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Treasure Hunt

From San Diego to San Francisco—and everywhere in between—we present a sampling of the top new design stores and offerings across the state.

IN RARE FORM
The House of Blu showroom in downtown San Diego specializes in hard-to-find pieces like this 23K gold-leaf credenza ($22,000) by Arturo Pani and Sputnik table lamps ($12,000) by Verna Cook Shipway.

SAN DIEGO
Expert Eye
When San Diegan Dawn T. Maier stumbled upon a rare Karl Springer goatskin desk at an estate sale, she knew she had struck gold. Today, the desk has a new home with Kuwaiti royalty, and Maier’s talent for discovery—plus her collab with collector and furniture designer Alberto Vieyra—has resulted in a buzzy design biz. Since its inception in late 2013, House of Blu has won the hearts of fans on 1stdibs.com (where wares are sold exclusively) as well as bigwigs like Nate Berkus, William T. Georgis and architect Peter Marino, who recently bid on a $28,000 Brutalist credenza by Pedro Baez. “It’s the Bentley of credenzas,” says Maier in her downtown showroom, which is stocked with works by Paul Evans and Arturo Pani. “High-end collectors are interested in modernism now. And these are investment pieces.” And smart ones, at that. By appointment only, 311 Fourth Ave., Suite 401, San Diego, 619.508.4230 –Gillian Flynn

ORANGE COUNTY
Lucky in Laguna
Designer Tania Cassill has put her distinctive, artistic mark on her hometown of Laguna Beach with the stylish new home furnishings and accessories boutique Huit (French for eight, her lucky number). The shop opened in the community’s seaside Village shopping district with 400 square feet of modern, organic and vintage home furnishings and accessories, plus gifts and a full-service interior design studio. Look for an ever-changing collection of pieces inspired by Laguna’s stunning natural beauty and relaxed yet chic lifestyle, including one-of-a-kind vintage wool blankets from the Andes ($425 to $545) and brilliant handwoven pendants from Tunisia ($375 to $625). “I’d like the store and its contents to be inspiring,” says Cassill, who also plans to feature rotating art exhibits by local artists such as Suzanne Morrison—a nod to the building’s previous tenant of 30 years, an art gallery. 1493 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach, 949.715.5617 –Wendy Bowman

SONOMA VALLEY
Fitting Flagship
After 58 years, kitchenware brand Williams-Sonoma is heading back to where it all began: a charming house in Sonoma that served as the original storefront and home of founder Chuck Williams. The landmark space elevates the company’s already enviable offerings with a home showroom, a cooking school and an outdoor garden equipped with a service kitchen and pizza oven. Of course, supreme kitchenware is still key, so the store offers the now-famous lines that Williams discovered and cultivated over his lofty career, including copper cookware by Mauviel ($90 to $375) and fine porcelain cookware by Pillivuyt ($53 to $403), as well as exclusive pieces like a vintage brass duck press ($3,995)—proving that there really is no place like home, sweet home. 605 Broadway, Sonoma, 707.939.8974 –Kelsi Maree Borland

LOS ANGELES
Off the Charts
“This is a go-for-it shop,” says interior designer Christina Karras of her new store on La Brea. “And I’m a go-for-it designer.” The slender space—rich with her oversize Mongolian lamb pillows ($625), opulent fur throws (from $2,800), Rococo armchairs upholstered in Jean Paul Gaultier plaid ($10,400 for the pair) and Chinese silk beds ($8,700)—conjures up the kind of place Mick Jagger would have hung out at in the ‘70s. Vintage sunglasses, leather cuffs and spiked key chains (all from $150) complete the vibe. Karras, who was a performance artist under the aegis of legendary rock promoter Bill Graham before turning to decor, always has had the cool home. “No one ever wants to leave,” she says. We can see why. 456 S. La Brea Ave., L.A., 323.939.9996 –Abigail Stone

LOS ANGELES
Floor Plan
“We never planned to sell retail,” says Marc Phillips Decorative Rugs founder and managing partner Bobby Partial of the formerly trade-only brand’s new L.A. outpost. “People came knocking.” The space—decorated by interior designer Jamie Bush—is filled with antique and reproduction rugs (from $7,500), as well as Bush’s first collection, Topo (from $7,200). There are also limited-edition, graffiti-inspired creations by famed street artist RETNA (from $20,000). “They’re cool and subversive yet refined,” says Partial. 815 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310.652.9222 –AS

ORANGE COUNTY
Under Cover
Best known for its large variety of imported surface coverings—including granite, hardwood, marble, limestone, mosaics, slabs, quartz and quartzite—as well as its cut-to-size capability, Trendy Surfaces has become a go-to destination for designers and retailers. The firm’s newest showroom just opened at Laguna Design Center in Laguna Niguel. At approximately 2,000 square feet, the sleek, modern outpost is overflowing with luxurious options: silky white honed limestone ($18 per square foot); gray pepperwood porcelain ($9 per square foot); zebra marble ($11 per square foot); and Italian deco porcelain ($9.50 per square foot). There’s even an in-house designer, Ayse McGuire, on hand to help with any project. 23811 Aliso Creek Road, Suite 176, Laguna Niguel, 949.446.8121 –WB

SAN FRANCISCO
Get Inspired
Modern classics mesh with works by contemporary designers and artists at the new 5,000-square-foot Zinc Details showroom in San Francisco’s LoPa neighborhood. “We always envisioned Zinc Details as a source of inspiration for people from all walks of life and a place everyone could come together,” says Greece native Vas Kiniris, who founded Zinc 25 years ago with his wife, Wendy Nishimura Kiniris. The stylish new destination joins Zinc’s original Fillmore Street locale and features a more extended presentation of distinctive furnishings and art. Be sure to check out the exclusive New Nordic collection by Design House Stockholm, boasting items like the Muuto split table in ash and oak ($3,099) designed by Staffan Holm, pendant lamp ($79) by Mattias Ståhlbom and flip candleholder ($60) by Lena Bergström. Also on tap: regularly scheduled talks and panels with industry leaders, retail collaborations, and events spotlighting modern design and lifestyle. 1633 Fillmore at Geary Street, San Francisco, 415.776.2700 –WB