Sunday, October 12, 2008
The first interior space I ever designed was the Janell Beals Design boutique I opened on Fillmore street in San Francisco, in 1996. What a mess! Previously used as an office space, its wonderful architectural features including soaring ceilings, pocket doors, moldings and tall windows were hidden beneath commercial carpet, layers upon layers of paint and 70's era ceiling fans.
With the help of my outstanding business partner in this venture, Victoria Renzi, (along with all the friends we could round up) we set out to transform the space on basically no budget. We ripped out the carpet to find gorgeous floors. Victoria and I personally sanded and stained the floors a rich dark walnut. Over weeks everyone took turns stripping a hundred years of paint choices off the 10' tall pocket doors. It was amusing trying to figure out what year we had reached when uncovering a layer of bright turquoise paint. We stripped the original hardware for the doors, brought in gorgeous vintage chandeliers, painted the two public rooms a grey blue and green, built clothing racks, a dressing room along with a design/work area and sewing room.
It was such a delight to go to work each day in a space which had been transformed to meet my vision, and I enjoyed many years designing beautiful garments for a wonderful and memorable list of clientele. My only regret is that I didn't take the time to take more photographs of the store! Next time...