Morey & Ellen

Morey, my longtime client, called last week to ask if I had a painter who could repair a wall in their loft. Ellen, his wife, had been in the hospital for a few days and he wanted the place to look perfect when he brought her home. “Do you and Ellen still like your loft?” I asked.  “No,” he stated emphatically. “We love it!”

Country French Meets SOMA

Morey and Ellen's loft is the homepage image on my website.
Morey and Ellen's loft is the homepage image on my website.

Ellen and Morey took a risk in mid-life and sold their elegant French country style home in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, giving all their blue and white toile furnishings and cream-colored ceramic ducks and rabbits to their three children.

I was delighted to help the spunky couple make the bold transition from the traditional hilltop home where they raised their family to an edgy, two-story loft by the Bay Bridge. The quirky, urban space we created was an emphatic success, and was featured in a July, 2001 article titled Country French Meets SOMA in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Two Decades Later

The loft has stood the test of time with its wildly eclectic mix of furnishings, art and accessories that defy trends.
The loft has stood the test of time with its wildly eclectic mix of furnishings, art and accessories that defy trends.

After twenty years, the loft has stood the test of time with its wildly eclectic mix of furnishings, art, and accessories that defies definition by trends and confounds any stereotypical design style. This highly engaging and energetic couple are the epitome of design rebels, trusting the outrageous eye for beauty they both share with joy and enthusiasm.

A desk, computer and television are hidden behind the closed drawer facades.
A desk, computer and television are hidden behind the closed drawer facades.

In the family room I designed a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall red cabinet that appears to be made of individual drawers of various sizes. However, several of these drawer facades are combined to function as doors that open to reveal Morey’s workspace and a large-screen television for in-home entertainment. Additional individual drawers and doors create storage for Morey and Ellen.

Morey loves coming home to the loft at night, which he says glows with vibrant reds, golds, blues and greens. He adds that before he met Ellen he was “beige.”

Juxtaposing Eclectic Elements

Rustic country, whimsy and world-class art combine with modern industrial elements.
Rustic country, whimsy and world-class art combine with modern industrial elements.

The couple’s sophisticated art collection shines throughout the loft, as do the whimsical furnishings they collected on their travels all over the world. The space is filled with contrast, juxtaposing rustic country and high-tech industrial elements, playful accessories and world class artwork.

Colors, Shapes, Patterns and Textures

Repeating shapes, colors, patterns and textures creates harmony
Repeating shapes, colors, patterns and textures creates harmony.

This unpredictably contemporary combination of colors, shapes, patterns, and textures timelessly expresses the exuberant and vibrant personalities of two people of that same description. Repetition of colors, shapes, patterns and textures throughout the loft creates harmony and pulls the blatantly diverse elements and styles together.

An antique armoire combines with a contemporary metal table, earthy wicker chairs and a fanciful chandelier.
An antique armoire combines with a contemporary metal table, earthy wicker chairs and a fanciful chandelier.

Daring to follow their creative intuition instead of over-marketed design fads, Morey and Ellen still love the unexpected look of their loft. Jim Misner’s eclectic chandelier floats over a modern ground steel dining table ensconced between two country wicker chairs. I had a concrete pillar installed in the background to add a funky industrial feeling to the vignette.

Whimsical Playfulness

The Mashed Potato Bed by Carl Dern is outrageous as Ellen requested.
The Mashed Potato Bed by Carl Dern is outrageous as Ellen requested.

Ellen’s artistic eye demanded an irresistible playfulness in every room, and she wanted a bed that was over the top. After much searching, I found the Mashed Potato Bed by metal sculpture artist Carl Dern. It was made of stainless steel that he textured to project a combination shiny/matte finish with fanciful head and foot boards.

Morey and Ellen Filler's Bedroom
A row of assorted, fluffy pillows softens the concrete bench below and steel and glass window above.

Below the loft’s bedroom window, a concrete bench displays a splashy sideshow of pillows. They are dressed in a kaleidoscopic jumble of vertical and horizontal stripes and polka dots, much to the couple’s delight.

Two of My Favorite Clients

Red and Green Glass Ducks
Red and green glass ducks float together on the coffee table.

This blog is dedicated to two of my favorite clients who taught me so much through actualizing their ingenious vision of assembling fanciful treasures from around the world. Crafting the loft using their imaginative caboodle of art, ceramics, geometric fabrics and glass and metal sculpture, combined with country antiques, industrial elements, contemporary fixtures and furnishings was formidable and exhilarating.

Thank You Morey and Ellen

Your free-spirited aesthetic inspired me to stretch my creativity to meet your flamboyant boldness. Working with you motivated me to learn and adopt one of the most important lessons of my career – that not following current trends, and mixing everything you love together by creatively repeating colors, shapes, textures and patterns is the key to individualized design that remains unique, timeless and enduring.

Morey and Ellen are also-one-of-a-kind.
Morey and Ellen are also-one-of-a-kind.

Morey and Ellen’s one-of-a-kind loft is testament to the bravado and brilliance of this couple who have been in love with life, art and each other for the past sixty years.

For the love of daring to be different,

Linda Applewhite's signature
Showing 7 comments
  • Masha Butler
    Reply

    So sweet – thank you

  • Lynn
    Reply

    I love this story and I love this loft! These photos are some of my favorites in your portfolio, Linda – how wonderful to get to know some of the backstory. Thank you and best to Morey and Ellen!

  • Maria
    Reply

    Delightful!! One of my favorites! xx

  • MARLA
    Reply

    Oh WOW, jus WOW!! You do theeeeee BEST pillows in the world! The whole place is scrumptious! Terrific post! Thanks as always!

  • Kay Criley
    Reply

    I absolutely LOVE Morey & Ellen’s fabulous flights of fancy in art, color, texture & vibrancy!!! And, of course, they met the perfect “artist” to bring their dream to fruition
    and create a loft that I can only imagine makes their hearts leap with joy each time they enter. What a match made in heaven the three of you are! (In another life I would live with such vibrancy and fancy!!)
    Thanks for sharing, Linda.

  • sandy spargur
    Reply

    What a fun couple and great home decorations.

  • Jennifer Duffy
    Reply

    Creativity is intelligence having fun….Einstein

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