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Queen of the Tree House

From cypresses to diamonds, interior designer Paige Loczi sees possibility everywhere.


Paige Loczi.

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“This is one of the portraits my father did early in our life together. The frame has a curved glass edge, which is really uncommon now, and had been in my mother’s family for many generations.” 

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“A watercolor my daughter made that I think is amazing. She’s very colorful, very creative.”

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“This Liberty teapot was the first gift my husband ever gave me, from his first trip abroad after we met. It’s emblematic of everything that we stand for, because my husband, who’s English, still makes me a cup of tea every morning.”

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“It was made by Melissa Muszynski, a local jeweler who told me she based it after a piece she saw Gloria Steinem wearing once. I call it my scepter.”

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“This is a Claire Swindale pillow. She’s everything that’s right about English design: a little punk rock, a little in-your-face, not afraid of color, and always an element of taking the piss.”

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“When I was traveling in northern Vietnam, I went into this antique shop and found these four vintage lacquered Tintin plaques. They hang in my kitchen. I almost moved to Hanoi, I was so moved by it. I loved the amalgamation of cultures.”

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“What I understand is that after World War II, the Italians didn’t have a lot of wood, but they still wanted to construct furniture. So they started making wood out of bamboo and other materials. This is from the 1950s—it’s literally two materials, the bamboo and the grass that holds it together.”

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“It’s all individual pieces of fabric, all handmade in India. I was looking for a chair that I could put upstairs. The room has 15 colors on all the walls. It’s a fun little poppy space.”

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“A Lamy pen, totally my first adult purchase. I’ve lost one and had two stolen, so this is my fourth. It’s just the best roller ball in the industry, as far as I’m concerned.”

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“A handmade Guatemalan quilt, probably 20 years old at this point. My husband bought it in the city of Chichicastenango, famous for its market days.”

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“A wood-carved Tibetan protection god, Vajrapani, gathered on my husband’s travels. It sits by my front door.”

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“I have a random feather collection. The one in the middle was given to me by a healer about 15 years ago, and I wore it in my wedding bouquet.”

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“This is the vintage Alberto Makali dress I wore to my wedding after-party. I bought it in Beverly Hills. It was the only time in my life when I went on a shopping spree and just bought what I wanted.”

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It was a revelation: a house in Glen Park surrounded by towering trees. “I came home from my meditation retreat on Monday, and I told my husband, ‘You’re going to think I’m nuts, but I had a very strong vision of where we’re supposed to live,’” says interior designer Paige Loczi. They soon bought a circa-1931 house on a hillside plot across from Glen Canyon with three cypress trees “almost as old as the country.” They call it the Tree House. “It’s a funny little hobbit house,” Loczi says.

She is the founder of Loczi Design, which creates bold interiors for like-minded clients, from a studious Haight Street loft to an opulent Victorian-inspired pied-à-terre in Pacific Heights. Her own home is more eclectic, dotted less with carefully chosen decor than with personal totems amassed over a childhood spent in Detroit, Sweden, and Southern California and travels to India, Tibet, and Cambodia, not to mention annual excursions to Black Rock Desert. Even the dining table is a kind of altar decorated with a rotating selection of meaningful objects.

Loczi’s roving eye will be evident at this year’s S.F. Design Week opening reception, taking place at Pier 27 on June 14; her firm is one of the event’s engineers. She hopes the night, which will feature (among other enticements) an augmented reality sculpture, will show a reverence for the past with an eye toward the future: a little bit like the Tree House.


Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco 

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