I love all of the usual home decor suspects: Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, CB2, West Elm, Home Goods, etc. etc. etc… But when I’m looking for something out of the ordinary, I have a few secret sources for finding hidden houseware treasures.
We have several specialty garden shops in the area with terrific home sections. Molbak’s is probably the largest, but my fave is Ravenna Gardens. It’s a small shop in nearby University Village, but it delivers big time on accessories like napkins & tablecloths, picture frames, artwork, decorative pots, and candleholders – even seasonal furniture. I know they’re technically designed for the outdoors, but I wouldn’t mind a couple of their candy colored Fermob bistro chairs for our kitchen! Of course, they have plenty of greenery to spruce up your house as well.
I’m not talking about big box hardware stores, though, I’ve already covered how Home Depot has a surprisingly nice furniture collection. Here in Seattle, my go to is City People’s Mercantile. Where else can you find a repurposed shovel bench alongside a brand new garden hoe? They maintain a regular collection of kitchen supplies – everything from colorful dishes to canning equipment; a seasonal assortment of accessories – they’re holiday selection is fantastic; and, there’s always something just a little bit surprising waiting around the corner. Their indoor and outdoor furniture is surprisingly affordable. You can also pick up cards and gift wrap, a scarf or socks, jewelry and perfume, or a can of paint and a bottle of Draino. The best kind of one-stop shopping!
Craft Fairs/Pop-Up Shops
I’m pretty picky when it comes to thrifting housewares. I don’t mind buying seconds of certain things at discount stores, and will even partake of the random Goodwill silver find, but I’m not keen on raggedy items that were recently rescued from their 60 year stint in great-grandma’s spidery attic. Craft Fairs, like Urban Craft Uprising or Renegade Craft Fair can be an excellent alternative for sourcing carefully curated vintage goods and uncovering unexpected designs from creative local makers.
The same can be said for pop-up shops. Though I haven’t yet been, I’ve heard great things about The Savvy Marketplace. Founded by The Savvy Heart, a small independent design studio that offers a “small, ever-evolving collection of homemade goods”, the monthly marketplace features 12-17 vendors at Sole Repair on Capitol Hill. They have already expanded to include a food truck, craft cocktails, and local musicians. How fun!
So, while the usual suspects are comfortably predictable sources of lovely home goods, I encourage you to branch out in search of something truly unique.