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Zonal Home Interiors

Design To Put You in the Zone

I was watching Hustle & Flow the other night and found myself distracted for a second as Terrance Howard’s character Djay passed through a colorful plastic curtain as he was about to throw his girlfriend and her stuff out the front door. Maybe the set designer didn’t want me to pay too much attention to that curtain, but it was put there to tell me something. I was meant to feel that this man, who was struggling to keep on top of his life, was still trying to put a little flash into his space. That’s probably what we all want in our own space, a little color, a little personality, and a little character to brighten our daily lives.

Just as scenery in a movie shouldn’t hit you over the head with meaning, nor should the décor in your personal space. Zonal on Hayes Street in Hayes Valley seems to espouse to this aesthetic rule. The front window doesn’t have a flashy display, but the crimson red door and multicolored tiles in front of the doorway give you that initial interest to step in the door.

The characteristics of what owner Russell Pritchard describes as modern furniture co-exists with American folk/country art as you step in the door. You’ll see upholstered chairs, wooden tables, a shelf full of colorful bowls, cups and pitchers, but the whole picture will not yet fully form. Slowly you’ll notice the bold colors popping out of corners, large block letters, and panels of corrugated steel. Even to the untrained eye, there is a depth of tone, color, texture, and space that is not found in most store displays. This, of course, is easily explained as Mr. Pritchard’s years before Zonal were spent in art direction and set design in the advertising world.

I popped in one Sunday looking for a birthday present for my boyfriend and I found a five foot long replica farm bench in black for $165 though what I really wanted to give him was one of the 30s/40s porch gliders for $650, perfect for his front porch. Maybe when I get a raise.

Speaking of the outdoors, when you come by, take a look at the back windows that open out on a little rectangle of greenery. Mr. Pritchard created a collage running ceiling to floor of salvaged windows from the past century. As for the garden patch, that was just a slab of concrete before Mr. Pritchard came along.

In addition to the replica benches, if you are looking for newer furniture, there are chairs and sofas. Mr. Pritchard has smartly chosen furniture sized to fit in our smaller San Francisco living spaces. The sofas and chairs come with names that sound a little bit like the roll call of a fraternal order at Yale in the 20s, like “Carter”, “Brent" and “Theodore”. You can custom order your furniture in either leather or microfiber and they come in an array of colors. Orders for leather upholstery take six weeks and fabric takes eight weeks. Check in periodically for sales of floor samples. When I stopped in, the Carter chair in leather, which is normally $1150, was on sale for $700, or two for $1300.

There’s also a great selection of 20th century furniture for your home. A 20s/30s red and white wire rack is priced at $65, or you can pick up an industrial rolling cart from the 30s for $65. If you want to take home a medical cabinet from the 30s/40s, you can do that for $185.

For your kitchen, there are small pitchers from Bauer Pottery in red or yellow for $25. There is a small stock of cookbooks, including some specifically for traditional comfort food such as Mac & Cheese for $16.95 or Great Burgers for $14.95. If you need a place to store all of this, there’s a 19th century food safe for $1200.

To push your decorating possibilities one more level, there is a rotating selection of work from local artists hand-picked by Pritchard after his visits to open studios or through word of mouth. On the weekend I came in, there were 16x20 black and white photographs from Kevin Haas for $225 and a painting from Carol Aust titled “Big Dress with Mask” for $800.

The items for sale in the store are also available for rent at 20 percent of their sale cost for one week at a time, perfect for burgeoning set designers.