Los Angeles is the setting for some of the most remarkable residential architecture in the country. However, the buildings are only the beginning. When it comes time to decorate their homes, Angelenos have a wealth of stunning furniture and design shops to choose from, filled with modern marvels, contemporary delights, and vintage wonders. And this being LA, the shops themselves are often beautiful destinations in their own right.
Founded by partners Scotti Sitz and John Davidson, Garde introduces artists and designers from around the world, creating a concept store that invites clients to buy a gift or furnish their house. Sitz, the creative director, calls Garde’s point of view “modern, but in a very tactile manner” and promises that “you’ll want to touch everything.” Presently housed in a modest storefront, the shop is relocating in 2019 to larger digs nearby, so call or check the website for the new address.
For rooms with a mood that might best be described as Gothic Wonderland, venture into Obsolete in Culver City. Enter a shop curtained against the daylight. Muted lighting and flickering candles reveal gorgeous vintage and antique works, including a massive French confessional, circa 1800. Step out to the patio for sunshine, statuary, potted plants, and an unforgettable haunted-looking bedroom tableau.
Blackman Cruz is set in a conventional store, but that’s where convention ends. A massive dining table spiked with a 3,000-pound piece of granite, designed by Preston Sharpe exclusively for Blackman Cruz, would dwarf lesser spaces. Here it just fits with the contemporary and vintage offerings in the massive two-story emporium curated by Adam Blackman and David Cruz. Don’t miss the giant animatronic elephant dwelling in the loft.
The Future Perfect
The Future Perfect represents a variety of international designers, such as Holland’s Piet Hein Eek, whose reclaimed scrap wood table is a knockout. But it’s the company’s presentation that takes every masterpiece to rock star heights: a residential gallery concept called Casa Perfect, which involves renting a different private home in Los Angeles every year to display the store’s wares. The most recent is a modernist Hollywood Hills ranch house with spectacular views that happened to be Elvis Presley’s home from 1967 to 1973.
Appointments and address available to professional designers and their clients by reservation only online.
Twentieth & The New
Twentieth boasts the longest-running contemporary design showroom on the West Coast. Its new building is clad in striking sculptural bronzed paneling, making the store as iconic as the avant-garde designs within. Next door, THE NEW gallery furthers the mission to display works of design art.
Stahl + Band
By the beach, Stahl + Band is an intimate, sun-dappled studio that used to belong to actor/artist Dennis Hopper. The contemporary organic designs from founder/proprietor Jeffery Molter mingle with work from local and international designers that includes a wide selection of elegant and whimsical hanging light fixtures. “Every design that leaves our shop must feel like it’s one-of-a-kind, artisan-touched, and impeccably handcrafted,” Molter explains. “We see each piece as collectible art.”
Designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe fill their aptly named design studio and boutique—Nickey Kehoe—with their own handmade creations as well as new and vintage pieces they’ve sourced from around the world. The shop has an aesthetic that’s both relaxed and complex. “On one shelf you can find handmade glassware from France, Japan, South Africa, and Italy,” says longtime buyer Lizzie Brandt. The store environment itself changes every day, she adds. “Because we work with so many interior designers, there is a constant movement of artwork and accessories out the door.”
—By Lisa Rosen