You may be surprised to learn that many of your favorite brands have outlets in the bay area. Like any other outlet, they can be a hit or miss and the inventory may change on a daily basis. Many pieces are imperfect, so be sure to carefully inspect items before buying and bringing them home. Still, there can be a lot of great finds, especially with discontinued or seasonal items. If you feel like bargain hunting, why not make a day of it in the East Bay (where most of these are located)?
pottery barn~ws home~west elm~PB kids
Melissa and I actually discovered this warehouse on our way back from the Alameda Flea Market one Sunday morning. This no-nonsense warehouse houses discontinued and irregular items from the William Sonoma brands, including Pottery Barn, PB Teen, PB Kids, WS Home and West Elm. On our last visit, there was a large selection of big ticket items like beds, dressers, sofas, tables and chairs. They also had a smaller assortment of wall decor and a few seasonal accessories. Check their limited hours before making the trip.
serena & lily
Another local company, Serena & Lily has an outlet store in Berkeley. It’s a smaller shop and the discounts on larger items were not that deep. However, they had a good selection of accessories, especially rugs and bed linens. The store itself is not that large and they have moved locations since our initial visit, which you can read about here.
crate & Barrel
The Crate & Barrel outlet has been on Fourth Street at Berkeley since I went to school there many years ago. With the more recent additions of Rejuvenation, DWR, CB2, and Ruby Living, to name a few, Fourth Street has become a design lover’s destination. The outlet regularly offers staple goods like their dishes and kitchenware. They also have a large selection of seasonal accessories and a back room where you can find great deals on furniture, rugs and larger decor items. This is the one outlet where you will almost certainly not leave empty-handed.
Still on my list of places to check out, I only recently discovered that HD Buttercup has an outlet here in SF. But if it’s anything like the eclectic store itself, it’s definitely worth a stop — especially since it is so conveniently located to the SF Design Center, where I was en route when I spotted it.
Photo courtesy of Crate & Barrel.