Where “Midwest Modern” isn’t an oxymoron
After launching stores in New York and Los Angeles (and mollifying the Mission’s anti-chain alarmists), modern furniture company Blu Dot has arrived(560 Valencia St., Near 17th St.). The Minnesota-based brand hits the sweet spot between Ikea and the design district: cleanly designed but not cookie-cutter; sturdy (expect powder-coated steel, not particle board) but affordable. Though the selection is more limited than at competitors like West Elm and CB2 (all products are designed in-house), the brand sets itself apart with its sleek, slightly tweaked architectural forms and a practical but playful approach. Case in point: the hot mesh chair ($119), the storage-savvy Modu-licious bed ($1,500), and the Flask table lamp ($299).
Turn a profit on your old, closet-clogging puffer coats. After a yearlong trial period in Portland, Oregon, outerwear brand Patagonia is launching a Worn Wear used clothing section in its Palo Alto store this month (525 Alma St., Near University Ave., 650-329-8556). Turn in retired Patagonia shells, fleece, down and synthetic jackets, and ski pants, and receive store credit for half of the resale price. The payoff ranges from $40 for a fleece vest to $200 for a Gore-Tex jacket—plus the satisfaction of a closet purge.
Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco