For the past 43 years, Moraga Hardware & Lumber has been solving dwelling dilemmas great and small with a wide selection of tools, garden accessories, and more. Spruce up dingy dens by creating your own abstract forest with dueling shades of green Ralph Lauren (from $29.99) and Mythic (from $33.99) paint. Green cleaning products such as Vaska all-natural laundry detergent ($14.99) and compact fluorescent bulbs ($1+) provide eco-friendly options for people who like to be seen wearing clothes. Celebrate the Fourth of July in December with a fleet of Weber grills ($139+), sturdily built for grilling truckloads of hot dogs and edible sparklers. Straddle the space-time-home-improvement continuum with Moraga Hardware & Lumber's old-fashioned, neighborly customer service and its 21st-century selection of high-quality hardware.
Moe's Books tempts readers with a massive selection of more than 200,000 used, new, and rare books . Named for the firebrand founder Moe Moskowitz, the four-story space sits blocks from the Berkeley campus, a location that's played a significant role in shaping the store's vibe. The shop has sheltered anti-war protestors, hosted readings, and put on events such as midnight Pynchon releases with Pynchon-themed snacks, drinks, and anti-interview shrouds. Today, the spot continues to attract book lovers, who remain free to peruse the ever-changing stock or sell back their own books in order to even out collections or wobbling tables.
The dedicated framers at Artistic Expert Picture Framing protect artwork, personal photographs, and mementos with a vast array of shapes and moldings that prepare them for display. The framers walk customers through the creative, and often confusing, process, consulting with clients before custom-sizing the frame or shadow box to fit paintings or war medals of any size. Conservation grade materials, such as acid-free archival paper and UV-protecting glass, ensure timeless treasures keep guarded against fading and bleeding.
Housed in a historical turn-of-the-century storefront, Home 101’s airy shop is brimming with carefully curated vintage items and eclectic gifts. In the penthouse portion of a weathered wooden cabinet, a flock of Stonehouse olive oils and vinegars ($14–$24) preens in preparation for its yearly migration to local kitchens, and a bevy of June Taylor preserves and syrups ($12–$18) sits patiently on the floor below. At the same time on a nearby table, a menagerie of Soap and Paper Factory hand creams, candles, perfume solids and soaps ($8–$28) struts brightly patterned packaging plumage in a futile attempt to impress the stony faces of David Dexter’s pastel-colored wood-panel portraits ($16–$24).
Michael Paranyo's birdie bungalows and avian mansions, handcrafted from recycled materials, have caught the attention of human eyes by being featured on HGTV and Bay Area Backroads. Rakish cuts of distinctive wood imbue the houses with a rustic feel, and roofs made of copper sheets lend a ramshackle charm to the domiciles. The town and country birdhouse ($99.95) evokes the appealing simplicity of the Great Plains, and themed pieces such as the chez noir birdfeeder and restaurant ($99.95) flaunts fashion with its dual-story design, ladder, and glass doorknob. Placate feuding families of lovebirds with two smaller birdhouses, such as the townhouse-style south Berkeley starter home ($49.95) and the Rustic A-frame outfitted with fig branches and a perch for romantic balcony scenes in which fowl lovers long for the ability to fly away like a human.
Housing the glass-based mastery of more than 50 Bay Area artists, Stained Glass Garden introduces students to the world of glass art through workshops, all-day classes, private parties, and a bustling store chock full of materials. Daytime workshoppers can choose a class from the hefty list of group classes, mingling with no more than seven other students while learning to dabble in this colorful and novel art. The stained-glass light-catcher class offers a five-hour crash course in cutting glass, soldering copper foil, and chasing the sun with giant, fragile nets ($85). Jewelry crafting and the birth of functional table art are two of the world’s seven mysteries solved via an introduction to fused glass class ($95). Under the careful gaze of melted-sand-spinning instructors, classes adhere to a varied schedule to accommodate any unforeseen Cinderella-slipper incidents. Private lessons are also available for groups of up to six companions.