Gina Pell’s picks
On Clement Street
Fleur’t. Floral studio and home-accessories boutique with a chic European sensibility (as in minimalist moss arrangements and bistro chairs). Closed Sun-Mon. 15 Clement St.; 415/751-2747.
Green Apple Books. Still going strong after almost four decades, the cult emporium packed with new and used books can command an entire day of browsing. The vintage-cookbooks section is excellent. 506 Clement; 415/387-2272.
Kamei Household Wares. A mecca for inexpensive kitchen supplies, Asian dinnerware, and gadgets. “This place is great to visit right before a dinner party ― everything’s so reasonably priced, you can really spruce up your table,” Pell says, grabbing a $3.75 jade green miniature tray for hors d’oeuvres. 547 Clement; 415/933-8508.
Period George. Crammed full of merchandise that runs the gamut from museum-quality (a 1780s potpourri jar from France) to kitsch (goofy bird vases from the 1920s and ’30s). Owner Donald Gibson goes on worldwide scavenging trips. “We take old, fussy things and put them in an edgy environment,” he says. 7 Clement; 415/752-1900.
Satin Moon Fabrics. Run by two sisters, the store isn’t cheap ― but their decorator and upholstery selections are outstanding. With her nursery in mind, Pell instantly gravitates to a roll of 1940s-inspired material called Alphabet Soup. 32 Clement; 415/668-1623.
In Hayes Valley
Alabaster. The exquisite store comprises four rooms and a Balinese courtyard garden. “This feels like Paris,” Pell says, practically cooing over the vintage glassware, antique globes, and esoteric fragrances. Not for budget shoppers ― a set of tortoiseshell Lucite stacking tables is $2,100 ― but it’s catnip for refined design sensibilities. 597 Hayes St.; 415/558-0482.
Azalea Boutique & Z Beauty Lounge. The truly genius draw of this edgy men’s and women’s clothing boutique is the manicure and pedicure station in back ― a boon for weary shoppers. 411 Hayes; 415/861-9888.
Propeller. Streamlined designer furnishings share space with irreverent objects of fun ― purses made out of pull tabs from aluminum cans and the hilarious Dial O for Old School, a bulky pink telephone earpiece meant to be attached to your slimmest Motorola Razr. 555 Hayes; 415/701-7767.
Scandinavian Details. All the greatest hits ― Marimekko, Iittala, etc. ― combined with irresistibly chic and clever kiddie designs. 364 Hayes; 415/552-1100.