Home + Design
What's both green and platinum all over? Why it's the Margarido House, of course, which officially became the first house to receive the Leadership in Environmental Energy Design Platinum certification (the highest level possible) in Northern California this December. Homeowner and head of construction Mike McDonald (with help from Whirlpool) recently created a video tour of the property, filled with tons of information and great images of the home.
Jennifer Sitko, co-founder of 2Modern, gives us a peak of her unique collection of napkin rings at her Mill Valley home. Ranging from quirky (think precariously perched pears) to exotic (a wooden giraffe carving), Sitko's collection adds a playful element to any table setting.
How did you start collecting napkin rings?
You can't be a store in Jackson Square without selling some type of item for the home, and CARROTS seems to understand that crucial fact. The "luxury emporium" (as it's referred to on the website) is known mostly for its inspired array of contemporary men's and women's fashion, but a true home design junkie can sniff out a find anywhere, even amidst racks of Stella McCartney and Yigal Azrouel. The store's selection of vases by So Cal-based glassblowing phenom Caleb Siemon is most definitely a find, including the bud vase (shown here) which just might be the perfect hostess gift (and is available in an array of colors).
Sometime in the last year or two, we noticed a new store at Serramonte: Daiso. Took us a while to check it out, but in the Christmas stocking-stuffing rush, we finally did. At first, the "livingwear" store (that's what the sign on the door says—it's kind of like a Japanese Target, only without clothing) seems chaotic and schlocky, but when you dive into the kitchenware sections, you realize that it's basically Muji gone Hello Kitty. (Which is an idea that would, no doubt, quietly horrify the philosopher-retailers at Muji.) And plenty of the cool little containers and mysterious gadgets are decal-free.
New Year's resolution: add color and comfort to the home. Knock that one off your list in one fell swoop with wool felt products from Lotus Bleu. Not only are the thick, handmade items soft as can be, the vibrant, natural-dyed colors add the perfect touch to finish any room. The store carries rugs, throw pillows, floor pillows and accessories such as baskets in the fabric, and all are 30% off for the month of January.
In this era of MCM madness, "French Country" is a term that, while loved by some, can cause cringes in many a design circle. But while the beauty of an Eames or Saarinen is undeniable, the warmth of a farm table or elegance of a settee is also most certain. Another reason to give the style a chance? The arbiter of all things "French Country", Pierre Deux, has select items marked down as much as 70% percent from now until February 1st. Oui, s'il vous plait.
Who couldn't use a little therapy after the hectic holidays, right? And if you prefer the retail kind, make your way over to the Mission this week where home decor store Therapy's entire stock is 40% off. There is a great selection of simple Mid-Century Modern inspired sofas, as well as a good mix of decorative accents to fit any space. Get over there soon though as the sale is just to clear some space for new inventory, and will be over in about a week.
The home for the 2009 Decorator Showcase has been announced and, surprise! it could probably fit about ten of your apartments inside of it. Built in 1910, the four story Georgian mansion located at 2830 Pacific Ave features five bedrooms, a formal library, family kitchen, and penthouse level with wrap-around terrace and panoramic views of the bay (along with much, much more, natch). No news yet on the roster of participating designers, but check the event's website in the coming much for updates. The Showcase will take place from April 25th through May 25th with proceeds going to San Francisco University High School's financial aid program.
Sasha Wingate, 36, owner of Mission District home accessories shop, the BellJar, invites us into her home in the Excelsior district to view her collection of dainty white pottery and milk glass. The early 20th-century pieces run the gamut from hobnail vessels to ruffle-edged bowls by McCoy to classic 1930s cornucopias—an impressive, and decidedly feminine, grouping that adds a soft edge to Wingate’s midcentury-inspired home.
Do you have an elusive piece that you covet?
While pledging to buy local all year can be a rather severe lesson in restraint (fresh raspberries should never be passed up, even in December), buying local for the holidays can be like the best sort of treasure hunt. And with as much talent as there is in the Bay Area, you're bound to come away with thoughtful and unique gifts for the whole list. Don't know where to start? How about ceramics from Oakland based artist Whitney Smith? Her sprout vases are perfect for a stem of daffodil (seasonal/local be damned!) or just as a cluster on a mantle. See more of Smith's work here, or stop by BellJar in the Mission to sit some in person.