Decorator Showcase at Le Petit Trianon, San Francisco

The 2019 Decorator Showcase at Le Petit Trianon in the Presidio Heights neighborhood.
Le Petit Trianon, the site of San Francisco’s 2019 Decorator Showcase

This guest post was contributed by Lisa Crovo Dion. Photos by Parker Dion. 

The annual Decorator Showcase in San Francisco is an event benefitting the financial aid program of San Francisco University High School.

Every year, some of the city’s (and beyond) best decorators and designers display their amazing skills and unique aesthetics in this showcase. It has become a much-anticipated event of artistry among San Francisco’s wealthy and airbrushed elite.

An Homage to Versailles

This year, the site of the event is a storied home dubbed ‘Le Petit Trianon,’ an homage to the famous chateau located on the palace grounds of Versailles, in France. In 1774, the chateau was bequeathed to the 19-year-old queen of Louis XVI, who was none other than Marie ‘let them eat cake’ Antoinette.

Virginie Manichon is a San Francisco designer and maker
Designer and Maker Virginie Manichon’s The Bizibots Bedroom.

San Francisco’s Petit Trianon

San Francisco’s Petit Trianon is a replica of the Marie Antionette’s majestic party palace, built for wealthy heirs Marcus Koshland (yes, the wool merchant) and his wife Corinne Schweitzer of the Schweitzer, Sachs & Company luxury brand.

This mini palace is located in the Presidio Heights neighborhood, on the southern outskirts of San Francisco’s Presidio. It went on to have more notoriety including some say, once sparking the interest of pop icon Taylor Swift. The 17,895 square-ft mansion features nine bedrooms, seven and a half and bathrooms and it withstood the great 1906 earthquake.

A Squatter’s ‘Thug Mansion’

The National Historical Landmark languished on market for many years and was eventually inhabited briefly by a squatter named Jeremiah Kaylor. Referring to it as his “thug mansion,” the artist/scammer Kaylor allegedly accessed the architectural masterpiece through an unlocked back door and made off with $300,000 worth of art and appliances including a Viking range, a high-end stereo system, and a crystal chandelier before getting busted in 2015.

From now until the end of the month, there is no need to trespass in order to view the splendor of the trianon.

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Decorator Showcase open to public

As the locale of the Decorator Showcase, it is open to the public (for a fee) until May 27. Not only can you wander though this dreamy space, that boasts one of San Francisco’s only legit residential ballrooms, you can view the spectacular visions of the esteemed interior designers who contributed to the event.

One of my faves was the children’s bedroom fantasy from Sunset District-based architect Virginie Manichon. The Bizibots Bedroom displays her handcrafted wooden Bizibot toys. Above the bed, the ceiling light like a colorful planetarium galaxy exhibit. Lots of fun touches like an astronaut closet, a rocket room divider and the Parisian metro map window screens add up to a whimsical futuristic playland.

Jonathan Rachman designed this parlor as an homage to Norfolk, England's Houghton Hall
Jonathan Rachman’s Houghton Hall Reimagined is a spectacularly dizzying array.

Ballroom as nightclub

The aforementioned ballroom was transformed by Vernon Applegate and Gioi Tran into a funky nightclub that borrows from 18th century Europe while giving it fresh modern feels.

Jonathan Rachman’s Houghton Hall Reimagined is a hot mess of lush furnishings (that enormous pink settee!), fabulous curios like Bogart and Bacall’s old credenza, and vintage blue de Gournay wallpaper. The room was inspired by Richman’s memorable visit to Houghton Hall in Norfolk England where he partook in a candlelight dinner of 80 guests by the invitation of the Marchioness of Cholmondeley. Indeed!

Vernon Applegate and Gioi Tran take on the ballroom at the 2019 San Francisco Decorator Showcase
The former ballroom of Le Petit Trianon as interpreted by Vernon Applegate and Gioi Tran

If a visit showcase isn’t enough to sate your fantasies, you can own San Francisco’s little trianon. It just hit the market two days ago for $30 million.

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs from April 27 until May 27. It’s located in Le Petit Trianon in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights neighborhood at 3800 Washington Street. Tickets cost $35-$40.

We were complimentary guests of The San Francisco Decorator Showcase.