Star designer Kelly Wearstler pays tribute to French Cubist artist Jacques Villon in San Francisco.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

San Francisco has become the worldwide reference for innovation and technology, thanks to Silicon Valley. Its bohemian tradition, cultural history and European influences, however, live on in the city. Opened in 2018, San Francisco Proper Hotel reminds us of that.

Nestled in an almost 100-year-old Beaux Arts building, the hotel, which is home to restaurant and lounge Villon, is an ode to San Francisco. It is located in an area with old theatres and arts institutions that is currently enjoying a revival, with luxury residential projects and offices of large companies making their home there. Forgotten for years and then damaged by a fire, the building was recently reimagined, with the objective of contributing to the local community’s development.

On the exterior facade, real estate investment and management company The Kor Group took care of every detail. Inside, Kelly Wearstler designed sophisticated spaces, with references to several artistic movements.

“While carefully preserving the original elements of this classified landmark, we looked to bring something new to San Francisco by ‘collaging’ a reimagining of past, present and future,” Kelly says. “The spirit of pre-Modernist European influence, hand selected vintage furnishings, and works by local artists are all part of the warm, inviting design mix.”

Villon is named for the French Cubist painter Jacques Villon, and it has three spaces with different looks – an intimate private dining room that seats 14; a 32-seat lobby lounge inspired by a classic European salon and reflecting a residential atmosphere with cosy nooks; as well as the main hall, which is a 44-seat dining room with Cubist decor.

For more on Villon in San Francisco, visit
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Good to know

Previously known as the “Paris of the West”, San Francisco has forged its own identity, mixing the best of Europe and the United States.


Sharp lines contrast with soft colours to create a bold and edgy look.


Trapezoid- and triangular shaped mirrors are eye-catching accents in the main hall.