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A West County Wonderland at Rose and Thorn

Rose and Thorn in Sebastopol.

I’m about to pull off what I think is a pretty neat little trick: I’m going to give you the full Sebastopol experience by telling you to go to exactly one spot. And then I’m going to tell you how to recreate the whole laid-back, sunshine-and-tranquility, life-is-beautiful-ness of your one-stop Western Sonoma County immersion back at your own home.

What’s the secret? A quick drive down Bodega Highway to a gift and garden shop called Rose & Thorn. Maybe that sounds a little too simple; maybe you’re a bit skeptical of my suggestion that a shop could immerse you in everything beautiful and beloved about an entire town. But let me put it to you this way: If the Epcot Center at Disney World had a Sebastopol Pavilion, it would look a lot like Rose & Thorn.

That’s because the shop sits inside a lovely little sanctuary that brings together nearly everything Sebastopol is known for: funky, hand-made art pieces; beautifully overgrown outdoor spaces; and a chic, bohemian atmosphere that can put anyone at ease.

“(Owner Carole Coler-Dark) wants everything here to be magical and whimsical and fun,” says Joy Trimboli, who works at Rose & Thorn. And you can see it’s true in everything the shop carries: the country-chic throw pillows, the vintage Pakistani quilts, the towering steam-punk lamps that look as if they were designed by Jules Verne. You can feel it in the outdoor garden spaces, where stacks of local newspapers wait alongside comfy deck chairs in patches of sunshine, where Radio Flyer wagons are filled with succulents and bicycles have flowerbeds in their baskets. You can even hear it in the crunch of autumn leaves under your feet as you wander out to the huge picnic area, in the crowing and clucking of the resident chickens.

It’s easy – and encouraged – for you to kick back and make yourself at home here. And here’s the best part: it’s just as easy to recreate this same feeling of West County Wonderful in your real home. Because you can buy just about anything you see – or admire, or smell, or kick back in – at Rose & Thorn, right down to the eggs laid on-site.

Details: Rose & Thorn, 10050 Bodega Highway, Sebastopol

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