has been pitching a black-and-white graphic wallpaper for the last ten years, searching for a client daring and inspired enough to give her the go ahead to use it.
The designer has also shopped around a plan for sculptural cacti (too thorny for young families) and a (too modern for old families). These dreams have now found a home — together, actually, in the SF bachelor pad of a 29-year-old pilot.
“Some clients are more nervous and are more interested in creating things we’ve already seen before,” Munroe says. But with this bachelor, “oh my God, he chose the coolest decision over and over again.”
Those cool decisions resulted in a home adorned with a statement ceiling, a cacti wall, multiple wallpapers, mid-century modern decor, and rooms painted all the colors of the Marina bay — without everything adding up to a “quirky circus house.”
“It’s like an outfit,” Munroe says. “You wear your navy dress, but then you have your crazy chandelier earrings.”
The navy dress here is a traditional Cali condo aptly curated with white walls, dark windows, and a contemporary fireplace and kitchen to ground its more unique rooms. And, we really mean unique. The true showstopper is the bar/library/hangout spot that was once a breakfast room (but what does a single beau need with both a breakfast room and a dining room?)
In the reimagined space, Munroe painted everything from baseboard to ceiling in "" by Benjamin Moore, including the crown molding and a built-in cabinet. The white ceiling and baseboard then work to stabilize the room.
“The way we looked at that room [is] in elevation, you turn around 365 degrees and it’s green. We just incorporated the built-in as though it was a wall and that way kind visually it’s on that same visual plane,” Munroe says.
Across the hall in the dining room, the painted ceiling trend pops out as a bright blue sky in “” by Ben Moore above the aforementioned wallpaper.
Designed by , the wallpaper is a series of nine landscape photographs, repeated and rendered in black and white. Think palm trees and surfers and other trademarks of Cali cool. Munroe painted the crown molding in the dining room a dark grey, which helps to keep everything from looking ultra segmented.
Chandeliers are always a good investment (“You don’t have to worry about your roommate banging into it), and Munroe’s team was “psyched” when the client chose the Charles de Lisle piece for the dining room.
The linear brass light was custom-fit for the space and contrasts the organic imagery of the wallpaper and watercolor rug, Munroe says. The modern lines of the Italian marble dining table and chairs also add balance.
Tying rooms together is always a dance of making the eye jump from place to place, Munroe says, without ever coming off “matchy matchy.” For example, walnut woodwork and marble connects the dining room table to the tables and couch in the living room, and the same organic motifs, such as palm trees and pineapples, appear in most rooms.
The velvet green “Deco” sofa by also ties back to the walls in the hangout room. The color is meant to be masculine but also a bit unexpected.
“It’s not like, ‘Oh, this is man's space. Everything has to be black and grey and blue,’” says Munroe, who is a veteran when it comes to designing tasteful bachelor pads.
The quietest and most contemporary space is the kitchen, but it’s still far from boring. Munroe worked with landscaper Lana Pappas of to build shelves full of sculptural cacti in the kitchen windows.
Cacti and succulents are dotted elsewhere throughout the home, as a frequent flyer needs plants that don’t require frequent watering.
The pilot told Munroe he wanted a space that didn’t feel as controlled as a hotel room, as he spends so much of his time away or in air.
We can’t imagine he’ll ever find a hotel that looks exactly like this home sweet home — but if he does, we hope he’ll call us. We’d love to book a stay.
See more photos below.