Home + Design
As soon as you set foot in Rare Device on Market Street, you instantly feel like you're getting schooled in design. If you've been, you've likely had to forcefully restrain yourself from drooling on their sleek, retro-modern kitchen wares, minimalist electronics, coffee table books and even their good-looking cosmetics lines.
There's a stretch of San Francisco's Hyde Street that's classic: tree-lined, clanking with cable cars and lined with lovely Edwardian apartment houses. Here's one of them.
The Basics: A classic two-bedroom, 2-bath cooperative apartment on Russian Hill's historic Hyde Street, with parking and a separate servant's room now remodeled as a gym. Asking $1.795M, with monthly maintenance charges of $942. On the market for almost seven months.
For several years I've been ducking down Fern Alley off Van Ness Street to visit a little store whose name I never knew. The small space was packed to the rafters with estate goods and shopping there was like combing through 1,000 attics stuffed into a four-room flat. For the next several months, that business has a new name (Tenenbaum's Emporium) and a new Van Ness Street location (the old American Rag store between Bush and Sutter Sts.). Best of all, all the goods are 50 percent off. Read more.....
I really love estate sales, and sometimes I'm so enthusiastic about the goods I think I frighten the organizers. Perhaps it's unnerving to have a stranger call up out of the blue, say she's going to write a blog about your sale and then proceed to get all exercised about the wares. But people, I'm talking about a sale in an abandoned church featuring religious items and vintage designer clothes! Whose voice wouldn't raise a few octaves?
Sometimes, realtors and their clients like to be coy. Here's a house in Oakland that's not on the MLS, has no address, and the price is available only "on request."
The Basics: A 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath house in the Oakland Hills, built in 2008.
It seems like a lot of estate sales these days are staged by the living. Perhaps it's because of the economy, but it seems like people are paring down their possessions. Great news, because there's more for the rest of us. In a sale on Russian Hill this weekend, a couple is divesting themselves of an interesting art collection and more.
There's something to be said for minimalist design as an opportunity to get rid of everything. This condo almost requires it, and liberation can finally be yours for $609K.
The Basics: A one-bedroom, one-bath, one-parking space condo in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood.
Not So Basic: A serene, impeccably detailed space in an aluminum and glass building designed by Stanley Saitowitz, a San Francisco architect whose buildings are on the list of architectural tourists from all over the world.
It's going to be perfect road trip weather this weekend, so head north to check out the goods from two lifetimes in one Victorian house near downtown Napa. On sale are the collected households of two women in their nineties; one was a long-time piano teacher the other owned a pawn shop. Need I say more?