Retail Inspiration: Gravel & Gold

Retail Inspiration: Gravel & Gold

Janel Laban
Aug 13, 2010

I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a shop or restaurant and thought (or exclaimed), "Omigod I want to live here!". One of those places is San Francisco's Gravel & Gold - here's how to get the look at home …

Shown above, left to right:

1. Gravel & Gold. The vibe: campfire girls, dreamy summer cabin, lakeshore, artisan, New England, cozy, wilderness glitz, community, Southwest, these things will last forever. The elements: wool, wood, gold, beeswax, hand-thrown ceramics, baskets, iron.

2. Gravel & Gold up your coffee table! Do-everything-yourself books from the 70s tend to be hilarious, extremely helpful, or both, and we all seem to have at least a couple lying about. A stack of books gives your guests something to peruse while you pour the wine, and are great for collages, esoteric R.V. wisdom, or a hoot! A magical rock makes it clear that you didn't just forget to put your books away, and lonely teacups make great beeswax candle holders.

3. Gravel & Gold up your kitchen! Normally my cutting boards are just used for cutting, my Frankoma mug lives in the cupboard, and special salts & oils are always lost somewhere on the spice shelf, but don't they all look nice together? Wouldn't it be great to spend the weekend in a cabin with these cozy kitchen accoutrements? A studio apartment is just a cabin waiting to happen! Scalloped cutting board made by my grandpa, varied-wood cutting board made by a dear friend, tongs made by my other grandpa.

4. Gravel & Gold up your bedroom! Normally this amazing Pendleton blanket stays folded up at the foot of my very white & fluffy bed, but during the infamously cold and foggy days of San Francisco summer a little extra coziness is in order. The Pendleton, a faux-cable-knit pillow case from Thrift Town, and my dear former father-in-law's army blanket all add snuggliness, without taking me too far out of my plain minimal-color comfort zone. Someday maybe I'll learn to rock the multicolor fantasy blankets the way the Gravel & Gold girls do…

5. Gravel & Gold up your...baskets! Two of my favorite items sold by G&G are these amazing wooden candle holders with gold highlights in the cracks and the timeless bike basket shown here . Let's put those two together! Community Thrift on Valencia and Thrift Town on Mission always have an ample supply of baskets, most for $1 or less. Pick your favorites (I like the plainest ones), give them a good scrub, and let them dry. While they're drying, find yourself a permanent gold marker like this one, available at art stores and Walgreens. These pens are amazing, like the world's tiniest cans of spraypaint. They are permanent, and really get the job done. I started coloring in all the little strips of wood that had flaws, and any others that seemed to catch my eye. It was fairly haphazard (if the marker slipped onto the next strip of wood, I just covered that one, too!) and relaxing, though it is pretty delicate work. Maybe don't drink a bottle of Mexican Coke beforehand like I did. The paint dries almost instantly, and now you've got yourself the glitziest basket in town.

Visit Gravel & Gold: online or at 3266 21st Street, San Francisco.

-Tess Wilson

Images: 1 - Gravel & Gold, 2-5 Tess Wilson

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