Posted on Feb 16, 2017

Sometimes it’s nice to get out of our four design walls and explore what other people in our industry are doing. We were given a beautiful sunny day– a welcome respite from the torrential downpour Northern California has been dealt this past month– and we made off to San Francisco, specifically the San Francisco Design Center. While we did have an event of our own to attend, our team was excited to get our eyeballs on new product, new designers and new trends, all without getting on a plane to go to some of the other markets we usually attend. When we arrived, the city’s gorgeous design district was buzzing with excitement; after all, it is #designweek.

Design assistants scurried across the streets with bags of samples flung over their shoulders, while meetings were being held at charming bistro tables parked outside towering design studios and showrooms. Cars, bicycles, and pedestrians dotted the small, windy streets, leading to the main area of the hub, The Galleria. Home to designers, studios, businesses, and showrooms, The Galleria is a big, wide building boasting four floors of design hustle and bustle. Stairs lead to corridors with smaller studios and work spaces tucked behind the bigger design giants, and a quaint restaurant served as the recharging station for patrons and designers alike.

While there we were able to peer through the windows of some of our favorite design houses, walk the sparkling showroom floors of industry friends, and look through the lens of a San Francisco designer. Stopping at Robert Allen, we were able to see two design faves in one stop– Minted was there, too! Celebrating Robert Allen’s new nomadic color, a rich, earthen, sumptuous shade, Minted dotted the showroom’s walls with complementary art consisting of layers of soft gray, contrasting photography, and rich abstract pieces. ANN SACKS, a plumbing place that gives us all sorts of warm-and-fuzzies, was also a stop on our design tour, full of dimensional tile and faucet delights.

On a design high, we made our way to Janus et Cie— a leading outdoor design company with a chic and innovative spirit unlike any other business. After carefully perusing the gorgeous showroom that stretches as far as the eye can see, we grabbed a few look books, snapped a couple pictures, and went on our merry way to Restoration Hardware then Quintus. We ooh’ed and aah’ed over the design meccas’ mixture of soft and contemporary casegoods and upholstery, picturing how beautiful their Instagram feed probably is.

After we ran the course of the showroom, we headed to our main event with legendary style icon and designer, Scot Meacham Wood. A piece from our furniture line, 42nd Street Design, was being housed in his showroom in a to-die-for shade of navy paired with his splashy acid yellow tartan lining the top drawer. His charming showroom is stuffed to the beautiful brim with layers upon layers of tartan– royal blue, forest green, and dreamy neutral hues as soft and supple as they are stylish. After examining his space (and impeccable styling skills), we gathered with 30 or so designers, students, and members of the press to talk color and customization in the design industry. Questions ranged from, “So, how did you get started?”, to “Spill: Where do you get your products from?” After at least an hour of chatting, laughing, inquiring, and conversing, our chat was done and we were ready to do a little more exploring before we hit the dusty trail.

Our final stop at Carlisle was the perfect cherry on top– we managed to coax Kerrie into a money booth, pocketing just enough for a delicious bottle of our favorite rose. What a day, indeed.

After taking a pause this morning and reflecting on our busy and exploratory design day yesterday, we came to the realization that we are so excited for San Francisco’s growth and the opportunities its giving designers in our area. In summation: We wouldn’t mind road tripping to ‘The City’ at all!

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