“We shape our homes and then our homes shape us.” – Winston Churchill
Don’t you love walking into someone’s house and seeing unusual details – fanciful table sculptures, decorative picture frames, giant patterned pillows – that make you feel comfortable and curious at the same time? Great interior decoration needn’t cost much, or require special skills. It just requires a sense of self, a little cash, and this list.
There are exceptional design stores on Melrose that are part art gallery, part museum, and all open to the public. Whether you’re looking for a special “this is SO me” statement piece or are planning a total revamp of a room, definitely get inspiration and the goods here.
The Window is an airy, art deco industrial space that used to be a Ford Model-A showroom. It’s not overrun with pieces, but the scope and detail of each fills the room with wonder and sophistication. Iconic 20th century furnishings, primitive folk art, Machine age metallic light fixtures, and architectural elements dating back as far as the 18th century immediately slow you down, take your focus, and allow imagination to create a room and a story to accommodate them.
6825 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90038
Monday – Saturday 11a – 6p
There’s something very southern California about the Lawson-Fenning showspace. Each room is colorful without being gaudy or distracting, clean but full of eye-catching details (big and small), and natural with woods and textiles of all kinds. The mix of contemporary and vintage can satisfy many tastes. And while each item is well-crafted and high quality, the affordability is a pleasant surprise.
6824 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90038
Monday – Friday 10a – 6p, Saturday 11a – 5p
Object smells good. It smells rich, and natural, and creates the sensation that hands, not machines, made the things here. No piece is particularly large (hence “object”) and all serve to be the thing people have to ask about when they see it. Each tells a story, usually with a European or Japanese legacy, and is functional so that nothing seems too precious. These vintage offerings are not inexpensive, but such perfect rarity should come with a price.
6910 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90038
Consort supports thoughtful design with an attitude. Vibrant palettes and eye-popping color combinations create showroom displays in which you instantly want to immerse. Contemporary and inviting, each room offers sleek furniture, cool light fixtures, and statement pieces to die for. They really look far and wide for artists to carry fanciful. as well as sublimely classic, items. For gifts, Consort has awesome options at many price levels.
6918 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90038
Monday – Saturday 10a – 6p
Pegaso will turn you into a kid in a candy store. It is floor to ceiling, wall to wall EVERYTHING. Furniture, lighting, table toppers, chess boards (the chess boards alone are worth a look), framed art reflecting many eras, styles and palettes. What’s particularly great about the abundant selection is exploring how seemingly dissimilar items can look perfect together. Something new is added every week, and that something is sure to be as fantastical as what it replaced.
6812 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90038
Monday – Friday 10a – 6p, Saturday noon – 5p
Stepping into Kamsah is like waking up in Oz; it is vibrant and rich with colorful, artful accent pieces handcrafted by independent artisans from all corners of the world. The owners’ home country of Tunisia is prominent, and the delightful (downright charming) staff will regale you with stories about each of the collections and its origins. A portion of the proceeds from the shop go back to the artist communities to support education and women empowerment.
7618 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
12 to 8 pm daily
Without a flashy exterior, you might pass by the possibilities inside 1st Leap. With a focus on lighting, wall art, and seating, this little shop is full of one-of-a-kind, very eclectic home furnishings. The visual palette is very warm (earth tones, deep pigments) and everything is functional as well as comfortable. The selection is not massive, but if you’re looking for something that meshes unique with usable, definitely check it out.
7813 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Monday – Saturday 9a – 5p