Skip to content

San Francisco Shopping: Part 2 – Oakland

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)

Posted in Travel on April 27, 2006

Designer Kahi Lee

Kahi Lee is an Interior Design Goddess to watch. An expert in design + fashion, this girl has a bio that’s tough to beat. Her decorating weapon of choice is wallpaper.
Her style icons are Jackie O. (mine too!) and Gwen Stefani. She loves chocolate covered pretzels, raw oysters, gardenias, and designer shoes. Favorite book? Are you there God? It’s me Margaret! I recently spotted her on My Celebrity Home (Style Network) and FreeStyle (HGTV) and I’m hooked, she’s just great. Spunky, smart, talented, innovative, knowledgeable, fashionable, beautiful… I know I’m gushing here, but could she be more of a package deal?

Are you also a fan?

(images from kahi lee)

Posted in Designers + Stylists on April 27, 2006

Boon Inc. Introduces Flo

Hmmm… Just what is this thing?

I love Robert’s blog, coochicoos, and try to get over there at least daily to see what he’s posted. Sure, it’s mostly kids stuff, and I have no offspring to share all these goodies with, but I still enjoy seeing all that is new in children’s design that relates to products and furnishings for the home. One product that caught my attention on his blog recently is the Flo bathtub faucet from Boon, shown above. A built in bubble dispenser, water diverter creating a gental waterfall and a protective cover so you don’t scratch your skin, this sounds like a great addition to homes with kiddies everywhere. I mean, a bubble dispense? Sheesh, sounds like something I need, forget the kiddies. {grin}

(image from coochicoos via boon)

Posted in uncategorized on April 27, 2006

Fantastic Hardware Resources

Wanted. Good knobs. Would also enjoy a pull or two. Reply soon.

Seeking good hardware? I’ve gathered together some hardware destinations to help assist you on your next DIY project.

First, check out the local hardware store, Lowes, Home Depot or Expo Design Center. If styles seems too standard, head over to Bauerware. They have tons of hardware featuring aisles of terrific knobs and pulls to choose from at their brick and mortar store located on 3886 17th Street in San Francisco (415-864-3886) and online.

If you don’t spot what you need there, try your local Anthropologie or Restoration Hardware. Also, visit Target. I was there earlier this week and noticed a nice array of hardware. If your local Target doesn’t carry what you crave, try them online, they have much more to choose from. (Target knobs + pulls)

More great hardware links:

NEW Hardware

Cool Knobs + Pulls
Knob Gallery
Carol Beach Knobs


Don’t forget to search the web for local architectural salvage stores in your hood. Whenever I’m in San Diego, I always hit Architectual Salvage on the corner of Grape and India in Little Italy. It’s one of my favorite salvage stores in the country. There’s also a lot of great ones down south too, especially Pinch of the Past in Savannah.

Architectual Artifacts in Chicago – A midwest leader with their own museum, too!

online and also in Seattle and Portland.

Architectural Salvage in Burlington Vermont (great place, I’ve been). You can also order online.

Locals: Check out Nor’east Architectural Antiques in Amesbury, MA and Architectural Salvage in Exeter, NH.

(images from carol knobs and architectural salvage)

Posted in uncategorized on April 27, 2006


Some of my books

Co-editions are also available in many languages, learn more


Next dates

Blogging Your Way
e-courses, 2015
Visit our e-course website to learn more about our inspirational e-courses by bloggers, for bloggers.