What's in your Bay, interior designer Noz Nozawa?
Interior designer Noz Nozawa, in the wine cellar she designed for the 2023 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. (SEN Creative)

What's in your Bay, interior designer Noz Nozawa?


Over the last few years, Noz Nozawa’s star has been rising fast—and it’s not just us here at 7x7 taking notice.

The Noz Design principal designer's eclectic aesthetic vibes effortlessly with San Francisco's dynamic style, gracing interiors at residential, retail, and hospitality projects such as Hilda & Jesse, Mureta & Co., and The Little Chihuahua, to name a few—and her work has been a gorgeous addition to the lauded pages of magazines including House Beautiful and Elle Decor.

Nozawa has been named an Architectural Digest Rising Star; Best Designer of the West by Sunset Magazine; and, most recently, one of 1stDibs’ 50 creative visionaries of 2023.

We caught up with Nozawa in Hayes Valley, where she’s lived since 2010, to find out more about what’s in her Bay, from her favorite restaurant splurge to the local shops she loves to visit.

Birba is Nozawa's neighborhood go-to for simply elegant snacks and wine.(Courtesy of @birbawinebar)

What is your go-to neighborhood spot?

Birba (458 Grove St., Hayes Valley) is my favorite place for wine and light bites—every appetizer is so tasty and magically simple (if you order the caviar service, it comes with Lays potato chips!), and their retail offerings are so clutch: amazing bottles of wine, imported conserva from Spain and Portugal, and these jars of white beans that I hoard (I don’t even know why I’m sharing this secret).

What restaurant do you love for a splurge?

I have to pick two: Nisei in Russian Hill (2316 Polk St.), and Nightbird in Hayes Valley (330 Gough St.). Both dining experiences are so creative and inspiring. As an interior designer, I get so much inspiration from the journey you’re taken on at dinner. Chef David Yoshimura (Nisei) and chef Kim Alter (Nightbird) are so brilliant in the ways they present each dish, and in how unexpected and delightful the flavors are. Plus, both restaurants have adjoining cocktail lounges (Bar Iris and Linden Room) with some of my favorite cocktails ever, so you can make a whole night of it.

Nozawa's favorite brunch spot is Hilda & Jesse, whose poppy modern-diner interior she also designed.(Courtesy of @hildaandjessesf)

What’s your brunch go-to?

My favorite brunch spot is Hilda & Jesse(701 Union St., North Beach)—and disclaimer, I designed the restaurant. The space is so bright and cheerful with its corner windows facing Washington Square. You may not find a stronger take on pancakes anywhere else in the U.S., and they make this Drink Your Juice cocktail with sake and carrot juice—it is the best brunch drink.

Where do you like to take out-of-town visitors?

For my friends who arrive with their dogs, Fort Funston (Ft. Funston Rd., Park Merced) is a dream come true for dogs to run free and for us humans to breathe in fresh ocean air. I’m also so proud of our museums in SF, so SFMOMA (151 3rd St., SoMa) and the Legion of Honor (100 34th Ave., Presidio) are musts, especially if there’s a cannot-miss exhibit going on.

What's your favorite Northern California getaway?

Lake Tahoe! My husband and I have a cabin in Kings Beach on the north side of the lake, and I love every season there, even though I participate in basically no sports recreation except day hikes. Tahoe is beautiful, just close enough that you could make a two- to three-day weekend of it. I love all the local shops, restaurants, and breweries in Truckee, Incline Village, Kings Beach, and Tahoe City.

"Sequoia Sake is San Francisco's only sake brewery, and everything they offer is amazing," says Nozawa.(Courtesy of @sequoia_sake)

We hear you're a sake fan. Any recommendations?

Sequoia Sake (50 Apparel Way, Bayview) is San Francisco’s only sake brewery, and everything they offer is amazing. I love sake, especially nama sake. Nama is unpasteurized so they are hyper-local because of the brewing technique. Sequoia's Namagenshu is my absolute favorite. They do tastings on Saturdays, but you can also find their sake—and lots of other amazing sakes from across Japan and the U.S.—at True Sake (556 Hayes St., Hayes Valley).

Where can we steal your style?

DeStore (348 Hayes St., Hayes Valley) is my new favorite place to hunt around for second-hand designer clothes and shoes. Datz, the owner, has access to very hard-to-find pieces from Japanese brands like Kapital, as well as the usual suspects like Margiela, Gucci, and the like. For jewelry, which I shop for a lot but also love just trying on, my must-visit three are Metier (575 Hayes St., Hayes Valley), Fiat Lux (3169 16th St., Mission and 1942 Fillmore, Pac Heights), and Mureta & Co (2418 Fillmore, Pac Heights).

// Learn more about Noz Nozawa and her work at Noz Design; nozdesign.com, @noznozawa.

Related Articles
Now Playing at SF Symphony
View this profile on Instagram

7x7 (@7x7bayarea) • Instagram photos and videos

From Our Partners