Our Favorite Shops in Baltimore

Whether it is eco-friendly furniture or a good cup of coffee, you'll find it at the Bluehouse on Fleet Street.
Whether it is eco-friendly furniture or a good cup of coffee, you’ll find it at the Bluehouse on Fleet Street. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)
The House Downtown in Towson has an in-house interior design service.
The House Downtown in Towson has an in-house interior design service. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)
A painted lady from the House Downtown.
A painted lady from the House Downtown. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)
Handmade aprons float above a dresser at Red Tree.
Handmade aprons float above a dresser at Red Tree. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)
When it comes to home furnishings, Nouveau has what you're looking for, including a Mondrian end table.
When it comes to home furnishings, Nouveau has what you’re looking for, including a Mondrian end table. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)
Chic furnishings at Home on the Harbor.
Chic furnishings at Home on the Harbor. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)
A high-back red leather chair at Nouveau.
A high-back red leather chair at Nouveau. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)
Find pewter candlesticks and more at Gore Dean.
Find pewter candlesticks and more at Gore Dean. (Julia Ewan – The Washington Post)
Second Chance Inc., has a variety of old door knobs.
Second Chance Inc., has a variety of old door knobs. (Julia Ewan – The Washington Post)

The feel inside is a homegrown Anthropologie, with less mass production and more local flavor. Prices are better, too. (I spotted a trio of robin’s-egg blue nesting tables for $185.) Two jampacked floors are filled with furnishings and home accessories as well as wares from local artisans, including jewelry, wall art, paintings, T-shirts and pottery. And the icing on this tasty cake: The owners couldn’t be nicer. “We are all kind of artists ourselves and want to support local artists,” co-owner Kacey Stafford says. “We love the flavor and authenticity it adds to our store. You can find something unique and handcrafted here. Something you won’t find just anywhere.”

 921 W. 36th St., 410-366-3456, http://www.redtreebaltimore.com.

Patrick Sutton Home

As you make your way along Light Street in the historic Federal Hill district, it’s easy to miss this small and unassuming shop. Seeking it out will be worth your effort.

Opened in 2001 by designer and architect Patrick Sutton, this shop is carefully curated with furnishings, accessories, artwork, lighting and small gifts. (Interior design services are also available.) Although the new offerings are certainly stylish, the standouts in this space are the antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces, such as the sculptural wooden oyster sticks that stand almost six feet tall in a metal platform ($180 each). Other finds include an antique horse saddle on a stand; rain drums; old stone cooking pots; a worn, leather Chesterfield sofa; crusty urns; and sunburst mirrors. And sitting in the front of the store, a true statement piece: a stunning 115-foot, dark wood antique carpenter’s bench ($4,895).

Alas, this particular sense of chic doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re searching for something sophisticated and definitely distinct, you’ll find it here.


  1000 Light St . , 410-783-150 0 , http://www.patricksutton.com.


Located at the newly developed Bond Street Wharf, PAD is a modern home furnishing store divided into two sections: One sells PAD furnishings; the other is an exclusive seller of the Italian brand Calligaris.

The sides differ in manufacturers, but they share the same contemporary style with sleek shapes, clean lines and bold colors. A recent stroll through the shop found graphic wall art in blue and orange ($250 each), white lacquered chairs with black and white upholstered seats ($280 each) and a smoky-blue leather accent chair ($525) and sectional ($3,160). You’ll also find your share of acrylic chairs, cafe tables, drum pendants and a mix of accessories, tabletop items and linens.

PAD offers free “white glove” delivery (They’ll bring the item in, set it up and take out the trash) in Baltimore and surrounding counties including Montgomery, Prince George‘s, Anne Arundel, Howard and Frederick. The bonus: Every purchase is returnable, even special orders. “Quality is very important to us,” says owner Nick Johnson. “We know if we sell someone a piece of junk, we’re going to get it back.”

(Johnson also owns Su Casa, a shop just down the block that sells more-traditional furniture, accessories and gifts).

1500 Thames St., 410- 563-4723 , http://www.calligarisshop.com/Pad/.

Gore Dean

Earlier this year, Deborah Gore Dean closed the doors to her 10,000-square-foot store on M Street in Georgetown to open two smaller shops: One still sits in Georgetown; the other recently opened in Baltimore’s Mount Washington neighborhood.

Her square footage might have decreased, but Dean’s discerning design eye remains in full force, as evident even in the Baltimore storefront, a charming one-story, ivy-covered brick building complete with its own outdoor water feature. The feel is instantly soothing and chic.

Another thing that hasn’t changed: the steep prices. The merchandise (old and new) is exquisite, but for most it will remain out of reach. For example, a jumbo glass jar lantern costs $4,150. An 18th-century French white-painted parcel-gilt commode, circa 1760, is $16,250. An imposing empire-style mahogany bookcase will set you back $20,800. Of course, more affordable (yet still pricey) accessories can also be found, such as bed linens, bath towels, dinnerware, candles, books, stationery and frames.

Even if it’s unlikely that you’ll be outfitting your home with the goods at Gore Dean, a lingering browse is definitely worth the trip.

1340-D Smith Ave., 410-323-7470 , http://www.goredean.com.

Home on the Harbor

In search of something a little sleeker? Just a few steps from Gore Dean sits Home on the Harbor, a mecca for modernist furniture with the familiar cast of contemporary characters all represented, including the Eero Saarinen side table (starting at $413), the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona lounge chair (starting at $4,803) and the Phillippe Starck Ghost chair ($410). You’ll also find Emma Gardner rugs, FLOR carpet tiles, Chilewich cubes and accessories from Umbra, Alessio and Middle Kingdom.

Clean lines, shiny surfaces and bold colors abound. My tastes typically lean toward the traditional, but I gave serious consideration to a steel-framed side table painted a yummy watermelon color (Strut side table from Blu Dot, $199). But what initially caught my eye was what was sitting on the tabletop: a dramatic and playful Baroque-style lamp made from polycarbonate (a.k.a. plastic) and dyed a rich black (Bourgie table lamp by Kartell, starts at $362). The contrasting colors were unexpected, fun and attention-grabbing — the perfect way to describe this shop.

1340 Smith Ave., 410-433-1616, http://www.homeontheharboronline.com.

Second Chance Inc.


Reserve extra browsing time for this shop — you’re going to want it. Second Chance Inc. is a not-for-profit group in an industrial part of town (right behind M&T Bank Stadium). The whopping 60,000-square-foot space houses architectural antiques and salvage (as well as antiques dealers, consignments and donations). Its mission, manager Lynn Fingles says, is “workforce development, repurposing and keeping things out of the dumpster.”

Second Chance inventory is spread among five warehouses, but you won’t need to search long to unearth treasures because they lie just about everywhere. From shelves of salvaged architectural elements, such as door knobs, tiles, corbels, radiators, mantels and hardwood floors to a parking lot strewn with claw foot tubs, metal grates, painted urns, brick pavers and vintage chimney pots. Prices run across the board. You can find single china plates and teacups at $1 each and an iron-and-steel bulletin board, circa 1928, rescued from the deconstruction of the Philadelphia Convention Center for $15,000. (A customer who purchased one was planning to use it as a headboard.)

On my recent trip, I spotted a 24-inch antique cast iron kettle ($250), a vintage silk suzani tapestry from central Asia ($550), a salvaged door painted peacock blue ($70) and a pair of Asian-inspired armchairs just waiting to be refurbished ($250). I also saw a five-foot-tall suit of armor ($150), just in case you’re interested.


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