Today’s retail “giants” can be design stumbling blocks when searching for ways to add personality to your home. But a new way to shop has evolved in the form of refreshing “lifestyle” stores. Resist ordering flatpack (easy to assemble, or not) furniture and mass produced run of the mill accessories.  These lifestyle boutique shops are designed around a curated selection of products that present a stylish, artful way of living. From small unique furnishings, to funky tabletop pieces, and even small collections of comfy apparel, these shops provide inspiration and easy upgrades for your home. 

Designed as quaint boutiques, these retail businesses are styled with creatively themed items that can add personality to your home. Maybe it’s a bookstore that features a collection of cozy bed linens and slippers.  Perhaps it’s an apparel shop full of specially crafted candles, upholstered stools, and handmade pillows. Interior designers everywhere are developing shops that present and make available their professional style.  They use designer fabrics on custom furnishings, vintage or selectively sourced lighting, sweetly fragranced personal care items and unique baby suggestions. There is energy in the mix of styles, themes and originality that will spark new ideas for your home.  

While shopping local is good in every way, small town shopping can become a slightly narrow point of view. Consider a short road trip to an adjacent community. Explore retail establishments in an unfamiliar community on the way to — anywhere. Explore rural establishments, upscale luxury destinations, or artisan neighborhoods in large cities. Seek out lifestyle shopping boutiques through social media, and then have them be the reason to venture out of town. Have the courage to explore. Browse, shop and enjoy the experience.    

  1. Statement Lighting.  There are many ways to incorporate lighting into your home. Make it unique by finding a new assortment of lighting options in a cool, freshly themed home boutique. In-person selections can save time and money over big online stores because you can check the finish, scale and quality. Small, artisan fixtures can build character without necessarily breaking the budget.
  2. Textiles & Wall Art. Small rugs, hand-crafted wall décor and tabletop finds are frequently featured. Most items are uniquely designed or personally crafted. Luxury fibers and weaves create textural interest and character. These are the best stores to find original art displayed with other home goods to get a real view of how it could enhance your home.  You may find something you didn’t know you needed. 
  3. Unique Furnishing. Whether it is a unique item found by the owner during a regional market trip, or a custom-made product designed and sourced specifically for the shop, lifestyle stores showcase currently trending products. It might be a small bright orange chair or an unusual table. These stand along furnishings become conversation pieces with their uniqueness. Nothing is necessarily expensive, which means an impulsive purchase may be an easy decision.  
  4. Kitchen Finds. Imagine walking into a small shop where specialty coffee is brewing, or a bright display of tea, honey and cups are on display. Look for an interesting tool you may not have in your utensil drawer, or a countertop feature, like canisters or pretty glassware. Perhaps it’s a handwoven dish towel to brighten the chore or a collection of exotic spices that can be found nowhere else. 
  5. Garden Décor. Among well staged home goods, there will be garden items. It could be a large-scaled container with an artistically shaped tree, preselected for interior placement. What a nice feature to add to any home. It might be small sculptural addition that can be placed in your outdoor landscaped areas — think fountains, birdhouses and weathervanes. These are all displayed as a mix of indoor and outdoor inspiration. 
Asher & Rye is a lifestyle store I found whle on a recent trip to Savannah, Georgia. (Photo submitted by Terri Bennett)
The store One Fish Two Fish is a wonderful stop to make while on a trip to Savannah, Georgia. (Photo submitted)
The store One Fish Two Fish is a wonderful stop to make while on a trip to Savannah, Georgia. (Photo submitted)