Debut design and lifestyle storefronts are beckoning California aesthetes
Words by ANUSH J. BENLIYAN
In an age where traditional retail is said to be dying, a fresh crop of distinctive storefronts is proving that shopping in person can be an inimitable experience — and a source of immeasurable inspiration. Take, for instance, the Georgia O’Keeffe-esque new L.A. headquarters of Sonia Boyajian, which encapsulates the jewelry designer’s charming universe; or the Healdsburg flagship of Bon Ton Studio, a homey homage to life’s creature comforts. Here are four beautiful shops on our radar that might just lure you away from your desk for some old-school retail therapy.
Into the Wild
At her airy new Montana Avenue boutique in Santa Monica, proprietor Jill Gallenstein stocks covetable home accents, lush flora, handmade planters, one-off vintage treasures and more. The inspo-inducing petite shop, dubbed Field Guide, features exclusive artist collaborations, including Oatmeal Shop x Carla Weeks ceramic serveware and wall art; throw pillows and zip pouches created with Patrick Howard of Den & Delve; vintage Levi’s denim jackets hand-painted by Nina Li; Kalie Garrett’s hanging leather planters; and plant-dyed, hand-quilted pillows by Mary VanWassenhove of Ray Quilts. Plus, Gallenstein is offering her own creations, among them handcrafted jewelry and leather-wrapped pots embellished with tassels and stones. 1413 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.
Sixteen years after launching her eponymous fine jewelry and objects label, Sonia Boyajian has debuted her first flagship in her hometown of Los Angeles. The creative collaborated with her longtime friend, interior designer Pamela Shamshiri of Studio Shamshiri, to transform the 5,000-plus-square-foot Fairfax district space into an immersive extension of the brand, which is known for its elegant yet whimsical pieces. Drawing inspiration from luminaries Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Le Corbusier and Donald Judd, the duo created a stunning destination — comprising a boutique, ceramics studio, art gallery and private office — awash in pale pink, with custom niches that display Boyajian’s collections, plus sconces, pendants and mobiles that echo her jewelry’s enchanting aesthetic. 357 N. La Brea, L.A.; 323-591-0147.
Wanderlust for Life
Set in downtown Healdsburg, the new flagship store from Bon Ton Studio brings to life the direct-to-consumer lifestyle purveyor’s worldly, neutral aesthetic and free spirit. The quaint 670-square-foot boutique houses founder Erika Dawkins’ curated selection of home goods, among them one-of-a-kind Moroccan Sabra pillows, hand-loomed from cactus silk; woven natural seagrass belly baskets from Vietnam; and Turkish cotton throws and towels; as well as debut decor pieces, apparel and fashion accessories. Dawkins — whose vision for Bon Ton blends her inspiration from her international travels and time living in Australia with the laid-back luxury of California wine country — also incorporated something closer to home in the store: a unique cash wrap designed by her own grandfather. 120 Matheson St., Healdsburg.
L.A.’s fan-favorite design studio Block Shop has opened its first retail location in Atwater Village, making a permanent home for the brand’s streamlined, hand-blocked printed textiles. For the new destination, co-founders and sisters Hopie and Lily Stockman brought in design-forward touches, such as custom furniture by Shin Okuda of Waka Waka, a Brendan Ravenhill chandelier, an Entler 2-Globe table lamp, and a Kalon Studios mirror, all set against a backdrop of Farrow & Ball’s classic Cooking Apple Green paint. The store (tip: it’s a bit hidden, so follow the directions on the firm’s website carefully) carries Block Shop’s line of decor, including rugs, paper prints, table linens and pillows, as well as its new collection of scarves, which floral designer Maurice Harris of Bloom & Plume modeled for the firm. 3191 Casitas Ave., Ste 156, L.A.
Feature image: The PAMELA SHAMSHIRI-designed interiors of SONIA BOYAJIAN’s new space in Los Angeles.
Dec. 11, 2019
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