Rooms and meals
University District, 2675 NE University Village St .; 206.336.4676
The American furniture classic Room & Board has been around since 1980, but landed in Seattle in late 2012 and opened a sprawling store in University Village. “We have created modern furniture that is practical, timeless and comfortable,” says Elaine Thompson, Liaison and Design Associate for the R&B brand, about the store’s proven offerings. The store is known for investing in the creative Seattle community with events such as a designer showcase featuring Seattle fashion and accessory designers invited to redesign a space in the R&B showroom . To experience the store means to escape the hustle and bustle of U Village. Just take the escalator into the airy showroom, which is arranged in a large loop by category – including kids and outdoors – and breathe.
EYE CANDY: Ted Kennedy Watson recognized for visual merchandising. The layers of goods in his stores (pictured here is Watson Kennedy Fine Home) invite customers to discover the perfect accessory for their home. Photo 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. Its stores at Watson Kennedy Fine Home and Fine Living, which have been going strong for 20 years, seamlessly combine new merchandise with vintage items – unsurprisingly for the winner of the National Retail Excellence Award for visual merchandising. “Shops are built by color, layer by layer,” says Watson of his selection of gifts and accessories, which range from diptyque candles to vintage patterned china sets and everything in between. With strong French and English influences, the stores reflect Watson’s refined curations and allow customers to find out what appeals to them most.
Photographs of 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 store gives a special look thanks to owner and interior designer Kelie Grosso that many of us couldn’t dream of putting together with such style and grace. Not every piece requires a deep paperback, but the overall aesthetic is one of Ultraluxe – but not in some kind of cookie cutter. Grosso, who opened the boutique in 2006, travels the world – from Marrakech to New York City to Paris (her main shopping destination) – for products and inspiration. You’ll find everything here, from antique oyster forks to animal leg end tables and gem-colored velvet sofas that make you want all sorts of beautiful things that you didn’t know you needed.
Oscar and Co.
Kirkland, 702 Market St .; 425.803.2121
Located on a lovely street corner in downtown Kirkland, Oscar & Co. is a treasure trove of vintage finds that resemble a lovely flea market. “We concentrate on collections and categories,” says owner Dawn Oscar, who opened the store four years ago. In addition to some selected pieces of furniture, you will also find ceramics, textiles, baskets, industrial accessories and furnishings as well as some curiosities. There is also an extensive collection of silver pieces and glassware for customers looking to throw an elegant soiree.
GREEN THUMB: There’s a lot of green in Ravenna Gardens, but customers also love the selection of home accessories and patio furniture. Photo from Ravenna Gardens.
University Village, 2600 NE University Village St .; 206.729.7388
While large garden stores like Swansons and West Seattle Nursery have a wide range of products, this comparatively small U Village store is our personal favorite for its well-stocked range of plants (supplied daily by local growers) for indoor and outdoor use. Bring green into your home in the form of a customizable terrarium, a trendy succulent or green houseplant or complement a beautiful outdoor area with colorful, fashionable French Fermob patio furniture. And even if your thumb is more brown than green, the incredibly knowledgeable staff can help you choose suitable plants for your living space and gardening skills. 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; Moved to Capitol Hill, 1526 Bellevue Ave.
If you’re looking for a fancy furniture store, do Interiors in South Lake Union and all you see is one empty room. Do not despair. At the time of going to press, the store had announced it was moving to Capitol Hill, but had no move date (though April is likely) with its beautifully crafted North American, African, Japanese, and European items whose modern silhouettes read like works of art. The new location, a larger space just down the street from hip places like Melrose Market, will continue to stock its exquisite collections like Knoll armchairs and Tom Dixon side tables. Long-time co-owner Allison Mills is joined by new co-owner Hillary Rielly, who summarizes the fashion philosophy of the store as follows: “We only sell what we fully believe in, and at this point it is no longer sold.” new location, regular in-store events such as discussions by designers and an additional portion of home accessories, from Finnish dishes to large-format pocket art books.
CREATIVE CLASS: Three Birds Stuffed to the Brim are the perfect place to shop for gifts and decorations for the home. Photo by Lindsay Kerekes.
Queen Anne, 2107 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.686.7664
This cozy Queen Anne store is the place we should all have in our back pockets – a veritable one-stop shop for when you need a little housewarming gift or a birthday present. The focus here is on creative home decor, from trendy macrame wall hangings to beautiful colored glassware, classic works of art from the northwest and tasteful seasonal decorations. Owner Robin Johnson says spring is a particularly fun time to stop by the store – that’s when the goodies she picked at the New York gift shows hit the shelves.
CLEAN LIFE: The aesthetics at Digs show the modern furniture and home accessories in the store. Photo by Digs.
Ballard, 2002 NW Market St .; 206.457.5709
We can’t help but dig the Ballard furniture store Digs. Owners and spouses Ben Knudsen and Gretchen Bjork Knudsen opened a shop on the area’s main drag in 2013 and continue to offer a tasteful selection of contemporary mid-century furniture, as well as a selection of appealing homewares, accessories and gifts – many made by local designers . “We try to curate well-designed yet functional items with the idea of buying less and buying better,” says Knudsen of the bright, open space, which is also a great place for a little “design therapy”. Knudsen owes the success of Digs to his Ballardit colleagues for the acceptance and support of their local businesses.