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We talked with San Francisco based founder, creative director, and painter Katherine Bragg about her whisical and popular greeting card company Pigeon Whole. Katherine holds a BFA in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design and MFA in Furniture Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. 

What were your inspirations for designing your greeting cards?  I love hashtags, puns, word play, silly sayings, and pop culture.  I think animals are so expressive but they can't communicate the same way people do. I image if these animals could talk, my sentiments would be what they would say.

When did you start designing cards? I discovered I could paint in September of 2013.  It took a year for me to try painting my second painting and another year before I did the third.  After that I couldn't stop. Since then, I have completed over 50 paintings in the last year.

Is designing cards your primary job?  Nope! I have a residential interior design practice in SF called Westwood and Main.

What is your favorite thing about designing greeting cards?  I love the process of painting each design. I know I'm onto something good when I'm painting an idea and it makes me smirk or laugh as it's coming to life. 

What is your least favorite thing about designing? I wish I was faster! 

What is favorite design and why?  ALL THE FEELS. It makes everyone smile.

Why these animals?  Sometimes the animal is the inspiration for the card and the sentiment comes second or it's the other way around.

Why the abbreviations? I love hashtags and and trendy phrases which usually include abbreviations.

0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Deric Carner

Aldea Home and Baby Stores Merging

Aug 26, 2015 12:35:00 PM

We're Having a Baby

We are delighted to announce that Niños store will be merging with Aldea Home at 890 Valencia Street in September. We will focus on curating the best nursery products in the context of a well designed home. We will continue to offer inspiring home, spa and garden accessories. We want every part of your home to be designed with care and filled with love.

We sincerely thank you for the love and support you have shown us throughout the last ten years as we have grown and adapted. Your business means everything to us. As we embark on the new and exciting chapter in our lives, our name will officially change to Aldea Home + Baby

We welcome your feedback, and hope you will be patient with us as we move things around and redecorate. 

Thank you so much and hope to see you soon.

Regards,
Aldea Home + Baby

Aldea Home + Baby

0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By admin admin

Creative Profile: Jess Brown

May 19, 2014 2:06:20 PM


Creator of artisan rag dolls Jess Brown has recently collaborated with children’s book author Nina Gruener and Photographer Stephanie Rausser on the sweet and visually stunning book Lulu & Pip. Having previously collaborated on the beautiful Kiki & Coco in Paris, Brown, Gruener and Rausser reunite to tell the charming story about a doll and her girl, starring the Pip doll from Brown’s collection. 

Jess Brown and Nina Gruener will be at the Aldea Home store for a book reading and signing.
Saturday May 24, 2014
11—4 PM Jess Brown Collection Trunk Show
2:30—4 PM Book reading and signing for Lulu & Pip
with Nina Gruener 
Come by for a chance to see the Pip doll in person as well as view entirely new, unique dolls from Brown’s collection.

Jess Brown’s passion for making dolls came from a lifelong love for heirlooms and fine fabrics, leading her to create her first dolls for her daughter fifteen years ago. Brown’s unique and lovingly crafted dolls are all created out of the Jess Brown Design Studio in Petaluma where each doll is dyed, stitched and dressed by hand. Beginning with only a few dolls per month, Brown now makes and ships over 250 dolls per month from the studio. Her beautiful dolls are a modern take on the traditional rag doll, designed to be loved until they fall apart and are resewn, the ‘ultimate comfort doll made out of the ultimate decadent materials.’

Brown’s dolls are not only original in the rich materials she carefully chooses—the pattern of the dolls is also uniquely brilliant. The body of each doll is designed by Jess and reminiscent of an antique French rag doll, featuring long, skinny arms that make the dolls perfect for little girls to stroll with. Brown’s unmistakable signature is present on each doll through the star eyes, heart-shaped mouth and custom details.

The impeccable style of Brown’s dolls has garnered attention from major fashion houses including Bottega Veneta, which commissioned her to create life-sized versions of the dolls for their Fashio...

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0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home

Creative Profile: Vanessa Gade Jewelry

Apr 29, 2014 12:08:59 AM

Vanessa Gade’s striking collections are much more than timeless, breathtaking pieces. Her work is thoughtful and thought-provoking with a visual simplicity that opens up to layers of tactile and conceptual complexity the moment you interact with a piece. We love that each piece is created with equal parts precise craftsmanship and intellect, so that even a chain has a symbiotic relationship with its pendant, making an integral, kinetic whole.

Gade happened upon jewelry making by chance while studying to be a historian in college. Having come across the jewelry studio next door to the darkroom she was setting up, Gade began her education in jewelry while studying abroad at an art school in Florence. Upon returning to the States, she paid her dues at a unique artisan jewelry store in San Diego, working her way up to having her own case as the shop jeweler by the time she left.

Come into the Aldea Home store on Sunday, May 3 to view these sculptural pieces in person at the Vanessa Gade Trunk Show.



What made you change course from a life in academia to pursue jewelry making?

I had a hard time with spending my life in a field that was so esoteric, that only a handful of people would really grasp or enjoy. I was really struggling with this at the time and I was also very passionate about jewelry and loved it so much, and finally when I was twenty-five I made the decision that jewelry is what I love and I want to pursue it, and if I do that I want to respect my craft and be properly trained. So I came to the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and graduated through the jeweler program, then launched in September of 2007.

Has metal always been your first love as a medium to work with?
For me, metal is a really incredible medium to work with because a lot of people look at metal and think it’s a very static, structured medium, but you actually have this amazing ability to really craft it. It has a fluidity to it especially when you’re doing things like forging items or...

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0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home

Creative Profile: Laurence Srinivasan

Dec 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM

American-born, German-Indian Laurence Srinivasan is the designer of iconic Bay Area-inspired pieces such as the model-sized Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Tower, and Oakland Cranes. After moving to San Francisco, Srinivasan found that the bay lent itself as a recurring theme to projects from his rich collaboration with local artists and makers through TechShop SF, to his current projects involving the Bay Area model series featured at the SFMOMA (including the Sutro Tower, Oakland Cranes, and Golden Gate Bridge).

Srinivasan’s background was a natural progression into his latest projects: subsequent to graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Srinivasan worked for various architecture firms before landing in Brooklyn as a furniture maker. The intersecting progeny of these two worlds, architecture and furniture, emerged organically in the form of Studio for Metropolitan Craft when Srinivasan moved to San Francisco. The Studio’s work begins by using architectural models as a springboard to make tabletop sculpture, furniture, and architecture, a process that Srinivasan thoroughly enjoys exploring and repeating in order to perfect and finalize products.

Check out photos of some of his Bay Area-inspired work below (available at the Aldea Home store):

 
Painted in international orange, Srinivasan's strikingly art deco rendition of the Golden Gate Bridge is finished before lasercutting, then etched and scored to render the details in the wood.


 
This 1"=50' model of Sutro Tower is a delightful DIY kit complete with graphic instructions that help you bring some of the San Francisco skyline into your home.


 
We see and wonder about these creatures lining our commute every day, and now we can build them in 4 simple steps with the Oakland Crane Wood Kit

0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home

We're so excited to bring you an interview with the creator of one of our favorite independent home lines today, Annabel Inganni of Wolfum. Her collections season after season have brought pop and vibrancy into our lives, and we feel pretty lucky to have gotten a chance to chat with her.

Where are you from originally and how did the local culture shape you as a designer/maker?  
I am originally from Boston, MA, where I grew up in a large family and my mother entertained a lot. My love for tabletop items, cloth napkins in particular, came from her. I moved to Los Angeles 16 years ago and I feel my designs represent a perfect combination of East and West Coast. I love to take traditional, somewhat antiquated home items and give them a twist with contemporary patterns and unique color combinations.

What initially inspired to make your product?  
I was originally interested in doing a line of table linens, but that quickly grew into what Wolfum is today. Being married to a woodworker, I am lucky to have the outlet to create many types of home goods products.

What is your favorite step in the creation of your product? 
I simply love the textile design process—the research, drawing, mixing patterns, playing with color tests. I end up with so many options that I find it hard to choose the ones to put into the line!  Once I see the print come alive on the product, it is pure joy and I cannot wait to get the entire line together.

What hobbies inspire your designs/products?  
Since I am a mom to an almost 3-year-old, I am constantly searching for children's items that have that heirloom quality. I adore scouring flea markets and thrift stores for print inspiration or that odd find that could inspire the entire collection.  

What is your favorite color? 
Saffron yellow, definitely.  

What is your favorite shape and why? 
I’m pretty much into angular lines, clean edges.  Although, my mind changes often...who knows, maybe for spring it will be all about the oval…

What is you...

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0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home

Creative Profile: Richard Upchurch

Oct 8, 2013 7:50:00 PM

Love hearing yourself talk? The innovative and entertaining Voice Recorder by Richard Upchurch is a device that is sure to bring out your silliest side. We got the chance to chat with Upchurch recently (sadly, not through Voice Recorders), and we're excited to bring you his witty and oftentimes novel insights. 

Where are you from originally and how did the local culture shape you as a designer/maker?
I grew up in Tupelo, MS (birthplace of Elvis). My backyard was the Natchez Trace and as a kid I was free to roam and explore until my mom’s voice came through the pine trees to let me know it was too dark to keep playing ('adult dark') and time for me to come inside. So there was that freedom.

But my dad, an attorney by trade, is a first rate artisan. He loves leather work and I can’t recall the last time I wore a belt that wasn’t made by him. He cuts, tools, and dyes each piece by hand. Custom leather boxes, bracelets, watch bands, belts, and what I would say is his 'prize winner'—a leather checkerboard with dyed cedar pieces for the checkers (built for my mom).
He taught me the joy of figuring it out. Sure you could buy it in the store, but why not see if you can figure out the process, and then create something. Process is where you end up living your life, so why not enjoy getting to understand that system rather than just let someone tell you how it will be.

What initially inspired to make your product?
I wanted my nephew to have the experience of a tape record where you could record your voice, play it back and get all those little happy accidents you get with tape; the sounds of fast forward/ rewind, tape drag, etc. So I decided I’d just build him a gadget that could record his voice with a pitch control knob. He took the recorder to show and tell and his teachers asked if they could buy a few. So I kept making these little gadgets in my apartment.

What is your favorite step in the creation of your product?
Discovery: I love that moment when you’ve figured it out your...

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0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home

Earthlust water bottles

We started carrying EarthLust bottles at Aldea more than eight years ago because we identified so much with their mission: to provide consumers with planet-friendly, durable, and chic products so they will naturally gravitate towards the eco-conscious options. Earlier this week we met up with Allison Tryk, the green-spirational San Francisco-based owner of EarthLust, and had a quick chat with her about EarthLust's origins and her recent inspirations.

Where are you from originally and how did the local culture shape you as a designer/maker?
I was born in Albuquerque, and grew up in Cleveland. My parents were hippies, so we didn't fit in very well in suburban Cleveland Heights. Their commitment to sustainable living probably influenced my decision to start a reusable bottle company. Not really fitting in probably helped me to not care what people think and design for myself.

What initially inspired you to make your product?
I wanted a stainless steel bottle, but couldn't find one that was an accessory. They were all functional and utilitarian at the time. I designed images that I liked and Aldea was one of the first stores to stock them 6 years ago.

What is your favorite step in the creation of your product?
The design process, the implementation is usually challenging.

What hobbies inspire your designs/products?
I have chickens, so they're on a bottle. We also love to travel and find inspiration there.

What is your favorite color?
Yellow

What is your favorite shape and why?
Oval, it's a very organic shape and not quite as perfect as the circle.

What is your favorite texture this season?
Leather, if that's a texture. Even though I'm a vegetarian…

What did you see of interest today?
A large pop up dinner in San Francisco where everyone was wearing white. It was visually interesting.

What is your motto?
There's a solution to every problem, but it may require a glass of wine.

0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home

Creative Profile: Emily Fischer

Sep 22, 2013 8:18:08 PM

We got the chance to sit down and have a chat with the wonderful and brilliant Emily Fischer of Haptic Lab recently. Fischer makes beautifully tactile quilts that take the shape of city maps—these quilts are both breathtaking and stunning when you see them in person. Read on to learn about her inspirations and more.

Where are you from originally and how did the local culture shape you as a designer/maker?
I’m from River Falls, Wisconsin. It’s a smallish farming community with strong Scandinavian and German heritage, so I was surrounded by handmade craft items from a very early age and quilting was a big part of that experience.

What initially inspired to make your product? 
The City Quilts projects began in 2002 as an academic experiment in tactile way-finding. My mom had recently begun losing her eyesight from complications of glaucoma, and the quilts were meant to explore new ways of seeing though touch. “Haptic” is derived from the Greek work for touch, and everything I make is inspired by that sense.

What is your favorite step in the creation of your product?
Drawing each map by hand. All the quilt templates are scaled precisely to the map of a given locale and I spend hours hand-tracing GIS information for each map before the quilters start sewing. I love discovering the idiosyncratic patterns of each city. Like the Kevin Lynch book The Image of the City.

What hobbies inspire your designs/products?
I used to work as an architect professionally, but now architecture has become my hobby. So architectural thinking inspires a lot of what I do: plans, sections, elevations, three-dimensional models—but also the structural logic, spatial logic, and materiality of things. The kite project I’m currently working on was derived almost completely from my architectural training. 

What is your favorite shape and why?
Right now, the shape of a bear’s butt. My team and I watch the live bearcams at Katmai National Park via explore.org. We’ve watched nothing else for months, and I’m s...

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0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home

Creative Profile: Justin Godar

Sep 16, 2013 8:28:45 PM

You've probably seen the striking Sutro Tower Coatrack displayed in our store recently—today we bring you an interview with the brilliant designer behind them, Justin Godar. Building wood furniture and cabinets out of San Francisco, Godar creates innovative seating from old world materials and time-tested construction.

Where are you from originally and how did the local culture shape you as a designer/maker?
I'm from Walnut Creek, the son of an interior decorator and an industrial bookbinder. I suppose that had something to do with the fact that I work with machines all day to make mostly walnut furniture.

What initially inspired you to make your product? 
Sutro Tower, of course. It's the one landmark here that most locals see on a regular basis, so many of us hold a special affection for it. It's our Eiffel Tower.
 
Being a furniture designer, I've always thought it looked like a nice coat rack. When I realized nobody was making a Sutro Coat Rack, I felt it was my duty to create it.
 
What is your favorite step in the creation of your product? 
When I've completed the first working prototype. There's a lot of work that happens before that, so that moment makes clear whether or not the effort was worthwhile.

What hobbies inspire your designs/products? 
Whenever I go camping, I make elaborate plans for the ultimate camp box. But really, furniture design is my main hobby. If I won the lottery, I'd still be doing what I do.

What is your favorite color? 
Red, though I like most primary colors at times. In my work, I like the colors to be true to the material. Therefore, I avoid stains and handpick the wood to get the color I want.
 
What is your favorite shape and why? 
The shape of a tree slab. It's something I've been thinking about for a product in development.

What is your favorite texture this season? 
Smooth is always in season for me.
 
What did you see of interest today?
I saw my cats didn't eat their food. It's early and not much has happened yet.

What is your motto?
I don't have a ...
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0 Comments | Posted in Creative Profile By Aldea Home
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