Cali Part 2: Venice Beach

Now finally for the next stop in Venice Beach I hyped up last week!...Abbot Kinney is one of the best strips of shopping I've ever been to.  Yes, a little pricey, but absolutely worth it for the variety of different shops, all more unique than the next...clothing, shoes, home furniture & decor, jewelry and art and all an amazing mix of new and vintage!  

But before I even start talking about the amazing home shops, I have to say when you go, you have to go there hungry!  They have a great selection of restaurants and the best food trucks I've ever seen...NY and TX aint got nothing on these!  Check out this drool-worthy one...a grilled cheese truck!  Can someone please tell me why NYC doesn't have one of these yet?!!

Another of my favorites was Joe's Restaurant.  We stopped here for lunch on James' bday and had the most delcious pre-fix meal.  I highly recommend going here if you're in the area.
 Here's their beautiful dining room....
 And their rustic back porch...the empty table to the right is the exact one we ate at for James' bday!

So now that we've eaten...on to the shops! 

The first spot we hit was this super cool Altered Space Gallery.  It was a very industrial space and these two cool ladies were running it and were so welcoming.  There were so many abstract paintings, delicate jewlery pieces, beautiful carved furniture, design + art + object, just like their business card says. 

These decorative fixtures/ wall art were made by a Canadian artist whose father was a politician that worked really hard to support water conservation so it was sort of an 'ode to her dad'.  I fell in LOVE with them!  A bit pricey, but so unique!  I thought the two pictures here (on either side of the larger one) would look so amazing on either side of a super ornate mirror above a pedestal sink in a guest bath

These next two are working lamps!

This next spot was one of the best shops I've ever been to for gift buying- I really wish it was closer!  It's called Bountiful and can be recognized by the "Brown's Hardware" sign outside of the building. 

This is the front little galley before you enter the store.  So warm & inviting!

My favorite part about this store, aside being full of antiques ;), was it's merchandising.  See how everything is stacked to the brim- it is so visually appeasing and the ceilings feel endless.  It almost made you feel like you were in a scene from Alice in Wonderland with all the cake platters toppling. 

Every item felt like it was in bulk too. They had many multiples but that's what made it so appealing and made me want to buy buy buy!  One of everything for me please- check! ;)  
I am a huge fan of these decorative matchboxes.  I have seen them in other gift stores and this one had every possible theme to fit anyone's personality  They make for such a great little housewarming or hostess gift.

One of the greatest things about most of the shops on Abbott Kinney, including the next few, are that they offer design services.  As you all know, this is my future dream so I have a huge appreciation for them all. 

This next store recreates "shabby chic" on a whole nother level for its customers.  It's called Tumbleweed & Dandelion (so cute!). 

Their store's merchandising is breathtaking!  It really envelopes the customer and if you're like me and appreciate a lived-in/ layered feel, it makes you feel right at home.

This was my favorite piece of the entire trip!  It's a vintage butcher's block and I love more than anything how weathered and a little mis-shaped it is. 

Even the backyard, with a little hay on the ground and filled with even larger pastel painted & white-washed super rustic pieces (doors, trellis', giant window frames w/ transoms, table & chair sets, etc) screamed of beautiful whimsy!

This sign was in another store's window and it has now become my favorite quote to live by and share when decorating (you may have already seen it on my fb page ;).

Cali also really knows how to do chic outdoor furniture!  The below setee frame is vintage- aren't the lines great?  Obviously the cushions/ upholstery are new but it gives it a hint of modern flair now.  This is a perfect example of my favorite design look...mixing old & new together in one (piece or overall vingette/ room).  
I'm really dragging my feet on ending this post because I just loved this town so much and could go on and on but I'll wrap up by hilighting one last thing... 
Like many other small towns with a strong local business scene, they have what's called 1st Friday's, where on the 1st Friday of every month all the stores stay open late for customers to shop and mingle.  Living in NYC makes me long for these and I really hope to attend one soon- whether it's back in Cali on vacay or in PA soon with my whole fam once my mom arrives! :)

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