New York City Visit: Windows and Doors

New York City Visit: Windows and Doors

I had one day on my own, which I spent exploring the Chelsea galleries looking for some art for a San Francisco client. Along the way, marveling at all the unique entrances and how they each tell a different story about what's inside…


Wood and brass


Entrance to Comme des Garcons

It was a cold day, but the sun was out – the ideal weather for walking in nyc.  What I found as I went from the bustling, crowded, zooming, honking, windy streets to the serene, quiet, calm of these galleries was that the back and forth of these two extremes had an incredibly relaxing effect.  

Billy's bakery

Perfectly frosted cupcakes at Billy's Bakery, luring in passers by.

Dammit doll

Some store had this in the window.  So funny. Loved that they used taxi fabric. I could have used one of these the next day when I couldn't catch a cab downtown to save my …life. Apparently, they were avoiding the Javitts Center while the marathoners were picking up their packets. Mass chaos, but it was inspiring to see all the runners. Got me considering perhaps giving it a whirl again next year… I said perhaps.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, our apartment was in a great location, especially for discovering new shops.  I highly recommend visiting Gracious Home.  There are three Manhattan locations. Gracious Home has got absolutely everything from Frette sheets to toasters, Swarovski crystal chandeliers to sandpaper.  It takes up two opposite corners and each store is jam packed with beautiful things.

Gracious home

From one day to the next, the windows went from fall to holiday.

Xmas window - gracious home

A little walk through the store.

Mirror - gracious home

Lamps - gracious home

Love these sheets!



Bed2 - gracious home

I still have a couple more posts for you from nyc – Food and Brooklyn. 


Store Inspirations

Store Inspirations

The store opens on Monday (eeek!), so as you can imagine I'm bananas getting everything done in time.  I will be sane (back to my old self) again and blogging more regularly next week! 

As I've been getting things ready these past couple of months, I've been paying closer attention to what draws me to some stores more than others.  I'm noticing things that I've never paid much attention to before like front doors – are they kept open during store hours?  Signs and window displays. How are they lit?  What provides a better shopping experience – abundant displays or minimal and sparse?  

I've been keeping a 'store' file going for when I spot a great display or something that just has an appealing feel.  Here are a few of my favorites…

Tylerflorencestore display

I couldn't do a post about inspiring stores without putting Tyler Florence's store (above) at the top of the list now could I? The windows are incredible. If you ever find yourself in Mill Valley with only enough time for one store – this one is it!  Read my post with lots more pictures here.


Another favorite is Napa Valley Vintage Home in St. Helena.  I could spend hours looking around and still not see everything. The crystal and glass sparkle, everything is plentiful, bountiful and beautiful. See photos from my last shopping trip here.


Ohh you had me at these doors… Ochre store in Soho (above and below).

Ochre in soho

Aero Studio

Aero Studio2

The above two photos are from Aero Studio in nyc which I had never heard of until a friend recently sent me pictures.  It is owned by Thomas O'Brian whose eponymous lines of just about everything from rugs to lighting I do know and have been an admirer for years.

When I lived in Seattle one of my favorite stores was Red Ticking.  It was near my house which made it very convenient for popping in and soaking up the expertly selected vintage treasures. Pam, the owner is a lovely person too!


Red ticking - decorno

Another Seattle favorite is Watson Kennedy. When we were in Seattle last winter I took some photos of their shop, but they all got deleted somehow šŸ™ What I love most is how every table and display is grouped by color or theme.  When I was looking for images to show you, I came across this article written about them when they were a finalist for best visual merchandising.  

Watson kennedy
So, I'd love to know, what makes a store stand out to you? Do you have an absolute favorite? What do you love most about it?  Let me know and even better, email me a photo! 

I'm excited to show you all my store and will post pictures after the crowds die down šŸ˜‰ If you're in the area, come say hi!

FarmHouseUrban opening flyer

Shopping Heaven – Napa Valley Vintage Home, St. Helena

Shopping Heaven – Napa Valley Vintage Home, St. Helena

Last week, I spent a whole decadent day playing hookie with 'girlfriend' – a longtime bff who moved to St. Helena about a year ago after a 15 year stint in Austria (so actually, now I call her gurlfreund – two dots over the first u). This is really double happiness since now I get to see/talk to her all the time and I have an excuse to go up to wine country even more!

We had a delicious lunch at Cook and then took a stroll along the main street in town. Sure, there are plenty of beautiful stores in every city – window displays that grab your attention, expertly merchandised tables, every square inch jam packed with items that you never knew you couldn't live without…but they are few and far between. One of these stores is Napa Valley Vintage Home in St. Helena, CA.  Pure eye candy.

As you first walk in…

The metal baskets on the wall on the left are vintage grape picking baskets.  Vintage Home works with an artist to custom paint them to your specifications.  

Vintage home - grape picking basket
They are displayed throughout the store with huge bouquets of silk flowers. They would be spectacular in a mud room or entry to house umbrellas and sports equipment. The cost for a custom painted vintage grape picking basket starts at $1,000.


I never knew how much – or even that I wanted an artichoke candle at all – until…




sparkle for the table

Hello beautiful – maybe next time, but today that compote behind you is coming home with me…

We loved these candles under cloches. It keeps the dust from collecting on the wax, and also allows customers to lift the glass domes and smell each scent that has been captured from within.

I had to get up close to see if these colorful ranunculas were real or not.






um, does this come in a bathtub?




and upstairs there's more…





As a lover of neutral tones, this gorgeous store was pure inspiration to infuse just a touch of something unexpected.

Napa Valley Vintage Home

1201 Main Street

St. Helena, CA 94574-1902

(707) 963-7423

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