Retail Therapy: {Social Studies, Berkeley}

If you’re one of those people that continues to associate Berkeley, CA with dreadlocks, hacky sacks and patchouli, you’re actually missing out. Not only is Berkeley one of the warmer micro-climates in the Bay Area, it’s also a design lover’s dream. Aside from the tried and true block of 4th Street filled with some of my go-to design stores (such as CB2, The Gardener and the Crate and Barrel Outlet), there’s lots of excitement happening a few blocks up on San Pablo Ave. Case in point: Social Studies.


The boutique Social Studies was opened towards the end of 2014 by Lauren Woodward and has since expanded with the recent debut a men’s store (also located nearby on San Pablo). In addition to the two shops, Lauren and her husband Shawn Weiland recently launched Form + Matter—an all-natural skincare line being carried in their stores as well as online.


As a former gallery curator, Lauren has an innate eye for good design. Social Studies carries an array of gorgeous goods, including some of my favorites like Riudavets sandals, Wary Meyers candles, Hasami Porcelain and goods from Yield Design Co.

Insider Tip: If you’re a former Southern Californian like myself and sometimes find yourself nostalgic for lazy beach days, this candle basically transports to the beach. I’m serious. It’s the perfect antidote to “Fogust”. 


On top of the incredible product mix, the retail presentation is truly one of a kind at Social Studies. Putting their architectural and design backgrounds to work, Lauren and Shawn handcrafted all of the display structures from scratch. Suspended tables are hung from the rafters while custom wood fixtures create eye-catching product displays—making the ambiance of the shops as equally alluring as the products inside. 


And as if there’s not already enough reason to pay Social Studies a visit, Lauren, Shawn and the rest of the staff could not be nicer. They cheerfully engage with anyone that walks into the shop and won’t hesitate to recommend other local businesses to check out in the neighborhood (ahem, Flowerland). True to Berkeley form, the folks at Social Studies are some of the most humble and down to earth people you’ll encounter in the Bay Area.


In the end, what I love most about this shop is that it gives off a totally Modern California vibe while still paying tribute to its Berkeley roots and the surrounding neighborhood. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, be sure to pay a visit to Social Studies (and then follow it with a drink and a bite at Bartavelle).

Copy and photography by Ali Hartwell for Apartment 34

You’ve Got Stye: {Ila, Essentials for A Beautiful Home}

So you all know Sunday Suppers, right? The beyond beautiful Brooklyn based company that is known for throwing the most epic dinner parties. E-P-I-C. You may also know them for their seriously cool cookbook. And if you own it like us, you’re likely lusting after the styling and food ideas that fill the pages while wishing you had a kitchen full of beautiful props to make meals prettier. Well wish no further! With the continued goal of inspiring people to celebrate gatherings with friends and family, Sunday Suppers is on their way to making the most beautiful kitchen goods you’ve EVER ever seen with their new line, Ila. From gorgeously designed olive oil bottles to the best and most unique pantry items like black sea salt from Hawaii, we die over this line of pantry essentials.


For their debut collection, Ila has chosen five varieties of sea salt {because you can never have enough – especially as a stylist!}, spices, wildflower honey, olive oil, and maple syrup – all essentials every cook should have on hand! And right now, you can get your hands on these beautiful kitchen must-haves through Ila’s Kickstarter campaign, so run! We’ve already pledged, obvi – that olive oil is the olive oil of our dreams.

So go on and treat yo pantry to these goodies while supporting their Kickstarter here! Please? Because we don’t know about you, but we want to continue to see more of the absolute dreaminess Ila is throwing down!

images c/o Ila 

#SipsForSummer: {Honeydew Ginger Crush}

Phew! Things are heating up around here! Temps have hit a summer high and we’re knee deep in finalizing home renovations. Thank gawd, Camille Styles is basically reading our minds! This Honeydew Ginger cocktail {by the pool, no less!} is exactly what we need right now. A little dip and sip sounds ah-mazing. We’ll be shaking this cocktail up as soon as the clock hits happy hour. Now we just need to find a pool!


You can find the recipe for this yummy cocktail here. Don’t forget to hashtag your #SipsforSummer on Instagram!

image via camille styles // photography by buff strickland