Jewelry, Accessories, Home Goods, Dresses, Shoes, Kitchen Goods, Books, Antiques, Stationery, and More
Luxe Home Couture
227 East Blvd., 704-370-2644, luxehomecouture.com
Pamper your home as luxuriously as you do yourself with pillows, lighting, and more at this Dilworth spot. Don't expect the accessories here to blend into the background, as even the simplest tabletop accessory, like a rock crystal lamp or velvet pillows with silk accents, will capture your attention. And after you've found the perfect accessories for every room in your house, complete the aesthetic experience with divine room sprays and candles from Deana Decker and Belle Fleur.
Billy Reid & Taylor Richards and Conger
Phillips Place, 6907 Phillips Place Ct., 704-366-9092, trcstyle.com
What could be better than having the city's two best men's stores across the road from one another? Having them under the same roof. Last summer, Billy Reid bid adieu to its SouthPark outpost and set up shop at Phillips Place, within the walls of Taylor Richards and Conger. Ever since, it's been possible for shoppers to satisfy the urge to ring up a Billy Reid Tuscumbia button down and a pair of TRC trousers at the same register.
Cottage Chic Annual Sidewalk Sale
1232 East Blvd., 704-375-1888, cottagechicstore.com
Is it summer yet? Sure, you're counting down the days to seaside siestas, but you should also be crossing off the weeks left before the Cottage Chic annual sidewalk sale, to be held this year on June 4. Find your favorite pair of Joe's Jeans, BedHead pajamas, and Pine Cone Hill bed linens loaded up on the front lawn and marked down anywhere from 25 percent to 75 percent. The trendy tent sale also features $5 and $10 knickknack tables full of kitchen and body basics, like scented Lafco candle and skin-kissing Elizabeth W. lotions.
Special Occasion Jewelry Store
Elizabeth Bruns, Inc. Jewelers
6401 Morrison Blvd., 704-365-3700, elizabethbruns.com
There's no shortage of diamond purveyors in this town — a fact that no doubt delights Charlotte's well-appointed females. But when it comes to making a really special purchase, savvy buyers should end up here. Jewelry lovers laud it for its well-edited collection of unique and fashion-forward eighteen- karat and platinum designs, but extra points are awarded for the offerings of fine china, elegant crystal, and antique silver wares that hit just the right note no matter what (or whose) special occasion you're shopping for.
Place for a One-of-A-Kind Gift on a String
Beadshop 416 Providence Rd., 704-334-1110, on-a-string.com
If you're the friend or family member famous for giving gifts that garner oohs and aahs, go to On A String Beadshop the next time you're in search of something special for the ladies in your life. Plop down on one of the shop's stools with a pile of beads and jewels to string up a pair of pretty and original earrings for your sister, or wrap up one of co-owner Christine White's custom daisy- or peacock- inspired necklaces for your stylish mom. You can present the inspired piece you pick out or whip up with pride, knowing it's the only one of its kind.
Discount Home Store
Post & Gray
2139 S. Tryon St., 704-332-2252, interiorsmarketplace.com
Interior Marketplace's cousin, Post & Gray, is a creative hub filled with eclectic offerings like gothic-revival wall sconces from Clay S. Andrews, a Kristen Cone Interiors–painted secretary with chicken wire doors, and even a Fergus and Me armoire that would make any design lover gasp with delight. Housed in an open warehouse with white brick walls, the shop hums with the freshness and uniqueness of the pieces, all from a variety of interior-design vendors selling their wares at discounted prices.
Ivy and Leo
100 N. Tryon St., Ste. 330, 704-335-0077; 6401 Morrison Blvd., Ste. 13A, 704-365-3222; ivyandleo.com
When you need a pair of killer kicks (or several) that won't give you sticker shock, shuffle over
to Ivy and Leo to survey the stunning selection of women's shoes. Haute heels, fashionable flats, and sexy sandals from lines like Bamboo and Restricted will keep closets happy, while perfect price points (gladiator sandals and ballet flats for $19.99, fancier footwear from $35 to $59), keep bank balances healthy.
Boutique Jewelry Selection
Scout & Molly's
3920 Sharon Rd., Ste. B150, 704-817-7009, scoutandmollysofcharlotte.com
Any boutique worth its sartorial salt usually keeps a smattering of tasteful
accessories near the register for you to peruse before you make your purchase. At Scout & Molly's, the jewelry selection is so extensive you may never even make it to the clothes. The shop carries locally designed lines like Towne & Reese, Murphy Jewelry, Wendy Perry, Sylvia Benson, Lush, Bella Originals, Ames and Jess, and Cornerstone Jewels, as well as boutique collections from designers like Alex & Ani and Chan Luu, so you'll always find something you've gotta have, and the prices might surprise you: earrings as low as $20, necklaces from $24 to $128, and bracelets from $24 to $58.
Ladonna Antiques & Interiors
2216 Hawkins St., 704-375-0082, ladonnainteriors.com
Looking for a European antique with a twist? LaDonna Harris's knack for the surprising means a wealth of unique items at LaDonna Antiques & Interiors. Constantly in search of the next perfect piece for her eponymous South End shop, Harris applies her discerning eye for style to fill her space with eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and midtwentieth-century antiques from Europe, namely France and Italy. Look for fragment pieces, made from antiques and then touched up with something new, like eighteenth-century Belgian mohair game chairs reupholstered with neutral fabrics that are truly one of a kind.
9755 Northlake Centre Pkwy., 704-921-0320; 11067 Carolina Place Pkwy., Pineville, 704-341-7405; rei.com
Kayaking and rock climbing and biking, oh my. If camping trips (rather than mall trips) are your cup of tea, go to REI for your gear. This outdoor lovers' lair is packed with bikes and paddles to make your weekend plans to pitch a tent, train for a triathlon, or rappel off a nasty rock face a reality. And with everything from waterproof luggage to eco- friendly footwear, there's still something for those “indoorsy” shoppers to get excited about. Anxious for new adventure? The shop offers a range of classes, including one on navigation and family hiking, to give you even more reasons to gear up and get outside.
2905 Griffith St., 704-231-4631, thefurnitureconnector.com
Furniture Connector owner Rodney Hines goes straight to the manufacturer so he can bring you transitional and traditional pieces with some funk for less than the suggested retail price. Accessories are 20 percent off, and you can even score some for under $100, like Floogie ceramic vases. Unique items like coil-shaped end tables and drift wood pieces from names like Vanguard, Dovetail, Pallidan, and Aiden Gray ensure a touch of style your neighbors will envy.
1707 E. Seventh St., 704-333-7300, cookinguptown.com
Novice and experienced cooks alike should be thankful Karen Cooley got tired of corporate finance. Her seven-year-old shop, Cooking Uptown, is a culinary Mecca, overflowing with fun cutlery, cookware, and small appliances from all the biggest names: Cuisinart, Nordic Ware, Lodge Logic, and Waring Pro, among others. While goods come in from all over the world, look for neighborhood gems, like the pinch pots from a local artist. And with twelve cooking classes offered each month, home chefs can learn how to put their newfound products to good use.
Thrift & Vintage Store
Hong Kong Vintage
1514 Central Ave., 704-334-0538, hongkongvintage.com
Hong Kong Vintage holds on to its Best of the Best title this year as the go-to for stylish goods from bygone eras. The thrift shop features hanger upon hanger of broken-in hand-me-downs and vintage must-haves that harken back to the fashion eras we love to revisit. Hunt for weathered seventies cowboy boots, aged leather handbags, and retro Rugby shirts, or pick up a medley of mod dishes for your pad or a classic vintage board game for the munchkins. Don't forget to peruse the online store (where the shop posts some of the latest and greatest designs to hit its racks) to get your nostalgia flowing before you get in the car to head to Central Avenue.
Pickles & Ice Cream
6401 Morrison Blvd., Ste. 4A, 704-364-1898, picklesandicecream.com
Along with cravings for bizarre bedtime snacks, mommas-to- be also have a deep need for cute clothes to dress up their baby bumps. Put Pickles & Ice Cream on your radar to score chic dresses, immaculately designed maternity denim, swimwear, lingerie, and under-the-radar Spanx and tummy tuckers to keep you feeling smooth and supported (literally) right through to your third trimester. When you're through stocking your closet, stock up on Aden + Anais swaddlers and security blankets for your soon-to-be wee ones and pick out a printed Ju Ju BeBe diaper bag to fill with Belli skin-care products and nursing necessities.
Curated Book Selection
330 East Blvd., 704-333-7130, paperskyscraper.com
Charlotte's love for Paper Skyscraper is well documented (hence the BOB awards it's won for Best Stylish Gifts two years in a row). But do you ever find it hard to get past the front of the store? That's understandable. Because that's where the books are. The only explanation is that Paper Skyscraper employs a tiny little elf who crawls into its customers' dreams at night, creates a wish list of all the books they'd love to read, and then gathers them up to be purchased and enjoyed. That has to be it, right?
6401 Morrison Blvd., 704-366-3100, shoppapertwist.com
Sure, Paper Twist deserves this title because of its extensive collection of printed and custom-designed personal stationery and invitations, but what shoppers really adore about this artfully stocked store is how it makes them love everything having to do with paper. Wrapping paper so pretty you'll want to frame it, colorful binders so cute they make a three-hole punch seem like the chicest of office accessories, and bright, leather-bound notepads that make crossing something off your to-do list twice as satisfying. In this age of 4G, who knew that something as simple as paper could make one feel so inspired?
Laura James Jewelry
1419 East Blvd., Ste. K, 704-372-1267, laurajamesjewelry.com
Trying on vintage gems in Laura James Jewelry's cozy boutique on East Boulevard is such a treat that it's easy to forget how lucky Charlotte shoppers are to have Miss James running her nationally renowned jewelry design operation here. But before you start feeling bad for out-of-town jewel lovers who can't stop in whenever they please, check out LauraJamesJewelry. com. Gorgeous photos of her newest covetable designs are added almost daily, and there are occasional Web-only, one-day sales of deeply discounted items.
Bed and Bath Linens
715 Providence Rd., 704-377-4919, isabellastyle.com
Scouring New York and Atlanta markets allows Erin Dougherty to fill her Myers Park shop, Isabella, with the most sophisticated and classic linens. Monogrammed hand towels, embroidered bedding, plush bath towels, and even custom-order shower curtains from Frette, Peacock Alley, Matouk, Anali, and many more abound in this modest boutique off Providence Road, which specializes in making the most intimate quarters of your home the most comfortable.
1111 Metropolitan Ave., Ste. 140, 704-335-8884, lotuslook.com
In its previous home on East Boulevard, Lotus was sorely lacking foot traffic and parking was a pain. When it suddenly closed last fall, Charlotte shoppers feared that the combo of the economy and a tough location had claimed another retail victim. Luckily, Lotus wasn't gone for good — it was just moving to more convenient pastures. Owner Effie Loukas consolidated her boutique biz to a new home at the Metropolitan in midtown, where business is bustling. Now you can peruse her collection of modern cocktail dresses and statement jackets before knocking out your grocery list at Trader Joe's.
Mrs. Howard and Max & Company
1001 E. Morehead St., 704-376-8900, phoebehoward.net
If you're a student of design with a discerning eye for style, you'll want to spend some serious time in Mrs. Howard and Max & Company. Designer Phoebe Howard and her team meld traditional with contemporary to produce a relaxed luxury aesthetic in this two-in-one store arranged likeroomsinahouse.Downstairsat the more relaxed Max & Company, you'll find transitional pieces such as an armoire-style entertainment center with mirrored exterior and framed pressed flowers. Upstairs, at Mrs. Howard, find a more traditional style with a canopy bed and an exquisite mahogany bureau bookcase.
911 E. Morehead St., 704-375-4563, metroformodern.com
From simple ceramic table lamps to a chandelier reminiscent of fuzzy dandelion seeds by Moooi, Metro's lighting will update and add sophistication to any room. Multicolored and mosaic glass pendants from LBL and Besa hang among fixtures from more than three dozen manufacturers like Fabbian and Terzani in owner Bob Drake's Dilworth store. From traditional to contemporary, Drake will assist you in finding the perfect sconce, chandelier, or desk lamp for your home. Bonus: Metro also boasts fun modern furniture and pillows.
720 Governor Morrison St., Ste. E110, 704-364-4004, bdjeffries.com
It's always better to give than receive, so give in style with hostess gifts from SouthPark's B.D.Jeffries.Crocodile-embossed leather journals and planners, Helene Batoff Interiors leather notepads, and other accessories abound, while candles from Lafco New York accent the outdoorsy theme with intriguing scents like lake house, pool house, and ranch
house. Chic monogrammed linen cocktail napkins or The Four Seasons Book of Cocktails are also great gifts for under $30.
It sounds like the punch line to a joke about consumerism: an entire store filled with stuff that you buy to hold other stuff. But if you've ever shopped at a Container Store before, you know that the effect its clean and simple storage designs can have on your life is no joke, and the fact that one is opening in Charlotte is very good news. It doesn't matter what area of your life you're looking to get under control: your overstocked pantry, your cluttered desktop, that unruly stack of old Charlotte magazines you can't bear to part with (right?), this store will have exactly what you need. August 13 can't get here fast enough.
1308 The Plaza, 704-344-8611
Downloading books to a Kindle is affordable and convenient, but it lacks a little ... romance, does it not? To fill that hole in your literary soul, comb through the stacks at Book Buyers in Plaza Midwood. Outside you'll find its bargain books stacked on tables (kids' books are often marked at five for a dollar). Inside, the store's resident feline resides among rows and rows of book shelves filled with everything from well-worn paperback romance novels to hard-to-find antique hardcovers.