In part one of my guide to L.A. interior design, I gave a look inside the Pacific Design Center and in Part Two, I talked about the Boulevards in Los Angeles best for shopping. But sometimes the best treasures are found, not in the main thoroughfares, but in the offbeaten paths. In the case of home furnishings, Los Angeles has quite a few out of the way shops that are worth investigating.
Culver City – Venice Boulevard. A former bakery turned design megastore, H.D. Buttercup is a vast warehouse (150,000 sq feet) coined as a ‘manutailer’ (manfufacturer-cum-retailer) that vends to designers and non-trade home enthusiasts alike. Although there is a 10 percent discount for shopping through your interior designer, the last I heard, a little birdie told me that a KCRW membership or donation of around $20 will secure you that trade discount – not much if you’re going to purchase one of their gorgeous vintage-y burlap throw pillows, but worth it if you’re buying a new eco-friendly bed constructed of salvaged wood. With brands like Ralph Lauren Home and a namesake line from Thom Felicia (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame), this manutailer has it all. H.D. Buttercup. 3225 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034. (310)558-8900.
Pasadena – Lake Avenue. Pasadena is L.A.’s ‘old money.’ It’s where the genteel used to make their grand mansions along millionaire row and where the Greene brothers constructed their beloved Arts & Crafts houses along Orange Grove and beyond. It’s no wonder that the design and architectural heritage of this community survives through its many quaint antique shops. Lake Avenue is a lovely distraction from the main shopping area of Colorado. Lined along this street are several antiques shops as well as more mainstream stores like Williams-Sonoma. South Lake Avenue between Colorado & California.
Santa Monica – Montana Avenue. For more breezy shopping, try browsing through the stores on Montana Avenue. This stretch of street in Santa Monica is no tourist trap, but there are enough attractions to hold you captive for a few hours on a lazy Saturday afternoon. For gorgeous bath and kitchen trims, check out Waterworks. I especially recommend the classic Etoile collection with cross handles as a starting point for that bejeweled bath suite that you’ve been dying to retrofit into your home. Descend the street to Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic, the original queen of refined and relaxed country living. Then when all the hard shopping is done, you can pamper yourself with a relaxing pedicure at Bella Cures. Montana Avenue between 7th & 17th.