High Resolution Room Photos are available here (various formats): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1q7dZ5Pajw1O3KW7KGLA1dHOMIYe7Dx9t?usp=sharing
ALEXIS BANKS HUMISTON
ABH INTERIORS LLC
ABH Interiors Creates a Transcendent Bathroom with Storied History
ABH Interiors set to transform the master bathroom spa at the 2019 SF Decorator Showcase, while preserving its rich history.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 8, 2019) – ABH Interiors, the interior design firm founded by Alexis Humiston, masterfully crafts the master bathroom spa at the 2019 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. While ABH Interiors always seeks to incorporate historical and unique pieces into their projects, from a rare 18th century pair of Italian inlaid commodes, to original furniture by notable mid-century modern designers, to a custom mosaic commission reflecting a couple’s historical roots on 120 hand-painted ceramic plates, the San Francisco Showcase has provided yet another opportunity for ABH Interiors to luxuriously weave history and modernity together.
ABH Interiors has been tasked with a metamorphosis of the master bathroom spa at the 18,000 square foot Presidio Heights mansion at 3800 Washington Street. Modeled after the Petit Trianon in Versailles when built in 1904, this home is a San Francisco Landmark listed with the National Register of Historic Places. The Decorator Showcase will be open to the public from April 27 - May 27 and will benefit the financial aid program of San Francisco University High School. A special Press Preview will take place on Wednesday, April 24 from 10:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
ABH Interiors have sought to create a romantic and nostalgic respite for Eloise, the beloved granddaughter of Le Petit Trianon’s original owner, Cora Koshland. While Cora Koshland hosted many parties at the historic home, historical documents show that a particularly sentimental occasion was the butterfly-themed débutante ball for her granddaughter. The flowers were such an important element, that the only person entrusted with the responsibility was the family’s butler of 35 years, who was formally trained in the art. As a tribute to the grand gardens and lifestyle of Eloise’s family, the spa is wrapped in a custom, hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper entitled “Paradise Lost”, launched in collaboration with ABH Interiors for Spring 2019. The design features crumbling ruins, overgrown gardens, abandoned boats, and wandering peacocks, evoking a once-mystical landscape that time has forgotten. While the wallpaper remembers a paradise of years gone by, the spa itself has been fully restored with pieces from around the world, including a fireplace, double shower, freestanding tub, newly installed and polished 100-year old French Oak floors, elegant stone slabs, and sumptuous velvet chairs to create a new paradise of today.
Alexis Humiston started her career in New York. After graduating with degrees in Economics and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia, she worked on Wall Street for six years, leading large international teams in business development as a Vice President at Barclays Bank PLC. She felt the pull to embrace her creative talents, so Alexis left finance to study Interior Design at Parsons School of Design. She received further training by working at internationally acclaimed Victoria Hagan Interiors while completing her degree.
Alexis decided to branch out on her own and set up her firm, ABH Interiors, in 2014. In a few short years ABH Interiors has carved out a unique style sensibility working on projects in California, New York, Maryland, Florida and beyond. The first step of their design process is to understand how the client wants to use their home as a template for their daily lives, then they materialize all elements of that vision with a focus on custom and historically significant pieces. The aesthetic of ABH Interiors is intentional and tailored, bringing in layers of warmth and texture to make each space feel unique and inviting.
Community minded at their core, maintaining a positive social impact is of significant importance to Alexis and her team. While their day-to-day work is to improve some of the most luxurious homes in the country, Alexis remains acutely aware that they do this while based in a city with one of the highest homelessness rates in the country. As a result, they work to raise awareness and provide tools for action. In their consistent efforts to activate a positive impact, they donate a portion of their profits to Understand Homelessness, Help SF Homeless, Miracle Messages, Downtown Street Team, and Lava Mae.
INFORMATION ON HOUSE AND CORA KOSHLAND
Name: Corinne Koshland (Schweitzer), also known as “Cora”
Born August 9, 1867 in San Francisco, CA and died at the age of 86 on October 14, 1953 in San Francisco, CA
Daughter to Bernhard Moses Baruch Schweitzer and Rebecca Schweitzer
Wife of Marcus Simon Koshland
Mother of Daniel Edward Koshalnd Sr., Robert Joseph Koshland and Margaret Helen Sloss
Sister of Rosalie Guggenheim, Georgiana Ehrman, Helen Steifeland Eddy Schweitzer
The Koshlands decided to build this house after visiting Versailles. The Washington Street side of the house is a faithful representation of the original Le Petit Trianon.
Two years after it was built, the home withstood the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, but the columns and steps were damaged, as seen in the following photo. The Koshlands opened their home to 60 people after the earthquake.
Cora Koshland, a founder of the San Francisco Symphony Association and one of the first directors of the San Francisco Opera Company, used her home to present concerts. She invited music critics to review the performances, which were hosted in the rotunda rather than the ballroom because it had better acoustics. She could accommodate almost 100 guests sitting on the stairs and the floor.
Corinne Schweitzer Koshland the daughter of Bernard and Rebecca Schweitzer, was an heir to a million dollar estate. Her father arrived in California in 1852 from Europe and was a founding partner of one of San Francisco’s larger wholesale firms, Schweitzer, Sachs & Co., a purveyor of fancy goods and furnishings.
Channeling her inner Marie Antoinette, Corinne hired architect Frank S. Van Trees to bring the elegance and opulence of France to the sand dunes of San Francisco. With her father’s gift of a corner lot at Washington and Maple Streets in Presidio Heights, Corinne set out with Van Trees to replicate the Petit Trianon.
Ever the socialite and philanthropist, Corinne Koshland, eager to share her passion for music, hosted many concerts and social events in the home. With the completion of a 1912 renovation that added an elaborate basement level ballroom, the Koshlands hosted an 18th century themed soiree, greeting their guests dressed in elaborate Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette costumes, with Marcus adorned in royal purple and Corinne draped in white brocade with a cloak and train of “Marie Antoinette blue.”
Corinne Koshland shared the home as a stage for many prominent musicians, including Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern, both of whom had their childhood musical debuts at the Koshland house.
http://archive.org/stream/volcommunity00koshrich/volcommunity00koshrich_djvu.txt (interview with Robert Joseph Koshland, son of Cora)
My mother (Cora) was very active in the Jewish community, mostly in auxiliaries and sometimes on boards, such as the Pacific Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Emanu-El Sisterhood, the Hebrew Home for Aged and Disabled. She was very active with the executives. She would bring the executives to the house for dinner. To that extent she was active in the Jewish world and then, of course, she was very active in the musical world.
My mother (Cora) was the stronger, dominant character of my parents. She disciplined us very well and was very strict in table manners and was mainly responsible for our upbringing.
My mother (Cora) was a great entertainer- she has fancy parties in the house periodically. People had to come in fancy clothes, even before we moved onto Washington Street, when we lived on Laguna and Washington. She took days and days decorating the dining room table. Later on when my mother got active in the musical world, she has concerts at the house very well known in the community and I think the communicated appreciated them.
My father and mother were reasonably religious and devoted to the temple, my mother carried on a very strong feeling as a religious Jew.
Amuneal – Vanity Brackets
Amy Somerville – Chairs, Corner Table
Anthem Home – Accessories
Anyon Design – Accessories
Arden Home – Accessories
Atra – Coffee Table
Benjamin Moore – Paint
C2 Paints – Paint
Cle Tile – Fireplace Tile
C. Mariani Antiques – Barometer, Console Table
Collected by Jason Koharik – Mirrors
Cook Construction – Renovation Work
Coup d’Etat – Agate Side Tables, Accessories
Da Vinci Marble – Coffee Table Stone
De Gournay – Wallpaper (Main Room)
Forbes and Lomax – Light Switches
Found By Maja – Ceiling Pendant, Bar Cart, Accessories
Fox Marble – Vanity Stone
Holly Hunt – Sconces
Julia B. – Towels and Linens
Kohler – Plumbing and Fixtures
LuxHoldups – Robe Hooks
Paige Glass – Shower Door and Installation
Phillip Jefferies – Wallpaper (Powder Room)
Precision Papering – Wallpaper Installation (Main Room)
The Shade Store – Roman Shades
Sue Fisher King – Accessories
Tulip Floors – Wood Flooring
ABH Personal – Rug, Artwork, Cachepot
Waterworks – Shower Wall and Floor Tiles
WCD – Wallpaper Installation (Powder Room)