297 Kansas Street
San Francisco, California 94103
Interior designer Will Wick usually spends his time outfitting other people's homes and businesses. But this month he's opening Battersea, a retail-oriented space centered on his globe-trotting merchandise and design inspirations that distills his point of view.
Wick has a knack for subtly repurposing objects or reviving a piece of furniture with new upholstery - "I like to give antiques a more contemporary look" - and for finding items like cast-iron tables at French flea markets. Battersea's ever-changing mix might include dental cabinets, African tribal hats, French textbooks, London bus scrolls and American folk art that he's unearthed at flea markets and auction houses around the United States and the world, as well as from private dealers.
Battersea is named for the massive brick power plant outside of London that's now being converted to green uses. Likewise, the Showplace Square space, formerly a showroom he shared with former business partner Gabriella Sarlo, is in a 100-year-old industrial brick building.
Wick, who started Wick Design Group in 2005, has also worked on a few prominent boutiques, including the original Dylan, and Carrots in Jackson Square. But the shelter magazines love the distinctive style he brings to residential spaces. A gear pattern might end up in a loft over a mantel or leaned up in a corner. An industrial cart could serve as a coffee table in a more traditional house.
Next year, he's planning shows that will juxtapose photography or art with furniture, or some of his folk art pieces. Wick studied environmental science in college, "and now I'm coming full circle," he says, bringing organic forms or elements into his work. "I like to think that people, no matter how modern they are, want something that feels alive," he says.