Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Retail Therapy: Tazi Designs

Some nights, I dream of Morocco.

I have never set foot in North Africa, but it's long been a place that absolutely fascinated me. Very few books about Moroccan design manage to escape my Amazon wish list, and I read Maryam's wonderful blog, My Marrakesh, with a mixture of envy and acute longing. One day, I'll book a stay at Maryam's breathtaking guesthouse-in-the-making, Peacock Pavilions.

Sadly, a visit to Morocco will have to wait until our kids are bit older and our bank account a bit fatter. But in the meantime, when I yearn for a mini-Moroccan escape I can slip into Tazi Designs.

Hidden down a quiet alley in San Francisco's chic Hayes Valley, the three-storey showroom housed in a converted industrial warehouse is an anomaly in a neighborhood known for its very spare, very modern, and very northern-European-influenced boutiques. To step into Tazi Designs, by contrast, is to be instantly transported to the bustling souks and exotic riads of Marrakesh.

Opened three years ago by former telecom exec and Moroccan transplant Hicham Tazi, the shop specializes in gorgeous and authentic Moroccan architectural elements, furnishings, textiles, lighting, accessories, and tableware, as well as custom design.

Here you'll find mosaic tables ($159 to $2,220), colored-glass perfume bottles ($26 to $48), intricately carved and painted octagonal tables ($95 to $720), tile fountains ($1,100 to $1,800), hand-embroidered Turkish bedding ($350 to $550), painted clay tagines ($48), and a veritable rainbow of luscious silk throw pillows ($55 to $85).

Trust me -- this is no pseudo-Middle Eastern import-emporium crap. Fittingly, the prices at Tazi are a step or three up from what you'd see at Cost Plus and stores of that ilk. Still, many items are surprisingly reasonable.

A few of the things that caught my eye during a recent visit:

Bone-inlaid mirrors and furniture, $850 and up

Hand-dyed and -embroidered leather poufs in lots of poppy, non-traditional hues, $155 and up

Antique carved chairs and daybeds, $450 to $1,800

Embossed metal tea trays, $150 to $220

Tribal flatweave rugs, $290 to $3,400

Carved mirror, $790

Leather slippers, $35 a pair

Moroccan lanterns, $66 to $2,500

Hand-painted tea glasses, $7.50 to $9 each

The Tazi showroom is located at 333 Linden St. off of Gough in San Francisco. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. (The hours can be a bit arbitrary, though, so call before heading over: 415-503-0013.)

Bonus for you non-Bay Areans: The Tazi Designs website also offers e-commerce.


katiedid said...

I love Tazi Designs! But I have yet to get to the store. THanks for the post so I could drool in the privacy of my own home and not on their beautiful silf pillows!

if time exists said...

Beautiful stuff, I love the rich colors. If nothing else, I just dream of one of those lanterns.

Bonus: The Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk is at 315 Linden St.


Michelle said...

Oh how I wish I had missed this post! I'll be in San Francisco next week and I have a feeling I'll be bringing home quite a few things from Tazi home with me. My husband's gonna kill me!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the suggestion. Waw! GREAT source for Moroccan furniture and Moorish lanterns. Better quality than most of the Moroccan style I have seen online. We love Tazi's Moroccan shop.


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