The legendary designer Billy Baldwin once said, “The best decoration in the world is a roomful of books.” Modern-day San Francisco legend Ken Fulk took this to heart and then upped the ante—with a brand-new bar, a colorful wallpapered ceiling, and plenty of Benjamin Moore’s “Moroccan Spice.” He recently overhauled the design of the library at The Battery, the much-lauded social club whose interiors he first designed a decade ago (and where he serves as a creative director). With a vibrant blend of antique and custom furnishings and colors that thumb their nose at what a “library” is supposed to be, this room is designed to shake up expectations while your martini is stirred.

Ken Fulk
Ken Fulk. Photo: Brendan Mainini.

“Originally, we had envisioned the library as the study for an old sea captain of the Barbary Coast era,” Fulk says. “It was navy blue—a color called “Moby Dick”—and had lots of wood, leather, brass, and nautical accessories.” However, Fulk and Battery founders Michael and Xochi Birch landed on a scheme that changed perspectives in a fabulous way. “As we shifted our narrative, we chose a new muse—a San Francisco showgirl—perhaps the siren awaiting our ship captain on shore.”

Ken Fulk
Photo: Douglas Friedman

With a design that draws the eye and invites visitors in for a captivating closer look, this is one space that’s certainly calling to us.

Shop the full curation of Ken Fulk’s favorite pieces from the latest issue of our print publication, Magazinish. To read all of Magazinishclick here.

Lead image: Douglas Friedman/Trunk Archive; Artwork by Erica Deeman, Untitled 15, 2014, courtesy of the artist and Anthony Meier, Mill Valley

September 18, 2023

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.