Whether it comes as an earthquake, tsunami, or power outage at the Super Bowl, natural disasters can throw a show-stopping monkey wrench into everyday life. Emergency services, cell-phone reception, and sometimes even basic plumbing all take a hit. Earthquake Supply Center readies its clients for such events with more or less anything a casual survivalist needs, especially ready-made kits. The bright red go-bags contain such basic supplies as MREs, water, and first aid kits, and can fit snugly in closets and trunks. Specialty kits include tools for search and rescue or animal first aid.
To outfit people for long-term survival, the center stocks tents, portable radios, bulk cooking supplies, and six-gallon barrels of dehydrated foodstuffs. Earthquake Supply Center also sells informational literature, helping people navigate thorny post-apocalyptic issues, such as finding food, building shelter, and whether or not you should bring your own tin of rainwater to a roast-squirrel dinner party.
Books & Bookshelves has much more character than its no-nonsense name implies. For starters, they sell an entire collection of furniture, most of which is custom made. Clients can submit measurements, rough sketches, and even photos of similar pieces they like, which the carpenters use to build one-of-a-kind pieces such as bookcases. Projects can be left unfinished, like Beethoven's 10th chicken wing, or they can be finished with the client's choice of stain or paint.
To fill their newly built bookshelves, customers can shop a library of poetry books written and published by locals. Likewise, a diverse selection of paintings, photography, and even puzzles has all been crafted by area artisans. Shoppers can learn more about the writers and artists at Books & Bookshelves' special events, which have ranged from queer poetry readings to celebrations of W.H. Auden.
Although a mirror only reflects your façade, your home ought to reveal your true self. The designers at Heather Cleveland Design take this into account as they create interior designs that transform the four walls of a home into a comfortable refuge. After mapping your movements from room to room, they create a cohesive and efficient layout. Then they build upon this foundation by selecting color palettes, pieces of furniture, and decorations that reflect your personality.
When they aren't helping homeowners settle into their domiciles, they can help them move out—and potentially get a better price for their home—through staging. This strategic interior design technique highlights unique features with major design overhauls or subtle changes in lighting and decor. If necessary, the designers can recommend a few renovations, such as repainting with flattering colors, adding new flooring, or replacing a beaded curtain with an actual front door.
Toque Blanche supplies home chefs with a selection of fine cookware for fashioning domestic delectations, earning it the best kitchenware title on the 2010 San Francisco Baylist. Cuisine artists can kit out kitchens with clay La Chamba pans, made of mica-infused black clay that absorbs and diffuses heat (starting at $19.95). Mandolin slicers from Kuhn-Rikon ($19.99) cut veggies into perfectly sliced 1/8-inch pieces and keeps fingers intact. Gadget collectors can evade metric-system mind games with a stainless-steel, seven-piece measuring-cup set from RSVP ($32.99), and opt for an ovenproof meat thermometer from CDN ($10.99) to monitor the fevers of fire spirits.
Featured in numerous publications and programs including Redbook and TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive, disorder destroyer Grace Brooke brings creativity and compassion to her ongoing quest to bring structure and simplicity into her clients' homes. Each Control the Paper Chaos class teaches harried homemakers to establish a Life Management Center for managing the minutiae of the homestead, creating a central nexus for incoming mail, everyday schedules, and outgoing piles of Andrew Lloyd Weber fan mail. Grace's management center creates a tidy place for processing bills, handling correspondence, and managing calendars, helping to reduce stress and improve communication within the home. Grace Brooke can also make over messy crash pads with two hours of in-home organizational services. After a complimentary phone consultation to assess your needs, Grace or one of her team members will work side by side to de-clutter while also coaching the overhaul process of each chaotic closet, overflowing pantry, or newspaper-covered narwhal tank.