At Home: A real estate agent's Nob Hill penthouse

Joel Goodrich lives a gilded life.

Voted one of San Francisco’s best-dressed men, the real estate agent who sells luxury properties dresses up his Nob Hill penthouse in gold, shimmery fabrics and antiques.

“I call it eclectic French,” Goodrich says. “It’s a classic architectural background with a mix of furniture and contemporary art. To me, a design period reflects the period, not a personality.”

In his living room, Goodrich installed classic French plaster moldings — acanthus leaf, egg-and-dart, dentil, and trope l’oeil — in the traditional limestone pattern.

Walls are painted a buttery yellow color to reflect light amid the cool tones of San Francisco. His windows open to dramatic downtown city views.

He deliberately kept the floors bare to highlight the rooms.

Goodrich’s ivory-colored sofa is covered in Fortuny silk, while pillows in Versace-inspired prints and two original Versace chairs add jolts of color.

Goodrich re-gilded two late 18th-century Swedish Gustav V chairs purchased at auction because, he says, “the originals were too green — not gold enough,” and covered them with Napoleonic bee fabric.

The formal dining room features floor-to-ceiling columns reminiscent of Versailles. He continued the theme with Greco-Roman stone base columns below a modern glass dining room table, French-cut to Goodrich’s own design. Then he added an elaborate 1920s French crystal chandelier.

Goodrich’s gold drapes have a life of their own. After a candle fell on the originals during a Christmas party, starting a fire, Goodrich purchased dramatic gold fabric, “the kind where ladies wrap themselves in the fabric, pretending it’s a ball gown,” he says.

His baby grand piano, a Starck, is a place where he showcases memorabilia and photos of luminaries ranging from Dita Von Teese to Lenny Kravitz.

 

Style keys

Design aesthetic: Somewhat over-the-top, eclectic, colorful
Favorite color: Black and white with a splash of color
Favorite design magazine: Architectural Digest: “I have friends who’ve been covered 11 times, 15 times, including the penthouse next door.”
Favorite design store: “I loved Ed Hardy,” which has closed.
Favorite object: Piano: “I played professionally. It puts people in a happy mood.”
Favorite designer: “I have many friends in the design world, like Ken Fulk, Jay Jeffers. It’s a Mecca for interior designers.”

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