AREA

Location: San Francisco, CA
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AREA's a breath of fresh (outdoor) air in the traditionally stuffy and serious Jackson Square design scene.

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This is a store that caters to the senses: walk in, smell the slow-release scent of a Herve Gambs candle, and slowly take in the sophisticated furnishings and accessories for indoor-outdoor living. Owner John Giacomazzi has been in merchandising for many years but AREA is his first independent venture, and it's a labor of love. John's a true connoisseur of design, gardening, and craft, and his store is a paean to the mix of the three.

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John has actually collaborated with many of the designers from whom he sources his wares, and as a result some of them are exclusives. If you've got time to browse and chat with him he will regale you with an interesting tale or two on the provenance of these special objects.

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On a recent visit we were impressed by the well-scaled concrete planters in both modern and pared down neoclassical shapes. These can be used indoors as industrial-chic Koi ponds (pictured at top).

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We also liked a series of lamps with shades made from paper-thin bentwood, and vessels made from bark.

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John refreshes his inventory frequently and also stocks some of the most up-to-the-minute objects in the modern home accessories world. On our visit we found limited edition wire sculpture lamps from French artisan Marie Christophe, Atlantico tables and consoles, Harry Allen's white resin frames, extremely comfortable woven rope chairs and stools, Corian serving trays, luscious pieced wool and velvet pillows, and many great lighting options.

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