By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 Contributor, learn more about Anh-Minh here.
For the second installment of my series on Bay Area shops, I decided to head to Oakland. Whether your home is a mid-century stunner or leans toward a shabby chic-esque warmth, the Rockridge neighborhood offers plenty of great boutiques for your browsing/buying pleasure.
Starting right around the Rockridge BART station, I made my way along College Avenue towards Broadway. My first stop was actually at Grace Baking, to pick up a cup of tea and a few cookies for my stroll.
Across the street from Grace Baking is the very pretty Maison d?Etre (5640 College Avenue), which is a must for those cultivating a Parisian/flea market look. There are also more modern goods, such as Chilewich rugs and John Pomp glass vases. Towards the front of the store, there?s a good selection of children?s gifts. (I love that Maison d?Etre carries bilingual fairy tales.)
Scout (5550 College Avenue) is focused on the home, garden and travel. Owner Paul Scott Silvera brings back souvenirs from his trips and stocks them in the store. New home accessories, furniture and gift items are arriving all the time. (He also offers design staging services to the locals)
A few blocks down the street from Scout is Rockridge Home (5418 College Avenue) which is larger than you might think when you see the storefront. This place just keeps going and going? All the way back to a small outdoor space, where you?ll find cute birdhouses and other garden accessories. This place stocks things for every room of your house ? from the floor (e.g., Angela Adams rugs) to the walls (lots of artwork for sale).
If you like what you see at Maison d?Etre, be sure to stop in at Bella Vita (5407 College Avenue). In addition to French accents and antiques for your home, the store features lovely paper goods, clothing and accessories.
Swallowtail (5332 College Avenue), with its ever-changing inventory, offers a good mix of antique and contemporary accessories and furniture. Owner Sheri Sheridan has exquisite taste, and it shows in her careful selection of pieces ? some classic (marble-topped tables), some quirky (zebra rugs).
The family-run Form Vintage Modern (5330 College Avenue) specializes in new and vintage Danish and American designs. All of the big names are carried here ? including Alessi, Eames, George Nelson and Vitra.
Strange name, cute shop: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (5322 College Avenue). As the name implies, you?ll find a range of ceramics ? including some collectible pottery.
If you?re the crafty type, there?s one more place worth checking out. Poppy Fabric (which is actually on Broadway) offers fantastic service and selection. When I lived in Rockridge, I came here all the time for cool upholstery fabrics. Every time I visit the area, I get a little nostalgic and daydream about moving back someday?
P.S. The California College of the Arts (CCA) is also on Broadway and they often have campus events. And you can even take courses through the Extended Education program!
Related Posts: Shopping San Francisco: Part 1 – The Mission
Great Oakland tour, a-m! Thanks! – holly
(images from rockridge home, bella vita, form and crown guides)