It’s hard to believe, but even after four and a half years of living in San Francisco, there are still several areas of town that I know little about. One of those areas is Hayes Valley, a neighborhood that has undergone so much change since I’ve moved to the city. Centrally located in San Francisco, it’s common to drive through it to get from point A to point B, and I’d always wondered about all the cute little shops lining Hayes Street.
On Saturday, my friend Meredith and I decided to hit up the neighborhood, grab some brunch, and see what Hayes Valley had to offer. We were NOT disappointed!
Between starting the day off with some coffee at the original Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk, tucking in to some monstrous crepes at Crepe House, and savoring the best macarons I’ve had stateside at Paulette (that’s right, Miette has been officially de-throned), it was a fantastic afternoon. Most fun for me was checking out the home goods stores — there were so many I’d never even heard of, and it was great to find some new inspiration.
Three stand-outs and places I’ll happily return to browse and ogle (and maybe even splurge):
Like a more upscale, restrained Z Gallerie, Plantation was a joy to walk through. The furniture designs are all signature, and created by a team of artists based out of LA (where they also have two additional locations). Though pricey, the pieces are one of a kind, and very on trend. The store is also full of accessories, including candles, trays, lacquered boxes, frames, artwork and design books. Don’t miss looking through their fabric selection in the back, although, here’s fair warning: you WILL want to recover something the minute you get home.
Selling sustainably made furniture, Cisco Home is housed in an old warehouse with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams — a truly beautiful, airy place to browse. Quite different from Plantation, Cisco’s furniture has a more organic, natural feeling. But it’s not granola — most of the pieces were neutral enough to fit in any number of interior styles. I loved the chandeliers they were displaying, and all their seating options were SO plush and comfortable!
I had already said goodbye to Meredith and was trying to catch a cab when I walked past a store with this window display:
Obviously, I had to go in.
Obsessed with ikat? Crazy for moroccan prints? If you like any kind of pattern — and if you like it colorful — look no further than Lotus Bleu. This little shop is filled to the brim (really!) with accessories for the home in a huge array of contemporary prints. I checked out their Press wall near the entrance, and realized why the store felt so familiar. The shop’s owner, Jeannie Fraise, has been featured in several other mags, and the store itself has also been mentioned on sites like Apartment Therapy.
Lotus Bleu also has a small selection of furniture. Some of my favorite pieces:
If you’re headed to San Francisco any time soon, or heck, even if you LIVE here but never venture out of your own ‘hood, I would definitely recommend an afternoon in Hayes Valley. Beyond the furniture stores, there are also tons of clothing boutiques, shoe stores and a few art galleries. I can’t wait to go back soon!
Plantation336 Hayes St. 415.565.0888 www.plantationdesign.com
Cisco Home580 Hayes St. 415.436.0131 www.ciscohome.net
Lotus Bleu327 Hayes St. 415.861.2700 www.lotusbleudesign.com