.Best of Marin 2016: Home Improvement

“Outside is the world; it’s there,” Roy Lichtenstein once said. “Pop Art looks out into the world; it appears to accept its environment, which is not good or bad, but different—another state of mind.”

Lichtenstein would have found more than enough to work with in Marin’s talented home improvement environment: Whaam!—clean carpet, thanks to Atlas Window & Carpet Cleaning! Pop!—a comfy couch from Sunrise Home! Bam!—new tools from Jackson’s Hardware! So many fun, ordinary things … so little time.—Molly Oleson

By Tom Gogola

Get it together

Your interior landscape is a mess, your desk drawers are open but empty because the junk’s all on the floor and you clearly need an interior 2.0—so get your act together as you swivel around in the vintage chair and contemplate how the heck to organize it all. Changing Places, changing spaces—let the Best Home Organizer help you out.

4340 Redwood Hwy., Ste. F-100, San Rafael; 415/461-6257.

Home sweet home

Art, name no tub time. Emit but one mantra: Kitchens & More is a well-deserved winner in the Best Kitchen/Bath Remodeler department. Whether it’s a new pantry for your canned hams or that deep, lenticular bathroom sink you’ve had your eye on—these guys have got you covered front to back and vice versa.

4178 Redwood Hwy., San Rafael; 415/479-1000.

Color splash

Study of A Common Marin Dust-Up: After much discussion, the new plan for the yurt is to paint it the color of a soft, pink landscape, with splashes of reflective yellow, which is more of a study for a fashion plate than the simple task of painting a freaking yurt, but you’re in this together and she has the way with the imploring chromesthesia. Tamalpais Paint & Color, crowned Marin’s Best Paint Services, has a way with the customer service and has handled these sorts of issues before. Go to them.

5784 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera; 415/924-7321; 338 Miller Ave., Mill Valley; 415/388-1086.

Here comes the sun

You mean there are actually people out there who can deliver the sun on a cloudy day? We know lots of people like that out in cheery-foggy West Marin, and we know the solar guy who was supposed to put the panels in for Bob Weir while the Grateful Dead played its final shows last year—but the dude was a Deadhead and was at those selfsame shows, so the work had to wait until the deal went down. So there you have it. Solar will save the planet, and Solarcraft, Marin’s Best Solar Supplier, takes the best of the best technologies in a planet gone nuclear-hot and wraps them into a solar plan for your home. So you can tell PG&E where to stick that energy bill.

285-D Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato; 415/382-7717.

Flora and fawn over it

Hers is a lush situation—her skin bronze by gold as she contemplates a languid, floating flower in a stone fountain, distracted only by fleeting thoughts about the coming trends in men’s wear and accessories and her telecommuting gig at the fashion mag. Rayner Landscaping, Marin’s Best Landscape Design Company, has done it again, she thinks, drawn to attention by unicorn bonsai, and sworn to gratitude as she looks off to the soft, blue landscape beyond an eroding cliff that no landscape designers can withstand, try though they may.

19 Digital Drive, Ste. U, Novato; 415/279-9661.

Fix it, dear Harris

In a world gone nuts for expendable products with built-in expiration dates—an expectation of upgrades at every holiday or convenient juncture of cash, opportunity and Apple press conference—there still are places that you can bring a balky toaster to and get it fixed—or buy a new one if the toast keeps burning up, like a nightmare vision of the Orange Man actually getting elected president. You want old-school attention to the value of thrift, but you also want the latest in eco-friendly washing machines. Martin & Harris Appliances, Marin’s Best Appliance Repair, has more than a half-century of experience, and knows just what it is that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing.

2158 Fourth St., San Rafael; 415/454-2021.

Got your back

Ordinary cleaners reach only so far, but Linda’s Cleaning Services in Novato—a first-time winner in a crowded field of annual contenders—takes top honors this year in the Best Cleaning Service category. Cleaners go quickly up the staircase with the vacuum—and the extra mile if, for example, your wee one’s cherry Tootsie Pop gets crunched into the sofa.

1208 Chase St., Novato; 415/328-9377.

Crystal clear

What the heck happened to the window? The glass is all smudged in the corners with fingerprints and it looks like one of the kids tried to draw Saturn on the pane with an orange crayon. The detached rings are admittedly once-removed from a conceptual-art masterpiece, but don’t tell Dada about the dirty deed as you make the call to Best Window Cleaner, Smart Window Cleaning, for a proper window wash—and congratulations for their shock-and-awe victory over the competition.

22 Commercial Blvd., Ste. B, Novato; 415/382-0999.

All the right moves

Johnson & Daly Moving & Storage, Marin’s Best Moving & Storage company, is the big-time deal for people on the move, with lots of celebrities on a client roster that spans 37 years as the county’s most well-endowed moving company. They’ve got a fleet of trucks and international shipping options if, perchance, you’re swinging on out to London for that new job. The hyperlocal hepcat on the move—they’ve got you covered, too, but make sure you send a postal card for mother from those new digs, wherever you should wind up. Your stuff will get there safe and sound.

110 Belvedere St., San Rafael; 415/491-4444.

Restored hope

The advent of the storage-box economy evokes post-capitalist cubist entrenchment, a last-resort, semi-anonymous zone for over-parceled possessions scurried about from various domiciles until finally, the Alamo of necessary neo-hoarding, you crawl through the micro-space searching for that scratchy—but perhaps valuable—copy of the White Album, with its inimitable snow-white minimalism on the cover, and the hidden messages, all of them, somewhere among the boxes and upside-down bicycles. Now here comes the Storage Wars crew with their remorseless and televised vulture-grab when the bill’s past due. Eff that. You want the Best Self-Storage company to be one that is forgiving, helpful, secure and affordable. Bellam Self Storage & Boxes takes the prize.

24 Bellam Blvd., San Rafael; 415/454-1983.

Golden key

Marin rocker Sammy Hagar has a three-lock box, but that’s a little bit paranoid, and perhaps too kinky for mother and child’s delicate ears. You really only need one key to unlock the door to a greater glorious embrace of secure well-being, and Best Locksmith, Transbay Security Service, it is.

2018 Fourth St., San Rafael; 415/456-3860.

The full list of Best of Marin 2016 Home Improvement winners:

Best Home Furnishings

Sunrise Home

831 B St., San Rafael.


Best Home Improvement Store

Jackson’s Hardware

435 Du Bois St., San Rafael.


Best Home Organizer

Changing Places

4340 Redwood Hwy., Ste. F-100, San Rafael.


Best Contractor

Hazelton Electric

319 Second St., Sausalito.


Best Kitchen/Bath Remodeler

Kitchens & More

4178 Redwood Hwy., San Rafael.


Best Carpeting/Flooring

Rafael Floors

822 Francisco Blvd. W., San Rafael.


Best Paint Services

Tamalpais Paint & Color

5784 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera.


338 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.


Best Solar Supplier


285 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato.


Best Landscape Design Company

Rayner Landscaping

19 Digital Drive, Novato.


Best Nursery/Garden Center

Sloat Garden Center


Best Appliance Repair

Martin & Harris

2158 Fourth St., San Rafael.


Best Cleaning Service

Linda’s Cleaning Service

1208 Chase St., Novato.


Best Carpet Cleaning

Atlas Window & Carpet Cleaning

118 Auburn St., San Rafael.


Best Window Cleaners

Smart Window Cleaning

22 Commercial Blvd., Ste. B, Novato.


Best Real Estate Brokerage

Bradley Real Estate


Best Moving & Storage

Johnson & Daly Moving & Storage

110 Belvedere St., San Rafael.


Best Self-Storage

Bellam Self Storage

24 Bellam Blvd., San Rafael.


Best Locksmith

Transbay Security Service

2018 Fourth St., San Rafael.


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