Paxton Gate Proprietor Sean Quigley Preps For a Cocktail Party While Offering CH+D a Tour of His Mission Neighborhood

By Jessica Battilana


Sean Quigley moved to San Francisco’s Mission District more than a decade ago. A few years later, he established his quirky design shop and landscaping business, Paxton Gate, on now bustling Valencia Street. And late last year – just after the birth of his second daughter, Fiona-Quigley opened Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids, a children’s shop just down the block. 

Though the California native has designed and landscaped dozens of exterior spaces over the years, he recently completed the interior design for one of the neighborhood’s newest restaurants, Flour + Water. Known around the Mission for a style that mixes modern with macabre, Quigley has transformed his own flat into an urban oasis that works as well for stylish play dates as it does for outdoor cocktail parties. His first official interior design project, Quigley’s ideas for Flour + Water restaurant included a mural by local painter Jessica Niello.

Quigley’s shop, Paxton Gate, has been a Valencia Street destination since 1999. It’s filled with carefully displayed curiosities – from taxidermy (such as the unicorn in the front window) to Wardian boxes filled with bromeliads.

“I intended to create a quirky gardening store, but it has become so much more,” Quigley says. In addition to the retail shop, Quigley also runs a landscape design firm with business partner Todd McCrea. 824 Valencia Street, 415.824.1872.

When Quigley moved in 14 years ago, the yard was nothing more than a dirt pit, which he’s gradually landscaped, incorporating many of the epiphytes, bromeliads and tree ferns he sells at Paxton Gate.