We recently decided we just had to have an OFFI magazine rack. After making several phone calls, a very nice customer service person at Design Public (who completely understood our need for instant gratification) tipped us off to Friend. And so we found ourselves in trendy Hayes Valley.
Although we hate Friend’s name (their card says “Objects in Common”), the ultra-hip boutique has something for everyone, every occasion, and every budget -- and they even have a gift registry.
A light, bright store located at the corner of Hayes and Gough streets, it’s jam-packed with housewares and furnishings from manufacturers such as Alessi, Fatboy, Herman Miller, Kartell, Toord Boontje, and Vitra. There are watches, calculators, Moleskine notebooks, Acme Made laptop and iPod cases.
Friend also features products from Bay Area-based companies -- dinnerware from Heath Ceramics, furnishings from OFFI, and lighting from Pablo. We even saw Katherine Walsh’s Ink Blot Plates (AT slinked them recently). And we’re not sure we’d ever want a velvet beetle pillow, but it’s nice to know where we could find one if we needed to.
Friend itself is warm and inviting, and we were intrigued by the wood walls with small display niches. In fact, last year designer Yves Behar (fuseproject) was awarded a bronze medal from the IDSA for his store concept.
Some of Friend’s products are online, but the actual store has many more.
(Friend has since closed.)