By Regina Connell.
Here are a few of our favorite, perhaps lesser-known places to shop online for new, alternative luxury home goods—those handcrafted with a strong, independent point of view. Alternative luxury isn’t always expensive, but it’s never cheap, which is the point.
In compiling this list we’ve found that there are fewer places out there that sell hard-to-find wares (and often exclusive)—a testament to the way the internet’s made things more ubiquitous, less special. It’s also a testament to how hard it is to be a great merchant these days.
Now some of our favorite retailers don’t have proper e-commerce operations: but there’s nothing stopping you from checking out their Instagram accounts then sending an email or even calling them. It isn’t fast retail, but then that’s not the point, is it?
Makers and Brothers: Beautiful handmade goods from Ireland and beyond, with lovely imagery and cheeky, smart copy. This Dublin-based shop also does pop ups in places like NY.
Quitokeeto: A dreamy kitchen goods (and vintage jewelry) store run by noted cookbook author, Heidi Swanson, in San Francisco. Lots of beautiful exclusives, utterly beautiful.
Studio Koto Koto: One of our favorites: a San Diego-based store run by Kathryn Manzella and Ai Kanazawa that sells Japanese and Japanese-influenced goods.
Pentreath + Hall: London-based general goods company run by Ben Pentreath and Bridie Hall. Great handcrafted goods in multiple categories, including, yes, a mousetrap. Enchanting.
Paper and Light: I’m an utter sucker for writing instruments, notebooks, and everything related. Run by Sara McBeen out of Oakland, the store sources writing and other goods from around the world, including Japan where (unsurprisingly) they take their stationery very, very seriously.
La Tresorerie: Lovely Paris-based store with a classically French edit of home goods, particularly tabletop. It does help if you read French, but their strong use of icons helps you figure it all out. We’re charmed that on the site, “shopping cart” is used instead “panier.” Perhaps that is de rigeur in France, but we love it nonetheless.
The New Craftsmen: We’ve written about this incredibly smart firm, and their online store is inspiring and eclectic. Jewelry, home goods, dinnerware, furniture, all of extraordinary quality.
OEN: Yes, another store selling Japanese goods, utterly beautiful, often with strong architectural lines. A great blog, as well.
Trinity Marine: Now for something completely different: vintage and antique industrial goods for those of us with a continuing fascination with that look, and all it denotes.
What’s missing? Let us know.