Ever since its booming resurgence, Downtown, Los Angeles is quickly becoming the cool hangout for young and creative minds. The Arts District, Fashion District, Little Tokyo and the Financial District are major areas that form this spirited precinct. Most shopping opportunities can be found in the Arts District where plenty of abandoned factories take new avatars in the form of luxury retail boutiques, art galleries, event spaces and cafes.
We suss out the coolest shops to visit in the Arts District (and one that’s a little off the area but well worth the visit). All in our guide to shopping in Downtown, Los Angeles.
A curious mix of home-bred labels
If you’re looking for a gift or anything peculiar, you’ve come to the right place. Books, home accessories, men’s and women’s apparel, ceramic and stationery – you’ll find that all products at Alchemy Works though ordinary, are unique on its own. Apart from offering a curious jumble of probably every cool label imaginable, this 1800 sq. ft. space rotates between a gallery and event space.
Vintage-inspired women’s fashion boutique
AltHouse is a vintage inspired multi-brand women’s boutique that carries a selection of women’s brands new to the L.A. market – discovered by designer and style expert Jennifer Althouse. Their range consists of statement pieces to affordable must-haves and includes coveted brands along the likes of Suno, Alasdair, kimem, Rachel Comey and Rodebjer.
Fine jewellery, artwork and handcrafted pieces
If you are a gull for bold and chunky jewellery then enter with caution because you will not be leaving empty handed. Esqueleto features a thoughtfully curated selection of fine jewellery, artwork as well as handcrafted objects. The boutique represents both local and international contemporary jewellers, ceramicists, and fine artists. This boutique may be a little off Downtown L.A. but rest assured it is well worth a visit.
Unique luxury lifestyle boutique
With over 30 years of experience in retail, it’s no wonder Louisville’s Guerilla Atelier stands out from contemporaries. The specially curated men’s and women’s collections, handcrafted pieces, fragrances, books and fine art have a few things in common – innovation, craftsmanship and timeless quality. You’ll want to step right in even if you had no intention of buying anything.
Top designer and manufacturer of luxury linen
Touted as the top designer and manufacturer of luxury bedding, bath towels, napkin, tablecloth and apparel, MATTEO is the best place to go for the ultimate comfort. They even sew their pieces in a large workshop adjacent to their design studio. Don’t expect a bevy of colours here – MATTEO focuses on muted palettes of white, grey, beige and navy blue. But who needs colour when you’ve got comfort in check?
The designer emporium
Founded in 2003 by husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, Poketo is a lifestyle brand and purveyor of design-driven wares meant to instil art into everyday living. The cheery boutique has everything from design-led stationery, books and trinkets to ‘artsy’ tote bags, cards, and lifestyle products. Pop by this place and you might also find art exhibitions, workshops, and other related events.
Shopping in Downtown, Los Angeles
One of our favourite design ‘hoods and probably one of the top destinations for furniture in Los Angeles, Beverly Boulevard is lined with some of L.A.’s finest furniture shops – what’s more, just minutes apart from each other. Think mid-20th century furnishings, popular replicas and opulent home furnishings all nicely tucked in luxurious showrooms. Snag some tips off these shops if you’re looking to spruce up your living space. Whatever the purpose, shopping at Beverly Boulevard promises a fresh dose of home décor inspiration.
Exquisite textiles, antiques and linen upholstered furniture
This design and antique shop carries everything from antiques, home accessories to vintage textiles. Donning a part Belgian and part Parisian aesthetic, the shop is sprinkled with a tirade of the old and new. It comes as no surprise that the founder, Brenda Antin has a well-honed eye for exquisite pieces – she is a trendsetter for many designers alike. Prepare to encounter a melange of French, English and Italian antiques as well as Antin’s custom collection of linen upholstered furniture and vintage textiles.
Modish pieces for all styles and pockets
The quintessential spot for fashionistas and wannabes, Curve stuns with a jumble of women’s fashion pieces for the style seekers. From edgy street-style favourites to downright dramatic, you will not fall short of aesthetics, quality and up-to-the-minute pieces. It’s also good to know that the prices vary from $20-$2000 – to suit all pockets.
Rome’s best antiques and modern eclectic imports
Husband and wife duo Maurizio and Kathleen Almanza embark on regular trips to Rome to scour the continent’s best. The result is a series of unique antiques and modern eclectic Italian imports. You may picture a musty old antique shop but Eccola is far from that. Exuding old-world charm with a nod to modern design, the showroom is sprawling with statement pieces like a French 1950s foosball table, luxurious hand-blown clear Murano Glass Polyhedral Chandeliers to assuming home décor like a 19th-century Italian globe. Immerse into Italy’s rich heritage during your trip to Eccola.
Modern Natural homewares
A complete visual delight, Garde is lifestyle cum homewares store that is embedded with “Modern Natural” goodies. Visit the store if you’re looking for a gift or just in need of a shopping fix. Their mix of edgy to playful decorative items to exquisite jewellery is a sight for sore eyes for anyone who is looking for something new and original with a touch of edge.
For vintage furniture lovers
Gibson is the brainchild of Gary Gibson, an LA-based interior designer who acquires a gift for untraditional and revolutionary designs. Leading by his ethos that “the art of design is the balance of texture, scale, colour, and light” his furniture line utilises classic metals such as bronze and stainless steel accompanied with beautiful hardwoods. A must-visit for passionate home decorators.
Upscale ceramic tableware and homeware supplies
Hold on to your credit cards because it’s going to be tough getting by this store without buying a product or two. Heath Ceramics ticks all the boxes of a great shopping experience. A clean, wide space store interior, understated ceramic tableware you never thought you needed and an environmentally sustainable motto. On top of that, you will also find architectural tiles made by hand, cooking supplies and vases – and even a humble collection of jewellery. It this doesn’t tease your shopping senses, nothing will.
Stationery with 19th-century letterpress
If you have an appreciation for 19th-century engravings and the elegant look of letterpress printing, then Jonathan Wright & Company is the “wright” stationery shop for you. Renowned for their in-house 19th-century letterpress machines, the shop offers a full range of printing services as well as foil stamping, die cutting, embossing, engraving and professional calligraphy. Make an appointment with Jonathan for special custom prints or select from their line of ready-made greeting cards, and boxed stationery from around the globe at their whimsy shop.
Popular replicas created by craftsmen in Los Angeles
If you have an itch for mid-century modern furniture then look no further. Modernica is the place to go for the best quality replicas you can’t find anywhere else. Created right in the heart of Los Angeles by talented craftsmen, these pieces are a league of their own. You can’t go pass their vibrant collection of Eames-inspired fibreglass shell chairs and the original George Nelson Bubble Lamp created in iconic sculptural shapes.
A charming homewares shop
For all art enthusiasts in town, Nickey Kehoe is a definite treat. Dynamic duo Tod Nickey and Amy Kehoe share an exquisite knowledge for retail and hospitality design – resulting in a unique blend of old-world patina and modern homewares and art with a fresh and timeless aesthetic. Notable pieces include their moulded Wicker Chairs, vintage “lotus bench”, as well as Mid-century chairs, Portuguese ceramics, and Peruvian throws.
Opulent home furnishings
One of the most extensive and luxurious furniture showrooms on the street, RH Modern dazzles with opulent home furnishings, lighting, textiles, bathwares, home décor, outdoor and garden furniture as well as baby products. Their collections are timeless classics that transcend through time. If you’re not looking to purchase, looking around the rustic industrial themed showroom would entice you to do so. Take some time to soak in some show-stopping views of the city at the covered rooftop spot.
Shopping at Beverly Boulevard
One of Los Angeles’ most eminent streets, Melrose dazzles with a jumble of various eclectic homewares stores like Sausalito-based Serena & Lily to fashion frontrunners – including the tremendously stylish Aussie swimwear label, Zimmermann and the decidedly sleek Dash boutique by the infamous Kardashian sisters.
Let your credit cards do the talking and take on this bustling tree-lined area filled with a myriad of shopping, dining and entertainment options – and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to spot a celebrity or two. Our guide to shopping in Melrose begins from the west end of Melrose Avenue all the way through to Highland Avenue.
Mix of emerging indie labels and international favourites
A cult favourite in the big apple, Assembly in Melrose intrigued us with its upside down store name display. This celebrated fashion label boasts a series of emerging independent and international brands carrying understated to cutting edge street style staples for men and women. Discover brands you’re never heard of or spot pieces from your favourite designers at this airy, white-spaced boutique.
Furniture and homewares shop that is apt for your man cave
Blackman Cruz is your go-to furniture store for the ultimate bachelor pad. Why? Well, their mix of products sits along the lines of eccentric, provocative and a trace of goth – with rich, dark woods clad in moody hues but oh-so-classy for your man cave. Brought together by the adventurous minds of Adam Blackman and David Cruz, this furniture shop acts as a resource for collectors and designers who share their passion for offbeat curiosities.
Environmentally sustainable and customised furniture
For over 2 decades, Cisco Home has been offering the best in beautifully sustainable furniture. Each item is built by local craftspeople right in their headquarters in LA. Encounter a discerning mix of upholstered furniture washed in environmentally friendly detergents to unique wood and metal products. The folks behind the gem pride themselves in melding natural elements of rural practicality with an urban style. Pictures don’t do justice to their products so you’ll just have to head on down to see the products in all its glory.
Contemporary women’s apparel by the Kardashian sisters
You’d probably need no introduction about this boutique if you are a self-proclaimed DASH doll. Owned by the infamous Kardashian sister, DASH is a one-stop contemporary women’s boutique set to inspired the confident modern woman with a creative eye for fashion and style. The boutique’s alluring interior will entice you into shopping inside all day.
Luxury lifestyle store
Do not be deceived by the unassuming cement storefront. Inside is an alluring collection of some of the most stunning lighting, rugs, fabrics and trims, wall coverings, luxe bedding and fine china, just to name a few. Kelly Wearstler pushes the boundaries and defies all odds pertaining the elements of design. Proportions and scale are flipped and rotated, and different textures are knitted together. The harmony of masculine and feminine, classic and contemporary is central to Wearstler’s design philosophy. We couldn’t keep our eyes off the display of motifs, sculptures and objets d’ art sprinkled around the shop. What’s more, a commendable collection of noteworthy gift ideas like bags, fragrances, and jewellery is also available. Just one of the many talents this celebrated designer has.
The best vintage boutique in LA
Scout LA is an institution for everyone in the know of the latest in fashion. As its moniker suggests, the folks at Scout, including founder Joey Grana have an impeccable eye for the quirkiest to the most glamorous pieces you can find. It is no wonder; this vintage store is touted as the best vintage boutique in LA. This selectively curated mix includes stunning pre-loved pieces you can’t find anywhere else. Have a chat with Joey if you have a few pieces that need a second home.
A hub for inspiration and creativity
What begun as a humble business with a range of nursery goods is now one of the top design shops in the scene. Serena & Lily’s outlet at Melrose is stocked with graphic bedding, textiles, wallpaper and rug collections clad in a myriad of colours as well as furnishings, lighting and accessories. Visit the friendly staff for some assistance. Remember, no project is too big or small at Serena & Lily.
A serene space designed as a home
An apartment-showroom where everything you see is on sale? We’re sold. The Line offers a personal approach to retail by bringing together beautifully curated collections from established and emerging designers. Fashion, home and beauty are selected and styled in a minimalist-chic home setting on a weekly basis. Apart from featuring an enticing amalgam of the hottest brands, The Line also provides by-appointment shopping, personal styling as well as interior design consultation services.
Shopping in Melrose, Los Angeles
Wiggling its way through the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue is La Cienega. This design mecca is a popular hangout for top celebrity designers through to budding home decorators.
For more than half a century, the La Cienega Design Quarter has been a destination for the finest quality designs for home – and nothing has changed in the recent years as many still flock the area.
The vitrine showrooms have a common theme of well-heeled, classic aesthetics with a touch of boho chic. Alongside the design mecca is an assemblage of bistros, fashion boutiques and salons – confirming the notion that shopping in La Cienega is indeed, a one-stop destination for all.
One-of-a-kind antiques & reproduction from Europe, Asia and North America
Not only is this a furniture shop offering vintage and custom furniture, lighting and home décor – Big Daddy’s Antiques is also a warehouse-like studio where you can spend the whole afternoon “oohing and aahing” over the antiques and mid-century pieces. With nearly 20 years of expertise in the interior decorating & landscape design fields, it is no wonder that the showroom attracts markets of interior designers, set decorators, architects, photographers and of course, design and art loves.
A touch of mystery
The Hallworthy Gallery is like a sinister pad – shabby-chic, old world charm furnishings are deeply layered with earthy tones. You will find that every piece is accompanied by the ghost of its past. Don’t let the moody showroom put you off though, the place is filled with curiosities and intriguing pieces that you’ll only have to see in its flesh to believe.
One of LA’s most sought after design destinations
When Harbinger opened its doors in 2008, it was a modest retail shop showcasing trend-resistant and traditional finds with a mix of edgier pieces like acrylic bookshelves and modern art. It is now renowned for representing over 40 lines of chic fabrics and wallpapers, furniture, lighting, carpets and decorative arts from the US, Milan and London.
A quaint cottage offering 18th and 19th century furniture
Originally opening an unassuming, founder Suzanne opened Hollyhock to sell things for the home that couldn’t easily find in Los Angeles. Fast-forward 25 years, this charming cottage in La Cienega is now an exclusive resource for designers and discerning shoppers. Suzanne expertly chooses every item with a touch of quirkiness that can’t be found anywhere else. This includes an assemblage of 18th and 19th-century antiques mixed with home accessories, art, contemporary furniture and books.
Modern California home décor and textiles
The go-to destination if you’re thinking about revising your abode with modern Californian décor. Hollywood at Home offers design-savvy customers with an extraordinary collection of interior textiles, custom home furnishings, and vintage pieces. The choice of textiles is simply stunning – with fabrics from renowned brands like Peter Dunham Textiles, Zak + Fox, Lake August, Carolina Irving Textiles, Lisa Fine Textiles and Peter Fasano.
A hotspot for design aficionados
For over decade, Lucca Antiques has been a hotspot for design aficionados – designers and celebrity clients seeking pieces that are unique in scale, composition and origin. It is no wonder this furniture store is sprouted across various design districts across the city. Founded by enthusiasts who appreciate fine antiques, architectural elements – with a passion for creating designs from old materials and found objects, Lucca Antiques is the best spot to bag a piece you won’t find anywhere else.
For the quintessential outside in lifestyle
Mecox is the numero-uno place to go for all your garden furnishings. The famed garden boutique carries an expertly curated mix of some of the finest shabby-chic antiques, furniture, home décor and art – as well as a sizeable collection of outdoor furniture clad in bold bright hues to sophisticated pieces. These gems are sure to blend in with your modern patio or garden.
Show-stopping style trends
We were completely overcome by the alluring mix of show-stopping style trends – from edgy to eccentric. It is evident that Opening Ceremony brings lesser-known brands to the scene. In addition to stocking both iconic and emerging local designers, every year OC showcases the spirit and merchandise of a visiting country, transforming each store into a marketplace for exotic souvenirs and international talent.
Shopping in La Cienega, Los Angeles
A petite city that packs a punch, Los Angeles’ West Side shopping destination sits in Culver City. Home to massive movie studios like Sony Pictures Studios, The Culver Studios and the iconic Pacific Theatres, Culver City is now one of L.A’s burgeoning design destinations – adding another element of California cool to the city.
Instagram-worthy public artwork including giant art installations, sculptures and art galleries are sprouted across the city. Furniture fanatics can rejoice thanks to its bevy of classic American to eccentric furniture emporiums. Sneak a peek at America’s cinematic history and take full advantage of the repository of cool designer furniture pieces and even a bookstore while shopping in Culver City.
A must-visit for avid book lovers
Take a quick break from your shopping expedition and indulge in a little light reading at Arcana. If you were an avid reader – you’d probably know about this bookstore. From out of print books and collectables to new releases, as well as catalogues, and ephemera on 20th and 21st -century photography, art, design, architecture, fashion, cinema and music, this enclave is a league on its own. Moreover, the bookstore is far from a musty old-school library. Its boasts a stylish layout with heaps of natural light coming through for a delightful experience.
Furniture emporium for the urban home
Massive is one word you’d use if you visited HD Buttercup. This furniture emporium is brimming with an eclectic selection of varied genres – everything from modern vintage furniture, Italian furnishings, mid-century modern pieces and artisan goods. Apart from furniture, this store also carries a striking collection of fine carpets, rugs, art and accessories. Perfect for the urban home.
Eccentric art gallery and furniture shop
A must-visit for someone with a creative eye and passion for sophisticated art, Obsolete is an art gallery cum furniture shop that is not for the faint-hearted. From wax head models of a child’s head to exploded dolphin skulls this furniture shop is eccentric at its best. If you’re not thrilled about displaying a child’s head in your home, Obsolete also carries an elaborate mix of shabby-chic furniture and homewares – most of which are in mint condition. These pieces would instantly lift the interior of your abode, making it look as classy as ever.
Classic American furniture and homewares
Motivated to bring back the best in classic American lighting, hardware and home décor, Rejuvenation takes you back to the 1860s to 1970s with a diverse selection of furniture from that era. Though their range of furniture is forced to be reckoned with, it is their lighting that caught our eye. Spoil yourselves with a wide-ranging choice of pendants, chandeliers, table and desk lamps, floor lamps, string lamps and outdoor lamps clad in endless genres. These handwired pieces are made to order in Portland, Oregon.
Modern and environmentally sustainable furniture
Located in the heart of Culver City, Room & Board is a furniture emporium galleria offering modern and simplistic furniture with a touch of class. Each section of the massive showroom is nicely decorated so you’ll even score some great home decorating inspiration on the side. Their designs are deeply rooted in heritage honouring natural materials in organic forms – and are also environmentally sustainable.
The Carpet Connoisseurs
If you – like us – have a special liking to rugs and carpets, The Rug Warehouse is the place to be. Offering fine hand-knotted, custom carpet and area rugs, the family-owned home accessories store has been bringing the best selection of carpets to Southern California since 1976. Select from a widespread of broadloom and rugs in contemporary and traditional styles offered in stripes, solids, geometrics and natural fibres. Feel free to nab some expert advice from the rug specialists in store.
Shopping in Culver City, Los Angeles
Ever since the rapid gentrification of the area, Silver Lake has been living it up as the East side’s trendiest and relentlessly hip neighbourhood in Los Angeles. The hilly precinct now sees luxe-heavy high-end retailers like Aesop and APC amongst others, giving frontrunners like Abbot Kinney a run for its money.
Take a stroll – or rent a bicycle to fit in with the locals – through Silver Lake and pore over vintage shops boasting dynamic colours, aesthetically pleasant storefronts and indie designer finds. After shopping in Silver Lake, unwind at one of the countless coffee dens; artisanal eats and ultra-hip bars at the Sunset Junction stretch.
One of the best clothing stores in LA
You can’t deny California chic vibes in this shop. Bucks and Does features versatile and unique apparel for men and women – B&D tees for the men and a touch of bohemian while retaining a modern and chic style for the ladies. Probably why Los Angeles Magazine named it one of the “Best Clothing Shops in LA”. Their passion for good design is clear as you greet some of the hippest European and LA labels in the shop but Bucks and Does’ pride and joy lies in their very own label, The ODells.
Handbags and accessories with a Parisian charm
While working as a journalist for French television, founder Clare Vivier noticed a lack of functional yet chic laptop cases. She then decided to create her own line of handbags and accessories. The result is a marriage of classic shapes, modern detail and Parisian charm – yes, we’re still talking about handbags. Constructed of durable leather, the clutches, totes, crossbody, shoulder bags as well as wallets and cases come in a series of styles to suit every style.
Aesthetically pleasing fine jewellery and mood stones
A serious Silver Lake gem –no pun intended – Dream Collective offers up a slew of delightfully creative and aesthetically pleasing fine jewellery made from carefully select materials like brass, bones and enamel. California-based designer Kathryn Bentley’s inspiration comes from past design movements, travel, artisans, flea markets, architecture and textiles. What’s more, Kathryn is committed to sustainability and believes that her jewellery holds positive energy for her clients. Head to this earthy boutique for pieces you won’t find anywhere else.
Mega lifestyle store
Boasting a well-curated range of unique goods from designers and artists all over the world, Individual Medley amazes with their thoughtful selection of locally crafted home décor, paper goods, apothecary and vintage apparel. We couldn’t take our eyes off their recently revamped store – the perfect excuse to stay here all day – with an airier interior, allowing loads of natural light in.
Edited collection of independent designer finds
An enclave for independent designer finds, Lake is a boutique, which offers a splash of opposites – casual yet elegant, refined yet raw and simple yet sophisticated. These apparel are complemented with textiles, ceramics and thoughtful gifts like home décor and apothecary products. Tour this shop for a fresh wardrobe revamp or pick the perfect gift for a friend that has it all.
Over 200 indie and popular designers
Mohawk General Store offers up a slew of artfully curated products for men, women and kids – tending towards a casual style for men and dressy for the ladies. Their extensive assemblage of designers is pretty impressive, with over 200 emerging indie brands to household favourites in store and online. A noteworthy mix of mid-century furniture and sleek home accessories are also available.
Detroit’s signature men’s lifestyle store
With over half a thousand store locations and stockists sprouted across the globe, Shinola definitely needs no introduction. (But we’ll tell you all about it anyway). What began as a mere watch factory is now identified as an exemplary lifestyle brand for men and even women. Handcrafted in Detroit, the watches, leather products, bicycles, and other supplies created are made to perfection with the utmost attention to detail and quality.
Fun gift ideas
Not the best gift giver? Well, remove that stamp on your back with some help from Shout and About. Also known as a little urban oasis of paper, plants and gifts, this fun and cheery gift shop offers just about everything imaginable. Greeting cards, jewellery, journals, pouches and party décor this place is sprawling with perfect gift ideas. Take your time to look through every part of the shop, you’re bound to find the right gift.
Adorable yet stylish kid’s fashion
A little different from the mix of men’s and women’s fashion boutiques on the street, Sweet William is a chic clothing store that carries a refreshing range of delightfully cute and chic kid’s fashion pieces. Their apparel is made of the high quality by environmentally and ethically responsible manufacturers. If your little ones have a refined fashion sense, this is the boutique to head to.
Shopping in Silver Lake, Los Angeles