It is hard to run a real furniture store. The startup costs and risks are bigger, it takes more room and people don't shop for big things everyday. That is why so many "design" stores are really glorified "gift" and accesssory stores. The little stuff sells. But they all tend to look the same after awhile....
Perhaps the nicest store we have seen in the small housewares category is OK. It is just hands down stunning. The interior is beautiful, there's a great vibe and the selection of items is unparalleled.
The vision of one man, OK
bills itself as "glass, ceramics and housewares," and it does this in spades but with a more refined selection than we've ever seen: Jensen silverware, colorful cards, Swedish mugs, Japanese metal bowls, vintage telephones, German clocks and Heath ceramics. The mix is inspired, items are unique (and not seen before) and the style is hip, earthy and modern (definitely heavy on the Mid Century tip).
Our favorites were the huge Noguchi pendant lamps ($975), the stainless metal bowls and the Teema mugs. OK doesn't have much of a website right now, but they should, as it would be a great resource for non LA'ers. MGR