Too often Ballantyne is overlooked in the local home décor retail scene. But with a variety of options in shopping hubs such as Ballantyne Village and Blakeney, Ballantyne has become a home décor destination worth visiting on the regular.
Le Cookery (9844 Rea Rd., 704-542-5558)
When husband-and-wife team Clinton and Carson Greif opened the second location of their family’s gourmet kitchen store in fall 2010 (the first is on Hilton Head Island), the shop filled a void in south Charlotte. The space offers Le Creuset cast-iron goods, Vietri’s handmade Italian pottery dishware, Zwilling J. A. Henckels and Shun cutlery, and All Clad stainless steel cookware, not to mention espresso machines, kitchen gadgets, slow cookers, popcorn makers, blenders, food processors, toasters, and more.
WHAT WE LOVE: The cooking classes. Devotees to this upscale gourmet kitchen store sign up for weekly demo-only cooking classes. Featuring a three-course meal with wine pairings, the class is led by Chef Bill, who details how each dish is prepared. Bonus: attendees get the store to themselves after class to peruse the shelves and take advantage of a 10 percent discount.
Brock Moran Home (14825 Ballantyne Village Way, 704-341-6264)
Designer Brock McLendon has filled his boutique home furnishings store with timeless and sophisticated pieces that work in nearly every interior aesthetic from traditional to transitional to modern. Consider this a one-stop shop for furnishing your whole home with custom rugs and window treatments, furniture, artwork, and accessories. Shop the store’s extensive collection of luxurious tabletop pieces by Juliska, Simon Pearce, and Waterford, then peruse the selection of sofas, chaises, dining sets, ottomans, and more by Baker, Lee Industries, Hickory Chair, and Oly, most of which can be covered in classic fabric by high-end designers such as Robert Allen, Kravet, and Romo. Add a finishing touch with a piece of original artwork by local artist Eloise Gamble.
WHAT WE LOVE: The sales. Twice a year (after Christmas and midsummer), you’ll find deep discounts (30 to 75 percent off) on just about everything in store including accessories and furniture.
Blushing Bakeshop (14825 Ballantyne Village Way, 704-369-5800)
Walk into this Ballantyne Village bakery and the smell of baked goods will transport you to a small patisserie in Paris. That’s exactly what owner and baker Brandi Phillips intended when she opened Blushing Bakeshop in 2010. Expect the same indulgent and delicious delicacies you’d find in France, including macarons, cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream, cookies, and other treats like chocolate-dipped pretzels and fudge. Everything here is housemade and preservative free, and all of the fruit—used in everything from strawberry cupcakes to raspberry macarons—is sourced locally. Phillips also stocks the store with vegan and gluten- and sugar-free treats, from brownies to chocolate croissants.
WHAT WE LOVE: $2 Tuesdays. Blushing Bakeshop’s decadent cupcakes, cookies, and cake pops are just $2 every Tuesday.
Salutations (14825 Ballantyne Village Way, No. 130, 704-369-5260)
The Charlotte outpost of this Raleigh-based stationery, specialty gifts, and home goods store has become a Ballantyne staple. Owner Holly Bretschneider, who attends market in New York and Atlanta each year to find the best in stationery, stocks her store with paper goods from Crane & Co., William Arthur, Kate Spade, and more. Find flirty aprons from Funktion, personalized leather goods (think iPad covers) from Graphic Image, plus candles and diffusers by Himalayan Trading Post, Linea’s Lights, and Mixture.
WHAT WE LOVE: Fancy papery. Salutations offers several designer lines of luxurious letterpress pieces, including personalized note cards, thank-yous, letterhead, and more.
Creative by Nature Home (9830 Rea Rd., Ste. H, 704-542-7570)
Years before Paula Thompkins opened her Blakeney-based home store, she was simply Creative by Nature, an upscale floral design studio. But after a decade of designing floral arrangements, wreaths, and other décor using preserved flowers, Thompkins decided to couple her fashion degree with her natural instinct for interior design. The result is a storefront stocked with shabby chic furniture from Bramble Co., European and quad-milled soaps, candles by Rewined and local candle maker Ella B, luxe bedding from Pine Cone Hill, Dash & Albert rugs, plus great coffee-table books and accessories.
WHAT WE LOVE: The floral designs. From mantel pieces to wreaths and tabletop arrangements, each design is one of a kind. And while Thompkins doesn’t offer custom-designed pieces, there are always several items on display in store, so finding one that fits your home’s aesthetic is easy.
Casual Elegance (9852-E Rea Rd., 704-544-5670)
Those who lean toward a more traditional aesthetic will love this Blakeney home and gift store. Owner Beth Taflinger, who opened BlackLion in south Charlotte more than a decade ago, debuted her home store three years ago and now boasts a serious following of Ballantyne-area homeowners. After scouring Atlanta, High Point, and New York markets, Taflinger fills her store with traditional and rustic furniture and lighting by Uttermost and Steinwold, hand-painted oil artwork, plus a variety of home accessories including down-filled custom pillows, vintage wrought-iron gates, and antique birdcages. Plus, an in-house floral designer can customize floral pieces—from wreaths to mantel options—using silk and preserved flowers.
WHAT WE LOVE: The interior design option. Two ASID-certified designers work alongside Taflinger and offer in-home design consultations.