norman petersen

norman petersen

 

 

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Furniture and Architectural Design
22nd Street

22nd Street

22nd Street
22nd Street
22nd Street

22nd Street

22nd Street
22nd Street
22nd Street

22nd Street

22nd Street
22nd Street
22nd Street

22nd Street

22nd Street
22nd Street
22nd Street


 

 

About this project:

The Petersen Residence, San Francisco

Norman Petersen’s grandmamma Carolina bought the large Victoria house in 1905 and moved in with her husband just after the great San Francisco earthquake in 1906. She was a high-spirited Danish woman, who led a great spiritual life, and who took loving care of the house. Today the original part is still as it was 100 years ago, with some color changes. In the kitchen hangs the original framed bill for the appliances dated 1906.

In 2000, Norman Petersen began his dream addition, which he had planned and visualized for years. He brought light to the kitchen, and redesigned the entire back of the house. The breathtaking modern addition beautifully complements the original Victorian building. The copper-framed half-moon skylight throws incredibly playful shades of light onto the wall during the day.

The spacious kitchen has a big pantry where the family stores all their kitchen appliances—including the refrigerator—and food staples. The design ensures a clean fresh look to the kitchen. A dramatic curved California cypress center island functions as a table for informal gatherings.

Petersen loves to preserve cool architectural salvage, so years ago he saved windows from a South of Market building just minutes before destruction. The 1930’s industrial windows complement the kitchen, as do the vintage light fixtures. The view from the kitchen is of Noe Valley, which can be enjoyed from the sunny balcony, tiled with tiny mosaic squares in blue-green tones, reflecting the surrounding trees and sky. The biggest surprise, and the most enjoyable place for kids, is the indoor swimming pool. You can relax in the kitchen, looking down to the inviting blue of the pool.

Next to the pool is a mirror-walled room for dancing and games, which leads to the garden filled with old roses, blooming cherry tree, delicious pear and plum trees, old chicken house that stores gardening equipment and a vine-covered patio, perfect for al fresco dining.

Returning to the house, you climb up curved still stairs, mirroring the skylight back to the kitchen and dining room, which the family joking refers to as the “diving room”, because what used to be a back bay window is now a custom-made upholstered red bench looking down to the pool.

The dining room is lined with original wallpapers with a decorative ceiling edge painted by friend and artist Dominique Caron. Norman’s furniture makes a statement in each room, from the beautiful glass and painted wood dining-room table—complete with a center channel filled with Czech glass marbles—to a variety of chairs from his African series to rockers and unique tables. The furniture is used every day, but would be equally at home in a museum; in fact many of Petersen’s designs can be found in the permanent collections of museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Their art collection is curated from pieces by Norman and his wife Floriana’s artist friends. The eclectic selection includes Mel Ramos’s The Phantom Lady, who graces the kitchen to a Fletcher Benton sculpture, to Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen prints, and Thea Schrack and Heward Jue photographs. 

Petersen has done the seemingly impossible—blended his rich family history with a modern sensibility and created an artistic homage to the past and the present. We think you’ll agree that this house is a very special fusion of the historic and the modern, brought to life by a visionary California artist.


norman petersen :: furniture and architectural design :: san francisco
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