The Los Angeles Art & Architecture Guide
While Los Angeles may have a reputation as a one industry town, the burgeoning art scene, and the city’s incredible, endemic architecture, tell a wildly different story. While the LACMA and MoCA may be the city’s most well-known icons, Los Angeles is packed with treasures.
The Apartment by The Line76 Greene St., Soho | 917.460.7196
Launched by Vanessa Traina—who has unabashedly exquisite taste—this bricks-and-mortar extension of her clean-lined website is an apartment that you can shop in real life, from the rugs, to the shelving, to the beauty products in the bathroom. We're obsessed with the concept, thanks in no small part to the fact that everything here is something you'd actually want to take home.
HD Buttercup3225 Helms Ave., Culver City | 310.558.8900
Occupying the former Helms Bakery building, this department store-like store sits in a complex that also plays host to Room & Board, and a handful of rug and lighting boutiques. It's divided into shop-in-shops for various vendors, which means that you'll find vintage collectibles arranged next to fancy furniture lines and bedding companies. They have two other LA locations (a store downtown and a pop-up in Santa Monica), as well as one in SF and one in Orange County.
Obsolete11270 Washington Blvd., Culver City | 310.399.0024
If you're looking for an incredibly long farm table, or a bed from an orphanage, look here. Everything here is insanely cool and patina'd, from the perfectly restored furniture to the truly one-of-a-kind finds. They've elevated store design and arrangement to an art, too, making this a fun place to browse.
A + R777 S. Alameda St., Suite 100, Downtown | 213-298-3174
Though this design shop got its start in a space on Abbot Kinney, its relocation to DTLA is finally letting A + R stretch its legs a bit, and show larger pieces, like Bend Good's metal chairs and Scholten & Baijings' technicolored rugs. It's all arranged with smaller, more suitcase-appropriate picks, like Hay's Kaleido trays and Y'a Pas Le Feu Au Lac's vases.
Arcana8675 Washington Blvd., Culver City | 310.458.1499
Tucked away in the back of the Helms Bakery building, Arcana is easy to miss: In fact, they seem to play it intentionally low-pro. They have an incredible selection of rare and hard-to-find art books, many of which are behind glass.
Tortoise General Store12701 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista | 310.314.8448
Taku and Keiko Shinomoto, the owners and curators of this much-loved shop, urge customers to slow down (like the animal the store is named for) and enjoy life’s small pleasures. The focus here is on everyday items, made beautiful, whether it’s gardening shears, beautiful Tenugui cloth napkins, coffee grinders, or sake pitchers. In the spring of 2018, the shop made a move from Venice to Mar Vista.
Lily Ashwell566 Rose Ave., Venice | 424.744.8176
Like many businesses in this part of town, this beautifully turned out shop occupies a teeny, whitewashed bungalow, and artist-slash-designer Lily Ashwell makes excellent use of the space. There’s a little bit of everything here, starting with a tightly edited display of home goods (locally made tableware, hand-woven rugs, candles, art books, etc.) and ending with a house line of dresses, jumpsuits and flowing skirts—all of which are made from vintage fabrics.
Mameg9970 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills | 310.556.2600
Mameg is tucked away behind the mirror-fronted Maison Martin Margiela on Little Santa Monica, and should you not know to look, you’d never know it was there. But search it out, and you’ll find a pretty rarified world. Here Eatable of Many Orders sweaters mingle with Cosmic Wonders dresses, and Jil Sander cardigans rest next to Hussein Chalayan hats.
Blackman Cruz836 Highland Ave., Hollywood | 323.466.8600
Adam Blackman and David Cruz's eponymous shop occupies a space that once was a gay nightclub (it was in American Gigolo if you'd like to see it in its former incarnation), which just gives credence to the concept that you never know where you might find treasure. They have impeccable taste and a curatorial sensibility which makes this one of LA's more inspirational home goods shops.
Just One Eye7000 Romaine St., Hollywood | 888.563.6858
Launched by Maxfield’s former fashion director, Paola Russo, Just One Eye is an example of a gallery-cum-boutique that’s executed perfectly. The racks are sparingly stocked with labels like The Row, Proenza Schouler, and Tsumori Chisato, you can snap up Warhol prints and Calder carpets, and there are always spot-on art/fashion collaborations.
Des Kohan671 S. Cloverdale Ave., Mid-City | 323.857.0200
Desire Kohan has amassed a stable of envelope-pushing designers—Juan Carlos Obando, Osman Yousefzada, Damir Doma—that you can't find anywhere else. Everything is airily arranged in her light-filled space, which is tucked out-of-the-way near Museum Mile. Beyond the beautiful clothing, Des will always help you put a look together.
Huset1316 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 424.268.4213
This sliver of space on Abbot Kinney has a really healthy selection of all the Scandinavian home goods lines we've all come to love: Iittala glassware, Arne Jacobsen for Stelton water jugs, and Marimekko trays. There's also a small range of clothing, and some cute stuff for kids.
Noodle Stories8323 W. 3rd St., West Hollywood | 323.651.1782
This airy, all-white space is a fitting back-drop for the avant-garde lines on offer: Here you'll find Maison Martin Margiela dresses, asymmetrical tanks and tees from Clu, and Comme des Garcons jackets. There's a Noodle Stories temporary space down the street that's singularly devoted to Issey Miyake.
RTH Shop537 & 529 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood | 310.289.7911
Styled like an other-worldly trading post, RTH takes much of its inspiration from the Southwest. It makes sense, as he owner (and designer), René Holguin, hails from El Paso and did stints at Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and Levi’s before setting out on his own. There’s a house line of perfectly aged leather bags, smocks, and Liberty print scarves, along with seed bead pins and bracelets.
Chariots on Fire1342.5 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 310.450.3088
This gallery-like shop on Abbot Kinney is the brainchild of Ritz Yagi, who runs a creative agency of the same name. The offerings are spare, gorgeous, and special, whether it's a gem-inflected necklace or a perfectly imperfect hand-throw tray by Japanese artist Makoto Kagoshima.