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."
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.
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."
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!
"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