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San Francisco Shopping: Part 3 – Burlingame

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

For the third installment of my series on Bay Area shops, I decided to head to Burlingame. Located just 10 minutes south of the city, Burlingame is one of those suburbs that popped up after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The main shopping drag ? Burlingame Avenue ? is a mix of major chains and charming boutiques. Sure, you could spend your paycheck at the huge Pottery Barn or DWR, but don?t overlook the smaller, independent stores listed below…

Fortezza ? 269 Primrose Road

Located just off of Burlingame Avenue, Fortezza offers all sorts of lovely stuff ? from accessories to personalize your space, to furniture for most rooms in your home. I usually find myself drawn to the seating collection here, which has included colorful metal outdoor chairs and narrow dining room chairs that are ideal for tiny quarters. I?ve also had my eye on some artwork that graces the walls of the store.


Therapy ? 264 Lorton Avenue

Yes, this is an offshoot of the Therapy stores located side-by-side in San Francisco?s Mission District. The Burlingame shop carries clothing (organized by color!), accessories, gift items and home d?cor goodies. Given its funky inventory and affordable prices, Therapy seems like one of the few stores in downtown Burlingame that caters to a younger set of shoppers. My most recent purchase here was a cute little wooden owl who now sits on top of a stack of books in my living room.

Pot-Pourri ? 1460 Burlingame Avenue

Pot-Pourri?s Burlingame location (there?s also one in Oakland) has been offering a good collection of handmade arts and crafts for almost a decade. This store/gallery specializes in pottery, glass, wood and wall art. A pair of La Contessa earrings tucked into a wooden box by Mikutowski would be a hard gift to beat!


Willa and Willa Home -1402 and 1414 Burlingame Avenue

This marvelous pair of stores, located just five doors apart from one another, is reason enough to make the trip to Burlingame. One shop offers an eclectic selection of gifts, while the other is all about home furnishings. My favorites include the Juliska glassware, John Robshaw textiles and Susan Jane Designs vintage jewelry. Willa also stocks some wonderful stationery from the likes of Bella Muse and B Designs.

While you?re in Burlingame, check out the Museum of Pez! And if you?re an Eichler fan, you?ll be happy to know that Burlingame is the home of more than 100 of his mid-century homes.

Related posts:
Shopping San Francisco: Part 1 – The Mission
San Francisco Shopping: Part 2 – Oakland

(Images: A special thanks to Chris at Pot-Pourri and Kay over at Fortezza for snapping these photos for us.)

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Posted in guest bloggers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on May 30, 2006

Hable Construction: Perry Street Store Photos

Lucy at Hable sent me these photos last month and I’ve been meaning to post them; they’re photos of the Hable Construction store located in their Manhattan Perry Street location.
I love a good shop tour, and since I haven’t visited their Perry Street store, I was pretty excited when Lucy passed these photos my way. Thought you’d like to see them, too. Eye candy! (Don’t you love examining every detail – these photos are packed with product, such fun!)


By the way, have you laid eyes on their perky little oven mitts? Perfect gifting idea! Purchase a baking cookbook and place an oven mitt on top with bar of high quality baker’s chocolate and wrap in clear wrapping paper. What a pretty present!

(images copyright Rinne Allen 2006)

Posted in Shop Tours, shopping, travel on May 09, 2006

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 guest bloggers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on April 27, 2006

Shopping San Francisco: Part 1 – The Mission

Written By: Anh-Minh Le, NEW! decor8 Contributor
Learn more about Anh-Minh here.


Hi there! This is Anh-Minh, reporting from the San Francisco Bay Area. Holly has been kind enough to let me take up a little bit of real estate on her awesome blog. So as part of a new series at decor8, I?ll give you the scoop on some of the best design resources around these parts. Whether you?re local or planning a visit, hopefully you?ll find the write-ups to be useful!

Since there are great galleries and shops all over San Francisco, I?ve decided to break things down by neighborhoods. In the first installation of this series, I?m focusing on The Mission District ? specifically, the Valencia Corridor. This is by no means a comprehensive list; it?s just a selection of some of my favorites.

(Other S.F. neighborhoods will be showcased in future posts. And I?m planning to go beyond the city limits and explore the shopping drags of Berkeley, Burlingame and more.)

The Mission

Once upon a time, this was a predominantly Latino area. But, in the late ?90s when the Internet boom happened, the Mission was a prime candidate for gentrification. Now, while still maintaining its roots, the neighborhood has become home to a plethora of wonderful restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques.

Thanks to two fairly new storefronts, the Mission is a great destination for finding affordable local artwork for your home. Local Patron carries everything from jewelry and clothing to paintings and ceramics. But, you must act quickly: This is a temporary shop that is currently scheduled to shut down in late May. Artist-Xchange, while still focusing on local folks, is heavy on art for your walls and ceramics for your tabletops (including the fabulous work of Joanna Mendicino).

Just a few doors down from Artist X-Change is CandyStore, which is sort of like a one-stop shop for all things adorable. You can find clothing (I love local designer Talla?s patterns!), shoes, stationery, accessories, ceramics, pillows and so much more. And yes, the boutique does indeed sell candy ? in vintage glass canisters that are so charming and retro.

The stretch of Valencia between 15th and 16th is where you?ll find two Therapy stores right next door to each other. One primarily carries sofas, pillows and other accessories. The other space is mainly a clothing boutique, with more home accessories and tchotchkes mixed in. Be sure to check them both out.

If you?re in the market for some vintage goods, my go-to in this neighborhood is The Touch. Feel free to haggle with them ? I always do! I picked up my Danish-style coffee and dining tables here, and love them both. (It?s a little tough to find info on this store, so I?ll tell you that it?s located at 956 Valencia Street.) X-21 Modern is another good vintage spot. Be sure to give yourself some time here; the store?s 9,000 square feet are jam-packed.

Every neighborhood in San Francisco has its own history and personality. And in the Mission, you?ll find the only vegan boutique in the city. Otsu is proof that you don?t need to use animal products to make great things. My top picks here include the Little Otsu cards and Chris Duncan?s patchwork birdies.

Other shops worth mentioning: Aldea which also has an online store, Paxton Gate and Rayon Vert (located at 3187 16th Street, it?s more than just a flower shop!).

One of the best things about shopping in the Mission is that if you need a break ? to indulge in a leisurely meal or just refuel ? there is no shortage of eateries here. Mmm? Crepes at Ti Couz? Mojitos at Luna Park?

(images Aldea, Local Patron, Artist X-Change.)

Posted in guest bloggers, Shop Tours, shopping, travel on April 17, 2006

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