The Best Place to Shop Is at Museums
Not just for postcards and art prints.
Published Aug 19, 2019 7:00 AM
Unless you’ve got a sizable art collection hanging on your walls or a massive stash of crystals and geodes tucked in a cabinet, chances are you wouldn’t describe your home as museum-like. But thinking a little more like a curator could actually do your space some good.
We’re not talking about adding a tiny, informative placard next to your niece’s drawing that you tacked up on the wall (though that would be hilarious and you are free to steal that idea)—we’re suggesting you go all out in the gift shop. Little-known fact: Museum stores might just be the best place to buy home decor. And not just reproductions. Places like the MoMA Design Store and LACMA Store are selling everything from dinnerware to high-design tech.
There are plenty of other museums around the world full of similarly covetable decor buys—and you don’t even have to leave your house to shop them. Check out all our favorites below.
If you always have a good stockpile of snacks…
The museum: Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York
What you’ll find: Colorful, eclectic tableware that will make even a weeknight dinner feel like a celebration. If you identify as a maximalist, go all out and mix a few styles together.
If you’ve considered taking up pottery making on the side…
The museum: Frye Art Museum, Seattle
What you’ll find: Sculptural vases, bookends, and objects that deserve their own spotlight. Place them deliberately around your home in spots where they won’t be overcrowded, so you can fully appreciate their artistry.
If you’d be nothing without your Criterion Collection subscription…
The museum: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
What you’ll find: Textiles, tabletop essentials, and games in a wide array of aesthetics that range from campy-cool to strikingly modern. If you’re someone who cares about the vibes of your space, snag a Christian Lacroix tray for your coffee table.
If your most prized possession is your vinyl collection…
The museum: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
What you’ll find: Super-sleek contemporary designs that, oddly, would feel right at home in a mid-century–inspired space. Prepare for all your houseguests to point and ask, “Where’d you get that?”
If the term Scandi-chic sounds like a poem to you…
The museum: Moderna Museet, Stockholm
What you’ll find: Simple Swedish pieces that will add a bit of whimsy to your everyday routine. Sure, you might not need a pair of subtly spotted serving utensils, but we can bet they’ll make that big salad feel twice as special.