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Historic Firehouse 44 is on the Market

In the city, we're big fans of historic real estate.  So, imagine my delight when historic Firehouse 44 hit the market.  The firehouse was built in 1910 and has an impressive history.  It was built to house a team of horses and 12 firemen who fought fires on Castro Hill.  In 1959, artists Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen purchased the firehouse at a public auction for $7,500.  The couple had a knack for throwing fabulous parties, and their beautiful and bohemian conversion of the space was photographed and published in design magazines, mostly because living and working in unusual spaces was not common at the time.  Shoot forward to present day and Teutonic Construction and interior designer Josephine Fisher have done a heavy renovation of the firehou

DIY (Design It Yourself) at Minted

For the true design addict (ehem!) it's not enough to have a completely personalized home. No, the stationery has to be unique too. Enter Minted, where you can customize your invitations or cards with photos, choose specific colors, and basically just make your stationery absolutely your own. They've been nominated for a "Crunchie Award" (TechCrunch's way of honoring the best internet and tech innovations of the year) for Best Application, which translates to an easy to navigate site and tons of personalization options and possibilities.

Upper Playground Housewares at Design Public

Looking for a great way to spruce up your home without breaking the bank?  How about adding a little bit of urban appeal from Upper Playground?  San Francisco-based Design Public, an online furniture and home decor retailer, has just started carrying Upper Playground's housewares.  The collection connects the public to culture and counter-culture in the form of hip, funky, and cool pillows, shower curtains, glass tumblers, bags and wall art by world-famous artists and designers as well as emerging talents.  In the mood to support the locals?  Then the Jumping Tiger Pillow (shown left) by local art celebrity Sam Flores is the way to go.

Hitch a Ride up Potrero Hill: 50% Off at Collage Gallery

Making the trip up to the thick of Potrero Hill (you know, like on the actual hill part) can seem like a drag and a half if you don't have a car. But the 22 bus just might become your new best friend once you find the hidden gem that is Collage Gallery. With a well edited collection of vintage finds, pieces by local artists, and of course, collages, the shop is brimming with unique, beautiful decor. Select items are on sale for up to 50% off from now until the end of the month, so it's the perfect time to hitch a ride up there.

The Greenest House in California

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.

Collecting Napkin Rings with Jennifer Sitko, co-founder of

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?

Design Finds at Jackson Square's CARROTS

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).

Has Muji Come to SF? Well, Not Quite...

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.

Sale at Lotus Bleu

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.

Sale at Pierre Deux

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.

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