Interview with vignette designers Cecilia Sagrera-Hill and George Brazil

The San Francisco Fall Show is excited to welcome San Francisco-based company SagreraBrazil Design as one of the 2019 vignette designers. Principals Cecilia Sagrera-Hill and George Brazil began their eponymous design firm 15 years ago in San Francisco. Their singular vision results from the power of two perspectives with a shared value that design should elevate and enhance. Creative tension sparks dialog and exploration, resulting in the unique and the unexpected. Through adherence to design principles and suspension of the rules, new ideas are realized. Dedicated to creating lasting relationships with clients, craftspeople and other collaborators, SagreraBrazil Design believes that environments must be authentic to the client and their architectural context.

Cecilia originally hails from Central America and has enjoyed living in San Francisco for over 20 years along with her husband and their two young children and is actively involved with their community, the children’s school, scouts and sports.

George, a California native, lives in San Francisco with his partner and their two dogs. George serves on the Board of Directors of the Northern California chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA), and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Cecilia and George were kind enough to answer a few questions:

How did you first become interested in antiques?

CSH: My first interior design job truly introduced me to the world of antiques and my love for the craftsmanship of these pieces began.

GB: I have been fortunate enough to work for designers who have had a passion for and appreciation of antiques and I have always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of antiques within a contemporary interior.

Are there any specific historic periods that you are drawn to?

CSH: Biedermeier and Art Deco are my favorites

GB: I would agree with Cecilia here and add that I am fascinated by anything from Ancient Greece.

In your interior design work, what is your approach to incorporating art and antiques?

CSH & GB: We talk to all our clients about incorporating art into the process as soon as possible as it helps the clients see the complete end result for their spaces. As to antiques, it depends on the project and the client, our goal is always to make sure that any antiques used make sense to the project as a whole or compliment a client’s collection.

What was your most favorite/memorable art/antique find? Or alternatively, can you tell us about “the one that got away”?

CSH: A great find was a Biedermeier secretary that we converted into a bar and fit so perfectly in our client’s home. The one that got away, a beautiful Italian hexagonal shaped exterior lantern… it was a piece that I had admired and when I decided to purchase it, well it was the one that got away.

GB: I still get a pain in my stomach when I think of the one: a pair of antique/vintage wood arm chairs in a vaguely Biedermeier/Moderne design with beautiful wood detailing. I saw them at an antique show in Southern California. I was deciding on whether to purchase them or not and went to lunch. When I came back they were sold. A very well known dealer had bought them which made it even worse. Not only were they gone, but purchased by a major player to boot.

What most excites you about coming to the San Francisco Fall Show?

CSH & GB: Having all this knowledge of antiques and art under one roof, being able to transport yourself with the various dealers to discover pieces that might require more than one airplane ride…although there is nothing wrong with traveling to source for a project. The dealers are so knowledgeable and more than happy to educate you along the way.

How do you walk the show? What are you looking for? Any tips for shopping the show?

CSH: I personally like to walk it from the back to the front… we are always looking for art that gets you at the soul and for antiques that take your breath away not just because of their beauty but their story.

GB: I have my favorites that I like to visit first to see what treasures they have brought. Mostly we are looking for art and accessories. We love to preview the show and then invite clients to come shop with us. This allows us to educate ourselves with what is there and create a game plan for our busy clients to shop effectively.

Finally, the theme of this year’s show is “Wanderlust” – What is your favorite travel destination? And what country/place is at the top of your travel wish list?

CSH: Favorite destination – India… Top of wish list to travel – Japan, Italy and Thailand

GB: Favorite would be anywhere in South America and Greece. Top of wish list is Italy and Portugal, Japan and Korea. Really anywhere I can be with my favorite travel companion, my partner Vasili.

Thank you Cecilia and George – and see you at the show!