Fog Decor

photo credit: marksmotos

I love summer! Just kidding. Summer in San Francisco is like...well ...winter. June, July and August are the foggiest months here. Fog forms over the bay when warm air is cooled by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. If you drive 10-15 miles south of San Francisco, you can be in 80 degree temperatures. Very strange. Whether you're living in, or just visiting the City by the Bay, be prepared to wear winter attire.

I stumbled upon this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, "How Fog Colors a Designer's Palette," written by fellow blogger & freelance writer, Anh-Minh Le. It focuses on the challenges that decorators face with the foggy climate of San Francisco.

Designer Suzanne Tucker says yellows add warmth, as in this Julia Morgan apartment. Photo: Matthew Millman

San Francisco designer, Candace Barnes, used a regal palette, sparkling silver accessories and classical furnishings of her own design in her salon for the 2008 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

Designer Susan Tucker- "The fog is a tremendous factor to consider in San Francisco. Obviously, colors like yellows and apricots are inherently warm and work beautifully. But when dealing with whites, grays and blues, you need to have a certain element of warmth in them to counteract the gray days and the quality the fog creates. Pick warm whites that have a slight yellow undertone."

my living room with a an off white palette & black & gold accents

my living room at night. Note the warm-colored white walls.

my dining room

When we moved into our home, (which happens to be the foggiest part of San Francisco), we left the original paint interior the sellers had painted. It is a warm white--almost pale yellow hue. It warms the room and gives is a glow. During the dreary foggy months, it adds cheerfulness and instant sunlight. I wish I had the name of the color. When repainting, I've had to match paint chips. It's a wonderful color, even in a non-foggy climate.

Designer Steven Miller used warm colors as an antidote to the foggy weather in this Parnassus Heights home. Photo: Cesar Rubio

Benjamin Moore color palette with warm colors

Designer Steven Miller- "The antidote to fog is color. A warmer color temperature in a room is a really good approach, so you don't feel like you're living on a glacier. The palette can include everything from a warm white to ochre, to brighter colors like orange, yellow and red. Burnt orange - an earthy orange - is a favorite of mine."

Blues can work well, but the red adds the needed pop of color. photo from Sunset Magazine

San Francisco interior designer Palmer Weiss was named in Domino Magazine's Top 10 Designers for 2008.

Summer in San Francisco can be dreary. Many people find themselves depressed, with the sun rarely making an appearance. I imagine it's similar to the London fog. In any event, it's good to know that there are some great decorating ideas out there to brighten up our homes. Candles & lighting work great too! And for most of you in living in squeltering hot climates...well..let's say, I'm a tad bit envious!

photo from here

"I wandered out like a haggard ghost, and there she was, Frisco, long bleak streets with trolley wires all shrouded in fog and whiteness." -Jack Kerouac, 1957


Cyn said…
Oh, I love your dining room. It is so elegant and gorgeous. Really like the photos of the warm designer rooms too, in yellows and whites. Definitely would cheer one up. I must confess though, I love San Francisco's fog.
Di Overton said…
I thought I hated fog until now
Oh yes, the SF fog! Although, I have to admit, I still find it so beautiful as it creeps over the hillside!

But I do long for warm summer nights where a large coat and scarves are not needed, ha!
Something I didn't know about San Francisco....I thought you had fog in the winter. Your home is beautiful and gorgeous dining room chandelier. it's always nice to see how a home reflects the owner. Yours is very warm and elegant.
Thank you gals for your comments. Always appreciated. Simply Mel, did I know you lived in SF?
Lynn your home is the prettiest in the land. I wish you sunshine today. When do you head south for your mega dose?
jennifer little said…
This is a very random comment. In 2003 my husband and I visited San Francisco. As we toured the city we came across the most wonderful store, Prize. I could have spent the entire day looking at every special treasure, but I spared my husband. Since then I have always said I wanted to go back. Two years ago I tried to look for the telephone number, so I could have some goodies shipped only to find out they closed! On my way home from work I decided to google Prize San Francisco again to see what results I came up with...found this:
I am thrille to know Prize still exists but has moved to Oregon. Thanks for the great news...made my day.
You have a wonderful blog! Jennifer Little
Linda, What a small world stumbling on my blog looking for PRIZE! Yes, Jennifer's fabulous shop is now in Ashland, and 4 times the size of her SF shop. You must take a trip and visit!

Thanks for visiting my blog too!

all the best, Lynn
Anonymous said…
Candace Barnes salon has intrigued me... definitely the look I am going for. Great inspiration, thanks!

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