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Sam Hall Kaplan

A Plus and Minus for Civic Center

September 27, 1987|SAM HALL KAPLAN

Definitely not Swiss, but rather more trendy Tokyo and Milan was the Hotel Diva, 440 Geary St., in downtown San Francisco, which was recommended to me by some style-conscious friends.

The mirrored lobby with its four television sets above the front desk tuned in to MTV, sans sound, the stainless steel-clad interiors of the elevator, the sleek, functional furnishings in the room and the friendly staff dressed in a minimalist white made my stay there a design experience.

The stylish and comfortable setting behind an anonymous downtown facade was created by architect Ron Nunn and interior designer wife Hannah.

Aiding my design education in San Francisco was a copy of "Good Eats," a good-humored guide to the style and fare of a range of Bay Area restaurants, bars, delis and assorted other places to dine or feed in singular settings. The guide, available in most local bookstores, was written by Herb McLaughlin of the architectural firm of Kaplan/McLaughlin/Diaz, who made much use of his insights gained over the years as a designer and gourmand of note.

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