Four hours into the photo shoot with Ian Stallings—complete with champagne, a Batman mask, and irreverent versions of traditional carols—the work grinds to a halt as we all stand in front of the oversized windows, captivated by the commanding views of the Bay at dusk.
The bridge lights on the horizon, the glittering towers of the skyline and the blue-on-pink-on-peach of the clouds. We pull out our mobile phones to capture the moment for our favorite social media channels.
“This is magnificent,” muses our executive editor. Then Angelica, the photographer, slips back into work mode, clearing us from the frame and snapping away as the violet-blue in the sky turns to navy and then midnight blue.
We are in Stallings’ private home in Nob Hill, where he currently keeps his office while a new design space and gallery is remodeled—scheduled to open in 2018. His home is a collection of globally curated artifacts and memories combined with modern and minimal furniture finished in different white and off-white upholsteries. The modern holiday décor—pops of red in pillows, a train set under the tree and dozens of roses— fits into the entire scheme.
The ornaments that adorn the faux tree (“Recycled!” says Stallings) are gifts from friends over the years. He asks the guests coming to his Christmas parties to bring ornaments as a host gift. The burning candles smell like Bungo Firewood.
I ask him what he collects and what he’s currently seeking. “I don’t have a list,” he says. “Sometimes you see something and you have to have it. Sometimes you have everything and everyone in your life, and you think, ‘I don’t need anyone else,’ and then you meet your new best friend. That’s how it is with things, too.”
Styled by Ian Stallings/Ian Stallings Design
Photos by Angelica Ekeke/One World Journalist
Produced by Trystanne Cunningham and Claude-Alix Bertrand
Interview by Josh Jakobitz