When San Francisco–based AD100 designer Charles de Lisle first met his would-be client, tech CEO Yishai Lerner, he thought he was signing on to decorate a Silicon Valley bachelor pad. Yishai had just landed his dream home, a quaint two-story fixer-upper on the crest of a hill in central San Francisco with impressive 180-degree views across the bay. And as the son of three architects—his mother, father, and stepmother are all in the profession—it had always been the dream to create his very own space from scratch.
Things, however, quickly changed. Shortly after commissioning de Lisle, Yishai met his now wife, Sabrina, and it wasn’t long before the two were married. Naturally, the scope of the project shifted. In fact, from the time they began planning the interiors in 2016 to when the paint was dry in 2022, his clients had multiplied from one to four when the couple’s two young sons arrived in fast succession.
Before de Lisle was brought on board, the home was largely a monochromatic shell. Yishai had worked closely with Ross Levy of Levy Art + Architecture to bring the house to life and, in doing so, had rendered a decidedly minimal aesthetic. They built out an extension in the back, adding extra square footage while simultaneously allowing the architect and client to engineer the home’s smallest details—for instance, installing invisible air conditioning vents in the seam of the living room’s gabled ceiling, or custom-designing the winding iron staircase so it appears to be floating independently of the walls. “I’ve built software my whole life,” Yishai explains. “So I’m always thinking about the user experience.”
De Lisle welcomed the family-friendly pivot. “I wanted to take his very masculine, slick sensibility,” he explains, “and add layers to it that felt very Northern California—a bit hippie and handmade but in a way that fit the space.” But de Lisle credits Sabrina with adding a real sense of vibrancy. “She took one look at the house and was like, ‘I don’t want to live in a bachelor pad,’” he jokes. “She has the most amazing wardrobe and loves color. She wanted the space to be really happy and bright.”
Together the Lerners and de Lisle pulled together references that ranged from midcentury Italian interiors to cozy Scandinavian homes: ideas easily legible in details like a custom console in the entranceway, creamy Nordic-inspired Douglas Fir wall paneling in the TV room, and Ceppo de Gre Stone in the guest suite (the very same that clads the gray facades of Milanese apartment buildings).