Houston’s tear-it-down-and-put-up-a-parking-lot mentality has one upside: the beautiful architectural pieces salvaged and sold. You’ll find lots of those here, along with the owners’ incredible antique finds from Europe and South America. The converted house containing them all—along with vintage corbels, stained glass, doors, statues, knobs, light fixtures, patio furniture, and other interesting objects—positively begs to be explored.
No two visits to this shop are ever the same. Owner Don Connelly and general manager Daniel Cuellar make everything here oh-so-covetable by constantly staging (and re-staging) stylish vignettes that highlight their signature blend of new and vintage furniture, chandeliers, seating, and objets d’art.
When we die, we hope to be reincarnated as either Ray or Lourdes Balinskas, who, in their shared passion for art history, preservation, and world travel, call to mind a pair of Indiana Joneses. Their contemporary metal house in Independence Heights is the perfect place to fall in love with all manner of exotic treasures, from an interesting architectural fragment to an intricately carved chest.
Anyone can head to Restoration Hardware and order a stunning table or buffet with an equally stunning price tag, but savvy decorators journey to this unassuming warehouse instead, where Francisco Sada and his expert craftsmen will fabricate just about any design you can think of, with a particular focus on hammered-copper and zinc tables. The shop is also known for its selection of furniture and decor imported from Mexico, including talavera pottery, chimineas, beer-top patio tables, Moravian stars, and antique doors.
Rumor has it that all marriages in Houston that don’t include a registry from this store are null and void. Loyalists come for the one-of-a-kind mix of tools, gadgets, kitchen appliances, candles, cleaning products, china, and outdoor goods. (Johnny Dang isn’t the only guy in town selling fancy grills.)
Bailey McCarthy’s shop owes its success to her talented eye for design and eclectic style, which doesn’t take said designs too seriously. In addition to her own line of playful bedding, the large space features embroidered flasks, cute glassware, apothecary goods, jewelry, coffeetable books, and poodle bookends—which are exactly what they sound like. A huge kids’ section includes toy rockets made of walnut.
This store’s new location—in a converted house on the corner of a leafy residential street—has a casual, cozy vibe. Owner Cathy Negrete Lopez, who also owns a local ad agency with her husband, offers crystal objects from Lalique and L’Objet, stationery, tabletop goods, jewelry, and textiles, in addition to gifts for men, babies, and pets.
Owner Mimi Wadsworth’s elegant but approachable furnishings store—equal parts Upper East Side and country French—is growing as fast as, um, some sort of shrub, maybe? In addition to the original space on W. Alabama, now devoted to linens and things, there’s also Montrose’s B2, which focuses more on lighting and accessories; and Boxwood Containers, which opens off of Washington whenever a new container of antiques arrives from Europe.
Jill Brown describes herself as a “perpetual thing-finder,” which will come as no surprise to anyone who frequents her shop. Lighting is the main offering, with a mix of vintage fixtures and her own Light Brown line of industrial metal lanterns and sconces. But you’ll also discover vintage bistro tables, Belgian anatomy charts, and plenty of other curiosities.
There’s nothing but splurges in sight, yet designers are still obsessed with this store. That’s because everything owner Geoffrey Westergaard stocks has an undeniable wow factor, whether it’s an extravagant gilded Louis XVI mirror, a pair of Biedermeier walnut-inlaid armchairs, or a mid-century modern Italian chandelier.
French country furnishings feel fresh when owner Donna Dawson updates them with vibrant colors and modern metallics. Her private collection is complemented by designs from Henredon, Theodore Alexander, Visual Comfort, and more.
Owners Aaron Rambo and Ruth Davis traffic almost exclusively in things you never knew you needed, from a vintage steel prison cot to a porcelain fortune cookie figurine. A master of mixing antiques with industrial accents and modern whimsy, Rambo offers his found objects alongside a curated selection of high-end antiques, relics, and art.
Do warm mid-century woods inspire you? What about Hollywood Regency glamour? Industrial minimalism? Whatever your passion, you’ll find it somewhere among High Fashion’s four floors and 125,000 square feet. Prices are reasonable, too, compared to the big-name chains, which means that if you change your mind, you can start over without all the guilt.
If you like the quirky retro-industrial vibe of Down House or Sparrow, you need to pay a visit to this offbeat warehouse as soon as owners Becki and Jur van der Oord re-open following their move from the Heights (any day now, we hope). The couple collect and restore interesting objects—from a century-old Dutch cookie tin to mirrored windows reclaimed from a German brick factory—bringing out their utilitarian beauty.
Shopping here when a new shipping container arrives feels like something between a sample sale and Black Friday, and for good reason. Horn’s been in the business for over 30 years, and she picks out all the French, Scandinavian, Spanish, and Italian antiques herself. Our advice: arrive early (before people start parking on the grass), well-caffeinated, and ready to take home something truly special.
The regal European antiques on display in this stunning shop—Italian Rococo consoles, crystal chandeliers from France, terra-cotta statues—seem almost as if from another world. But Kay O’Toole, who was a collector before opening her shop in this 1920s-era building, expertly blends objects from the past into modern spaces by focusing on simple lines and a clean, neutral palette.
This opulent, 10,000-square-foot showroom revels in traditional furnishings with dramatic flair, the kind beloved by local oil barons and baronesses. Really, though: who wouldn’t want to stash their delicates in a magnificent mirrored armoire? Why not sit in dining chairs with backs shaped like gilded seashells? Shine on, you crazy Krispen diamonds.
Someone needs to coin a name for the existential angst that comes from spending years—years—learning to navigate this store’s ten individual buildings and the myriad treasures held therein, only to have owners Dan Linscomb and Pam Kuhl-Linscomb expand into a new adjacent space and switch everything around. The only cure for said melancholy is to spend many more hours wandering what is still the best store in Houston, only now a little bit bigger.
Owner Suzanne Coppola likes to say everything in her shop has a story behind it, whether it’s a lion-shaped gold bracelet forged from reclaimed metal in Los Angeles or a polka-dotted throw blanket hand-woven in Mali. In her newly expanded showroom, expect to find a chic collection of home accessories, art, furniture, and jewelry that Coppola finds on global treasure hunts to places like Laos, Morocco, and Turkey.
After a recent renovation, Sylvia Dorsey’s 20-year-old store now offers the most luxurious shopping experience in the city. Even the most avowed minimalist will be tempted by the store’s endless goodies: luxe barware, coffee table books, candles, and other ephemera, plus extensive bedding and bath collections and new sections devoted to furniture, lighting, and accessories by Ralph Lauren and Aerin Lauder.
After previous lives as a gallerist in Houston and a theater and bookstore owner in Marfa, Lynn Goode is into her third act, selling the high-style furnishings of the mid-century modern period, with a focus on works by such acclaimed masters of design as Adrian Pearsall, Frank Lloyd Wright, Milo Baughman, and T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.
After almost a decade in business, owner Margaret Naeve has moved her shop full of elegant antiques and other uncommon luxuries (to borrow her turn of phrase) to a light-filled showroom facing Westheimer. Huge windows offer passersby a peek at Naeve’s stunning decorating vignettes, mostly in her signature palette of neutrals.
A rare local shop among a sea of brand-name stores in The Woodlands’s Market Street development, Maggie’s stands out with gift-worthy home goods and other necessary indulgences tailored perfectly to the local clientele, including hammered silver jewelry by Simon Sebbag, relaxed threads from Johnny Was, apothecary favorites from Antica Farmacista and Jack Black, and home accessories from Michael Aram.
Whether you want a modern flat-weave, an antique Oushak carpet, or something totally custom for your floors, it’s a cinch to find it here. Since founding the showroom over 30 years ago, Matt Esfahani has made a name for himself throughout the country, opening stores in Dallas, Denver, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
Since 2006, this place has been an incubator for some of Houston’s best up-and-coming designers and furniture dealers. With over 50 individual sellers filling two buildings, it offers everything from European antiques and mid-century modern pieces to original art and home accessories.
Patti Kagan has fallen hard for the glamorous mid-century modern designs she grew up with in Meyerland. Along with business partner Troy Osborne, a picker extraordinaire, she fills her showroom with attention-grabbing furniture, accessories, and lighting from the ’40s to the ’80s.
There’s no other place in Houston with one-of-a-kind wares as cool as those on offer here. Inside the open, light-filled space, owner Will Shoemaker and buyer Denny Stygstra mix mid-century modern furnishings with contemporary abstract artwork and repurposed industrial fixtures, such as stunning lights made from airplane exhaust pipes or butcher blocks reconfigured as rustic-chic tables.
Store founder Jeff Kaplan is full of fun facts like these: there are 61 chemicals in a standard memory foam mattress, and fumes from even non-lead-based paint can cause brain damage after years of repeated exposure. Yikes. In addition to organic mattresses, safe paints, air purifiers, and low-energy fans, Kaplan sells beautiful furniture made on site from local reclaimed woods.
Second-generation owner Matt Reeves has kept step with ever-gentrifying Montrose, transitioning what was a designer-loved, curiosity-filled antiques shop into a thriving market focusing solely on mid-century modern furnishings. While this isn’t exactly IKEA, prices are reasonable for budding design enthusiasts, and there’s always something new on the floor.
Designer Cathy Robinson and her daughter Courtney Robinson Prochaska have turned their Spring Branch studio into an adorable shopping nook with rustic charm, stocking throw pillows, jewelry, baskets, pottery, picture frames, restored furniture, and paintings by local artists.
Owner Renea Abbott is a woman of simple tastes. She loves white, black, gold, and animal prints, preferably all mixed together for maximum glamour. Since opening in 1991, her business has grown from a custom slipcover store to a destination for antiques and other fabulous designs.
Ten months out of the year, designer Teena Caldwell and her daughter Lauren Worsham fill their sizeable store in Sugar Land Town Square with traditional and transitional furnishings and accessories from renowned brands like Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture, Theodore Alexander, and John Richard. Come November and December, however, they transform the place into an amazing Christmas destination, with whole rooms devoted to different holiday looks, each with its own festive, flawlessly styled tree.