A Little Retail Inspiration
June 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
We love our little shop on Fourth Street in Berkeley. After 14 years of doing shows, we are finally anchored there. I find a lot of inspiration while traveling, something about leaving behind the quotidian, so it makes sense that I am interested in shops now that we have one.
I arrived in LA a day earlier than usual for the Dwell on Design Show and headed right for Abbott Kinney Blvd. Now in recent years I have developed a fascination with Los Angeles, especially Santa Monica. I have decided that LA is analogous to New York City — it’s big, it’s hungry for design, and it is packed with excellence. Our own fair city, San Francisco, is analogous to Boston. It’s small, it’s provincial, it’s slow to warm to trends, and it’s intellectual. Vis a vis neighborhoods, Santa Monica’s Abbott Kinney Blvd. is a lot like Fourth Street Berkeley. It is packed with small boutiques full of one of a kind treasures, and hivey small businesses doing interesting things behind closed doors.
So, I struck out on a mission to explore Abbott Kinney. I started with coffee at Intelligentsia with a friend from Berkeley High School days. Great conversation because we were, essentially, kids together. Right next door to Intelligentsia is Neptina, my friend Lianne‘s store, which is, like Vintage European Posters, open by appointment only. Lianne collects, sells, and manufactures incredible glass objects, including vases, lighting, tables, and more. Her shop has been on Abbott Kinney for 14 years: you might say she was Abbott Kinney before Abbott Kinney was Abbott Kinney.
Next, I wanted to visit Undrest, which is the glamorous swimwear shop founded by our glamorous client Maria. I was tickled to see our framed posters there on display — they have “Relax” by Rene Gruau, “Piscina Sarteano” by Anthoy, and Villemot’s beautiful “Cote d’Azur” poster from 1965. The “Cote d’Azur” hangs on a beautiful blue wall — a welcoming presence to guests as they enter the shop.
After Undrest, I went straight to A+R, a shop that features ‘Global Design. Edited.’ at 1121 Abbott Kinney Blvd, right across the street. A+R was the featured store at Dwell on Design and their shop is a design buff’s dream. They of course, feature the wooly pockets(picture) which I covet, along with the Pantone color chairs that I love. This shop is the epitome of the Dwell mindset and the Dwell aesthetic. Love it!
At the end of the day, Charly and Candie arrived from their long dusty drive down the 5 and we relaxed and ate an amazing dinner at 3 Square – where else, but on Abbott Kinney.