9 Top Designers Share Their Share Their Saturday Design Circuits

We asked a smart set of the city’s top designers, and our editor in chief, where they head for design inspiration on lazy Saturday afternoons (and learned design scouting is fueled more often by cocktails than caffeine). Their itineraries crisscross the Bay Area, so close your eyes, place a finger on the map, and you’re assured a well-designed day.

On Saturdays, my first priority is taking Henry, my new 9-pound rescue BFF, on his morning walk to Alta Plaza, where I swing by Juicy News for my latest stash of design magazines. I grab a quick breakfast nosh at Jane on Fillmore, then hop on my new favorite toy: my tricked-out bike from Public Bikes, complete with a seat for Henry. We head to Zinc Details for a fix of modern furnishings by the likes of Knoll and Herman Miller, to Nest for design books and chic continental accessories, and finally InWater for fresh flowers for the house. After my fill of all things interior, naturally, it’s time for a nap. Being a design doyen is exhausting, after all! 

Geoffrey De Sousa, Interior Designer

My design-inspired Saturday definitely starts with a trip to Sacramento Street. First stop is March for kitchen and tableware delights. I covet every item, and I don’t even cook! Next stop is the Future Perfect to see what’s new from their pool of talented artists, and then it’s on to Hudson Grace for its perfect collection of household items. You can never have enough dinnerware! Last stop is Hayes Street for lunch at Absinthe. What better way to end the day but with an afternoon cocktail and good eats!

Matthew Leverone, Interior Designer

Modernism lives in the Mission! My circuit starts on Valencia Street at Stuff. It is a collective with something for everyone and every budget—from a kitsch ceramic poodle to a rare vintage Paul McCobb chair. Next stop is Farnsworth, a mainly mid-century vintage furniture and accessories store that is beautifully curated and has a lovely staff. Then it’s De Angelis for a dose of Hollywood glamour and some really beautiful over-the-top tables. Finally, head over to Mission Beach Café for a late lunch.

Gary Hutton, Interior Designer

One of my favorite haunts is Jackson Square: The intimate scale and tree-lined streets always feel so serene and civilized. First up is brunch at cozy Cotogna (and one of their potent Bloody Marys, of course), then it’s a visit to Hedge to see the latest exhibition, which is always an exquisite exercise in minimalism. Just down the block is Carrots, a dangerous stop because they always have covetable frocks, and finally it’s William Stout Books to draw inspiration from the endless stacks of design tomes. At the end of the afternoon, all of the senses are satisfied!   

– Alisa Carroll, Editor in Chief of SFC&G

While I love city living, I try to spend as much weekend time as possible in Sonoma. Much of my design inspiration comes from the natural environment, and I love to spend time hiking and reflecting. The Quarryhill Botanical Garden is a particular favorite; it features an amazing collection of plants from Asia and can be an absolute explosion of color at certain times of the year. A short trip away is the incredible Artefact Design and Salvage at Cornerstone Gardens, where I love hunting for unusual architectural pieces and accessories as well as custom furniture. I never leave empty-handed. 

 – Kendall Wilkinson, Interior Designer

In St. Helena, a perfect morning for me starts at French Blue with a sublime black truffle and fontina omelet served up with a smile. From there, I slowly peruse Vintage Home and Ma(i)sonry on Main Street. At a suitable hour (and that, my friends, is always open to debate), I make my way to the tasting room at Silver Oak to sip and savor my favorite Cabernet before returning home to paint until my heart’s content.

Martha Angus, Interior Designer

A perfect design day in the East Bay starts with a trip to the Alameda Flea Market (held the first Sunday of every month). I’ve never made it before 10, but I’m told the serious shoppers start at six. I always find at least one treasure to take home, and the food trucks are to die for. I then head to Collector to check out affordable, original art. Marion & Rose’s Workshop is the place to stop for handmade gifts in Oakland. Finally, Boot and Shoe Service is my go-to dinner spot when I want wood-fired pizza and craft cocktails. Which is pretty much always.

Melanie Coddington, Interior Designer


Exclusive! Download three more web-exclusive design circuit guides from Jay Jeffers, Antonio Martins and Scot Meacham Wood here.

A version of this article appeared in the March 2014 issue of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens with the headline: The Saturday Circut.

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