Frances Adler Elkins was one of the most prominent designers of the early 20th Century. Her formal introduction to interior design came during a trip to Europe with her brother, famed architect David Adler. After she established her interior design practice in 1918, she championed the work of artists – including Jean-Michel Frank and Alberto Giacometti – who she had met on the trip.
Her career took off after she and her husband purchased and restored Casa Amesti, a crumbling and run-down but historic abode in Monterey, California. She added classical details such as dentil cornices and fluted door casings; arranged English, French and Chinese furnishings symmetrically (in deference to her brother’s taste); and kept to a strict palette of blue, yellow and white. Casa Amesti was the talk of the California design community and firmly established Elkins as a style-setter and tastemaker.
She went on to decorate homes, private clubs and resorts from Pebble Beach to San Francisco, as well as in Chicago and on the East Coast. Though best known in California, her dramatic mix of bold, sunny colors and eclectic European art influenced designers and décor across the country.
Info and image courtesy architectecturaldigest.com. Thanks to House Beautiful for the inspiration!