The client's aspiration for the apartment which overlooked Lafayette Park in Pacific Heights, was "something like the tones of Billy Baldwin's apartment in New York, I suppose. Well, I went to Anthony Hail, here in San Francisco, because I really like neutrals, and I had heard about his excellent use of them."
Certainly, Anthony Hail's use of neutrals is excellent but in this case not a narrow range of beige: yellow for the entry hall; aubergine for the kitchen, breakfast room and bar; camel in the bedroom and living room, light cocoa and white for the upholstery; the pale golden brown of cane; natural wool tones in the Moroccan Berber rug; natural linen. Plants are used as green accents and to connect inside with the view of the park through the windows. The other accent is found in tortoiseshell, red pillows, a lacquered leather chest standing in front of the sofa, and the painting above it.
Anthony Hail said of his design "We wanted to keep the tradition of the building and still have a clean-cut modern living space. There were no budget limitations; everything is of excellent quality. But it is economical. The material is durable; the lacquered nest of tables would fit anywhere, as would the eighteenth-century blanc de chine lamp. And its not dated. If Mr F.... should move, everything could be moved directly into a library, or any other room, for that matter."
His client's reaction - "I wanted a place where I could entertain my friends comfortably. I'm pleased, very pleased. The apartment's everything I wanted it to be."
What is most apparent more than 30 years later is that Mr Hail created a classic masculine aesthetic that looks as current today as it did then.
Photography by Russell MacMasters from Architectural Digest, December 1976.