Interview with SF Interior Designer Julie Rootes
“It’s a happy moment and I love the color palette.”
San Francisco Real Estate comes to life in the spring and with interest rates down and home sales ticking up, it’s time to think about what you will do this year. Will you buy, or will you sell? … or will you freshen up your space?
If you’re looking for design inspiration mark your calendar for this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase April 27-May 27 at “Le Petit Trianon” the historic mansion at 3800 Washington St.
As real estate experts, we advise our clients on what to do when preparing to sell their home, and when buying, what to look for in architectural design and improvements to consider before purchasing the home.
In celebration of the month-long Decorator Showcase, we sat down with San Francisco designer, Julie Rootes, a featured designer in this year’s showcase and our go-to person for design inspiration this month.
SHARE YOUR FIRST DESIGN EXPERIENCE:
It’s hard to remember where it all began as I have always had a vested interest in clothing and design, and the elements that go into both. I think the biggest influence that really opened my eyes to the vast world of architecture and design, in general, was when I first traveled to Europe and started exploring all of the museums throughout France and Italy. So, it was here that my appreciation for architectural details really started to grow. When I look up in a museum, it still amazes me today how these structures were built and are still standing today.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN INSPIRATION?
I find the best inspiration for me is to hit the streets and look around. There is always an element to appreciate whether it comes from the colors in the landscape and the sky, or hitting an antique store or a museum. In design, my go-to’s are mixing textures in fabrics and metals. This gives a space depth and the metals can really bring things to life.
WHAT’S THE BEST DESIGN LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED?
Cry once buy once. You really do get what you pay for. There is always a time and a place to cut costs but you have to know where and when. A beautifully executed piece will stand the test of time and mass produced items are just that.
DO YOU HAVE DESIGN TIPS TO HELP SOMEONE SELL THEIR HOME?
Start with purging. Many people have no idea just how much stuff they have collected over the years. Take it room by room and think about donating the things that no longer serve you and your family. I also suggest really listening to your realtor and what they suggest. They do this for a living and they know what the current buyer is looking for. Invest in little changes such as hardware and good lighting. It makes a big impact.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT INTERIOR DECORATING?
I love the creative aspect and that every design I incorporate is different from one to the next. I am always learning on every project and discovering new talent. I also love the relationships I build with my clients and my vendors. It is a pretty magical thing to go behind the scenes into a client’s home and transform it into something they couldn’t have imagined on their own.
AND IS THERE ONE ASPECT OF YOUR PERSONAL DESIGN AESTHETIC THAT YOU INFUSE INTO EVERY PROJECT?
I would say clean lines and keeping things on the refined side but adding elements with a kick to keep it from going along the stale or “seen that done that” spectrum.
YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Sophisticated with a slight kick. I like classic elements with a bit of an edge. I don’t like a lot of fuss but I like simple details. It’s the details that some don’t even notice but it kicks the design up a notch and people feel that, even if they don’t quite know why.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR HISTORY WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO DECORATOR SHOWCASE:
My first San Francisco Decorator Showcase was in 2015 when I designed the powder bath off the entryway. Because I was new to the scene, I applied not thinking I would get in. The room was very well received and the rest is history.
Also, I toured the showcase when I was in design school and I remember a professor telling us that even if a designed space isn’t your taste there is always something you can appreciate and take with you. I still think about that today.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO THIS YEAR’S HOUSE, “LE PETIT TRIANON?”
I wanted to preserve the history of the home and its historical significance. I carried the French aspect into my space but with a modern twist. I am doing a full bath and it has a lot of architectural details that you would find in Europe and France, in particular.
CAN YOU SHARE ANY SECRETS TO REVEAL BEFORE THE SHOWCASE?
I am excited to reveal our hardwood floors. I think it’s expected that we would introduce tile here. I custom designed a patterned French white oak floor and it was executed beautifully.
You’ll have to visit the Decorator Showcase to see the floors but we have a sneak peek at some very special designs Julie has created for the show and on behalf of her clients.