Posts filed under Neighborhoods

Neighborhood Beat: Madison Valley

On the route to downtown from Madison Park, the valley used to be sort of a seedy area to pass through, back in the day - but not anymore!  Now it's a destination for savvy shoppers and diners.

There are wonderful boutiques to treat all of the senses, for humans and their pets (or is it the other way around?), not to mention fabulous restaurants!  It's becoming quite la petite France with Rover'sVoila BistrotLa Cote, and Rover's spinoff, the soon to open Luc, sharing the neighborhood with Cafe FloraChinoise, and the Essential Bakery and Cafe. 

One of my favorite shops, anywhere, is Lavender Heart, above.  Here you'll find candles, soaps, gourmet olive oils & sweets, jewelry, home accessories - everything to help "beautify" your surroundings.  The owner, Holly Henderson, is absolutely one of the best resources for perfect gift ideas or self rewards - she's my go-to first choice!

Red Ticking

  (above and below) features antique and imported fabrics, furniture, and accessories from France ....and celebrates all things vintage, charming, and beautiful. Plus, owner Pamela Robinson is just delightful!  James Huniford gave the store a shout out when he spoke at Nordex March 11. Well worth a trip.  (photos courtesy of Red Ticking)

Another marvelous, not-to-be-missed shop is Veritables, in its "almost original" location.  (The store consolidated its two locations on Madison a while back and moved a few feet to this location)  This is gorgeous, high style decor.  I love these Ikat-inspired, gilded pillows.....

Last, but not least of my faves, is a new showcase for Lisa Hunter,at Vian Hunter House of Fashion.  So, I have to admit, even after my good friend, Bev,  showed me her cool new black Italian fabric pencil skirt from Vian Hunter, I was skeptical - based on the signage, I really thought the clothes were going to be a little "old lady-ish".  Little did I know Ms Hunter carries not only vintage garments from the 60's, but also features her own well-made vintage-inspired designs.  OK, I admit I stopped in for "research" and walked out with a pencil skirt of my own along with a fabulous unique top!  ("Designing Woman" was playing on her plasma TV - how could I resist?)  I'll be back......lots....

Neighborhood Beat: Ravenna/U Village

One of the hidden gems of Seattle stretches from 26th Avenue Northeast to 30th Avenue Northeast, along NE 55th Street.  Cozy shops and eateries bracket Ravenna Volvo, an institution since the mid-20th century, but the charming block between 26th and 27th Ave NE features a vintage brick mixed-use building, containing shops worth journeying to.

At the 26th Avenue NE end of the block, Mannings and Sons Upholstery, has been assisting designers and the public create custom furniture and update tired but classic pieces for over 40 years.

Next door, Lauren Sloan of Lauren Sloan Designscan usually be found applying the finishing touches to one or another of her exquisite painted furniture designs or designing a fabulous trompe l'oeil  mural.  She also has some accessories in her small retail area and is warm and welcoming.

To Sloan's east, a new restaurant, Frank's Oyster House and Champagne Parlor, opened in 2009 and is owned by the same people who brought you Pair up the street.  Frank's serves gourmet comfort food like onion rings, french fries, individual Dungeness Crab Louie in shells of Bibb lettuce - you get the idea.  The drinks are great and the food delicious!

Standing at the corner of 27th Ave NE and NE 55th St is Altstadt Interiors, owned by Seattle interior designer, Tana Mattson.  Altstadt Interiors is half consignment shop, half interior design resource and lots of fun to explore.  There's almost always at least one of Ms. Mattson's three dogs in the shop waiting to greet visitors, tail wagging enthusiastically.  This store is a great place to find unique and well-priced gifts, furniture and lighting - as well as interior design help.  Check it out!