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When a client and designer co-evolve in taste and style, they can work together for decades on projects that define various periods of a client’s life, from starter homes to retirement spaces, and from large houses to smaller ones. More than 25 years after Suzanne Tucker of Suzanne Tucker / Tucker & Marks first helped design a large family home for a client, she was enlisted to assist the same client in downsizing to a smaller home. Tucker remodeled the interior architecture of the house in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, and consolidated the client’s collection of art and antiques, which included artworks by Wayne Thiebaud, John Register, and Henri Matisse.

Built circa 1908, the structure of the new home was decidedly traditional. Tucker opened up the layout and included antiques of different eras to create a sense of balance and energy. Read on to discover Tucker’s top tips for downsizing, and tour the home to see her advice in action.


Suzanne Tucker’s Top 3 Tips for Downsizing

– “Scale and proportion are key. A smaller house does not necessarily mean smaller furniture. Carefully consider how the dimensions relate to the overall proportions of a room and arrange your furniture both for balance and flow. When the balance is spot-on, the achieved harmony will translate across every style and all tastes – casual or formal, modern or traditional.”

– “A thoughtful edit is always a good frame of mind while focusing on a handful of items about which you feel strongly. Establish a focal point and build out your room from there. Definitely go for quality over quantity, buy the best you can afford, and don’t feel like you have to complete a new space all at once. Blank walls aren’t a bad thing!”

– “Most importantly, have fun, cast aside any ‘rules’ about color and styles and enjoy the creative process of putting your individual stamp on your own home.”

Below, Tucker shows how she downsized for her client in Pacific Heights.


 

  • "A thoughtful edit is always a good frame of mind while focusing on a handful of items about which you feel strongly," says Tucker. In the home, a colorful oil on canvas called Train Seat by John Register brings life to the living room. In front of the painting, the custom sofa designed by Tucker & Marks is upholstered in a cotton-blend fabric from Rogers & Goffigon with tape trim by Samuel & Sons. The blue-and-gold pillows decorating the sofa add a chic baroque note to the decor; the fabric is from Fortuny and the fan-edge trim, Samuel & Sons.

    "A thoughtful edit is always a good frame of mind while focusing on a handful of items about which you feel strongly," says Tucker. In the home, a colorful oil on canvas called Train Seat by John Register brings life to the living room. In front of the painting, the custom sofa designed by Tucker & Marks is upholstered in a cotton-blend fabric from Rogers & Goffigon with tape trim by Samuel & Sons. The blue-and-gold pillows decorating the sofa add a chic baroque note to the decor; the fabric is from Fortuny and the fan-edge trim, Samuel & Sons.


    Photography by Edward Addeo

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April 15, 2019

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