If you follow along on Instagram and even more so on Snapchat (“TMI, Brittany”), you will know that I spent the weekend in NYC. I had great plans to visit friends and colleagues, but the nasty cold I had been battling took a turn for the worse and I was in no condition for fun meetings. Boo! Plus I didn’t want to infect even more of the city than I probably already had. SO! I spent a lot of time on my own.
Luckily, I LOVE spending time on my own traveling and exploring. When I lived in NYC, it was one of my favorite things to do. And though I would have preferred some fun company and good health, I had a fab experience nonetheless. In fact, I was reminded of how necessary travel is for keeping me inspired (if you follow on Instagram I had some rather emotional things to say about it–I’ll blame it on my loopiness). If you recall, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to keep up with original inspiration and I think I had been sucked back into the reality of survival and being too inspired from Instagram and Pinterest—not original sources of inspiration and not helpful for developing new material.
Labeling anything something that changed my life is a bold statement to make, but I don’t take it lightly. I love beautiful shops, but these ones are the ones that are so beautiful and whimsical that they made me cry. From handmade objects to important curated goods, these are my favorite shops in the world! And tell me in comments what shops have changed your life and what I’m missing out on!
#1 John Derian | New York City, NY
10 E 2nd St
New York, NY 10003
This visit I decided to see a few shops that have been on my list for years, one of them being John Derian. Known for his decoupage trays, I’ve been familiar with his work for years and have followed along on Instagram for awhile, BUT I didn’t know his shop would be a game changer! Like, totally inspiring. Like, you’ve been transported to a magical fairy land that’s been glued together with pixie dust. My heart was doing cartwheels and jetés and it really hasn’t calmed down since.
John Derian is a small shop packed with all sorts of beautiful home goods with other vendors who I consider major sources of inspiration like Astier de Villate, Hugo Guiness, and Nathalie L’ete and paper blooms by Livia Cetti. AND! I didn’t know he had a furniture shop and dry goods shop to boot. I felt so in the dark and robbed even. WHERE HAVE I BEEN?!
I spent a couple of hours exploring every magical nook and cranny in the place. I needed something to remember my experience by so I deliberated which items would best memorialize my visit. I decided on a couple of signature trays of his botanical prints, a bowl from Astier de Villatte, a scarf by Nathalie L’ete, some postcards, wrapping paper, and they threw in a tote bag and newsprint art print. ALL THE THINGS! And I love them so so so so so much.
My visit reminded me of some of the other shops that have changed my life and I thought I’d share them today with you. Put them on your bucket lists!
Tage Andersen Boutique and Museum
Ny Adelgade 12
When I first moved to Copenhagen, Denmark 6 years ago I couldn’t work for nearly a year so I had a lot of time to spend wandering the streets, which is my favorite way to discover a city. I stumbled on famed florist Tage Andersen’s boutique/museum and nearly had a heart attack. This was the shop of my unknown dreams. I had had many people tell me about him, but I didn’t know just how life changing that experience would be. Tage looks like he’s stepped right out of the 19th century. A Claude Monet type. Florist to the queen. Maker of extraordinary florals and installations. In fact, I’ve written about him here. I would visit the shop every so often and explore among the wandering peacocks and other caged birds secretly wishing I was working with them. I was so poor at the time that I didn’t ever buy anything but I’m longing to go back with a bit of a budget and buy all the things :). Go for inspiration, beautiful florals, other worldy vases and installations. AND, if you get a chance to go to his palace in Sweden, Gunillaberg, MAKE THE PILGRIMAGE. I write about our experience here.
173 Rue Saint Honoré
I find that when I stumble on shops myself I hold them much closer to my heart. You too? That certainly goes for Astier de Villatte in Paris. Paul and I were walking down the street after visiting the Louvre when I randomly entered this shop and once again, I was transported into another world. As you know, I love dinnerware so this other worldly ceramics and home goods company is beyond my wildest dreams. The cube series is one of the things I want most in life (I bought this bowl at John Derian) and I would frame their flatware in a glass case. I nearly bought some adorable lily of the valley cups when I was at ABC Home, but I thought I’d save it for another trip. Look for the John Derian x Astier collaboration. So good.
This picture was taken at the Astier de Villatte section at ABC Carpet and Home, another amazing mind-blowing store. And please excuse the lame drawings below. I quickly posted these to Snapchat where I have a strict rule of not editing what I do.
This is my dream dinnerware series. Cube by Astier:
#4 Tail of the Yak | Berkeley, California
2632 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Tail of the Yak is another gorgeous small boutique where you can find odd trinkets and homemade objects with unique paper creations by Anandamayi. It’s another one that transports you to another world. I bought a number of goodies but still love my paper apple surprise ball from Anadamayi. I’m pretty sure that she put chocolate into it but I will never know for sure because I never want to open it up.
#5 Bello’chio | San Francisco, California
10 Brady St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Bello’chio is a small speciality shop that sells beautiful odds and ends perfect for crafters and other people who appreciate beauty. It’s their store displays that are other worldly. I first discovered Polish pajaki here and other ways to decorate shops. I long to buy all my craft supplies here. The way the ribbons are set up and the cards and the artwork…it’s life changing.
Thinking about all these magical shops gets me thinking about decorating a store. Though the idea of opening up a shop seems like too much work for what I can manage right now, but designing a shop for people to discover might need to happen. Someday. From seeing all these shops in a row, I’m noticing that the traits of my favorite shops include a mix of old and new, decorative versus minimal, color, nostalgic, ephemera, odds and ends, fancy yet rustic, handmade, textural.
What would your own shop look like?
OK! Now, tell me what are YOUR favorite shops in the world! Am I missing some here? What should I put on my bucket list??