The Marin County town of Mill Valley (where I live) is a retail incubator: Smith & Hawken and Banana Republic both got their start in the tiny downtown, a mere block apart. Recently, Food Network chef Tyler Florence and his wife Tolan Clark opened a kitchen and cookbook shop, auspiciously located on the site of the first-ever Banana Republic. Florence carries a mix of vintage and new kitchen implements, dishware from Emile Henry, and linens from Mill Valley–based Ambatalia (which just got picked up by ABC Carpet & Home in New York).
Below: Florence and Clark bought a 1926 Craftsman bungalow in the woods of Mill Valley and overhauled it, integrating vintage elements such as a battle-scarred butcher block counter in the design.
Below: For the backsplash over the six-burner Viking range, Florence used gunmetal-colored Heath Ceramics tiles in three finishes—high-gloss, satin, and matte.
Below: Florence at work; we like his prescription for becoming a good cook: "All you really need are a few quality kitchen tools, a well-stocked pantry, a little counter space, and a few good cookbooks."
Photos by Eric Luse for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Below:Dinner at My Place, by Tyler Florence, is $13.57 at Amazon.