Maria's Glamorous Fashion-Inspired Flat

Maria's Glamorous Fashion-Inspired Flat

Lindsay Tella
Jul 31, 2012

Name: Maria Favata
Location: Pacific Heights — San Francisco, California
Size: 1140 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 — owned

When Maria first saw the work of interior designer Michelle Workman, she knew she wanted to work with Michelle on transforming her San Francisco apartment. Obsessed with glamour, bold colors and vintage fashion, Maria didn't originally have the same strong inclination for her interior. Throughout the design process, Michelle was able to help Maria embrace her passion for design and apply it to her home.

Maria's building is Edwardian, built in 1916. High ceilings and beautifully detailed crown moldings were all original details, and are part of what makes the bold color pallete so successful. Rich colors frame the intricate white moldings and allow the historic details to pop, while also adding to the glamour and charm of Maria's home. Color is combined with an eclectic mix of vintage items from various decades to produce a cohesive space that doesn't adhere to any one style or period in particular.

Although she works for a publishing company by day, Maria's latest project, still in its early stages, is the Glamourist, a fashion site that exemplifies her passion for clothing and all things vintage. While her aesthetic came naturally with clothing, Maria wasn't as quick to apply her love for edgy design to her interiors. Through the process of working with Michelle, she was able to dive in and commit to a bolder vision than she had in the past. The end result was a space that she loves coming home to, and that's true to who she is.

I could tell by talking with these two ladies the the design process was a therapeutic endeavor for Maria. Instead of taking an understated route, Michelle pulled from what Maria was drawn to in other areas of design and helped her express herself on the walls of her home. What started as a standard neutral pallete was transformed into a space full of life and color.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Glamorous, Sexy, Haute Couture.

Inspiration: My interior designer (Michelle Workman)'s philosophy is to represent the personality of the homeowner, and this was the main reason I hired her. She had asked me to send her photos of fashions and interiors that I liked, and she noticed that my fashion picks were always vibrant, rich and colorful with a lot of pinks and turquoise, and that my interior picks were mainly monochromatic neutrals. She decided, after speaking to me, that the "real" me was vibrant and colorful, and thus the palette was chosen from Julianne Moore and Tom Ford's clothing at the Oscars.

Favorite Element: Hmmm… those pink silk chairs in the green dining room. And the pink wallpaper!

Biggest Challenge: Overcoming the idea that I should do an interior that was "typical" of San Francisco — muted colors and traditional styling.

What Friends Say: Usually they are speechless.

Biggest Embarrassment: Now everyone knows who I really am! I come across as more quiet and shy, but Michelle saw behind that and really brought out the private me.

Biggest Indulgence: The metallic gold fabric for the couch (Michelle's fault). Michelle had found two fabrics for the couch — the first one cost considerably less and was "in budget", but then she showed me her "real" choice, which was not at all in the budget! I fell in love and after much thought I went with it… I am so happy that I did!

Best Advice: Find the right designer for you and then do everything they tell you to do!

Dream Sources: 1stDibs

Resources of Note:


    • Benjamin Moore: North Sea Green 2053-30 Flat (Dining Room)
    • Benjamin Moore: Oasis Blue 2049-20 Flat (Living Room)
    • Benjamin Moore: Black 2132-10 High Gloss (Kitchen Cabinets)
    • Benjamin Moore: Juneau Spring 2041-40 High Gloss (Kitchen Cabinet Interior)
    • Benjamin Moore: Secret Rendezvous 1341 Flat (Hallway)
    • Benjamin Moore: Wild Heart 1354 Flat (Bedroom)


    • Cabinet: Gumps
    • Lucite leg bench: MWI
    • Gold mirror: Global Views
    • 1980's Abstract painting: vintage store
    • Wallpaper: Designers Guild


    • "Maria" Sofa: MWI, with metallic gold linen from F.Schumacher and Co.
    • Cinderella Chair: MWI, upholstered in turquoise silk
    • Side Tables: Arteriors
    • 1960's Brass Coffee Table: Estate sale in LA
    • Gold ceramic piece: Naomi's Antiques in San Francisco
    • Large abstract painting: Belle Burnell
    • Underwater prints: Gay Ribisi
    • Watercolor portrait: Sophie Campbell


    • Table and chairs: 1stdibs, reupholstered in hot pink satins from Cowtan and Tout
    • Buffet: Monument in San Francisco
    • Plates on lucite table: Mureta Antiques in San Francisco
    • Ceramic horses: Naomi's Antiques in San Francisco
    • Vintage Sideboard: Monument


    • Countertops: Carrara Marble


    • Bedding and Headboard: Michelle Workman Interiors, custom
    • Nova glass and iron side tables: Ateriors
    • Parsons Vanity/Desk: West Elm
    • Vintage jewelry: Sasha Maks Vintage

Thanks, Maria!

(Images: Lindsay Tella)

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