An invitation to a private home during a trip to Europe was an epiphany of sorts for Randi Zanardi. The home was filled with whites, creams and beiges and layered with textures. The Los Gatos woman had long loved the bright colors and patterns of the French Country style, but when she stepped into this European home, “a light switched on.” And so, gradually over the past 10 years, she converted her colorful house to a neutral palette.
And 18 months ago, she opened a home decor shop in Los Gatos as an homage to that style, naming it, appropriately, for the Italian word for white: “Bianco.” It’s a “simple store for sophisticated tastes,” Zanardi says.
The shop is off the beaten path of Los Gatos’s downtown shopping district. Instead of being surrounded by high-end antique shops and fashion boutiques, Bianco sits in a strip mall across from Walgreens near the Department of Motor Vehicles. But an artful bench and fluffy linen pillows sitting out front beckon visitors inside the alabaster oasis. And there you will find heavy Belgian linens and burlaps, metal and crystal. The store carries an expansive line of Arte Italica pewter and white ceramic dishware from Italy that ranges in price from a $75 espresso cup to a $300 platter. Special hand-made pieces are displayed around the store, including $300 purses made of vintage mink and leather.
Even if you spend just $14 for a bottle of Italian hand lotion, Bianco’s signature thank-you is a gorgeous gift-wrap.
Each box is topped with a hand-made paper flower and bows of linen strips, burlap and pearls. And each is a little different from the next, Zanardi said. When 75 wedding guests purchased gifts at the store for a bride who had registered there, Zanardi said, “not one was wrapped the same.”
Bianco, which also provides interior design services, can be found at:
418 North Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95030
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