7x7 editors pick their favorites from the latest shops, goods, and happenings in the Bay Area and beyond.
Blu Homes’ new HQ in a naval shipyard–turned–artist colony in Vallejo also doubles as the company’s latest model prefab dwelling. The green architecture is crisp and sharp, and quintessentially NorCal—think warm materials and a strong local-artist contingent (decoristo Courtney Lake designed the interiors, and furnishings come courtesy of Oxgut and Jessie Black, among others). Got land? Get your build on. [ mare island ]
Canadian contemporary furniture retailer EQ3 recently opened a 12,000-square-foot showroom in San Francisco, which includes a Marimekko “shop-in-shop,” where you can purchase the Finnish design house’s vibrant textiles by the yard, and a section devoted to the EQ3+ line, featuring iconic designs from the likes of Herman Miller (Eames chaises) and Vitra (Panton chairs). [ potrero ]
Husband-and-wife cofounders Nik and Alpa Shroff of Menlo Park–based Brownie and Madam Optical Company make free personal-styling house calls to help Bay Area femmes find the best retro-inspired eyeglass frames—there are 24 styles in the collection—to fit their faces. All you need is an appointment, a prescription, and maybe a sexy-secretary fantasy. [ menlo park ]
Hide and Chic
Former IDEO industrial designer and AYK founder Angie Kim has launched Yosemite, a new line of vegetable-tanned leather bags with a seamless
light-to-dark gradient dye that celebrates the beautiful way that leather ages. The Bayview artisan credits a recent six-month stint in India—where she admired the intricate handiwork of seamstresses and woodworkers—with her heightened sense of craft. “It’s neat seeing a flat piece of leather turn into something beautiful with just some thread and my own two hands,” says Kim. [ bayview ]
To counteract the effects of designing high-tech consumer electronics, Susan McKinney, who daylights as an industrial designer, recently adopted a side project that’s more organic. Each piece in her new line of ceramic jewelry, Calico, achieves its unique character from handcrafting and kiln firing. Find the gently shaped pieces at Aggregate Supply or online—McKinney opened an Etsy shop in May. [ nob hill ]
The spa at the Rosewood CordeValle—located just southwest of San Jose—has introduced a new series of vinotherapy treatments, a nod to the lush vineyards that surround the resort. The après-winemaking grape pips and pulp are legendary for their antiaging polyphenols and skin-exfoliating properties. Try the 90-minute Vineyard Vitality—a grape-seed scrub followed by a vanilla shea butter massage—to relax after a hike in the hills or a round on the PGA links, which will host the US Women’s Open Championship in 2016. [san jose]
Hog Island Oyster Co.’s design cred has finally caught up to its legendary culinary rep with a new expansion by SF architect Cass Calder Smith. The maritime theme features cypress salvaged from a sunken ship and ipe decking from the Coney Island boardwalk. The ceiling, draped with nautical rope, is shaped like a hull, an homage to Hog Island’s original boat, Spatz. The new gastro offerings include cornmeal-fried oyster po’ boys and steak frites, a surprisingly turfy addition to the surfy menu. [ embarcadero ]
Thanks to Mellow, a smartphone-controlled sous-vide machine for home kitchens, poaching eggs on the stovetop has been rendered barbaric. Developed by SF–based mechanical engineer Zé Pinto Ferreira and industrial designer Catarina Violante, the gadget—now available for preordering—evenly cooks food with the panache of a Michelin-starred chef. Time for a toque.
This article was published in 7x7's July/August 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.