The San Francisco Victorian of Restoration Hardware’s Creative Force

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Celia Tejada bought her home in the 1990s, about 100 years after it was originally built. This San Francisco Victorian had fallen into major disrepair – the ceilings in some rooms had fallen in, and the attic had no floor – but Celia was up for the challenge. She fixed it up while retaining as many original details as possible, salvaging crown moldings and keeping the original marble sinks in many of the bathrooms. Although the space is always evolving, its clean, black-and-white palette represents the classic and modern elements infused into the home’s style. And as I discussed in my ode to dark walls, the dark ceilings and walls in Celia’s home make the rooms feel as expansive as the night sky. This home was built for entertaining, with intimate and personal settings for friendly gatherings. In fact, every week, Celia has a group of friends over for tertulia, a bohemian Spanish-style culinary and literary gathering.

Celia grew up in Valderredible, Spain, in a small, rural community of just over 100 people. When she was encouraged to seek a more rigorous education in the city, she took the opportunity, eventually attending an Italian design school in Bilbao on scholarship at age 15. After graduating, she worked for a luxury kitchen design showroom for several years before moving to San Francisco, CA. Despite her background in interior architecture, Celia started channeling her creativity into fashion, and launched the Celia Tejada fashion house. After her first fashion show in the fall of 1987, the label took off and she was soon selling in boutiques and department stores like Barney’s, Bloomingale’s, and Neiman Marcus. But after the economic downturn of the 1990s, Celia started looking to take production overseas. As she took a pause in the fashion business, she started a new journey that took her back to her roots in interior design.

During this break, Celia’s friend — who worked at Pottery Barn — introduced her to Gray Friedman (President of Williams-Sonoma group at that time). After a long lunch with Gary, Celia was hired to lead the vertical-integration of the Pottery Barn brand, and 17 years later she joined Gary once again as Chief Creative Officer for new concepts at Restoration Hardware.

Celia’s passion is not just for design, but rather for life. Her home is a testament to this belief – it’s always full of art and often full of people, with a focus on comfort and easy entertaining. Her home is about  gracious, relaxed spaces where people can feel welcome and relaxed. Each vignette in her home tells a story – whether it’s a photograph she took herself, or a message sitting in a typewriter. It’s a mix of high and low that always ends up looking chic- with a coat of black paint. –Kevin

To see how Celia’s home has evolved, check out this tour from 2004 on Oprah.com and her kitchen renovation on ElleDecor.com.

  1. Vin says:

    What a lovely home! I checked out the old home tour, and while that was great, I LOVE the new black walls! It’s a little hard to believe its the same place! So cozy and inviting, love the dark grey steps too!

  2. Leila says:

    The pure white exterior and all black interior are truly amazing. What kind of tree is growing in the bedroom? This is the stuff of dreams

  3. Hard not to love looking at this eye candy! RH makes wonderful faux furs. That all fur daybed/window seat? My pets would never let me use it!

  4. Lynne Marie says:

    Amazing neutrals but a rad frustrating that most photos are not wider shots showing more of the room/context.

  5. Sukie says:

    Hi Celia . Would you mind sharing which shade/brand of white and grey you used for your exterior? I am about a week away from having my house painted and after months of dedicated obsessive research, am still waffling between a few BM shades of white , i.e. Simply White, White Heron, Dove White with BM Deep Space as the trim. But I am afraid the white might be too bright for all this glorious California sunshine we get. I am across the bay in Oakland. Thanks!

  6. Oh, this home gives me bees knees! Very cleverly integrated mirrors in a few places in this home – that’s a great way to bring light back to dark walls.

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