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Shopping San Francisco: Hayes Valley

By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 West Coast Contributor
Learn more about Anh-Minh here.

Although this area used to be known for the opera and symphony, in recent years, there has been an explosion of boutiques and galleries. On just a three-block stretch of Hayes Street you?ll find some of the coolest furniture and houseware shops in the city. (No chains are in sight.) Starting at Hayes and Franklin Streets, we?ll work our way westward towards Laguna Street…

Scandinavian Details – 364 Hayes + terrific online store, too. 20% discount offered, click here for details.

One of the newer storefronts to open on Hayes is Scandinavian Details ? which, as its name implies, carries all sorts of Scandinavian goods (as well as those from other parts of the world.) Founder Kristina Runske actually makes several trips to Scandinavia every year to bring the latest and greatest designs to San Francisco. Now that it?s summer and I?ve got the gardening bug, the Appelsiini water can ($28) and Sagaform gardening sets (available for kids and adults) are high on my list of things to buy.

Scandinavian Details

Rose and Radish – 460 Gough

Just off of Hayes (barely) is Rose and Radish, a flower/home accessories shop filled with lots of beautiful glass and ceramic pieces. (In the middle of the space is a super-cool cable-suspended table that I might try to recreate in my house.)

Rose and Radish

Friend – 401 Hayes + online.

Across the street from Rose and Radish, you?ll find Friend ? which carries the usual modern designers (Alessi, Kartell, Eames, Mud Australia, Herman Miller), as well as local folks who have made a name for themselves (Pablo lighting, Heath ceramics, Publique Living). As you might expect with a place called Friend, the staff is very friendly and helpful here.


Find – 425 Hayes + an online store is in the works; sign up on their website to be notified of its launch.

With 4,500 square feet, find has plenty of space to split between furniture (like designs from rhubarb) and apparel. The front/most of the store has sofas, tables, beds, etc., while the way-back section carries clothing (including many local, independent designers).

Flight001 – 525 Hayes or online.

Flight001 is worth checking out even if you don?t have any travel coming up! Most of the store?s real estate is devoted to bags and luggage, but you can also find books, wallets and a good selection of Lomo cameras. (Psst: They carry Orla Kiely goodies, too.)

Psst: Interesting tip. Why do they call themselves Flight001? “For almost 40 years, Pan Am’s Flight 001 ruled all westbound air travel with a flight that originated in San Francisco and then hopped around the globe, stopping in Honolulu, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Delhi, Beirut, Istanbul, Frankfurt, London, and finally landing in New York 48 hours after its first take-off. Flight 001 was a seamless experience.”

Flight 001

Lavish – 540 Hayes + online store coming soon!

Lavish is the perfect shop if you?re looking for adorable baby gifts or home accessories. My absolutely favorite thing in the store is Bishop Lennon?s collection of alphabet paintings. But those Lotta Jansdotter and Hable Construction products are darn cute, too.


Propeller – 555 Hayes

From large-scale furnishings, lots of antiques, and gorgeous home accents (pillows, paintings, vases), Propeller is chock-full of good stuff. You must check out the X-Pand dining table, which ? you guessed it ? is expandable, but with no leaves! The center is designed like an accordion, so it expands/contracts to fit your needs. Brilliant.

Zonal – 568 Hayes

If you?re going for that eclectic mix in your home, Zonal is just the place to shop. Antiques and collectibles can be found alongside contemporary furniture and accessories. I?m more drawn to the former category of goods at Zonal, especially the old street signs.


Alabaster – 597 Hayes

Alabaster?s tagline is, ?Treasures for the Home,? and that sums up the store pretty well. It’s a haven for Vintage Modern lovers. The boutique is filled with gorgeous vessels, lamps and serving pieces. French bath products, Italian accessories, books and jewelry can also be purchased at Alabaster. They offer interior design services for the locals, too.


When you need a break from the shopping, Hayes Green is the perfect resting spot. In addition to tables and chairs for hanging out, you?ll find a jungle gym to climb all over, too. And if you get hungry, you?re in luck: Hayes Valley is home to some wonderful eateries (including Citizen Cake, Absinthe, Suppenkuche).

Related posts:
Shopping San Francisco: The Mission
Shopping San Francisco: Oakland
Shopping San Francisco: Burlingame

(images from stores cited above)

Posted in guest bloggers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on July 20, 2006

Designers Guild Sale @ Marshall Fields, Chicago

decor8 contributing writer, Anh-Minh Le, wrote in with a tip for readers in Chicago. So Chicago dwellers and visitors, listen up!

“I know you’re also a big fan of Designers Guild, so I thought you might want to let your readers know that there’s a good chance the Marshall Fields in Chicago will be getting rid of their D.G. department soon. I was there this past weekend (it’s the only D.G. “store” in America, apparently) and was thrilled that most of the goods were on sale. But sadly, the sales associate explained to me that the D.G. merchandise just isn’t selling very well and she anticipates that it will be gone in the near future. She advised that I should keep checking back because the markdowns will continue. Eventually, they’ll only carry D.G. products online; not in store.”

Thanks for the huge tip and the great photos, Anh-Minh!

I seriously need to book a trip to Chicago…

By the way, have you checked out Anh-Minh’s blog? Check out her recent post – a glimpse of the latest “Go International” designer hitting Target racks in the Fall…

(images copyright Anh-Minh Le 2006)

Posted in guest bloggers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on July 06, 2006

Shop Tour: Weekend on Cape Cod

If you like the sand dunes and salty air, quaint little villages here and there…

While vacationing on the Cape this summer, make sure to explore Mari Porcari’s lifestyle boutique, Weekend located at 217 Main Street in East Orleans near beautiful Nauset Beach. Located in a historic general store from in the 1800s, Weekend underwent an interior transformation 3 years ago when the store first opened. A fresh interior sporting gorgeous cork floors, sleek birch shelves, and cool summery hues of pale yellow, blue, and green, makes Weekend both inviting and serene.

Upon visiting this charming shop, a ‘mini’ well-edited version of a large department store like Saks or Nordstrom’s, you’ll find only the best in apparel, handbags, belts, accessories, jewelry, home goods, baby gifts and toys, personal care, furniture and books. Mari has an eye for good design, something that is very evident the moment you enter Weekend. With a plethora of gift shops on the Cape, I’m so excited to find a boutique devoid of oversized lobster bibs, plastic souvenirs, and beach themed tees. Weekend is a class act.

Their delicious selection of home + fashion designers include some of my personal favorites like Orla Kiely, French Bull, Judy Ross, Design House Stockholm, Vessel, Ugly Dolls, Clarissa Hulse, Salvor Fauna, Hadley Pollet, John Derian, EDE Studio, Michael Anchin, Saja, 3j Workshop, Kerry Cassill, and more.

Make it a point to visit Weekend… You’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod.

(images from weekend, french bull, hadley pollet, and saja.)

Posted in Shop Tours, shopping, travel on June 26, 2006

Design + Gift Shopping in Savannah, Georgia

By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 Contributor
Learn more about Anh-Minh

While my writing for decor8 is usually focused on the San Francisco Bay Area, I was in Savannah last week and just had to let you know about some of the wonderful shops I checked out while there.

@home Vintage General – 7 W. York Street

This is one of the sweetest stores I?ve ever seen. Owner Liz Demos, an art history graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) and regular contributor to Better Homes + Gardens and Country Homes magazine, fills her store with an eclectic mix of goods ? including pretty ribbons, antique lace, children?s toys, linens, books, kitchen tools and ceramics. And you don?t have to break the bank account to indulge here. For example, $3 will get you an adorable bud vase/napkin holder or a cute little wooden bird. Other finds that caught my eye: a pack of canvas flower stickers and the Kerri Lee scrapbooks.

@home Vintage General

Liz Demos shown below. @home Vintage General

@home Vintage General

@home Vintage General

DC2 Design, 104 W. Broughton Street

Open since October 2005, DC2 is a combination retail store/design firm/caf? owned by Barabara Rose, Dimitri Chami, and Dean Caldarelli. (If Dean’s and Dimitri’s names sound familiar, it might be because they were featured on HGTV’s “Househunter: Finding a Fixer” in March 2005.)

Upon entering DC2, you?re greeted by a comfy lounge-like area alongside a caf? counter with bar stools. Be sure you don?t just stop there ? there?s plenty to see in this shop. DC2 is unique in that you can stop by for coffee and dessert, browse their beautiful showroom, or seek design advice from their two resident designers, Dimitri and SCAD alum Chad Mabry.

I was smitten by several mirrors that would have been perfect in my entryway (priced around $100-150). Everywhere I turned, I picked up something that I would definitely have bought had shipping/lugging purchases home not been an issue. Only after I returned home to San Francisco did I learn that they actually are known for shipping goods all over the U.S. (sigh.)

By the way, business is booming so they have plans to expand into a new space across the street, a space 3 times larger! Their new space should open by Spring ’07.

DC2 Design

DC2 Design

La Paperie, 409 Whitaker Street

This brand-new shop, (open less than two weeks) offers some of the best stationery around ? including Elum letterpress cards, R. Nicholas party invitations, Neah Bay Douglas botanical-themed greetings and goodies from Russell + Hazel and Molly West Handbound, too.

Owner Debbie Lewis, who relocated to Savannah from Chicago 20 years ago, has a background in apparel (she managed stores for The Limited). Debbie knew though that she needed to make some changes and pursue her passion: to own her own boutique specializing in gorgeous stationery.

La Paperie not only has lovely papers, but a friendly staff and real hometown feel. Congrats to Debbie on her brand new adventure!

La Paperie

La Paperie

La Paperie

One Fish Two Fish, 401 Whitaker Street (sorry, no photos for this one!)

Located in the Downtown Design District (Whitaker Street between Charlton Lane and Gaston), this shop is filled with new, antique and found treasures collected by owner, Jennifer Beaufait Grayson. This quaint corner store is a must if you?re looking for a unique gift or something to spruce up your home. Rugs, bedding, beach-inspired accessories (think seashells, corals), dishes, mirrors, painted furniture, planters ? you?ll find almost everything you need to create a charming space of your own. The Bongenre melamine tableware and Toss Designs totes were especially appealing since they could easily survive the plane ride home.

ShopSCAD, 340 Bull Street

Ever since my first trip to Savannah years ago, I have been harboring a dream of someday taking classes at SCAD. It?s more than just a school here; it?s an integral part of the community. The college?s boutique, an anchor of the historic district, only carries the work of students, faculty and alumni. There were so many great things in the store, and several stood out as I walked through: Claire Sanchez?s handbags, Amelia Allen?s hand screen-printed pillows, Lacey Bronson?s tees, Kathryn Reichert?s sterling silver jewelry, and anything by Working Class Studio. (Okay, I did end up having to ship some items home after my little shopping spree here.)


The Paris Market + Brocante, 36 W. Broughton Street

Featuring all things French, if you plan on stopping by this store, be sure to block off a huge chunk of time. The Paris Market?s two floors are chock-full of amazing things ? furniture (love the hot pink dining chairs upholstered in a Pucci-esque fabric), pretty lamps and chandeliers, pillows (lots of Thomas Paul designs), handbags, dishes (straight out of your most beloved Parisian bistro)? With over 5,000 square feet of retail space, it would be hard for me describe it all; you really have to visit it for yourself (or at least visit the online shop!). To add to the French feel of this place, there?s a Metro sign at the top of the stairs and even a patisserie in the corner of the main level. (Pssst? Apparently, this store is one of FoodTV superstar Paula Deen?s favorites. Her popular restaurant, The Lady and Sons, is just a few blocks away. Did you know Deen got her start in the food business in Savannah nearly 20 years ago selling sandwiches from door-to-door to downtown office workers?)

The Paris Market + Brocante

Thanks, Anh-Minh for this great field trip on design – southern style! Any readers in the Savannah area, or have you vacationed there recently? Comment below to highlight things you loved about the area, or to brag about your favorite store.

(images provided by stores above, a special thanks to the owners for these great photos!)

Posted in guest bloggers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on June 12, 2006


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