Above Image: Furnishings wrapped in fabrics from the Casamance collection Atelier Sud, inspired by the Midi region of France.
With walls upholstered in Italian silk and French embroidery, and airy spaces exquisitely curated with furnishings from around the world, Shears & Window’s newly revamped showroom entices one to step inside. The legacy showroom—now consolidated on the fourth floor of the San Francisco Design Center—is a destination for traditional furnishings ranging from the very classic (think Rose Tarlow and Dennis & Leen) to contemporary looks from Powell & Bonnell, Casamance Paris, Hartmann & Forbes, and Hector Finch.
Clockwise from top: Impala lounge chair by Powell & Bonnell; Acanto hanging lantern by Hector Finch; Baines loveseat by Dessin Fournir; and Brand table by Powell & Bonnell.
“While we remain traditionally directed,” says Shears & Window’s longtime owner and CEO Greg McIntyre, “we focus on contemporary furnishings that adhere to one basic principle: If something is well made and well designed, it will never go out of style.”
That philosophy has proved successful for the showroom, which was founded by Jack Shears and Adam Window in 1976. Today, the company is celebrating nearly half a century in business, having grown from a small textile purveyor representing just five fabric lines to an industry leader, and building a portfolio of more than 45 top brands, including Formations and Scalamandre, along the way. “We’ve repped many lines for decades, and they’ve grown as the design industry has grown, evolving to meet market demand,” McIntyre says, citing Jim Thompson as an example: “He started off in silk. Now they have every fiber combination you can imagine, and fabulous patterns in contemporary veins.”
Shears & Window has always taken a forward-thinking approach to traditional design, keeping the category fresh. “The look isn’t chintz, clutter, and heavy carpet anymore—it’s much broader and more refined,” McIntyre says, referring to a new generation of designers for whom Shears is a go-to source for beautiful classical furnishings, textiles, and lighting.
“Among younger designers, there’s a movement toward using more traditional fabrics,” notes Outside Sales Manager Dean McCracken. “We’re seeing a lot of block prints, velvets, and mohair, which are classic fabrics, but we’re seeing them used in new, surprising ways.”
“We’re proud to be one of the only showrooms left in San Francisco that does have traditional offerings as well as contemporary lines,” McIntyre adds, explaining another design principle that has kept the company relevant for so long: “Rooms will always need something with a little history, whether that be a reproduction or an antique, because it gives depth to the environment.”
It comes as no surprise that the same proposition inspired Shears’s recent showroom remodel, which features skylit spaces that incorporate all of its furniture and lighting collections (formerly housed separately on the second floor) alongside an extensive textile library, offering a comprehensive view of design possibilities.
A standout among Shears’s fall introductions displayed in the new showroom is the first rug line from the Healdsburg textile artist Sandra Jordan, whose gorgeous work with natural woven Alpaca fibers has evolved to the next level. The collection’s three designs—each hand-crafted in Nepal—include Stinson, a plush, geometric cut pile, and Gualala, a subtle yet sumptuous bouclé. “I just love a beautifully woven fabric,” says McIntyre, recalling a founding pillar of the company’s roots in textiles that still inspires the company today. “Sometimes the simplest, most elegant techniques make the biggest statements.”