188 Minna #23F
It’s another cut in the New Year for the voyeurlicious St. Regis condo #23F. Listed for $2,595,000 three months ago, now asking $2,350,000 and including the Limn furniture.
Any interior designers, architects, or plugged-in power shoppers care to take a stab at the fair value of said furnishings? And if you buy it, do let us know if you don’t want the lamp.
∙ Listing: 188 Minna #23F ( 2/2.5) – $2,350,000 [Janet Krahling] [MLS]
Voyeurlicious Design (TM) In More Ways Than One: 188 Minna #23F [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by High Rise Harry

    Me gusta mucho.

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Estimating the cost of Limn furnishings is easy. Just take the top cost of an equivalent item (in function, not style) at Levitt’s and multiply by 20.
    And I’m surprised that our dear editor wants the Grace Adler lamp. (Hint for finding one : it looks like a photography studio soft flash, but with only the lower power “modeling” lamp in use. Check Craigslist and eBay to find one on the cheap)

  3. Posted by steve

    This is St. Regis? Looks cheap. what do you get for $1800/mth HOA fees?

  4. Posted by weatherman

    Does the huge glass wall separating the living room and master bedroom bug anyone else?

  5. Posted by ex SF-er

    good photography of the unit.
    it’s not my style, but it seems well put together. perhaps a modern-lover will tell us if it’s done well or not (it all looks cheap to me so I can never tell if it’s high end or not). I’d guess it’s high end based on price and also location.
    I’d assume that the window wall can be closed with drapes or something?
    I might have chosen more restraint in certain areas (it seems odd to be so minimalist and then have all that white marble in the bathroom), but overall it seems pretty well done.

  6. Posted by Rillion

    “Does the huge glass wall separating the living room and master bedroom bug anyone else?”
    wow, now I really feel unobservant. I kept wondering what people were talking about but couldn’t figure it out. My eyes just kept assuming that glass wall was a mirror and sort of passing over it.

  7. Posted by amused

    Is the comment about finding equivalent furniture at Levitt’s and Limn supposed to be funny or stupid? Not that I have undying love for Limn, but it does stock some pieces/lines that are indisputably excellent. It’s also the only place to find B&B Italia, which is generally damned good.
    (disclosure: I have the same couch)

  8. Posted by Ed

    I love the interior design of this unit; the intentionally minimal color palate and the angular (read square) lines of the furniture. The glass wall between the living room is dramatic and opens up an otherwise very closed floor plan.
    Having said that, the lack of and placement of windows throughout this building is tragic (with the exception of a few rooms in the single penthouse unit). I understand there is a certain prestige of living in a “world-class hotel” but hardly think it makes up for some of the detriments.
    There are many other buildings with much better layouts, floor plans and design.

  9. Posted by ex SF-er

    (disclosure: I have the same couch)
    amused:
    then your back must be very short to comfortably lean against the left half of your couch!
    either that or you have REALLLLLLLLY long arms given the length of the armrest that goes halfway along the back of the couch!
    (ducks the tomatoes thrown at the unfunny jokester!)
    well, at least half of that couch is usable as a couch! with a really big connected ottoman.
    (FWIW: I think the couch looks very cool, although uncomfortable to sit on)

  10. Posted by Willow

    Furniture is similar to cars, right?
    Limm = BMW
    Levitz = Ford
    They both work but it depends on your price/quality tolerance level.

  11. Posted by ex SF-er

    actually, more seriously:
    I would have thought it would be better to get the flipped version of that couch for this space.
    As it is, if you’re on the left side and lean back, you hit the window. Which causes smears and streaks on the window. If you want to sit and lean back (some people do), then you need to sit on the right side, which isn’t near the chair.
    This would have been better flipped. you could have guests over and they could sit in the couch side and lean back and talk to you while you’re in your chair. Then the right side would have no back, and would be comparable to the ottoman right next to it. and if people leaned back their hair would rub on the wall, not the window.
    the place I stay at in Puerto Vallarta has a window separating the rooms kinda like that. And I HATE the streaks that happen when people touch it.

  12. Posted by weatherman

    This place is still priced at $1500+ sq ft. If you assume $100K for furnishings (I have no idea by the way, but estimating on the high side) the price per sq foot is still over $1450. Seems steep for a place with a City view and high HOAs.
    Get’s more interesting under $2 million.

  13. Posted by luvinmissionbay

    ex SF-er – maybe the point of the couch not being the flipped version is so that the back of the couch doesn’t face the bedroom…that would be bad fung shei.
    The way it is now, the back of the couch is about the same height as the bed…MUCH better fung shei.

  14. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    $100K is probably too low if you’re thinking retail prices. Are the furnishings considered “used” ? Maybe that should be taken into account.
    And on analogies :
    Limn:Bently :: Levitz:Ford
    Regarding the wall of glass, it would be really cool and in fitting with the rest of this place if the wall were replaced with LCD equipped glass. With a flip of a switch the wall can go from transparent to opaque white. No messy curtains to clutter up the clean lines.
    But before doing that I’d find out what state the glass goes into when there’s the power is off. It would be embarrassing if there was a power outage at an inopportune moment.

  15. Posted by missionite

    If the editor likes the lamp, he might want to investigate X-21 on Valencia which has some vintage medical spotlights which have a little more going for them in terms of uniqueness.
    http://sultana.1stdibs.com/search.php

  16. Posted by Delancey

    missionite —
    Thanks for posting that–there’s some fanstastic stuff there.

  17. Posted by amused

    The backrests on the couch rotate from flat to nearly 90 degrees. The seating surfaces also pull forward to a full chaise length, but are in their back position in the photo.
    It’s quite comfortable, trust me.

  18. Posted by ex SF-er

    The backrests on the couch rotate from flat to nearly 90 degrees. The seating surfaces also pull forward to a full chaise length, but are in their back position in the photo.
    ok, that’s pretty cool.

  19. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Wow, that Sultana/X21 site has some really cool stuff. Out of my price range, but I have a great deal of respect for a company that offers an “Insect Head Signal Light”

  20. Posted by clever1

    Sorry, but I really don’t see what’s the fuss about. It’s very warehouse-district-loft-living style you can find in any medium size town (without the loft part, thankfully). I could swear I stayed in a similarly furnished hotel room in Iowa City last year.

  21. Posted by stregisfan

    Picture 5 and 14 shows the guest room glass wall blacked out.

  22. Posted by ex SF-er

    Sorry, but I really don’t see what’s the fuss about.
    it’s because you’re like me. Yes, we see this stuff in the midwest all the time too. every new hotel and restaurant is styled this way. I’m told it’s luxury and it’s super chic. But I don’t have the understanding of the modern aesthetic, and so most of it looks cheap to me too, even though I know it’s not.
    it’s partly due to the fact that much of it inspired by and thus looks like 1950-70’s retro stuff so reminds me of my grandmother’s house. Modern dining room furnishings often resemble my elementary school furniture in the 1970’s.
    it isn’t helped by the fact that Ikea is of this design style, so those of us who don’t know any better walk in and say “oh, Ikea”.
    that said, there is no question that the quality of construction is 1000x better than Ikea… but it looks pretty similar. (however Ikea cabinets are actually rated very well by independent resources, although I’d never use them)
    I’d guess the current minimalist furniture is less well-built than the furniture my grandma had from the 1950’s and 1960’s, that still sits in her house today. that stuff was build Ford tough. 🙂 it’s still going strong 50 years later.
    but the thing to stress is that one must love modern to “get it”. Probably no different than any other style. I see the uber-victorian stuff and scream “gaudy”. others see a gem. And the modern lovers would see my style and think “boring Slumberland” or something (even though none of it comes from slumberland and I personally hate slumberland furniture).
    the only thing that is so surprising to me is that modern aesthetic is so expensive. Looking at this apartment (not the furniture, the apartment itself): there is nothing particularly difficult to build in there. It has square rooms, almost no trim or detailing whatsoever, a window wall with a dark curtain, that’s about it. Where is all the $$$ per square foot going? (except to management)

  23. Posted by lovethestregis

    I love how most people on this site bash every listing without having the correct info or ever visiting the listing. I’ve actually looked at the unit and below are my personal observations and opinions.
    The room behind the thick glass wall is the guest room and has black blinds that come down via remote.
    As for the furniture, most of the pieces in the unit appear to be B&B Italia. Comparing B&B Italia to Ikea is like comparing Gucci to Blue Navy. If someone actually knows modern furniture and can afford it, then they would be able to appreciate the furniture in this place.
    The high HOA is due to the high level of service at the St. Regis. I have a couple friends that live there so I visit pretty regularly. IMO, the lebel of service is definitely way above the other luxury condo buildings like Metropolitan, The Brannan, etc. Again, most people are not as discerning so they wouldn’t understand what the fuss is about but they type of people living at the St. Regis know/need this level of service.

  24. Posted by Future Squeegee Man

    “Again, most people are not as discerning so they wouldn’t understand what the fuss is about but they type of people living at the St. Regis know/need this level of service.”
    Yes, us riff-raff could never understand how discerning people have more money then ability so those luxuries provided are actually not just things that they desire but are actually things they need. Come to the St. Regis and return to the days of yore where spending money on frivilous things was fashionable! Rub the noses of the unemployed in your ability to burn money while they brush up on their squeegee skills.

  25. Posted by amused

    I couldn’t agree with lovethestregis any more. If you place value on the quality of an experience, it’s worth it to you. If you don’t, it’s not. Quite simple.
    ex SF-er’s (admitted) total lack of knowledge about modern furniture didn’t stop him/her from writing a long screed about it. The simple fact is that well designed and well made furniture is expensive, and it endures. Theorizing that B&B Italia, Herman Miller, Artifort and others are Ikea stand-ins is ludicrous.
    Regarding the amount of “building” in there, you’re going to have to trust me that there are many of us who disdain pointless ornamentation. Personally, I think Victorian is the nadir of architectural style in the last 300 years. But I don’t show up on SS telling everyone that Victorian is crap/stupid/not worth it. I don’t particularly value it (nor do I understand it), so I keep it to myself.
    As as for the budding Socialist with the squeegee, get over yourself. You’re on a site about real estate in San Francisco. If you want to whine about how people with more money than you choose to spend it, there has to be a better outlet for you. Have you tried the SF Guardian?

  26. Posted by tipster

    I love when the listing agents and their assistants come on here and try to shoo everyone who is critical away.
    As if we can’t tell.
    Gag me.

  27. Posted by Trip

    lovethestregis and amused may have come up with a good ad campaign for B&B Italia: “It may look just like Ikea, but it’s really better. And you’re just stupid if you don’t believe us.”

  28. Posted by amused

    So now I’m a listing agent (or assistant)? What a bunch of negative and ill-conceived one-note crap you people throw out. I have nothing to do with real estate other than my own self-interest. But don’t let facts get in the way of negative and accusatory tirades. You never do. Gag yourself.
    And Trip – keep up the bad taste. Doesn’t make a bit of difference to me. Though you should take a lesson and try not to post on subjects where you know nothing. If you and others think that B&B Italia looks like Ikea… it causes me to reconsider everything you’ve ever posted.

  29. Posted by Rillion

    Amused, um that was me and it wasn’t serious but a counter to the rich people have better taste and NEED things that lesser people couldn’t possibly understand attitude of lovethestregis.
    By your reaction I wonder, do you agree that people that do not have the same tastes or requirements as those that appreciate the St. Regis lack understanding (“most people are not as discerning so they wouldn’t understand what the fuss is about”)?
    Do you believe that just because someone has the money to afford the St. Regis that they therefore NEED certain things rather then just WANT? Do you understand the difference between those two terms?
    I have no problem with people that can afford the St. Regis liking and enjoying the services and setting it provides, but I thought the point of luxury was to go beyond just needs, part of the problem of the past couple of decades resulted from people trying to live beyond their means because they were convinced by society that they needed things they really didn’t.

  30. Posted by amused

    Rillion, I think you’re reading too much into that quote. Though I didn’t write it, I didn’t read it as “let them eat cake.” It was perhaps too strongly worded, but so are all of the myriad complaints on this site.
    The reflexive position of many here is: “An $1800 HOA is ludicrous and unnecessary and anyone who pays that is stupid and too rich and doesn’t deserve their money.”
    Both positions are ultimately wrong.

  31. Posted by ex SF-er

    I find it interesting that people focused on one part of my post
    (that Ikea and modern furniture are of similar design style, which is true. Look at the “Kramfors” couch at Ikea and then look at the Limn catalog, or the BERNHARD, ELIAS, FRITZ or GILBERT dining room chairs)
    and ignore the rest, such as this quote:
    but the thing to stress is that one must love modern to “get it”. Probably no different than any other style. I see the uber-victorian stuff and scream “gaudy”. others see a gem. And the modern lovers would see my style and think “boring Slumberland” or something (even though none of it comes from slumberland and I personally hate slumberland furniture).
    the point is this: certain aesthetics are really only appreciated by those into those aesthetics. it is difficult if not impossible to explain an aesthetic to someone not in that aesthetic.
    and another thing:
    design style and quality are different
    IKEA is of the modern aesthetic (euromodern) but of poor quality compared to that Limn stuff. I said so above.
    Theorizing that B&B Italia, Herman Miller, Artifort and others are Ikea stand-ins is ludicrous.
    I never said anything remotely similar to that.

  32. Posted by viewlover

    I have expensive cabinets in my kitchen with stainless steel accents. A friend came by and said he had seen them at IKEA. I have to tell you it made me feel stupid for paying so much for mine, regardless of the quality, they’re just cabinets.
    Metropolitan Home used to have issues where they would have the original/expensive furniture and the much cheaper look-alikes, and you really don’t have to spend as much to get the same look. Granted, it may not be the quality or brand, but it still can provide the same asthetic.
    Many of the items that cost money are unique and that is important to the buyers. Many sofas have to be custom made, they don’t look expensive but they are. And if you can afford it, go for it, otherwise, shop smartly but you can still get the look you want. Furniture from the 50’s can be quite expensive now too, so I definetely would check out what Grandma has. 🙂
    As far as the HOA’s, they really are expensive. I think the hotel part should pay most of teh upkeep. I don’t know what the homeowners get for that money. I imagine that if you order room service, you have to pay for it and tip on top of it, so not sure what the value is. I know people mention being pampered, do the hoas include maid service, food, smiling doormen? What in particular do you get at ST. Regis that you don’t get at Brannan for example?

  33. Posted by clever1

    All,
    Apologies to all B&B Italia lovers, I just made a personal observation. Of course, I agree that anything is worth whatever people will pay for it. If there are people who believe the price is fair and can afford it they should absolutely buy this unit.
    However, at the risk of sounding, um, socially sensitive, I do think there is something distasteful – as well as not very business savvy – in hugely overpricing properties (modern, victorian, or what have you) in this economy.
    P.S. Not to rub it in, here are some pics of the Iowa City hotel room I was referring to (which even I can tell does not have any original B&B Italia pieces, and yet…):
    http://www.hotelvetro.com/guestrooms/

  34. Posted by lovethestregis

    Tipster, I believe I’m entitle to express my opinion and not be labeled as the listing agent/assistant just because my opinions differ from the negative opinions of many people on this site.
    Trip, the point is that it looks like Ikea to you and some people, but not for people who know and appreciate modern furniture.
    Rillion-There’s is a small group of people who are accustom of a level of service beyond what an average condo building offers. The people that choose to live at the St. Regis are well aware of the HOA cost when they made their purchase. The reason why they made the choice is because they need to live somewhere they feel comfortable. One person’s basic requirement could be another’s luxury or want. It’s all relative and also a personal choice.
    Viewlover- Since the lobby of the residence side is separate from the hotel and the residence units are on separate floors than the hotel, the upkeep is separate. Yes, the doormen there are usually really pleasant and helpful whenever I visit my friends there. The room service is hotel prices but it’s just an option. They pick up food for you from nearby restaurants for free 🙂

  35. Posted by Trip

    I was (plainly) just kidding about that Ikea-B&B Italia thing. Hey, I’m purebread peasant stock and can’t resist poking fun at snobbery. But it sounds like my comment had a pretty strong ring of truth to it if “some people” really do see a strong resemblance between the two lines of furniture!
    And $1800/mo sounds pretty reasonable to me to have somebody open the door and go pick up restaurant food for you. My 6-year-old usually races to the front door and opens it for me when she hears me come home. And I order pizza delivery about once a month and hand over an $1800 tip. So I guess I’d break about even if I bought here.

  36. Posted by Michiko

    Ikea started out with the early Eames idea of making affordable modern design for the masses. The Swedes were early adopters/originators of modernist principles. I used to love Ikea’s product line partly because they hired young designers right out of school and made some daring choices. As the outsourcing and quality declined, more products became knock-offs of high-end designer furniture, like the Coach bags you can get on the corner. If you look carefully there are still some great products at a low, low price.

  37. Posted by Michiko

    Should have been “outsourcing increased and quality declined” …

  38. Posted by lovethestregis

    Trip,
    I don’t see how it’s snobbery if someone pays a higher price for an item that they view as better designed and superior quality. Yes, “some people” can’t tell the difference but obviously there are people that can and are willing to pay for it.
    As for the $1800 HOA. I’m sure it doesn’t all go to the doormen and the staff that pick up restaurant food. Again, some people may want a doorman to open their doors and don’t have a 6 year old running to the door to open it for them. Some people also prefer food from a nicer restaurant delivered to them instead of pizza or bad chinese food delivery. It’s a matter of the type of lifestyle they are used to. The public areas there are immaculate compared so I’m sure some of the money goes to that as well.
    I think it’s pretty ignorant to label people as snobs just because they have paid more money for a condo or furniture than you would. I guess you are like the many people out there who hate others that drive better cars, earn more money, have a better looking spouse, live in certain neighborhoods, etc. Most of these haters don’t know anything about the people that they hate; they are just making assumptions and being self righteous in an attempt to elevate themselves.

  39. Posted by lolcat_94123

    What kind of “service” do I get for that HOA? I mean that honestly.

  40. Posted by Trip

    Oh my gosh, lighten up! You’re making a common error, confusing disdain for jealousy.
    Let me quote some examples of the snobbery I was referring to:
    “If someone actually knows modern furniture and can afford it, then they would be able to appreciate the furniture in this place.”
    “Again, most people are not as discerning so they wouldn’t understand what the fuss is about but they type of people living at the St. Regis know/need this level of service.”
    “If you place value on the quality of an experience, it’s worth it to you. If you don’t, it’s not. Quite simple.”
    “If you want to whine about how people with more money than you choose to spend it, there has to be a better outlet for you. Have you tried the SF Guardian?”
    “the point is that it looks like Ikea to you and some people, but not for people who know and appreciate modern furniture.”
    I’ll make sure I properly genuflect before the St. Regis the next time I walk by the place!

  41. Posted by Dude

    I can’t believe there are so many questions about the HOA fees here. Isn’t it obvious, folks? This is not the kind of HOA where they sit around discussing whether or not to have the windows washed or hallways painted. This is a country club membership, plain and simple.
    They charge $1,800/month because people are willing to pay it. And people are willing to pay it because it stops riff-raff from moving in. Simple. I’d guess that most of the owners here are probably in town 2-3 times a year.
    You can’t break it down like, “OK, triple the HOAs at the Met, so there must be 3 pools, right?” It’s one of those “If you have to ask…” deals. The working poor can go live at Infinity or ORH.
    “What kind of “service” do I get for that HOA? I mean that honestly.”
    You get yet another distinction between you and the “haters.”

  42. Posted by viewlover

    I am really curious because some of the real estate agents/agencies typically list properties like to the St. Regis, Four Seasons and Ritz can start of with “dreams come true” and have words like pampered, etc. I guess these are really hotel chains with condos, and having stayed at high end hotels myself in the past, I just don’t know what that really means. Someone opens the door for you and you get into your room. Anything else you want is extra. What is the difference from other condo buildings, I know old buildings require more maintenance, but the ones I mention are new. The Palms also stated that they could wash your car and other stuff, but I would imagine you have to at least tip for that, so would not be part of the HOA itself.
    Seperate entrances are fine, but does the pool belong only to residents or is it shared with hotel?
    And I do undertand that not all buildings are the same, but these hotel condos all seem to have very high HOA’s and like lolcat above, I’m really curious as to what drives that, other than the “if you have to ask” mentality. The marble on the floor of the lobbies are usually part of the building and the costs are already reflected in the units.

  43. Posted by noseeum

    I know the residences at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan have things like free car service anywhere in Manhattan during the holidays (not sure about all year)
    It’s not just to keep out the riff raff. You get some pretty sweet perks. I’m sure you get a paper every day, whichever one you wish, cleaning, etc.

  44. Posted by Juju

    Sorry to say this but anyone who knows their furniture can tell that hotel room in Kansas is done cheaply. It’s not even close to be comparable to this unit at St. Regis. I’m one of those furniture snob that just hate crappy things. Not that I can afford anything from LIMN or Partridge in London. Nothing is worse than imitation furniture. As for the spread in Met Home. Cheap vs. Expensive. I can always tell the cheap stuff from the expensive stuff. There is no comparison. No, I never been up in St. Regis although I heard that Al Gore has a pad there. The food at Ame is quite good. I’ve been there a few times. And no way I would pay for $1800 HOA. I can’t even begin to afford that. Yes, I have a champagne taste but with box wine budget.

  45. Posted by viewlover

    juju, like you most cannot afford the expensive stuff, and it’s not like I’m saying buy your fake Channel bag down on the corner. Thing is that you don’t have to buy Limm nor do you have to pay top dollar to have furniture of quality in your place. I mix everything and while you can probably spot what is not expensive vs what is, overall you would feel quite comfortable in my home. Not all inexpensive furniture is crap, sometimes it’s just people’s attitudes that are, even if one admits it, its’ still crap.

  46. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Valet bicycle parking
    Now there’s a perk worth paying for!

  47. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 188 Minna #23F has once again been reduced, now asking $2,250,000.

  48. Posted by SocketSite

    It’s a new listing and an official one day on the market for 188 Minna #23F. Still seeking $2,250,000.

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