It's no secret that Ballard has exploded with a wealth of great shops (both fashion and home decor) and restaurants, so much so that it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to hunt for all your must-have goods or where to recharge with a post-shopping bev and bite. Enter our home-decor expert and 8-year Ballard resident, Keri Petersen, she of interior design and real estate staging firm KP Spaces. "My husband Justin and I bought out very first house in Ballard and it was a love fest from the very beginning," she says. "We'd walk to the farmers market, the coffee shops, even the doctors office. It feels like a small town in the middle of a big city. Ballard is super hip (way too hip for me), but it's also multi generational. I love the hipsters, the old Swedes, the granola moms and dads with their kids in hemp diapers, the salty guys who work down at the shipping docks and pretty much everybody else in between. Ballard for life!"
Petersen, who recently refreshed her abode into a bright, stunning space that will be featured in our upcoming September issue (on newsstands August 21), gives us the low-down on where she shops and sups in the happening 'hood. See all of her picks below:
"There is never a time that I don't walk out this shop wanting to buy just about everything," Petersen says. "[It has] a beautiful selection of art and accessories, stunning little side tables and lamps, gorgeous rugs and a custom upholstery line that is super reasonably priced. And the staff is awesome, super fun and knowledgeable."
Go for a mix of vintage/mid century home accessories and clothing. "This is an itty bitty shop," she says, "but it's got a TON of personality. You can grab some fun cocktail glasses, a vintage typewriter and a paisley romper if you're feeling brave."
Think reasonably priced local art here in a variety of mediums. "While you are shopping, you can sometimes get a sneak peak of the artists at work in their little studios. It's so Ballard."
Camelion Design; Photo by Jonathan Vanderweit
The Jonathan Adler puzzle lamp
Jonathan Adler, Arteriors and Gus Modern are some of the labels that mingle within this Market Street shop. Petersen's love affair with Digs is strong, but she notes that she can't always afford to splurge. "Fortunately, I have clients that can afford Digs and I live vicariously through them. It's all pretty contemporary/mid century inspired. Come shop and bring your 401K."
The Claire sofa from Couch
"Spoiler alert: it carries couches, but the best part is that you can customize every last detail, including the length, width and height. So it's perfect if you need a sofa for an odd-shaped space. And it's all made in America, yay!"
Tucked away on 22nd Avenue, this off-the-beaten-path treasure trove brims with the unexpected. "I just discovered this hidden gem, even though it's been around forever. It's all semi-weird, but cool vintage stuff that you don't know you need until you see it: old chemistry breakers, lockers, and pull-down maps."
"I've gotten some of my favorite pieces from this store," Petersen says. "There's a huge selection of used furniture, lighting, rugs, and art."
For the days when she feels like exploring, Petersen hits up this shoppers' paradise. "If you are willing to step into the chaos and do some digging, there are some amazing finds. It won't happen every time, but once it does, you will be HOOKED. It's definitely not for everyone, but personally, I love a little adventure in my shopping."
Post-Shopping Sips and Bites:
Go for happy hour and small plates. "It has a charming back patio area where you'll want to sit and drink mojitos all dang night," she says.
Tex-Mex to the max. "I'll usually get the chicken enchiladas, unless I'm with a girlfriend and we decide to "split" the nachos because we are not that hungry, knowing full well those nachos feed 20."
Stoneburner at Hotel Ballard
Photo by Andrea Coan
"When the weather is nice, this is one of my favorite places to have lunch because of its great indoor/outdoor feel," Petersen says. "The space is dripping with good design so there's lots to look at while you eat. And because it's in a hotel, I always feel like I'm on vacation!"
Portage Bay Cafe
Waffle bar! "What's fun is that the kitchen is completely exposed and is in the center, so you get to watch chefs do their thing while you're waiting for you food. Also, the staff is so friendly and seems genuinely excited about the menu. But who am I kidding, it's really just about the waffle bar."