9 Shops Perking Up the Design Scene in Philly
Historic Philadelphia has an award-winning shopping scene with one-of-a-kind art and innovative design.
Published Mar 4, 2017 5:00 AM
In Philadelphia, you’ll find narrow streets lined with rows of brick townhouses, their architecture a reflection of the city’s rich American history. But an impressive array of thoughtfully-curated design shops and markets, fortified with the wares of local artists and makers, adds a decidedly more diverse aesthetic in the City of Brotherly Love. Here, peruse a few of our favorite places to shop for housewares, plants, and other treasures, and make sure to stop in on your next visit to Philly.
A trio of friendly pooches will welcome you into this cozy, subterranean space filled with the eclectic work of local artists, including shop owner Alex Stadler. The multifaceted artist has designed textiles for Comme des Garçons, Todd Oldham, and babyGap, among others, and his illustrations were recently splashed all over Saks Fifth Avenue’s contemporary floor in a sprawling installation. While the shop sells wearable art—richly-colored wool scarves featuring designs from Stadler’s paintings, his perfectly quirky illustrations transformed into shift dresses and kids’ shirts—you’ll also find a treasure trove of customizable home goods. The same illustrations can also be made into wallpaper or upholstery fabric, there are grand tuffets, made-to-order in a selection of sizes, colors, and fabrics, and Stadler’s first carpet design is available in any size from doormat to ballroom.
1724 Sansom St, Philadelphia
Located in the city’s hip Fishtown neighborhood, this artfully curated shop is helmed by a self-proclaimed textile junkie, showcasing a comprehensive mix of African batiks, Japanese indigo, and Indian fabrics. Add to that a rotating assortment of hand woven baskets from Africa and Morocco, ceramics from Los Angeles and New York artists, and an impressive collection of vintage apparel, and you’re guaranteed to find something, whether worn or displayed in your home, that tells a story. Styling services and design inspiration are also available by appointment.
2041 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia
Shopping can be a harried, overwhelming experience, but not so at Rikumo. With a soothing in-store pond and complimentary tea bar, you can sip a cup of green tea while perusing the minimalist selection of Japanese-sourced goods, including hand-crafted ceramic matcha bowls, softly-hued bath towels that could be mistaken for blankets, and myriad other kitchen, bath, and home decor products—all featuring a simple, clever design and clean aesthetic.
1216 Walnut St, Philadelphia
Select Shop 215
Their motto is “thoughtfully selected for you,” and after a few minutes inside this delightfully quirky housewares boutique in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, you’ll understand why. In addition to home goods like Fog Linen chambray towels and hand carved wooden trays, the friendly shop sells small-batch beauty products, candy-colored bento boxes, a sweet selection of baby gifts, and more. Also, stop into sister store Omoi Zakka, located in the Rittenhouse neighborhood.
41 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
Field Plant & Supply
Stemming from her love for both desert landscapes and the verdant West Coast, owner Erin Doherty pairs cacti, succulents, and other plants with hand crafted ceramic vessels—many made by local Philadelphia artisans. Find her handiwork in local businesses around town, including La Colombe coffee shops and the celebrated Wm. Mulherin’s Sons restaurant and new hotel. While plans are in the works for a permanent shop in Fishtown, for now, you can find Field Plant and Supply in pop-ups around the city.
Parisa Rugs & Decor
While Parisa Abdollahi’s Old City rug and design gallery offers a beautiful selection of floor coverings and statement-making furniture, accessories, and embellishments, the designer’s extensive showroom in the Manayunk neighborhood holds a dizzying collection of over 3,000 rare Persian rugs, many in excellent condition. Make an appointment to see the wares, or visit the shop to get personalized guidance from Parisa herself.
33 N 3rd St, Philadelphia
Tucked inside the luxe Rittenhouse Hotel, this elegant little shop is both a lifestyle store and floral design boutique. A sister shop to beloved jewelry store Egan Day, owner Kate Egan brings her same refined sensibility here. Among the beautiful selection, find unique pieces from locally-based makers and designers, including plates with Philadelphia-inspired illustrations by artist Alex Stadler and cutting boards and candlesticks from Lostine, also handmade in the city.
210 W Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia
Philadelphia is home to a host of pop-up markets throughout the spring and summer, and one of the most notable is the Philly Flea. The market is based at outdoor shopping mecca the Roosevelt Mall every Sunday starting in April and lasts until mid-November, with over 150 stalls selling treasures ranging from antique furniture to intricate table lamps and enough framed art to fill a salon wall. Check the website for the schedule of other one-off locations around the city, too.
2445 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia
American Street Showroom
An exhibition space for custom fabrication company Amuneal (their installations can be seen in Ted Baker and Barneys New York, among many other places), this cavernous showroom also features myriad other covetable collections and one-of-a-kind creations. Among them, the Philadelphia-based Groundwork, whose handcrafted, built-to-order furniture made from reclaimed and locally sourced materials can also be seen in New York’s ABC Carpet & Home. To visit this design enthusiast wonderland, make an appointment via phone or email.