Little Black Book

A Design Guide to Seattle’s Indie Shopping Scene

by Linda Derschang
Stock Photo courtesy of Stock & Pantry.

There’s no doubt about it: Seattle is a one-of-a-kind city with its own style and rhythm. We tapped local Linda Derschang, the restaurateur behind favorites like King's Hardware and Queen City, for a hitlist of her favorite design shops around the city.

SEATTLE, Washington - In 1987 I moved to Seattle on a bit of a whim. I was immediately drawn to the burgeoning music scene (later known as “grunge"), cool neighborhoods, and stunning views of mountains and water from almost every direction. What I didn’t realize is how gray and gloomy Seattle can be — and how it cultivates a city full of people who love books, film, and coffee shops. Seattle’s spirit of resilience and innovation produces a creativity especially unique to this city. Walk around Capitol Hill and it’s easy to see Seattle's alternative and wholly unique culture. A piece of the '90s grunge scene lives on and has unequivocally shaped the way the city sees fashion, art, and even food. Sure, Seattle is unpretentious in many ways, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an eye for design. We Seattleites just go about design differently: We understand that appreciation for “good design” may be universal but the expression of design within the individual is entirely unique and should be respected. These are my mainstays — some old, some new, all favorites.

Totokaelo
1523 10th Ave; +1-844-868-6523
I fondly call this store “Toto Trouble” because it’s so good. They have amazing clothing, a killer selection of shoes, and an especially gorgeous collection of ceramics.

Essenza
615 N. 35th St.; +1-206-547-4895
A beautiful store with a handpicked collection of jewelry, candles, perfumes, and linens.

Photo courtesy of Queen City.
Photo courtesy of Glasswing.

Stock & Pantry
313 E. Pine St.; +1-206-623-5555
Pillows, vases, candles, barware, and things that smell good. This is the perfect shop to duck into on a dreary day when you want to browse through a stack of art books or buy a gift.

Flora & Henri
401 1st Ave.; +1-206-749-9698
A beautiful store for one-of-a-kind gifts — an assortment of housewares, candles, books, and linens. They carry my favorite Malin+Goetz dog shampoo, a splurge for my Westie, Jack.

Baby & Co.
1936 1st Ave.; +1-206-448-4077
A true Seattle classic for over 30 years with a great selection of clothing and shoes for both men and women.

Glasswing
1525 Melrose Ave.; +1-206-641-7646
This is where I go for clothing made by local designers. They also have chic decor finds that range from furniture to small gifts. The best part: An incredible selection of unusual live plants. Plants are a great way to keep things fresh and green during the long Seattle winters.

Photo courtesy of Tom Gorz Collection.
Photo courtesy of Totokaelo.

Curtis Steiner
5349 Ballard Ave.; +1- 206-297-7116
An art gallery with an amazing collection of cards and keepsakes that are perfect for decorating a small Seattle apartment or making additions to your gallery wall.

Kirk Albert
5517 Airport Way S.; +1-206-762-3899
Kirk has such a great eye for unusual pieces. His store is at the top of my list for every project I do because of his unique selection of furniture and art.

Tom Gorz Collection
241 S Lander St.; +1-206-390-1287
This enormous store carries an ever-evolving collection of eclectic art and furniture in a range of prices. I found a number of pieces for my most recent project, Queen City, here.

Susan Wheeler
5515 Airport Way S.;+1-360-403-5080
A whimsical shop that carries small and intricate treasures and a selection of beautiful vintage paintings and drawings.

Keep Exploring Seattle

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A Chef’s Tour of Seattle’s Best Restaurants
Where Locals Eat, Shop, and Buy Weed in Seattle