T W G : Design Journal


James Hunter of TWG with Davis Dalbok of Living Green Design

James Hunter, Design Principal at The Wiseman Group, recently attended a grand opening at Le Souk, a San Francisco marketplace filled with antiquities, art, and decor from southeast Asia. The occasion? Le Souk was welcoming two new vendors under its roof: Living Green Design and Samana. The new vendors joined three other businesses located at Le Souk: Christian Armstrong Collection, Gil's Upholstery, and La Follia.

Richard Gervais, owner of Le Souk, first opened his doors as a small boutique in the Polk Gulch area of San Francisco in 1970. His business grew, and he eventually moved the Richard Gervais Collection to his current location, a cavernous 15,000–square-foot warehouse in what is now the up-and-coming Garden District. The shop is well-located off the burgeoning Third Street corridor.

Alton Irby, Zahid Sardar, and James Hunter

Davis Dalbok of Living Green Design, runs a multi-faceted business. Under his guidance, the company has been creating notable gardens throughout the Bay Area and beyond for over 30 years. Living Green represents some of the industries' finest lines, including Luciano Antiques, Wijaya Classics Lighting, Gladding McBean Ceramics, and Nature's Treasures — Minerals and Fossils. At his new location at Le Souk, Davis has transformed a former functional storage yard into a thriving exterior landscape. Living Green can now display garden-oriented water features, sculpture, unique plant material, and cutting edge vertical living walls. Within weeks of inhabiting the new space, birds and dragon flies have found a new home in this lively oasis. This new venue captures the spirit of what Living Green has always been about: using beautiful plants and soulful objects from southeast Asia to create outdoor living environments that are both well-appointed and spiritually grounding.

Stone roses and barnacles

Samana is new to the Bay Area scene. Their original store is in Los Gatos, California where they feature one-of-a-kind home furnishings, accessories, and gifts discovered or designed by the owners, Barbara Horscraft and Sandy Martinez. "The inspiration for the store's name derives from an ancient Hindu philosophy practiced by wandering monks that stressed individual, 'unconventional' form and traditions on the path toward enlightenment. And so, now we too wander the world and return with design inspirations and treasures to brighten your home and spaces with truly original offerings."

Michael Donnelly of dogfork and James Hunter

The celebration started with a Hawaiian blessing by Patrick Makuakane and continued with music by Betty Roi and the her Kingtette. The Bogo Fusion dance band closed out the evening.  Exceptionally warm San Francisco weather was the backdrop for this delightful garden party. In attendance were Todd Cole of Strata Landscape Architecture, author Zahid Sardar, Ann Lawrence, Michael Donnelly, Alton Irby, and a host of other local design luminaries.

Davis Dalbok with chanteuse Betty Roi

Visit the Le Souk at 1465 Custer Ave. San Francisco, CA 94124. Hours are Mondays to Fridays 10am to 5pm; Saturdays 11am to 5pm.



This past fall, The Wiseman Group hosted a book-signing party for author Zahid Sardar and photographer Matthew Millman. Their new book, West Coast Modern: Architecture, Interiors, and Design, had just been published, and TWG wanted to help celebrate the occasion - especially since a beautiful TWG-designed interior graces the cover!

Potographer Matthew Millman and author Zahid Sardar at TWG

The TWG Potrero Hill office was the site of the open house. Guests arrived to drinks and hors d'oeuvres and were free to roam the design firm's offices. Well-wishers, colleagues, and clients attended the event. At one point there was standing room only. A successful evening by any measure!

Guests Valera Lyles and Richard N. Snyder arriving at TWG

Brenda Mickel, Design Principal, explaining design elements of a TWG work in progress

James Hunter, Design Principal at TWG, enjoying a moment with Matthew Millman

Paul Ryan, Ryan Associates Construction, and daughter Rachael

Paul with client Claire Stull

Aleck Wilson of Aleck Wilson Architects with Paul

Zahid and Matthew busy signing books

Standing room only

Todd Cole of Strata Landscape and architect Karin Payson

SF designer Jay Jeffers  with Paul

Zahid with Margy Boyd, founding president of the Modern Art Council at SFMOMA
and former head of Art Tours at the museum

Matt with decorator Kathy Geissler Best

Paul with architect Scott Baughman of Charlie Barnett Associates

Paul with designer Martha Angus and Eche Martinez of Martha Angus Inc.

Guest Ali Razavi with Sadie Darsie, TWG Assistant Designer

Paul with Greg Warner, Walker Warner Architects

Paul surrounded by staff (from left):
Marilyn Autry (Assistant Designer), Heather Queen (Administrative Assistant), Anna Sweeney (Designer),  Lauren Daley (Senior Designer), Shannon Jue (Senior Designer), and Carrie Swing (Librarian)

Matthew, Paul, and Zahid celebrating a successful evening