After seeing what author friends go through to have a book published, I’m beginning to think the writing is the easy part. What really requires tenacity and stamina is promoting the book!
Case in point: the whirlwind of activity that swept up San Francisco-based interior design partners Jeffry Weisman and Andrew Fisher as they launched their first book, Artful Decoration: Interiors by Fisher Weisman (Monacelli Press, 2013), with a foreword by Architectural Digest editor Margaret Russell. Showcasing 13 of the duo’s design projects, Artful Decoration demonstrates their flair for exquisite, unique styling and attention to detail.
For two months I’ve been following the adventures of the pair as they’ve traveled from their Nob Hill studio to Napa Valley, Chicago, LA, New York City, and Mexico for book signings and parties galore.
GUMP’S BOOK SIGNING
Fans showed up for the book-signing event at Gump’s, one of the country’s leading lifestyle emporiums.
People snapped up the book, an intimate glimpse at Fisher Weisman’s designs for such diverse residences as a Nob Hill apartment, a Napa Valley stone winery transformed into a contemporary living space, a Sonoma County tree house, and a Moroccan-inspired retreat in Palm Springs.
One of their most memorable creations is the design for their own Casa Acanto, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the 16th-century Spanish colonial town. The indoor-outdoor compound, originally an 18th-century tannery, is located right in the city’s historic center. (I’m sure everyone is hoping for an invitation!)
BOOK SIGNING AT WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM
Another day, another book party for Jeffry and Andrew, this one a cocktail reception at the Walt Disney Family Museum in Presidio, hosted by the California chapter of New York’s internationally renowned Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). The event brought in many other designers and architects eager to support their colleagues and enjoy a rousing talk given by Jeffry.
A QUINTESSENTIAL SF DINNER PARTY
After the ICAA reception, Suzanne Tucker, her husband Tim Marks (of Tucker & Marks Design), along with Michael Taylor Designs co-founder Paul Weaver hosted an intimate and lively dinner to honor the duo at Paul’s home.
Together with Andrew Skurman (with whom she co-founded the San Francisco chapter of ICAA), Suzanne has designed and decorated some of the most exquisite homes in the United States.
Paul lives in the Kahn house, the architectural gem designed circa 1939 by modernist Richard Neutra. It sits atop Telegraph Hill, one of the seven hills on which San Francisco was built. The view is spectacular!
The roomful of designers and architects included architect Dante Bini and his wife Adria, and Brenda and George Jewett III, whose family has been involved with the America’s Cup regatta for years. (It’s coming to San Francisco this summer).
The evening was a dream — a quintessential San Francisco dinner party in a sublime home with incredible Bay views, superb food and wine of the region, a relaxed atmosphere, after-dinner laughter, and a roomful of talented people. As a bonus: a full moon.
MORE BOOK PARTIES – NAPA TO LA
Next it was on to Napa Valley for two more book parties, one hosted by good friend Catherine Schmidt and another at the luxury lodge resort Calistoga Ranch. The guest lists included many friends the designers had made in wine country when they owned a fabulous weekend home in Sonoma overlooking the Russian River.
Then Jeffry and Andrew headed to LA for signings at Hollyhock, designer Suzanne Rheinstein’s chic furniture store, and the Michael Taylor Designs showroom—plus a panel about producing a book with designers Eric Cohler and Jennifer Post at the Pacific Design Center.
CHICAGO, DALLAS & NEW YORK
Jeffry and Andrew then flew to Chicago, where Jeffry’s sister Laura Werner and her husband Michael hosted a party in their glamorous Gold Coast apartment, which is featured in Artful Decoration.
The next stop was Dallas, where decorator Michelle Nussbaumer held a party at her Ceylon et Cie showroom.
Finally, in New York City, there was an event at the Walters showroom in the Decoration & Design Building (the “D & D”) for members of the trade to get a first look at a new outdoor furniture line Andrew and Jeffry designed for The Wicker Works, a subsidiary of Walters.
Fisher Weisman has also just introduced its own innovative “Casa Acanto” furniture line, a 27-piece collection, which they are marketing through a website of the same name.
A second party was organized by antiquarian impresario Guy Regal at the freshly redone Newel Gallery, which shows decorative and fine arts. Fantasy-like and visually stimulating, it is filled with exotic antiques.
If you saw the recent film, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf, you saw scenes shot at the Newel Gallery, whose pieces are often used in the store’s legendary and fanciful Fifth Avenue window displays.
Newel Gallery’s sense of whimsy resonates with Andrew, for it is one of his special talents. He honed it working with the late legendary designer Tony Duquette and studying metalsmithing, drawing, and sculpture at the California College of Design.
Jeffry’s more classical approach was developed at Stanford, where he studied art and design, and during stints at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Gensler. He founded his own firm after returning to Stanford for his MBA.
Their different styles complement one another perfectly and result in unique designs incorporating pieces you won’t find in a catalogue.
“They do really beautiful work, have terrific clients, and are so much fun to be with,” said decorator Ed Lobrano of New York and San Francisco. What more could one want?
A FIFTH AVENUE BOOK SIGNING
Christy Ferer, CEO and founder of media services company Vidicom, hosted a final book signing that drew many fashion world luminaries to her art-filled Fifth Avenue apartment with marvelous views of Central Park.
Later, Jeffry and Andrew enjoyed a cozy dinner with friends on their last night in New York. The tour was over, but the selling of the books had just begun!
Photos by Jeanne Lawrence, Drew Altizer, Stefanie Keenan, Grey Crawford, Matthew Millman, and Edmund Barr.
*Urbanite Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in San Francisco, Shanghai, and New York, and wherever else she finds a good story.