Only Browsing: Los Angeles Mercantiles

Los Angeles is the perfect place to wander the lot of bright and sun-filled shops in search of vintage, handcrafted or otherwise unique finds — and then getting back in your car to drive to another part of L.A. to wander some more. (Sorry! New York pedestrian-city joke). The shops in L.A. are cheerful, accented with light colors and tones and relaxed passers-through. Following are some of my most favorite West Coast mercantiles to browse.

General Store

1801 Lincoln Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA 90291


Photo credit: General Store

The light and airy design store in Venice Beach is the second outpost for its founders — the original is in San Francisco. Everything is carefully curated with a beautiful mix of homewares, jewelry, cards and so on from local artisans and craftspeople.


1316 1/2 Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Venice, CA 90291


Photo credit: Huset

It’s hard to miss the collection of flags representing each country in Scandinavia from outside the store. Inside is a bright and fun collective mix of furniture, clothes and décor items — whether for the bar or the sofa — all with clean, and sometimes jocular, Scandinavian design.

Love Adorned


The warm and tasteful atmosphere of eclectic finds, be it a woven rug from the Shiprock Gallery in Santa Fe to a vintage ring, immediately reminded me of a similar store in my hometown of Amagansett on the eastern end of Long Island. And as familiarity would have it, this Santa Monica shop was their very own West Coast outpost. The California location is filled with natural light which allows each carefully displayed piece to burst in color. The back patio features a full and flourishing succulent wall.

Tortoise General Store

1208 Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Venice, CA 90291


Photo credit: TGS Tortoise General Store

Tortoise General Store has a welcoming storefront of handicrafts for the home such as cookware, kettles and soaps — all very hands-on persuading patrons to sift through all the unique items. At the back of the store and through a small courtyard is a spacious gallery with tall ceilings and exposed brick. Japanese art and pottery are showcased with the same attention as a museum exhibit, and yet it’s still part of the shop.

hemingway and pickett

3208 Sunset Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA 90026

This well-named Silver Lake shop boasts cool prints, unique lamps and throws, and a plethora of other goodies like flasks, humorous cards and Baleen bangles.