SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Interior designer Michael Taylor, credited with starting the ''California Look,'' has died of spinal meningitis at the age of 59.

Taylor, who died Tuesday night at his home in the fashionable Sea Cliff area, had numerous design honors, including the ''Designer of Distinction'' award he received last year from the American Society of Interior Designers.

His style was characterized by the bold use of elegant, oversized furnishings, natural materials and a mix of contemporary and period pieces.

''He was the best, the brightest and certainly the wittiest decorator,'' Architectural Digest editor Paige Rense said on learning of Taylor's death.

Taylor is survived by his mother.