Secret Sources: Vanessa McBride’s Bay Area Spots

One of Vanessa’s recent projects was completely remodeling her own home. Located in the Larkspur Marina with gorgeous views of Mt. Tam and the lagoon, the home’s setting was irresistible, but its interior was dated and unfit for a busy family of four. Inspired by the natural landscape, her Balinese artifacts, and her husband’s passion for surfing, Vanessa gutted the space, turning a house with Pergo flooring, bad tile, and a cramped kitchen into an elegant, airy beach-inspired abode. The designer utilized local resources like tiles from Heath Ceramics and custom upholstery from Stoich Designs to create a look that evoked the true spirit of Marin. Below, Vanessa has shared some insider tips about her favorite Bay Area design resources fit for industry members and home renovators alike. 

Summerhouse, Mill Valley

This store has the best selection of vintage rugs, accessories, and bed linens. Summerhouse always carries an eclectic mix of furniture, accessories, and lighting. They bring containers in from overseas once a month with unique furniture items that have a vintage, ethnic feel. I love incorporating their furnishings into my projects whether the client’s style is modern, traditional, or transitional.   


Zener-Schon Gallery, Mill Valley

I adore Zener-Schon’s collection of truly unique contemporary work. Curator Julie Zener always selects the most interesting pieces in mediums that range from painting and neon to mixed media. One of my favorite artists is Eric Zener, Julie’s husband, whose paintings can regularly be found at the gallery. Zener-Schon should be on every discerning collector’s “go to” list. 


Urban Ore, Berkeley 

This store is a fantastic resource for hardware, lighting, furniture, planters, and books. They carry a wide array of architectural salvage items such as doors, windows, trim, and cabinets. 


Anthem, San Francisco 

Anthem is my go-to store when I’m putting the finishing touches on a project. I love their extensive collection of bathroom accessories, because no matter what style your bathroom, you will find the perfect soap pump and cannisters here. This store is also home to my favorite salesperson, Robert Beamer, who will not only act as your personal shopper if you can’t make it in to see the current inventory, but will also make you feel like the most important person he’s ever worked with. 


The Painters Place, Larkspur

This framer is the only place I frame art for both my own home and my clients’ projects. They not only have the most amazing selection of frames, but will also deliver your framed art and hang it for you. No need to schedule a separate art installer when you frame here.