Sfgirlbybay's Stylish Seven: My Favorite Design Stores in SF


Perhaps you're always on the hunt for unusual and unique finds around the bay area but aren't sure where to track them down. You might not have time to scour the flea markets, but crave that vintage-inspired, creative look. Well, in this week Sfgirlbybay's Stylish Seven, I'm sharing with you seven of my favorite shopping haunts around the city for one of a kind gifts, artwork, accessories and home wares. You don't have to travel far to give your home that eclectic, well-traveled artistic bent. Look no further than your very own nearby San Francisco neighborhoods.

1. Rare Device is a wonderful design shop on Market Street near the Castro. Run by artist Lisa Congdon and partner Rena Tom, the two share an amazing eye for curating great gallery shows and stocking their shop with unique clothing, accessories and artwork from local and not-so-local designers. Check out the Rare Device website often for a list of upcoming shows and events, and shop online, too!

2. If you like to shop the Mission District then you need to know about The Curiosity Shoppe. Run by the talented DIY duo, Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith (you may also know them from their DIY Wednesday posts over at design*sponge) their shop if chock-full of stylish and unique home accessories, artwork, and DIY craft kits. Derek and Lauren are totally immersed in the art and craft scene here in San Francisco and The Curiosity Shoppe is the go-to shop for some great resources, how-to's and crafty project ideas.

3. Also in the Mission is the beautiful and fairly new BellJar. The BellJar is run by the ever-stylish Sasha Wingate, and is a very bohemian-chic shop with gorgeous vintage-inspired home furnishings and accessories, designer clothing, soaps and candles. The BellJar also hosts art openings featuring a new local San Francisco artist every month in their charming back room gallery.

4. Fleurt is part floral and garden boutique, part home decor and a little bit French flea market. They have very creatively utilized and re-purposed all kinds of vintage pieces as containers for an assortment of colorful Gerber Daisies, exotic orchids, gardenias and prehistoric looking succulents. Although the pieces are old, they have a cool modern edge to them. Fleurt is a really lovely shop in the Richmond district on Clement Street with a great flair for unique design, and some really unusual and inventive inspiration.

5. While you're over on Clement Street, drop in to Park Life. Park Life is an independent gallery space, featuring amazing artists' work, as well as a wonderfully fun shop, chock full of great art books, paper goods, toys, tee's, home accessories, gifts and music (and you can shop online, as well). For owners Jamie Alexander and Derek Song, Park Life is a labor of love for all things art related, and this week they're hosting an opening for artists Kelly Lynn Jones and Eli Geiser. The opening reception will be held on Friday April 17th from 7-10pm, with both artists will be in attendance.

6. Over on Russian Hill, is one of my favorite shops in the city, Swallowtail. It's a bit like an art museum of the odd, classical and collectible. Swallowtail is quirky, eclectic and full of beautiful objects that I love to dawdle over when I visit. And no matter what your taste, Swallowtail's owner/designer Sheri Sheridan has found something special here for everyone to take home and make their own - their very own pièce de résistance.

7. Nest is quite like a French flea market with lots of multi-cultural, cosmopolitan flair. The shop carries gorgeous home decor accessories with a unique, vintage look, all found under one Fillmore Street roof. Nest carries great coffee table books, the most beautiful vintage furnishings, delicate etched glassware, soaps and candles, colorful, bohemian and luxurious bedding, quilts, pillows and hand knit throws, in French, Moroccan, Indian, Chinese and a variety of other ethnic styles. Mother and daughter team Judy Gilman and Marcella Madsen own and operate Nest, and stock the shop with wonderful, unusual, one of a kind gifts.

Clockwise from left to right: Fleurt, Nest and the BellJar.

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