Handful of Salt

Friday, August 06, 2010

AUGUST 5, 2010...9:10 AM

Stores we love: Cisco Home

Jump to Comments

Looking to buy furniture in the SF Bay Area? It’s just not that easy, is it? (And that’s even if you’re working with a designer).

There are the stores that do traditional, vintage, antique and all the wannabes in that genre. There are stores that do b-a-s-i-c modern (zzzz…). There are the stores that worship at the alter of Mid Century (ditto). There are stores that do clean, modern, minimalist Italian/French/Scandinavian (or aspire to). And let’s not even talk about that big warehouse of a store in Emeryville.

How ’bout some personality? Well, it took an LA store opening a high-profile retail branch here, but we think we’ve finally found it. The name’s Cisco. Cisco Home.

Where to start? It’s just great to look at…and you instantly feel good when you walk in. The look? Quintessential Californian. Laid-back, comfortable. Sophisticated, but organic-sexy. A little whimsical, a little flair, particularly in the form of vintage-like lighting (awesome, awesome lighting) and accessories. Sumptuous but not over-voluptuous. Scaled just right. The lines are moderned-up classic, with unexpected textures (think denim on a riff of a classic winged side chair). The shapes are strong, but don’t scream “look at me.” People coming to your home might actually want to look at you, you interesting, self-assured creature. Oh now there’s a concept.

The furniture would fit anywhere: Loft, Mediterranean, Victorian, Edwardian, Eichler, Craftsman, Mountain Cabin, even a Contempolonial (the name my friend Wendy Tabot gives to tract homestyle)….pretty much anything you’d find in these parts. And it won’t look generic. Crazy, but true. And, according to Cisco’s Robert Pintozzi (ex-Filamento and Mike, if you remember those fabulous, dearly departed stores), it’s furniture that also manages to bridge the gender and style divide. “Couples walk out of here happy. It’s a great thing to watch people start to trust and relax and have fun.”

And, if you don’t see what you want on the floor or on their website? There’s always the custom option. (They have in-house designers, too, if your head starts to spin.)

Then, of course, there’s the commitment to sustainable, natural construction. The company is FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. The wood comes from sustainable resources. The upholstery is organic, grown without pesticides. You get the idea. Check out the site (www.ciscohome.net) for more detail.

And finally, there’s the commitment to craft and the people behind it (all in LA). It gives the furniture warmth, a little soul, and makes it all more human. And you know we love that.

Integrity. Great style. (And in the scheme of things, affordability.) It’s about time.


Cisco Home

580 Hayes Street

San Francisco