San Francisco Local

5 Ways to Winter Ready Your California Casa

Winter is coming! And though we live in the balmy-weathered Bay Area, it behooves us to prepare for the rainy, windy, cold (and sometimes super nice) months ahead. Keeping cool air out and warm air in not only maximizes the level of coziness, but also is sustainable for the environment and your budget alike. Most changes can be made quite easily. Preparing now will result in more time to lay back, relax and enjoy your cozy winter abode.

1. Service your system.

Anyone who actually lives in the sunshine state can contest to the fact that it gets cold. Whether you’re using a furnace, wood stove, boiler, or heat pump to keep warm, it’s crucial to have your system cleaned and serviced. Dirt is more than likely the number one cause of system failure. Cleaning the filters yourself will save you some money but know that it’s a dirty job. Most California HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) service experts advise that you wait until the filter is completely dry, after cleaning, before putting it back. And remember, you can’t run your HVAC system without a filter. (But before we go any further, can we mention how fabulous the radiator is in the picture above? Paige discovered these several months back from the company Caleido. We haven’t been able to get these out of our minds since.)

2. Get your ducts in order.

If you happen to be using a forced-air heating system, you’re probably depending on ductwork to deliver heated air to your living space. Examine your house’s heating ducts for leaks. Mostly out of sight, ducts can leak for years without anyone ever knowing. They can become torn or crushed and flattened. Old duct tape—which was probably the worst kind of tape there was—tends to dry up and crumble over time. This unfortunately allows junctions and splices to open, spilling heated air into your attic or under the house. This can be wasteful but an easy fix if done right. According to the California Energy Commission, you can save roughly 10 percent on your heating bill by preventing leaky ducts. But when not taken care of it can diminish the heating efficiency by as much as 40 percent. A home energy auditor, (we recommend Rising Design & Construction) can tell you whether or not your ducts need to be sealed. Also, any ductwork in unconditioned (cold) space like an attic, basement or crawl space should be insulated so that your heated air has protection from cold temperatures.

3. Invest in insulating the attic.

If you’re lucky enough to have an attic, be sure that it’s properly insulated. In older homes, that can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs. Before energy efficiency standards, homes were often built with little to no insulation. As a result, large amounts may be getting lost through walls, floors and—since heat rises—ceilings.

Are you familiar with the Residential Efficiency Rebate program? It is a whole-house approach to improving the energy efficiency of residential homes. The program is open to customers and is available for attic and exterior wall insulation, whole house fans, attic fans (solar and electric), duct insulation, house envelope and duct sealing, window film, and other efficiency products—depending where you live. If you reside in San Francisco, it’s easy to find out all you need to know, here. If not, see what programs apply in your area by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (

4. Give you doors and windows an upgrade.

First, check the weatherstripping on your main entry door and windows. If you can see even a sliver of daylight at any point around the door, or if you can feel a draft coming in around the edge, you need new weatherstripping. Bring a piece of your old weatherstripping to the local hardware store to ensure you get identical new material (especially for those of us who don’t own our homes or flats). Another 10 percent of most air leaks are through our windows and doors. So cleaning them (inside out, of course) is a start in finding cracks both on the glass and old caulk.

5. Furniture and furnishing remix.

Think of your home and furnishings like your wardrobe. When the weather changes, it’s time to pull out those chenille rugs, throws, wool shags, and heavy velvety drapery—we’re in love with all the 2012/2013 cozy home trends. What’s better than a comfy and warm retreat after a long day’s work.

Pulling your furniture in a little closer to the center of the room, by the fireplace—or rearranging your rooms is another easy winter ready trick. Our Design Remix also allows you the make the most of what you already have, with an in-home design and color consultation. We can make recommendations for rearranging your space including an in-home interview with one of our designers. The remix includes: Color palette, Basic furniture arrangement plan, Basic furnishing suggestions and a Basic shopping list—sounds fun, right? Click here to learn how you can get started.

Whether you live in a large house or chic one-room pad, the Outer Sunset or the sunny Mission District, these easy and inexpensive ways to prepare for the winter months will keep you warm and ready all season long.

Dorka Keehn's 'Binders Full of Women'

Dorka Keehn has a had a great year.  The national organization she co-founded, Emerge America—a major contributor to the growing numbers of Democratic women serving in public office—saw 17 out of 28 Emerge California alumnae in the San Francisco Bay Area win their November 2012 ballot race. That's a 61% success rate. Emerge America operates in 12 states nationwide, inspiring women to run for political office and then training them to run. All of these women are in good company.  A record 20 women will serve in the 100-member Senate, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). And at least 81 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives will be women, among them Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) who will be the first openly gay U.S. Senator.

Ms. Keehn, who was also recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle to showcase the mid-century modern furniture she designed, was kind enough to give us few minutes of her precious time.  We called her last week to hear just what this election means to her.

Do you believe having more women in the U.S. Senate will facilitate true bipartisanship?

"I have two thoughts on that: One is, yes.  It’s already apparent that the women in the Senate have a better relationship with each other, that’s already happening.  They’re having dinner together, talking about policies.  They’re ironing out issues together. It’s not that I don’t think men can’t do that, I just think that it comes a little more naturally for women.  I don’t know whether or not it’s hardwired or nature vs. nurture but it’s just the way women work. [On second thought], not all women in the Senate are progressive and want to share ideas.  There are some women who are lousy candidates and have lousy values.  But around ObamaCare and healthcare some women come across the aisle. And you see that with healthcare, education, jobs and the environment."

What are the benefits of bipartisanship for both democrats and republicans, if any?

"It’s unfortunate that the Republican Party has really become an extreme party. They’d rather shoot themselves in the foot, than take care of voters and important issues like healthcare and education. And so I think that we have to move beyond [The Republican Party] trying to take the president down and actually solve the problems that are important to the entire country. What I’m hoping is going to happen is that the more women who come into the position of power—bring different questions to the table. I think it’s important to have a diversity of people at the table of discussion."

Let’s talk about you and Emerge’s success in 2012, and with last week's election.

"For me, it’s kind of like watching our kids grow. Emerge California is 12-years-old and is now in 12 states. We'd like to get a new state every year. We have an amazing staff and board. The organization is no longer dependent on me anymore and we have other incredible women working for us. During this election, it was kind of like watching our seeds flourish into flowers.

Women in office tend to start on the ground level so now we're finally seeing them move up into office and into Senate seats. And now it’s rolling on its own power. We are now being viewed as an organization that not only trains women to run for office but training women how to win—people who have a major impact."

You are the only organizations of its kind, correct?

"Emerge America is the only company that actually trains women with a comprehensive program. There are other weekend programs as such and they are sort of like our feeders. Our goal is to be in every state. As far as Ignite goes, we are the only program out there doing an after school program for young girls. We want to train 250,000 girls by 2015. We really want to get young women to think about running for office and that actually being a career choice after college. Not just when they’re older and have had children and then decide to be on the school board. (That’s how most women’s political careers begin.) We want to create political ambition at a young age. But it’s definitely never too late to create a significant shift within women of all ages."

I love that "binders full of women" has taken the media and social media by storm. How do you think we can build upon that in a positive, less sarcastic way?

"Well I think we do want to create binders full of women so we do have a lot of options. For example, when you look at who’s on TV and who’s on the senate floor, you’ll notice who is represented there and how few women and people of color there are. When people are looking for board of directors for fortune 500 companies they need to have binders full of women to choose from. Often times you’ll hear the excuse that, ‘We can’t find them.’ But where are they looking and who are they asking—a couple of their buddies? So if we provide them with binders full of women and give them more options to choose from, we’ll see more women in those roles. I think we should use that metaphor in a positive way!"

Emerge California is having its 2013 Kickoff Reception Saturday, December 01, 2012, 6:30 PM at One Ferry Plaza Restaurant & Lounge (behind the Ferry Building) here in San Francisco.  If you'd like to keep the momentum going, or would like to support Emerge, sign up here.

The Art of the Home Gallery: Nicola Takes us on a tour in her Bernal Heights Art House

Nicola Noelle Buffa has worked with some of our clients at LOCZIdesign to create custom conceptual textile pieces for their home. She is a traditionally trained fine artist, highly skilled third generation seamstress, treasure collector, and master of domesticity. Hailing from Orange County, Nicola admits to coveting her SoCal rockabilly roots in addition to her MFA in printmaking, and two Bachelor of Art degrees in psychology and art. But if those combinations aren't exciting enough for you, head to her home gallery for an intimate peek at her various exhibitions. She has a keen ability to create vignettes that transport you into a time and space that isn't necessary linear with a time known before. I was greeted by Nicola on a sunny Monday morning with offerings of cakes and coffee, making the interview and photo shoot in her Bernal Heights home more than delightful.

What is your favorite part of your home?

"The view of my bedroom window, it points South East where I see the inteior of the bay. Downtown Oakland is straight across too and I love the loading docks. The industrial area below is inspiring to me, and all of the sounds which are sometimes other worldly — I feel transported. It translates into the work I do... I feel really blessed to live in such a dynamic and rich city with an amazing view from my window."

So what made you decide to display your work at home instead of a traditional gallery?

"My house showcases a revolving collection. Living with the work is really what I cherish about having an Art House. Most of what I make is domestic in nature. That streatches across many mediums and modes, but I am almost always making things that at some point will 'need a home' . So it seems very natural to me to have the pieces displayed in a domestic setting. Not to say that I don’t jive with galleries; I do, it's just that showing in a gallery is a totally different animal to me. I like to spend a lot of time with a piece...that’s hard to do in a gallery.

My collection consists of a mix of things I have made, objects I am re-finishing, spaces and places I am creating (in response for specific client's needs), in addition to a modest collection of my peers works. I like to think of this house as an emporium of oddities or an orphanage for cast-aways. Kind of like a 'Fun-House' or doll house."


Where do you get your inspirations?

"My grandmother, Betty Buffa. After she passed away, I've come to understand her a lot more and thus understand myself much more. For Christmas she would give me the most amazing treasures... I remember one year she gave me a box of beautiful fabrics all folded perfectly — my grandmother kept everything cataloged. I notice that my attention to detail in my curation of things, fine motor skills, handiwork, and dollhouse collections are all similarities in my character that I have attribute to grandmother. I remember her house being a very magical place!

What about your mother? Did those characteristics skip a generation, or is she similar?

My mother is an art historian. She is a painter and she used to make all of my clothes as a child. I would describe my mother as ethereal — other worldly. My grandmother however was a very grounded woman, a Home Economics major (although what she really was, was an engineer but of course women weren't commonly considered engineers back then). My mother’s sense of housepotality, and my grandmother’s mid-centry domesticity most certainly translate into the spaces I create but they don't speak to my grandmother and mother’s experience. They speaks to who I am. It's my own narrative.

Tell me more about Printmaking — that's kind of impressive.

"Ha, thanks! Yes, I'm a trained Printmaker and an Inter-disciplinarian. I am only a painter in theory, though never in practice. 'Bump-it Mafia' (a feminist printing group interested in women in non traditional mechanical roles of production) is where you can find a selection of my printmaking skills on display. I was invited by other print-making associates to participate. We currently have a show touring in the South and in Europe. They've put together a portfolio of different print making women. Each printed piece of paper transforms our idenities by what we call 'putting it all on'. Kind of like how I am with tattoo-ing, tooth gelled diamonds, and my psychobilly, rockabilly, and punk rock roots. You can’t come out of orange country without being a little like that. I mean, Bumb-it Mafia comes from the Bump-it hair accessory that gives you that huge bee-hive effect — 'We say, the higher the hair the closer the God.'"

To contact Nicola Noelle Buffa's ROCKabilly SweatSHOP check out her website here, or send an e-mail to for: Fine Art, Prints & Books, Found Objects, Custom Framing, Installations, Home & Gallery, Conceptual Curtains /Window Treatments and too much more to type here! Nicola’s work can currently be seen touring with Bump-it Mafia. But if you can't wait for a private showing at her house, check out her window installation currently up at The Little Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St, San Francisco, w/ collaborator Natalia Gomez. The full exhibition, including animation, takes place December 2012.


Go Native: 6 Plants and Design Tips For Your San Francisco Home and Garden

When you're working with nature rather than against it, maintaining a native garden can be relatively painless — using fewer resources like water and fertilizer can mean less maintenance. Not only does greenery increase the overall value of your home, but, fun trivial fact: looking out at a garden and plants can increase one's overall health and is said to help hospital patients recover more quickly. Whether you want an attractive yard to view from your home or a place where you can get your hands dirty, growing a garden is known to make you a healthier individual.

California native plants are collected by botanists and horticulturalists and developed for use in gardens. Most are drought-tolerant, allowing you to use less water, making them a safe bet for your yard, deck or patio, or kitchen window! In the same way that there can be microclimates within the Bay area, the same goes for a garden. Conditions can vary in small but significant ways on the landscape scale as well. When gardening with local natives, you are celebrating these differences. And you are literally going to the source — you can’t find plants better adapted to life in the SF than native plants and they also support local wildlife, to boot. I had a chat with my friend, go-to urban gardner and landscaper, Katherine Harbaugh, who also volunteers at the San Francisco Botanical garden nursery (where you can also purchase native plants). She gave me a short list of six of her favorite native plants and why you want to plant them in your garden.

California Golden Poppy

You've probably seen these all around! This flower was named the California state flower in 1903. Poppies are perennial in most areas of the Southwest but can be grown as annuals in the Bay Area. These beautiful wildflowers bloom starting as early as February into May and with regular water can bloom all the way through September. The cheerful four-petaled, cup shaped blossoms are 2 - 3 inches across and range in color from bright yellow to gold to a deep orange. The poppy's foliage is a bluish gray-green with a feathery, fern-like appearance.

Poppies prefer a dry, sandy soil and full sun. The weather is known to play a major part in the color of the blooms. In the lower elevations the flowers may be more golden than orange. As the blooming season progresses the blooms may change from bright orange to pale yellow. Some even make a tea by using one slightly rounded teaspoon of the chopped aerial parts of the poppy. It can safely be taken for anxiety, insomnia, or suffering from mild aches or muscle spasms. A tincture can also me made and used for the same problems. It contains flavone glycosides that provide a gentle sedative action. It is a much less powerful, non-addictive and of course, not to be mistaken for the Opium Poppy.

As a part of your garden landscape these poppies will attract bees and butterflies to your garden, and their deep taproots can be effective against mild erosion. Once the petals have fallen off, simply collect the seeds from the seed pod and scatter them anywhere, for a hearty next-season growth.


The easy-to-grow Lupine — one of Katherine's favorites — thrives in cool, moist locations. It prefers full sun to light shade and average soils, but will tolerate sandy, dry soil if need be and thrives in Twin Peaks and the southern dunes of Fort Funston beach. Lupine develop long taproots, so it's best to loosen the soil to a depth of 12-20 inches.

The endangered Mission Blue butterfly spends most of its year-long life fluttering around the Lupine, laying eggs that hatch in March through June each year. The new caterpillar eats Lupine leaves to grow, and as the lupine puts out new leaves the following spring, the caterpillar resumes feeding and growing eventually emerging as an adult butterfly. During its brief adult life, the butterfly can no longer eat solid food but instead sips the plants nectar to fuel its primary activities: mating and egg-laying. Adult mission blues are weak flyers, seldom leaving their Lupine patches.

Although it's not very likely that growing just one Lupine will bring the extrmeley rare Mission Blue to your garden, but Katie suggests that sometimes, if a community of neighbors grow them together, it can create a habitat islands — increasing the chance of birth and survival. The Lupine must be planted with other nectar flowers such as native Yarrow to increase hospitality. She also adds that the Presidio has a big volunteer program that does habitat restoration for people want to plug-in into the Mission Blue scene.

California Maidenhair Fern

This is a somewhat rare and elegant fern that normally tolerates going dormant in dry summer conditions. You usually see them a lot as house plants. The lovely delicate fern has tiny leaves that look similar to the Ginko tree seen planted up and down the sidewalks of the city. They thrive in partial to full shade and are native to San Francisco, Angel Island, the East Bay hills, and other local regions.

Like all ferns, they require partial to full shade and consistently moist soil. It's best to pick the right place in your garden that gets mostly shade and will require less watering. The Maidenhair fern will grow to a height of one to two feet and similar size in width. Maidenhair ferns are also used in the creation of herbal medicines. Parts of the fern are used in the herbal medicine for colds, asthma, sore throats, kidney stones and liver problems. Some also use Maidenhair fern as a tea in various different forms.

Coast Rock Cress

This is a charming and edible cress with bright blooms and grows wild on Twin Peak, the Presidio and other natural regions in the Bay Area. It is listed as uncommon by the Jepson Manual, mostly due to habitat loss. Found usually in a grassland meadow, this pretty little flower is delightful when tucked into rock crevices or walls. Excellent for slopes and perfectly sized for rock gardens and border fronts!

The rare, native perennial species of the Mustard Family grows up to 12 inches in height with showy, fragrant, pink to purple four-petaled flowers with white centers; leaves are long, with distinct individual hairs on edges and it blooms from February to April. The Coastal Rock Cress enjoys full sun with little to no plant food, but be sure to allow soil to dry between thorough waterings. Simple, right?!

California Bay Laurel

This is a slow growing very large tree that can be kept pruned and neat for a minimalist, modern or mid century style garden. It grows well in containers if you don't want to commit to a big tree. But as you may already know, it's fragrant leaves can be used in cooking soups and vegetable side dishes. Moderation is the key with the leaves of this tree so do proceed with caution in using it medicinally or as a flavoring in foods. The strongly aromatic mature leaves, like the leaves of many other aromatic plants, are reputed to be an insect repellant as well!

Besides the obvious use as a lovely tree in garden situations, the bay can also be used as a tall screen or clipped hedge. This very adaptable plant enjoys an array of sun/shade, water/drought, fertile soil or clay, making it an easy to care for and a wonderful plant for your garden.

Blue Eyed Grass

For those who are trying to attract wildlife to your gardens, blue-eyed grass will serve you well. Bees visit the flowers for pollen or nectar and seeds are even attractive to prairie chickens, wild turkeys, and songbirds. Pretty cute, huh? The Blue-eyed grass is a star performer in rock gardens, cottage-like gardens, and sometimes used at the front of borders and pathways.

Blue-eyed grass occurs naturally in wet fields so it prefers full sun and damp soil. But if you don't have a wet field in full sun for a backyard, don't fret. Blue-eyed grass gets along quite nicely in ordinary, well-drained but moist garden soil in sun to partial shade. And like the other native plants mentioned in this article, medicinal uses have been found for blue-eyed grass; usually tea made from the roots have been used by American Indians for treating stomachaches.

I know that was a lot of information jam-packed into one interior design blog post. But we want you to feel free to use this as a reference for if and when you decide to design that (other) room of your home — your garden. We work closely with the lovely Outer Space Landscape Architect firm here in San Francisco, if you're looking for someone to take on the more difficult work of outdoor design. They provide a variety of landscapes, from: Architectural, Drought Resistant, Deer Resistant, Native, Erosion Control, Fragrant, Japanese, Wildlife Habitat, Child/Pet-Friendly/Non-Toxic. So no matter what you're looking for, they have you covered.


Green, the New Black

Call it a trend, but "green" hasn't really died down since it hit mass appeal several years back — it might even be fair to say that it's here to stay. Everywhere I look, I see vacant parking lots, parking spaces and rooftops taken over by lush green vegetation. Living walls, rooftop gardens, parklets, and urban farming allow for integration of grasses, shrubs, succulents, and just about all plant-life to thrive through the cracks. These various venues for green life reclaim black top roofs, black tar parking spaces, intersections, and concrete walls, generating a natural ecosystem known to mitigate heating zones while adding natural oxygen production.

Don't worry, this isn't a janky lesson on climate change, gardening or environmentalism (though, as a sustainable interior design firm, we're very knowledgable in green design practices), but this week's post is about re-visiting the green trend in hopes that it continues to grow indefinitely.

Rooftop Gardens

Even a modest green rooftop can keep a building cooler in the summer months.  And if you're into gardening, that same rooftop could provide fresh edibles in a controlled environment.  Black tar rooftops are more than unsightly, and as The Environment Protection Agency tells us, the  glut of asphalt in urban areas creates a Heat Island Effect. When buildings, roads, and other infrastructure replace open land and vegetation, surfaces that were once permeable and moist become impermeable and dry. These changes cause urban regions to become warmer than their rural surroundings, forming an "island" of higher temperatures.

A poster child for reversing the effects of the "urban heat island" is the San Francisco Academy of Sciences' green rooftop.  This 2.5 acre roof is home to 1.7 million native plants, including the California poppy seen above.  More than a rooftop garden, the six inches of soil substrate on the roof act as natural insulation, providing significant gains in heating and cooling efficiency, keeping the building’s interior an average of 10 degrees cooler than a standard roof would. The steep slopes of the roof also play as a natural ventilation system, funneling cool air into the open-air plaza on sunny days.

 Living Walls


Back in 2009, French Botanist, Patrick Blanc brought his famous wall instillation to San Francisco's Drew School in Pacific Heights. Ever since, the idea has spread like weeds. A living wall creates a natural, wild surface that is both an aesthetic and environmental boon to the neighborhood.

Though living walls aren't as popular as the other green space-holders, Jeffrey L. Bruce, the Chair from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) notes that as the industry grows, we will see costs come down. According to Bruce, the benefits to building owners is unquestionable — integrated design practices that turn wall and roof spaces into greenery not only create a beautiful look and conserve energy, but can also help to manage storm water.



Cruising around the city, you may have seen dozens of parklets popping up all over the place, on Valencia, Powell, Divisadero, and Castro streets. A parklet is a parking spot turned into a small space for raised garden beds, benches, bikes, or outdoor veranda seating. San Francisco pioneered the plant-centric alternative, with the first parklet in 2005 as an unofficial protest by activists at Rebar art and design studio, who paid the parking meter, rolled out grass sod for a lawn, and placed a planted tree on top.  Shortly after, the Pavement to Parks initiative began. Parklets have sprouted all over in places like Philadelphia, Oakland, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and British Columbia.


A collaboration of the Mayor's Office, Department of Public Works, the Municipal Transportation Agency, and the Planning Department, Pavement to Parks initiative has been temporarily converting sizable intersections into parks, plazas, and gardens. The project provides a place for the community to dwell, sure, but maybe more importantly, helps our city to see what adjustments need to be made for a possible long-term community investment. Maybe then, we'll never have to go back to black.

Vintage Shop Stops

I hear you, you're tired of IKEA, but you don't want to settle with the fluffy florally couch you inherited from your grandmother.  I sat down with Paige Loczi and chatted about the abundance of local, vintage furniture stores — we had a lot to talk about so let's just get right down to our favorites.

STUFF, on 150 Valencia street, is not the kind of stuff you got rid of last spring, it's 8,200 sq feet of antique modern magic!  They carry mid-century design, Danish, mod, and art deco furniture in addition to home accessories like one-of-a-kind chandeliers, vintage clothing and jewelry. One of Stuff's talented design staff, Allison Probus, gave me the low-down on their in house upholster Chris Howard who Allison states is spot-on on his fabric selection.  Chris also has his own spot in the East Bay called Antiques and Modern, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves, there's more.

THE OTHER SHOP, one of Lower Haight's treasures is located on 372 Divisadero street.  I've walked by here many times, nearly breaking my neck while staring longingly into their showroom windows.  This shop is a collective featuring 18 Bay Area dealers who specialize in restored 20th-century furniture, mid-century furniture, glassware and various collectibles.  Their newest items consist of  colorful and eclectic vintage vases and a mid-century wine chest with wine carafes, scotch decanters and accessories to boot!

SAN FRANCISCO'S ANTIQUE AND DESIGN MALL is an enormous find.  Hidden in SF's industrial district on 701 Bayshore Blvd, this antique mart takes pride in their space and offers a variety of antiques for any budget.  You can seriously get lost in this place---in a good way.  They currently house 200 design specialists but are willing to share, offering 100 - 1500 sq feet booths for lease to dealers who'd like to display their goods.

HARRINGTON GALLERIES, once known as Harrington Brothers, is still a great place for vintage furniture, antiques, lighting, accessories and jewelry.  Harrington Galleries are fair and sometimes willing to negotiate on the pricing, but that's not all.  For your convenience, they offer a $50 flat rate delivery fee good for anywhere in San Francisco. They also provide complete estate liquidation and appraisals, as well as prop rentals for glamorous settings, including the Oscar winning film Milk, which sourced many of its props from Harrington Galleries.

THE APARTMENT, with its bright and cheery yellow exterior, it's hard to miss this store located on 3469 18th street.  Known as "a vintage lover's heaven," in part due to its knowledgeable staff and competitive prices, the Apartment houses an array of classic mid-century furniture, Pop Art pieces and quirky trinkets like a dozen Farrah Fawcett Barbie doll heads and their famous 1$ tray.

PAST PERFECT, both locations, 2224 Union St and 2246 Lombard St are a trove of Danish modern, 70's pop and mid-century furniture.  They seem to have a keen eye for all sorts of lighting fixtures, art sculptures, and even vintage baby prams---all in perfect condition.  Some of their merchandise notes the date it was made which is informative and refreshing.

Now you're all set.  You know where to go and what to get, but what if you find yourself in a rut as to how to accessorize your home, or rewire that amazing lamp so that it actually works? Compiled are some other local specialist known for their ability to make your once-loved pieces look and work like new.

Yuri, the same name as the first man in space, is also the first name of the man who owns and operates Yuri's Lights.  He can re-wire just about any lamp or light fixture.

Good furniture fabric is hard to find but Russian Hill Upholstery comes highly recommended by Allison Probus at STUFF, not to mention her favorite upholster Chris Howard at Antiques and Modern.

Restoration Furnishing, however, is a unique company that offers restorative solutions for antique, and vintage wood finds.  They most recently completed a refinishing project at the Christian Dior store downtown! If you're more into keeping it small and sustainable they can emulate traditional wood finishing results with a non-solvent based lacquer.

The finishing touches can sometimes be just as important as the big pieces so we wanted to spread the word on the amazing products at Timeless Treasures.  There you'll find the largest selection of vintage letters in all shapes and sizes on the West Coast, including re-purposed memorabilia and antique furnishings you won't find anywhere else.


Slides from the June designedCOLLECTIVE: LOCZI, DEPPEN, LEE