A Well-Designed Day in Oakland's Grand Lake Neighborhood

A Well-Designed Day in Oakland's Grand Lake Neighborhood

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Adrienne Breaux
Jun 3, 2016
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Joe and Keith's studio apartment in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood is only 300 square feet, but it's loaded with natural light, plants, art and great views. Residents of this neighborhood for three years, Joe, a landscape designer, and Keith, an artist and custom framer, show us their idea of a well-designed day in their neighborhood. The local spots they visit are as charming as their home!


(Image credit: Joe Cafuir)

La Parisienne, a French bakery owned and run by actual French people, is the newest addition to our block. I (Joe) walk by every morning on my way to work and it's hard not to drop in for one of their amazing almond croissants.

The Grand Lake Farmers Market is one of the best places to spend a Saturday morning in Oakland. We like coming here for breakfast burritos, fresh fruits and veggies, people watching, and my favorite flower stand that specializes in South African and Australian flowers and foliage.

(Image credit: Joe Cafuir)

Steps away from the farmers market is Lake Merritt—often referred to as the heart and soul of Oakland. On sunny weekend afternoons, the grassy areas around the lake are filled with locals hanging out, barbecuing, and having a great time with friends and family.

(Image credit: Joe Cafuir)

Across the street from the lake is Oaktown Spice Shop—filled with every spice you can imagine. You can catch me here a few times a month opening jars and sniffing the contents (everybody does it).

(Image credit: Joe Cafuir)

Sole Space is the go-to place in the neighborhood for a fresh pair of sneakers. I love walking by and catching a glimpse of the current mural inside by Oakland-based artist Jet Martinez.

Walden Pond Books is one of the oldest and most cherished establishments in our neighborhood. Keith loves perusing the aisles and Joe likes visiting the bookstore dogs—Amos and Kip.

Alchemy Bottle Shop is a specialty liquor store with one of the finest interiors on Grand Avenue. If you like clean design and fancy alcohol—this is your place (it's my place).

(Image credit: Joe Cafuir)

Oak Common is a men's and women's clothing store featuring both independent brands as well as timeless larger brands. It's located right below our apartment, so our closet is slowly getting filled with Oak Common goods.

A few blocks up the street at the Oakland-Piedmont border is the Morcom Amphitheater of Roses. It's a little bit off the main street so it's easy to miss, but if you visit during peak bloom time you are treated to incredible views like this.

(Image credit: Joe Cafuir)

The Alley is a trip—you walk inside and it feels like you're still outside. It's tough to explain—just go and check it out. It's our favorite spot in the neighborhood to grab a drink and listen to other patrons sing alongside piano man Rod Dibble.


(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

See more of Joe and Keith's tiny and inviting Oakland studio apartment in their house tour.

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Our "well-designed day" neighborhood guides are a visual tour of what a great day looks like from the perspective of a local.

You've loved the peeks inside gorgeous homes from around the world, so we thought we'd ask house tour stars to share their other homes—the neighborhoods and cities they live in. These are the stylish, colorful, bold and fun spaces that these locals would visit if they were designing a great day of stopping at favorite spots (or lounging around at home!). You can follow on our Instagram as we post images from their well-designed day and read more about this series.

Thanks, Joe and Keith!

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