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In a showroom in San Francisco's design district


In a showroom in Showplace Square

In a Nutshell...

If you have ever noticed that the home furnishings in the better design magazines are a world apart from what one sees in even the best retail furniture stores, and wondered where such things come from, the answer is here, from the designer showrooms in San Francisco's design district and other such select places around the world. This elite design world is largely out of view of the public (no discount bedroom set advertisements or Presidents' Day Sales here) so that even most long term residents of San Francisco are unaware that the city has an absolutely world class professional interior design district. This most decidedly is not a place for everybody, in fact they have signs posted saying just that (more on that below). But, if you have an eye for quality, an appreciation of design and can comport yourself in an atmosphere where price is of no object, then a visit is a must.


Antiques in the Showplace Square district


There are seven major buildings in the area filled with designer showrooms, and other smaller ones scattered out in the district. Showplace and the Galleria are the largest two. Just in them alone, one finds dozens of fabric showrooms offering the world's most luxurious fabrics (the selections are truly stunning), dozens (actually, more than 100 in total) of showrooms displaying the finest of furniture, accessories, hand made tiles and fixtures, architectural elements and antiques of the highest quality. To get a sense of the design resources, look at this tenant list for just three of the buildings.


Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Note: The parking situation in the area is not as brutal as in much of the city.


"To The Trade Only"

Scram! To the trade only!


You will see signs posted in some of the showrooms like the one above. This means that they will only do business with registered design professionals. To register with the design center, one must present a reseller's licence, a business card indicating a design professional and a business check for $70.


It used to be that only registered design professionals and their clients were allowed in the buildings. But things have loosened up quite a bit and today most of the showrooms welcome the general public. If you wish to shop in the restricted showrooms, the Design Center has a designer on duty to assist you.


The major buildings...


Showplace Square


2 Henry Adams Street 

San Francisco, CA 94103



This converted 19th century warehouse holds by my count, 68 showrooms with some of the most exclusive firms in the business. Here are just two...


Country Floors in Showplace Square


Country Floors has long been known among design professionals as a reliable source of tiles of the highest quality.


In Showplace Square


Step inside Brunschwig & Fils' opulent showroom (with your designer in attendance) and you will find a healthy sampling of their 22,000 fabrics and 1,200 wall coverings, ranging in design from historic classics to contemporary designs destined to become classics.




The Galleria in the design district of San Francisco


101 Henry Adams Street

San Francisco, CA 94103



With 46 showrooms and a large open atrium that also serves as a music venue, the Galleria is an impressive designer's resource.


Inside the Galleria


Shears & Windows is a major tenant in the Galleria and a good showroom to visit if you want to see absolutely the best in fine furnishings.



Showplace East

Showplace East


Showplace East
111 Rhode Island Street, 4B
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 474-1700 / Showplaceeast.com

Just behind the Galleria, Showplace East has 16 high-end showrooms. A few examples are...


Living Green


Living Green, plantscape design with a large collection of stonework, architectural details, Asian sacred objects, fountains, and tropical foliage.


William Switzer in Showplace East


William Switzer and Associates in 50 years of business as custom manufactures of fine reproduction antique furniture, their collection has grown to 900 items. Their pieces often appear in the pages of Architectural Digest, Veranda and California Homes.



Showplace Square South

Showplace Square South


Showplace Square South

235 Kansas Street
San Francisco, CA 94103


This much smaller building than the ones above, has some great tenants such as...




Waterworks, who's showroom displays their collection of high-end bath fixtures.



Design Pavilion

Kansas Design Pavilion


Design Pavilion

200 Kansas

San Francisco, CA 94103


The Design Pavilion at 200 Kansas is a little bit away from the main action up the street, but nonetheless, it is worth the effort to visit. Its tenants include dealers in high-end classic furniture reproductions, fabric houses, hand made rugs. For example...


Fabrics Samples


Fabricut, which serves the professional design trade by supplying fabrics of the highest quality.



Vermont Center

The Vermont Center in the Showplace Square District of San Francisco


Vermont Center

151 Vermont Street

San Francisco, CA 94103


The Vermont Center, just south of Showplace is filled mostly with high-end fabric showrooms and dealers in antiques of superlative quality such as...




Antique and Art Exchange



Sobel Building

Sobel Building


Sobel Building

680 8th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103


The Sobel Building has eight showrooms of which one very large one is occupied by their anchor tenant, Kress.


View San Francisco's Design District in a larger map



bottem of the shadow


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