New Fairfax Decor Shop Promotes Curiosity and Sustainability

Tracy McCulloch and Karin Young (photo by Rachel Weill)

If ever there was a design store that makes you feel like you’re shopping in a fabled great aunt’s country estate, Outpost Home (1828 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax) is it. Running counter to the big box ethos of sameness and neutrality, Karin Young and Tracy McCulloch have set out to add dimension, warmth and history to people’s homes. The store seems to come alive as you step into it, or perhaps you come alive with the possibility of how the abundant treasures could add color to your life. 

The small shop, which opened in the fall of 2020, has expertly sourced furniture, tableware, artwork and decor — both new and antique. “We want to tell the story about what came before and add depth to the home,” says Young. To that end, each item in the store has a tale to tell. Handwoven dog collars and baskets support international female artisans by providing the workers with fair wages. Pillows are hand-dyed in the East Bay. A titanic fabric chandelier was rescued from a junkyard and once hung in a Mexican restaurant. Fine-stemmed wineglasses, English porcelain salad plates, a fireplace mantel and countless other treasures were hand-picked from thrift stores and estate sales. 

If a knack for resourcing and precise curation would presumably go hand-in-hand with exorbitant price tags, think again. Glassware starts at $5 a stem; a set of four colorful plates was marked at $40. Pillows, baskets, books and other items can be had for under $100. Those with a penchant for character will be hard-pressed to leave empty handed. The owners are thrilled to welcome in customers, hear their stories and help them find items that they help may sate people’s unfulfilled desire for the trinkets usually acquired during travel. The decor destination has been welcomed by locals, thrilled with a new downtown Fairfax storefront, and discovered by droves of weekend cyclists and staycationers from around Marin and San Francisco. 

Tracy McCulloch and Karin Young are longtime collaborators and friends. They met when their oldest kids were at preschool in Mill Valley and their connection grew as their second kids entered school and became close. Over the years, the two found opportunity to work together; McCulloch is a realtor and Young is an interior designer. So last year, when the two were struggling to be productive in the Zoom zoo of their homes, they decided to take office space together. But when Young found the charming location, the two knew they needed to add a retail component.