There aren’t any bare walls, that’s for sure,” says designer Amy Weaver of her Nob Hill home, “but layering is what makes a house interesting.” When it comes to Weaver’s sun- filled two-bedroom apartment, which is outfitted from floor to ceiling with a collection of personal treasures, each with their own backstory, interesting is an understatement. “I think I was meant to live in this apartment,” says the designer, “because everything fits!”
Weaver had long admired the historic 1920s building before moving in. Its black-and-white façade, with ornate architectural detailing and French doors, windows and ironwork, give it the look of a boutique hotel from the outside. Inside, residential spaces boast soaring ceilings, intricate millwork, marble flooring and spacious rooms with “perfect scale and proportion,” says Weaver. Her own unit features expansive windows offering sweeping views of the surrounding city, including a peek of The Bay from the master bedroom. Little was left to do prior to moving in, aside from painting and hanging wallpaper. “When the architecture is this good, it makes things easy,” she says. “It enhances everything you already have.”
But what Weaver already had was pretty fabulous in its own right. Over time, the designer has amassed a vast collection of art and accumulated antiques and keepsakes from her world travels. “I love to travel, and I usually pick up a piece of art because it’s easy to bring home and it’s a good memory,” she says. “I’ve been collecting for the last 25 years, and I always find places for the things I buy.” She also likes to include something unexpected in every space—the plaster sheep head in the living room, for example—and to mix centuries and price points, which she believes is key to making a room more appealing. “I like blending old and new together, especially contemporary art mixed with antiques,” she says. “I have fine pieces alongside things from CB2. It’s about taking something from the past and making it fresh. I think that’s good design.”
When it came to the color palette, Weaver opted for neutral canvas followed by an infusion of color through art, textiles and accessories. Given the designer’s background in fashion—she spent 10 years at Macy’s, eventually overseeing all special service areas for 18 stores—she is armed with an affinity for fabrics and the ability to combine colors and patterns in ways that make spaces look cozy and effortlessly chic all at once. “I prefer spaces that feel warm and lived-in,” says Weaver. “I like my homes to be comfortable.”
In the entry and living room, she chose a muted backdrop paired with black accents. “Black adds richness and grounds a space,” she says. “It’s like the eyelashes of a room.” The inky color provides more than just a finishing touch in the dining room, where Weaver dressed the walls in four coats of high-gloss Black Forest Green paint by Benjamin Moore. “I love a black room; it’s so mysterious,” she says, “and in this room in particular it just feels right, as if the color has been here forever.”
The glossy walls are a foil for the tactile surfaces found in the dining room. For instance, in the space’s sitting area, Weaver hung artwork made from old books above the sofa, which she flanked with a pair of gilded lamps that are crowned with feather shades that she picked up in Paris. The leopard-print rug adds another layer of texture as well as some playfulness—a hallmark of Weaver’s work “It’s a fun neutral,” says the designer, “and I thought sisal would have been too flat.”
A diamond-patterned sisal rug was perfect, however, for the living room, where it’s paired with a tactile Phillip Jeffries wallcovering and provides a muted ground for several seating areas. Weaver, a frequent entertainer, opted for a two-sided chaise, upholstered in a smart stripe, rather than a sofa in order to accommodate more guests. “It’s truly the party room in my home,” she says, adding, “It can seat 12 easily.”
For another seating area near the windows, Weaver upholstered fanciful antique chairs with black-and-beige linen divided straight down the middle. Fornasetti pillows complete the graphic look. “Fabrics are the clothing for your furniture,” she says. “Without beautiful textiles and trim, furniture seems flat.” Vibrant art and throw pillows punctuate the room with color, energy and interest while simple window shades, which can be pulled almost completely out of sight, help take advantage of the natural light and every inch of the view.
Weaver installed wallpaper in the entry foyer as well— choosing burlap to balance the sleekness of the existing marble flooring. “I am crazy about wallpaper,” she says. “Paint does the trick, but it doesn’t have the warmth or depth that wallpaper brings to a space.” For a little extra oomph—and another layer—she piped the paper with black grosgrain ribbon, and then lined the walls with framed antique architectural prints. In both the kitchen and master bedroom, Weaver switched gears, swapping the darker hues for pale blues, lending a softer, more feminine feel to the spaces where she spends the most time. The serene master bedroom, with its cozy wool carpet, custom bedding and water view is her favorite place in the apartment.
From room to room, the inspired combination of her commanding artwork, sophisticated furnishings and bold textiles reveals a home that’s elegant, whimsical and, most of all, personal. “I love buying items that speak to me,” says Weaver. “So often people are afraid to put their own stamp on their home. I’m not afraid; I embrace curated design.”
– Terri Sapienza