If you had a rich, kooky aunt who ran with bohemians in the ’50s, this is the shop she might have imagined. A whimsical elegance is conveyed in trompe l’oeil wallpaper that looks like books, chairs upholstered in bright florals, and midcentury ceramics and pottery. Owner Tamara Kaye-Honey runs her interior design business out of the space and sells jewelry and other fashion accessories, too. Cheap thrill: Vintage Italian gilt salt and pepper shakers, $25. »1518A Mission St., South Pasadena, 626-441-2454.
Patrick Fraleigh has an affinity for industrial metal furniture—that pea green desk in the janitor’s closet or those low-slung airport lounge chairs. Besides brushed-steel bookcases and a Mayco stove, he sells dining tables made of reclaimed wood from bowling alleys, accessories like trick locks and picture frames, and museum pieces, which might include a century-old wooden wheelchair. Hotcake: Vintage porcelain letters as wall art, $50 to $150. »7609 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-935-8438.
Working with vintage fabrics that sport a kitschy western look, Libby Knudson makes furniture and Karen Davisson makes clothing for this Seattle transplant. Midcentury chairs are reupholstered in Mexican blanket textiles; shirts bear photo prints of Loretta Lynn LPs. Rounding out the goods are oil paintings of rodeo scenes and turquoise-studded jewelry and dog collars. Hotcake: T-shirt featuring an image of an Indian chief and the slogan “Fighting terrorism since 1492,” $20. »5106 Fountain Ave., Hollywood, 323-913-2825.
When we say this place is fit for a king, we’re not exaggerating: Interior decorator Timothy Corrigan helped furnish the royal palace of the State of Qatar. In a showroom that resembles a living room, Corrigan displays items purchased at auctions and estate sales around the world alongside custom pieces. His designs incorporate antique elements like ostrich eggs and golden arrows and modern eco-friendly materials such as formaldehyde-free varnish. There’s a neoclassical coffee table made of sustainable woods, white oak urns that hold flatware in hidden compartments, and French armchairs from the 1700s updated with Missoni upholstery. Hotcake: Ebony lamps designed for the greenroom at the 2007 Emmy Awards, $2,100. »:5818 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323-525-1802.
Despite the bathtub and toilet on display outside, this shop is dedicated to outdoor living. Cocoonlike chairs and couches in all-weather materials are designed to provide shade around the pool. Indoor items—from vanities to fixtures for the kitchen and bath—are distinguished by clean lines. Cheap thrill: Ethanol-burning tabletop fireplace, $275. Hotcake: “Pod” outdoor bed, $3,200. »8348 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-651-5110.
The mother-and-son interior design team of Kathleen and Tommy Clements doesn’t specialize in one style, instead mixing periods and aesthetics in their showroom. The brocade upholstery on a centuries-old couch is replaced with plain white fabric. A mannequin-like sculpture is outfitted with metal wings attached to a leather vest. Contemporary art, such as large-scale photographs and pencil drawings, are also available. Hotcake: France-meets-American South pieces from New Orleans. »8674 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-862-2327.
Vintage items like a metal octopus that could serve as a bookend reflect the eclectic tastes of this small shop’s owner, interior decorator Deborah Rhein. In addition to the home wares she creates—tea towels, pillows, and other linens in bold patterns—the store carries her line of belts, jewelry, and purses. The furniture style leans toward Hollywood Regency. Cheap thrill: Studded leather photo envelopes, $28. »8300½ W. 3rd St., L.A., 323-653-5590.
The mother lode for the active canine, this shop stocks foot salves, health supplements, and hydration aids to keep a dog in tiptop shape (we were impressed with the back- pack with bladder bag). The toy selection includes a sturdy Frisbee designed for strong-jawed animals. No rhinestones here: Collars range from studded Goth numbers to Native American beaded styles. Exclusive: Eurosport guard dog padded training sleeve, $159, or full suit, $1,500. »1533 Echo Park Blvd., Echo Park, 213-977-9042.