Our Emerald City is a gold mine when it comes to finding the goods needed to furnish and decorate a home. Vintage wares? Check! Local artisan goods? Check! Sustainable, contemporary furniture? Check, check!
So, choosing our favorite shops and goods was a little like choosing our favorite food or movie or child...they’re each so different, and there’s a reason to love each one. But these home shops from around the city set the bar especially high with their unique offerings, in-store experience and on-trend selections. Whether you lean toward a coffee table made from recycled barn wood or an antique silver set, you just might discover that one of our favorite home shops is one of your favorites, too.
Ballard, 5330 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.783.7125
Whimsical and vibrant without crossing over to kitschy, the contents of this wonderful Ballard shop (above) would warm any home. Although owner Nicole Vandermeulen and her team of design consultants succeed in selecting one-of-a-kind home decor and gift items—such as plush throws and bold accessories—it’s the upholstered bespoke furniture that really sets this place apart from the other adorable Ballard Avenue stores. Hundreds of fabrics are available to cover pieces ranging from petite swivel chairs to expansive sectional couches. What we love most is how they embrace color here—if you’re looking for somewhere to pick up the latest jewel tones or bright pastels, this is your place.
GETTING PERSONAL: Michele Bayle’s shop is filled with items that add personality to any space. Photograph by Jay Alan.
Bayle and Co.
Seward Park, 5224 Wilson Ave. S, No. 102
Interior designer (and owner of Columbia City’s Wink Eyewear) Michele Bayle opened her multiroom Seward Park shop in late 2016 with a mission to help people “make their space personally theirs,” she says. To do so, she’s put together a selection of reasonably priced home goods that pop with personality, from gilded leather pillows and shaggy poufs to air plant holders and unusual picture frames. Many items are from Pacific Northwest artists, and a new collection features pillows, curtains, placemats, napkins, totes and pouches made from hand-crafted, batik-printed cotton she has sourced from Ghana. Swing by for a drop-in consultation (for a small fee) on the third Thursday of every month.
FINE TIME: Looking for a custom art piece or a restored antique? Head to The Phinery. Photograph by Julie Mannell.
Phinney Ridge, 6500 Phinney Ave. N, Suite A; 206.494.3355
Opened just last year, The Phinery is a one-stop shop for home decor items and decorating services by owner and interior designer Becky Ducsik, who also directs the restoration of specialty antique pieces. “The result is a wide variety of items produced in small batches that each have their own story,” says Ducsik. The small shop also carries custom art pieces and a variety of gifts and accessories for the home in a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Have an antique that needs some new life breathed into it? You’re in luck, as Ducsik also enjoys helping her customers reimagine their vintage heirlooms as contemporary pieces that retain the integrity of their original design.
IMAGINE THIS: Get inspired in Room and Board’s showroom where room vingettes show you what’s possible. Photograph by Room and Board.
Room and Board
University District, 2675 NE University Village St.; 206.336.4676
American-made-furniture classic Room & Board has been around since 1980, but landed in Seattle in late 2012, opening an expansive store in University Village. “We have created modern furnishings designed to be practical, timeless and comfortable,” says R&B brand liaison and design associate Elaine Thompson of the store’s tried and true offerings. The store is known for investing in the creative Seattle community with events like a designer showcase, which features Seattle-based fashion and accessory designers who are invited to restyle a room in the R&B showroom. To experience the store is to escape the hustle and bustle of U Village. Just take the escalator up to the airy showroom, laid out in a large loop by category—including kids and outdoors—and breathe.
EYE CANDY: Ted Kennedy Watson has won awards for visual merchandising; the layers of goods in his shops (Watson Kennedy Fine Home is pictured here) invite customers to discover the perfect accessory for their home. Photograph by Ted Kennedy Watson.
Watson Kennedy Fine Home, Downtown, 1022 First Ave.; 206.652.8350
Watson Kennedy Fine Living, Pike Place Market, 86 Pine St.; 206.443.6281
Ted Kennedy watson knows the Seattle lifestyle. Going strong for the past 20 years, his Watson Kennedy Fine Home and Fine Living shops seamlessly blend new wares with vintage items—not surprising for the winner of the National Retail Excellence Award for Visual Merchandising. “The shops are set up by color, layer after layer after layer,” says Watson of his home gift and accessory selections, which range from Diptyque candles to vintage sets of patterned china, and everything in between. With strong French and English influences, the shops reflect Watson’s refined curations, allowing customers to discover what appeals to them most.
Photographs by Ravenna Gardens; Haris Kenjar (Luxe); Kelly Lemon Photography (Oscar)
Madison Park, 2806 E Madison St.; 206.405.2828
Like an eccentric aunt with impeccable taste, this Madison Park shop pulls off a specific look many of us couldn’t dream of putting together with such style and grace, thanks to owner and interior designer Kelie Grosso. Not every piece requires a deep pocketbook, but the overall aesthetic is one of ultraluxe—but not in a cookie cutter kind of way. Grosso, who opened the boutique in 2006, travels the world—from Marrakech to New York City to Paris (her number-one buying destination)—for products and inspiration. You’ll find everything from antique oyster forks to animal-leg end tables to jewel-toned velvet couches—creating a desire for all sorts of beautiful things you didn’t know you needed.
Oscar and Co.
Kirkland, 702 Market St.; 425.803.2121
Situated on a charming street corner in downtown Kirkland, Oscar & Co. is a treasure trove of vintage finds set up to resemble an enchanting flea market. “We focus on collections and categories,” says owner Dawn Oscar, who opened the shop four years ago. In addition to a few select furniture pieces, you can also find pottery, textiles, baskets, industrial accessories and fixtures, and a few oddities. There’s also an extensive collection of silver pieces and glassware for customers wanting to throw an elegant soiree.
GREEN THUMB: There's plenty of greenery at Ravenna Gardens but customers also love the selection of home accessories and outdoor furniture. Photo by Ravenna Gardens.
University Village, 2600 NE University Village St.; 206.729.7388
Whereas major garden stores like Swansons and West Seattle Nursery excel in their breadth of offerings, this comparatively petite U Village shop is our personal favorite for its well-curated assortment of plants (delivered daily by local growers) for both indoors and out. Bring greenery into your home in the form of a customizable terrarium, trendy succulent or leafy houseplant, or add to a beautiful outdoor space with colorful, fashionable French Fermob patio furniture. And even if your thumb is more brown than green, the incredibly knowledgeable staff can assist you in picking out appropriate plants for your living space—and your gardening skill level. As owner Gillian Mathews says, “Not everyone has a garden, but everyone can bring nature into their home.”
South Lake Union, 300 Dexter Ave. N; 206.622.1608; Moving to Capitol Hill, 1526 Bellevue Ave.
If you look for chic furniture shop Inform Interiors in South Lake Union and only see an empty space, don’t despair. At press time, the shop—with its beautifully designed North American- African-, Japanese- and European-made pieces, whose modern silhouettes read like works of art—had announced its move to Capitol Hill, but not a moving date (though April is likely). The new location, a bigger space just down the street from hip spots like Melrose Market, will continue to carry its exquisite collections, such as Knoll armchairs and Tom Dixon side tables. Longtime co-owner Allison Mills is being joined by new co-owner Hillary Rielly who sums up the store’s fashionable philosophy this way: “We only sell what we totally believe in, and at that point it no longer becomes selling.” In the new location, expect periodic in-store events, such as talks by designers, plus an extra helping of home accessories, from Finnish dinnerware to large-format Taschen art books.
CREATIVE CLASS: Filled-to-the-brim Three Birds is the perfect place to shop for home gifts and decorations. Photograph by Lindsay Kerekes.
Queen Anne, 2107 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.686.7664
This cozy Queen Anne shop is the sort of place we should all have in our back pocket—a veritable one-stop shop for when you need a little housewarming gift or birthday present. The emphasis here is on creative home decor, from trendy macramé wall hangings to beautiful colored glassware, classic Northwest artwork to tasteful seasonal decorations. Owner Robin Johnson says spring is an especially fun time to swing by the shop—it’s when the goodies she picked out at the New York gift shows start showing up on the shelves.
CLEAN LIVING: The aesthetic at Digs shows off the shop’s modern furniture and home accessories. Photo by Digs.
Ballard, 2002 NW Market St.; 206.457.5709
We can’t help but dig Ballard furniture shop Digs. Owners and spouses Ben Knudsen and Gretchen Bjork Knudsen opened shop on the neighborhood’s main drag in 2013, and they continue to offer a tasteful selection of mid-century modern furniture pieces, plus an assortment of eye-pleasing housewares, accessories and gifts—many made by local designers. “We try to curate items that are well designed and still functional, with the idea of buying less and buying better,” says Knudsen of the bright, open space, which is also a great spot for receiving a little “design therapy.” Knudsen credits Digs’ success to his fellow Ballardites for embracing and supporting their local businesses.