, a new source for 18th- and 19th-century European furniture established by Kendall Wilkinson and Michael Polenske, former president and c.e.o. of Chase Manhattan Bank N.A., in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco.
“We’ve tried to make this a lifestyle shop,” says Wilkinson, who has been decorating residential interiors in the San Francisco area for more than ten years. “In addition to the European antiques we have cashmere pillows and throws and French linens and soap that you can’t find in Northern California.”
She and Polenske travel to France two or three times a year and the 18th- and 19th-century furniture they have sourced has been a hit with fellow interior designers Suzanne Tucker and Diane Chapman, as well as residents of Presidio Heights, where remodeling has been a popular activity.
At Patina, one can expect to find diminutive 18th-century walnut Alsatian chairs with patterns of grapes and leaves carved into the backs or high-backed Italian armchairs upholstered in leather; gilt mirrors, some of them with plain frames and others festooned with garlands and swags; hand-carved oak drop leaf tables; large cabinets that are outfitted for television equipment; and lots of antique accent pieces—candlesticks and glazed wine jugs and confit jars from Beaune.
An added benefit to having a designer in the house: Customers can get decorating help. “Kendall has the intuitive expertise to share with our clients when they want to know more about how to use these unique items,” says Polenske. “Can an 18th-century armoire be used in a contemporary interior and how? Part of the philosophy at Patina is to serve our clientele a bit differently than other antique resources.”