Los Angeles is the perfect place to wander in temperate weather through 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. The shops are cheerful, accented with light colors and tones, and relaxed passers-through. Following are some of my favorite Los Angeles mercantiles to browse.
1801 Lincoln Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA 90291
This 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
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.
2923 Main Street. Santa Monica, CA 90405
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 East End of Long Island. I quickly discovered that the Santa Monica store is the Amagansett shop’s 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
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.