Category Archives: Living

Checking in on the environment and how we consume

I stumbled on this great infographic and thought it might be a good time to check in on how we consume. Much of what I do at the shop is try to have home furnishings at all price points available to my customers, to make environmentalism accessible to everybody. The amount of energy alone (aside from the use of other natural resources) that goes into making new items, along with the packing materials, is astounding, so remembering to buy vintage, antique and re-purposed goods is a really important way to save the planet (and often times your money) when re-decorating or building a house. Take a gander at this chart from Visual Loop.


New Sister Parish Home Accessories

We’re so happy to represent Sister Parish Design’s new home accessories collection. Currently we’re selling the waste basket for $80, dish for $20 and larger round tray for $65 and we ship anywhere. We’re so inspired bringing back old school pieces like this… LOVE…

Treasure Island Flea Market – New to the Bay this weekend!


It could not be a more beautiful setting for a flea market… I’m having a very late start today, but such a fun outing and I can already tell there are some goodies!

UPDATE (8 minutes later):
I’m so disappointed to report that the “goodies” I mentioned stopped short of the first two vendors I saw… this was much worse than I was expecting because the first day of the new Candlestick flea was actually really good. This is like a swap meet with new items (hats, Chinese embroidered silk accessories, big  shiny sculptures) and tons of food stands. Still very festive given the weather and setting, just not the right place for the serious shopper… Let’s put it this way, I was the only person in a fairly long line with a push cart. I might not try it again myself until I hear it’s changed otherwise. There were only a few “typical” flea market stands there with vintage finds, perhaps literally five or six, I’m curious where they all were because I went to Alemany earlier this morning and that market was empty as well… I thought they must’ve been on Treasure Island. I went zero to zero today. Bummer!

Leaving the Treasure Island flea and heading back to San Francisco:


Easter and Christmas Chinese Cactus

Mr. Yiu, a friend to the shop, and of mine since 1998, has an incredible green thumb. A few months ago he gave me a little Christmas Cactus that I considered good feng shui for the shop, and have kept it on a little pedestal in the corner by the window. It bloomed recently and a customer happened to notice this and knew exactly what it was immediately. They aren’t sold on the market and are only accessible when passed on from owner-to-owner. I twisted off a piece of mine and gave it to her so she could dry it out a bit and then stick it in a dirt pot to sprout her own plant. She came in later and asked if I had access to more… I got in touch with Mr. Yiu and he dropped off the most exquisite Easter Cacti, it was hard to take their vibrancy and uniqueness. She ended up buying two large and a small… we have some left, it’s going to be hard not to keep another one for the shop.

Mr. Yiu with his son Peter… Peter’s translating which cactus is which, Christmas or Easter. The Christmas Cactus isn’t sold on the market because it doesn’t bloom until after the holidays come and go, so they are only passed on from owner to owner.

We were so excited about the delivery coming today… our customer met us moments later and was able to meet Mr. Yiu and Peter. Maggie loves Mr. Yiu but always barks at him… not sure why.

Mr. Yiu brought me a special gift from his garden, this beautiful bouquet:

Mr. Yiu explaining that the fuchsia flowers can last for two months if I twist off the flowers when they start to wilt, it will allow the other buds to sprout, and to continue this process for up to two months… I don’t know the name of them, I will have to find out unless someone who reads this knows.

Thank you Mr. Yiu!

Kewl Truck

I have been so focused on the shop since I signed the lease in September that I haven’t posted anything that hasn’t had to do with it. A couple of days ago I heard this rumbling noise outside and saw the knife sharpening guy at work in front of the store. I yelled to him that I loved his truck but he didn’t hear me with those heavy duty headphones he’s wearing. I love tradespeople. Really.

California Style Magazine

Our shop was featured beautifully in the June issue of C Magazine (California Style). We were so happy to have this opportunity for such fabulous exposure! Thank you Grant Gibson and C! If you click on the links below, the larger format will be readable. xoxo Michelle

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Best place to stay in Vicenza, Italy (in my opinion)

Now that I am re-grouping and able to catch up with my blog after a very busy 3.5 months as a new shopkeeper, I would like to tell you about one of my favorite places in Italy, Villa Pasini, which is a bed and breakfast run by very talented Cynthia “Cinzia” Rising and her husband, well-known and accomplished Italian architect Aldo Cibic. This is an insider’s track for the “real” lifestyle in Vicenza… most locals live on the scattered hillsides of the town, and Cinzia and Aldo will be able to give you a peek through their viewfinder of how to enjoy this lifestyle… one hint to their quality of life is when they pick cherries off the trees on the hills behind their property to make fresh tarts made with the same crust recipe as Harry’s in Venice (they had a friend who was a pastry chef there), and will tell you the best plaza to hang out in on a Sunday to enjoy people watching, where all of the families meet every week to catch up on the latest. Its a perfect place to stay when you need a break from the tourism in Venice… and they can give you leads on other treasure trove villages in and around the Veneto region. The rooms are in an intimate courtyard behind the converted barn off the main Villa… It’s so tastefully done, warm, and to share the long dining table in the sun room of the Cibic house is such a treat, it’s an unforgettable experience.

Here’s a link to their website:

Big Sur Country Soap

I never tire of these soaps hand mixed and poured by Sheila of Big Sur, who says they are best used in a claw foot tub!  The healing and and soothing oils and natural herbs she uses work like a mini-vacation in the shower, I adore… Great party favors, and they’re $8 each email us to send you some, or check out:

Repurposed Knitting Machine Callibration Weight Candle Wickets…

From the “Nothing New” line of re-purposed Italian items handmade in Vicenza. I just sold the only pair of these to a woman who was drawn into the shop by the WWI crampon condiment dishes in the window, but will be getting more soon… they have antique iron nail tips drilled into them for the spike of the candle wicket. So happy they were a successful piece in the shop! What I love about this line, is that it employs various specialized tradespeople throughout the Veneto region of Italy… many of whom possess skills from a dying lineage. SOLD

New Shop

I’m really happy to get back my blog after a long time off after moving back to the Bay and signing the lease on my brick and morter in Russian Hill! It’s called HOMME and it’s located at 2354 Polk Street at Union, in San Francisco. I feel so happy to have a platform to express my creativity and sixteen years as a designer, artist, and professional collector. Please take a look at our 1stdibs account which was opened on the first day we opened, December 9, 2009.