51 unit condominium complex in Diamond Heights. This will be a five year phased project with ten units being painted each year. My task is challenging: design color that modernizes the property without being trendy;  mitigate vertical elements and the perceived thinness of each unit (i.e. create horizontal interest); do both of these while allowing  owners to choose their own (base) body colors. To achieve these goals I am creating a system of five body colors, two potential “universal” accent colors (could appear on any architectural style), and a modular sort of formula whereby body color on one unit could become accent on another, thereby establishing interest and continuity on the horizontal axis. The great challenge is that I have no control over what body colors end up adjacent to any other, since body color is the owner’s choice, so I have to design a system that looks good any way you slice it: all colors and permutations of design must look good in any order AND with the existing colors, since this is a phased project.

Sample Unit

Working Sketch

Victorian Hodgepodge

I am currently working on a Victorian that is a bit challenging due to  somewhat incoherent architecture: decorative elements kept being added… and added…. In the current color scheme, every single element is pained a different color. A really well designed building “tells” you to a great degree how or at least where to apply color. Our task is to simplify the building, which requires many decisions about what to mask and highlight. Our color scheme will be a bit more monochromatic, though richer in color, to achieve some clarity. Stay tuned.

Fillmore Before

Fillmore Before Detail

Color Sampling

WE HAVE A WINNER! Baseball poles are PPC-G3 Moss Gray 150% to be painted in the Spring. Go Giants!

I have been asked by University of San Francisco (and the neighbors opposite the baseball field) to make these poles “disappear.” They were erected so nets could

America’s Favorite Pastime

be installed to prevent baseballs from flying across Golden Gate Avenue. Per Division regulations, they were painted black, one of the two most obtrusive choices-the other is probably white. (The foul line pole is canary yellow.) I am tasked to use one color to make the poles as invisible as possible so that they fade gracefully into the trees, skies, and beyond. This color will be painted on the GG Ave side only. The facilities manager apologized for the unglamorous job. I laughed because not only is this a fascinating puzzle to solve, it is also the reverse of what a colorist ordinarily does: make something stand out. Update: Visited the poles yesterday. I laid six color chips on a truck that happened to be across the street and sighted from the chips to the putty-yellow dormitory to the fog grey sky. I was not surprised that the two full spectrum colors with the most complex formulas disappeared the most. This was my plan: the more colorants present, the more metameric it would be, changing and accommodating itself to the environment. What did surprise me was that the colors were warmer than I expected. This warmth was necessary to at once straddle both the building and the natural elements (trees and sky). I have chosen for sampling PPC-G11 Foggy Veil 150% and PPC-G3 Moss Gray 150%. Both are warm, natural greys that will mitigate the industrial nature of these rather large poles.

Jackson Street High Rise

I have designed six color schemes for this seven unit condominium building. Like many buildings in the city, the facade itself is quite narrow, but the view from the cross street is wide as the open plains. This presents some interesting challenges in terms of scale and also drastically different light exposure. My next task is to render our various placement options. Once this is decided we will decide which colors to sample on the building itself. I am pushing for a deep enough color that the facade is cleanly and dramatically defined between the red brick to the left and the soft midtone to the right.

Big Tudor

I started this large Tudor a week ago. K and I discussed making the house “younger” and “uncreepy.” The house has lovely features but suffers from dull and heavy colors. In some ways, this is a classic case of color correction: we chose colors that on their face, are similar to the current ones; that is, the body will be a beige, the fascia a brown, but all with a twist. Samples go directly on the house this week and they are:

PPC-B4 Beachwood flat                    body (stucco)
C2-342 Saddle semi-gloss                  all woodwork except mullions/varnished
C2-343 Rickshaw semi-gloss            bolts on fascia
C2-368 Serene 150% semi-gloss     mullions
C2-368 Serene 150% eggshell          columns, benches

While Beachwood could be considered a beige, it is luminous, energetic,  and its full spectrum formula complements every tone in the brick; while Saddle is a brown of sorts, it is rightly a green-red (brown). Per requested subtle interest, Rickshaw, a red-green (brown) will appear on the large bolts on the fascia and on the gargoyles. The two complementary browns will create a subtle shimmer.

I am most excited about the gargoyles…

Duck Gargoyle

While the larger feline gargoyles will be subtly painted, I am giving this beloved duck the Hokusai treatment. I want it to be graphic, funny, and still a little scary.

Design for Duck (gouache + Photoshop)

PPC-G4 Steeley semi-gloss                       convex body color
C2-467 Jailhouse Rock semi-gloss       concave body color
C2-124 Sundown semi-gloss                    major bill color
C2-086 Tiger Lily semi-gloss                   minor bill color, eye/iris
C2-368 Serene semi-gloss                        eyeball


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