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New Line of Affordable Tiles from Heath Ceramics

Ever find yourself staring longingly at the walls of the BART stations downtown? Blame Heath Ceramics, the company behind those beautiful undulating white tiles. But now that they've introduced a new line of more affordably priced tiles, you might be able to stop gazing and start grouting in your own home. The just launched "Modern Basic" collection is available in two sizes (2x6" and 3x6") and six different glazes at $16.50 a square foot.

High Style Livin'

Luxury living in San Francisco is a difficult life to achieve.  Sure, we've got the shops and the restaurants, but the real estate market offers slim pickings.  But wait!  Now is your chance to score (or at least get inspired by) a rare piece of prime real estate.  Le Grand Dame is her name, and she's a 1895 restored Queen Anne Victorian.   And She's just steps from historic Alamo Square Park!  And since it was all done up pretty by a local designer, you can move in without having to undergo a financially exhausting remodel (yuck).  The skinny:  In addition to the 2 fireplaces and amazingly beautiful hardwood flooring, the house also has  6 (count that:  6!) bedrooms, 3 full & 2 half baths, a living room and a parlor, gourmet kitchen and a south-facing garden on an oversized lot.  <

Lunar New Year Floral Displays

Those who celebrate the Lunar New Year seem to have gotten it right - after all, wouldn't you rather wake up on the first day of the year surrounded by flowers instead of empty beer cans? Exactly. Stop by the Conservatory of Flowers, where from now until February 8th they are celebrating the new year with a botanical bounty of artfully arranged floral displays, all created for this year of the Ox. You can also attempt your own arrangement at home, which, depending on the flowers used, may bring luck to you in the upcoming months. Here's a list of several commonly used plants and their meanings:

Peach Blossom - Luck

Kumquat - Prosperity

Narcissus - Prosperity

Chrysanthemum - Longevity

Over Marimekko? Some Pillow Alternatives

Want to add a little classical pop to your otherwise neutral interior?  Are you as over Marimekko as I am?  Then black & white pillows might be the way to go.  Check out my top 5, after the jump!

1.  Blah Blah Cushion, $125
From designer Donna Wilson. 100% lambswool. Feather and down insert. 
17" x 17"

2.  Salvor: Mini Owl Pillow, $55
Handprinted water-base ink on 100% cotton broadcloth pillow. H 14"

3.  Ant Pillow, $170-$180
From designer Bev Hisey.  100% wool.  16"x16", 11"x18", or 14" round

30% Off at Rose and Radish

A thank you is always appreciated, but when it's attached to a sale, well, that's just icing on the cake. In appreciation of those who chose to forgo the large chain stores and keep it local this holiday season, Rose and Radish is offering 30% off on any in-store or online purchase from now until the end of the month. 30%... that means around 90 bucks off these vibrant Thomas Eyck pillows in shades of yellow, pink and purple. Now that's quite a thank you, indeed.

Zem Joaquin's 6 Simple Tips for Greening Your Kitchen

When I embarked upon a green remodel of my home in 2006, the kitchen took center stage. I employed such energy-saving technologies as LED lighting, Energy Star appliances and a simple fan to replace the defunct AC. To save water, I installed a high-efficiency dishwasher, a foot pedal for the faucet and an on-demand water heater. I especially love our whole-house water filter, which has helped the entire family eliminate plastic bottles. Don’t get me wrong—you certainly don’t have to engage in a major overhaul to turn your kitchen into a healthier hearth, and what’s the harm in taking a few steps in the right direction—especially if wine and chocolate are involved?

New Bedding at Frette: Made for Sleeping In

Rainy San Francisco days seem like they're made expressly for staying curled up in bed... yet sadly most HR departments don't recognize this as an acceptable excuse to sleep in. If you felt rudely awakened by the call of duty (otherwise known as your alarm clock) this morning, than do yourself a favor and don't look at Frette's new line of styles for '09. Seeing the almost obscenely good-looking and ultra comfortable bedding would just be cruel.

High Marks for Pat Kuleto's Zinfandel

Everyone knows that Pat Kuleto has great style. A quick whirl through the revolving door at Boulevard, a paddle through Waterbar or a glass of white under the sea fantasia that is Farallon are all convincing of that. However, he's also been producing some pretty stellar wines from his Napa Valley ranch for the last few years.

You Can Never Have Too Many Pillows

Rose and Radish in Hayes Valley is the go to shop for picking up beautiful hand-printed linen pillows by Lisbet Friis.  The shop only carried a few of the patterns last year, but they were so popular that Rose and Radish now has added many more styles to their collection.  The pillows are inspired by ribbons that hang from medals and awards, and they're an excellent way to add bright and gorgeous color to your home.  $188 each at Rose and Radish.

Tom Ford for Gucci at Amarcord Fine Decorative Arts

It may not be chic or classy (or legal) to smoke in your home anymore, but the decorative cigarette box is still promptly displayed on cocktail tables across our finer neighborhoods. And remember that Louis Vuitton vintage trunk you coveted for 10 years? The one you want to use as a coffee table (good luck with that)? How fantastic would these home accessories by Tom Ford for Gucci look on it? Or perhaps on top of your Danish Modern bedroom dresser? $500 each at Amarcord Fine Decorative Arts (by appointment only).

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