Inside the Pavonia Room

Two weeks ago we introduced you to Geoffrey De Sousa’s concept for the Pavonia Room. Inspired by the special exhibition The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde 1860–1900 (on view at the Legion of Honor through June 17), De Sousa’s gentleman’s study will be installed at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase opening this Saturday, April 28. Today, De Sousa serves as a guest-blogger to unveil the completed space.

De Sousa in the Pavonia Room

Geoffrey De Sousa, the gentleman in his study

I hope this room honors the handcrafted and eclectic tradition of the Aesthetic movement while feeling thoroughly modern. After all, to quote the exhibition catalogue, “The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours we live.”

The Pavonia Room

The Pavonia Room

With its poetic vaults and intimate scale, the architecture of the room evokes the sensibility of the era. In an edgier take on Aestheticism, the room is wrapped in a burnt orange, hand-printed botanical print by iconoclastic Glasgow design house Timorous Beasties, whose wallpapers have been affectionately referred to as “William Morris on acid.”

Beasties Wallpaper

A spectacular, custom, hand-blown glass chandelier by artist John Pomp casts a glow on the space. Pomp, schooled in the art of Venetian glassblowing in Murano, Italy, crafted a celestial chandelier composed of three spheres etched with gold leaf.


Chandelier by John Pomp

The centerpiece of the room is The Popova Desk by Sylvan Fiss. Inspired by the facets and unique geometric makeup of a gemstone, this limited-edition piece is made of mahogany and brass.

The Popova Desk

A provocative photograph by Katy Grannan from Fraenkel Gallery anchors the space.


Geoffrey De Sousa is the principal of Geoffrey De Sousa Interior Design, a San Francisco–based residential firm, and is co-founder of the design showroom De Sousa Hughes.

Don't miss this incredible vision of 21st-century Aesthetic design at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, April 28–May 28. Show your FAMSF membership card to receive $5 off admission for one.

Not a museum member? Purchase a ticket to the Decorator Showcase and receive $4 off admission to The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde 1860–1900 on view at the Legion of Honor through June 17!