Jul 7, 2006

We admire the way Bae's co-owner, David Caler describes himself: "a weird guy who likes weird things."

That's a self-description that signals confidence in the most important guiding light you can have when taking on an aesthetic project like the creation of a store (or a home for that matter): one's own quirky taste.

In the case of Bae, the 7-month old Laurel Heights home accessories store which David co-owns with Matt Bissinger, it's also a statement of their philosophy. Stocking only "the most unusual, unique, and high quality" nature-inspired home accessories ("an eclectic blend of modern living with old world charm," as their website describes it), Bae keeps the organic thing fresh by importing merchandise (much of it from Europe) that you don't see elsewhere.

And so this small, 900-square foot home accessories haven is packed with functional products (tableware, ceramics, candles, light fixtures, bath accessories, open-shelved storage, textiles) that are also a little weird and wonderful.

On a recent visit we spotted clean-lined white porcelain from SF-based Bahari, delicate button bowls, luxurious bath products, small dishes formed from shells (use 'em bedside for rings or on the table for elegant service of salt and pepper), leaf-appliqued table runners ($110), boldly graphic noren-like room dividers ($200 the pair), teak furniture from Indonesia, rubber bath accessories made from recycled tires ($26), striking iron plant stands, French candles shaped like fish and stones ($17.50 and up), and Austrian tealight stands made from actual river rocks ($95 per stand or $35 loose).

Despite the fancy neighborhood, Bae's prices are within reach: ceramics are $45-$200, iron plant stands $145-$200, tabletop accoutrements $6-$70; and teak furniture $200-$1500 (custom finishes are available).

Bae's website is currently a calling card, but they hope to have e-commerce in place by September.

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