Design Spotlight: From the Ground Up

By Jennifer Massoni Pardini

When Victor Mezhvinsky and Lindsay Gerber started working together five years ago, it was a reunion of sorts for the high school friends who grew up in Hillsborough and reconnected in San Francisco as their respective businesses were getting underway: construction for Mezhvinsky, who recently rebranded his company FORMA Construction; and for Gerber, Lindsay Gerber Interiors.

Elegance and approachability combine in a kitchen with Calacatta marble from IRG, splash tile from Walker Zanger, Waterworks sink, Rejuvenation pendants, and Room and Board barstools. | Photo courtesy of Christopher Stark

They have collaborated ever since, most recently on a Marina District overhaul that left just one original wall of the 1920s residence standing. “We tore the rest of the home down,” Mezhvinsky says of the transformation. He worked with David Armour Architecture to build the home for a young family of four on Rico Way, a one-block suburbia-like stretch of single-family homes. “We replaced the foundation,” he continues. “We did a horizontal and vertical addition and we took the home from about 1,700 to 4,200 square feet.”

The kitchen’s marble and tile are reprised in the upstairs bar, with Shada Build & Design cabinetry. Engineered European white oak flooring runs throughout, as do Venetian plastered walls and ceilings and lacquered trim and millwork. | Photo courtesy of Christopher Stark

With three levels, the new layout works for family gatherings as well as providing individual spaces for work, play and rest that have been put to good use during shelter-in-place. Digging an additional 2 feet below ground allowed for a lower-level media room with 10-foot ceilings, as well as guest and wine rooms, while a semiopen floor plan on the main level encompasses the kitchen and family room, dining room, a second wet bar, and formal living room. Upstairs are four bedrooms, three baths and an office. A roof deck offers an outdoor kitchen, heated bench from Galanter & Jones and views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

When it came time for Gerber to incorporate the interiors, she knew immediately which direction to move in. “They are Russian,” she says of the homeowners, “so beige and simple was out of the question! I knew they wanted color and some degree of glamour, while still being kid-friendly and durable for their two young boys.”

The master bath boasts Statuary marble from IRG, a Gabriel Scott light fixture and Waterworks tub. | Photo courtesy of Christopher Stark
The master bath boasts Statuary marble from IRG, a Gabriel Scott light fixture and Waterworks tub. | Photo courtesy of Christopher Stark

The couple also typically love to entertain their large combined families (for Thanksgiving 2019, they hosted 26), so Gerber focused on warm, inviting interiors and furniture — much of it sourced from local artisans — with function: The 54-inch round dining table expands to 10 feet for Hanukkah dinner. And the aforementioned glamour was achieved with saturated color and show-stopping custom Venetian plaster and lacquer in Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue, a bold direction the homeowners trusted her to run with. “Once that and all the statement lighting was installed, I almost didn’t want to do anything else in the rooms,” Gerber says, noting the standout finishing by Willem Racke Studio. “There was already so much to sink your teeth into.”


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