The Creative Genius of Nan Rosenblatt
The story of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase began in 1977, when Nan Rosenblatt, a San Francisco University High School parent and an accomplished interior designer, and Philip Fernandez, the first president of the school’s Parents Association, conceived the idea of a Decorator Showcase to raise funds for the University High School Financial Aid Program. In its first year, Decorator Showcase netted $26,586, and each subsequent year has shown an increase in profits with 2019’s Showcase netting over $1,000,000. Since its inception, Decorator Showcase has provided financial aid totaling over $17 million and has helped more than 1,200 UHS students. Showcase has grown to the point that now, for five months prior to Showcase, a committee of about 35 volunteer co-chairs work full-time, followed by hundreds more volunteers working part-time during the four weeks that the house is open to the public.
Nan and her husband Norm have been involved with University High School since its founding. Norm was a founding board member of the school, and Nan and Norm are the parents of two UHS graduates. Their daughter Brooke graduated in 1978, and son Eli graduated in 1986. Nan also continues her involvement with Showcase as a member of the Design Advisory Board.
Not only did Nan conceive of Showcase, but she has actively participated as a designer. From 1979 until 1989, she designed eight rooms. In 1980 she designed the guest suite at 2160 Green Street. Her description of the space gives an insight into her style: “What better way for out of town friends to enjoy San Francisco than by breakfasting on a private balcony or relaxing in solitude, all the while admiring spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay? This dressing area utilizes two rooms for maximum comfort and ease. The color and line of the curtains visually reduce ceiling height without marring the lines of the soaring mansard roof. The quiet suite provides the ultimate in comfort and serenity after busy days in San Francisco.”
In 1982 Nan had designed the dining room of “Le Petit Triannon.” the home that was again used for the record-breaking 2019 Showcase house. She was surprised to see that the same chandelier was still hanging in the room.
Nan takes well-deserved pride in this annual event which now attracts visitors from the entire Bay Area and beyond and does so much to provide quality education for deserving students.