Vintage Gems: Salt & Sundry

Salt & Sundry is one of those stores where you walk in and wistfully say, "I'll take it all..." as you start to twirl with arms outstretched. Or at least I do, anyway. There’s no need to hunt here, guys. It's allllll good. This shop is different from others I've featured in a few ways – for starters, it's retail rather than vintage or thrift. I like to switch up the repertoire, plus I don’t have to fight anyone for the pillow I spy across the way (just kidding – I would never...) The second thing that sets it apart is that many of the larger items are one-of-a-kind, handmade exclusively for the shop from my favorite state in the union: North Carolina. No wonder it feels like home! (Sooo...when can I move in?) 

Photo:   Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

Photo: Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

The owner of the store, Amanda McClements, (that’s her at the register) grew up in the next town over from me and we both attended the UNC journalism school, albeit at different times. Small world, eh?! I’d already fallen in love with the store before meeting her, but now I like it even more. Amanda's friendly and unassuming, accomplished and entrepreneurial, plus she clearly has impeccable taste. An inspiration!

Photo:   Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

Photo: Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

Look! That's my dining table up there, draped so sultrily in textiles. Change of plans, guys. I know I said I was gonna hang a chandelier over my table, but this mosquito net looks pretty gorg. The table was made by Amanda's dad, from old North Carolina barnwood – I was immediately drawn to its texture and age. 

Photo:   Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

Photo: Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

I'm 100% digging the southern boho vibe Salt & Sundry brings to the district, and clearly other people are too, because a second location is opening in Logan Circle later this year. Northwest Townies, rejoice! Soon you can enjoy this gem without the trek to Union Market.

Photo:   Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

Photo: Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

I'd certainly spend more time in the kitchen if I had all this pretty cookware to play with. (Hint, hint, Eli!)

Photo:  Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

Photo: Jeffrey Martin, courtesy of Salt & Sundry

I always bring my houseguests because it’s got something for everyone – even my friends who aren’t so obsessed with home interiors. (Yes, I have some of those.) Beautiful books, bar tools & bitters, artwork, PICKLES, greeting cards, baby clothes, candles, fashion accessories, lip salves… so many nice things I can’t wait to buy. What’s better – many of these items are handmade or locally-sourced. Yay, small business!  

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I've read in other publications that Salt & Sundry is considered the best place to buy a hostess gift in DC – which is enough incentive for me to start throwing parties every weekend – but it’s a heck of a lot more than that. I mean, c'mon – just look at those pillows! I could offer them a nice home.  

I love the tribal/aztec vibe of these pillows and the pretty pinks and reds in the rug behind it.

If you live in DC or are just passing through town, you’ve got to stop in. Ogle the goodies, take a lunch break in Union Market, and then get right back to shopping! OR, if a trip to the district isn’t in the cards right now, you can also check out the online shop. (not an affiliate link) Oh, the beauty of retail! 

So what was your favorite piece? For me, it's gotta be the rustic Aztec pillows.

Vintage Gems posts are an opportunity for me to feature the local shops I love. I'm not getting any kickbacks or special treatment for them.

Vintage Gems: Good Wood, Indeed

It’s that time again ! Time to share another of my favorite thrift shops in DC. This edition is really to assure my mom that this Good Wood place I keep going to is a furniture store. (I'm kidding) I love this place and the name rings true.

If Hunted House was the Don Draper of vintage shops, Good Wood is more like Johnny Depp meets Ernest Hemingway: handsome in any style, well-traveled, charismatic, quirky and surprisingly fashionable. I imagine his industrial loft is stocked with Nepali tea picked up on his last trip to Kathmandu and fancy china from a Memphis estate sale; he wouldn't flinch if you spill on the Peruvian rug because it adds character (although the impala on the wall may give you a disapproving look).

In short, Good Wood has perfected the balance between regal and rugged, global and Americana, contemporary and old-timey. 

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I walk into this shop and am hit with a wave of inspiration. There’s such an eclectic mix of styles juxtaposed beautifully – I just want to sit down and stay awhile. Maybe pick up one of the many books they keep lying around.

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The store refuses to be pigeonholed into one style or aesthetic – it's always full of surprises.

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I'm always on the hunt for leather couches, pedestal tables and kitchen carts (of which they have many) but I'm also consistently impressed by the dressers, lamps and vintage oddities. (I should probably just throw everything out so I can start over here) I was tempted to buy the JFK portrait below – seems appropriate for a DC home – and I seriously wish I had any room with ceilings tall enough to accommodate that ladder.

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Another great thing about Good Wood that makes it truly unique is the fashion. I kid you not! Beautiful furniture AND clothes? It’s like they know me. There's a drool-worthy selection of jewelry, wow'em dresses, shoes and handbags – vintage and new. On more than one occasion I've walked in looking for a sofa and walked out with my new favorite dress – the styles are stunners that were errantly forgotten sometime in the last few decades. Plus it gives me great pleasure to tell folks I bought it at a furniture shop when they ask. 

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So there you have it, folks. Put this U St. wonder on your list and fill up the parking meter, cuz you’re gonna wanna stay a while. 

Vintage Gems: Hunted House for the Mid-Century Modern Lover

Since moving to DC, thrifting has become one of my favorite hobbies – though perhaps a slightly masochistic one. Living in a small house with constrained dimensions and no garage, basement or attic, it’s unreal the number of awesome pieces of furniture I pass up because I don’t have “the perfect spot” nor a place to hoard them for future enjoyment. (Note to self: I need to build a garage ASAP) The vintage shops here always have me swooning and cursing the little-house gods and that coffee table I bought on Amazon. But just like any good addict – I mean hobbyist – I keep going back because I can’t stop, won’t stop. And some day I'll find the perfect petite leather sofa of my dreams before that other guy snatches it up. 

I’ve had a few years to try out the shops around town and have come to truly love a handful of them. Each has its own distinct personality and aesthetic – every time you shop you learn a little more about who they are and what you can depend on them for. I think I'm ready to take the next step and so I'd really like to introduce you to the shops I'm going steady with. This week we're visiting Hunted House – the Don Draper of vintage stores. Sophisticated, mid-century, handsome, expertly tailored, impeccable jaw line…wait, are we still talking about furniture?

Hunted House store front in DC

You can always depend on Hunted House to have an impressive stock of mid-century Scandinavian pieces in great condition and at relatively good prices. More than any other store in the city, it is committed to a look. That look happens to be one of an advertising executive's home circa 1960s, minus the smoke and the Scotch. It also happens to be a look I (and 10 million other people) love.

The store was previously located on 14th St. NW, which is pretty much the end-all be-all as far as store locations go. They moved a couple years ago to H St. Corridor in the Northeast part of the city, which is not quite as hoppin’ as 14th (though it won't be long) and it's certainly harder to get to for most people. If you're smart you know this is actually a huge advantage, and you should go now – quick! – before the competition heats up for all the goodies. 

Retro leather desk and chair
Vintage globe
Apothecary glasses

Lamps, leather and lucite – this shop rolls deep in the three L's. I'd love to snag a pair of those lucite desk chairs for the office/guest room!

Lucite desk chair and danish mid century desk with brass desk lamp.

I very much wish I had a large dining room to host 6 of my closest friends at this beautiful teak table while we listen to smooth jazz on the record player and eat fondue.

Danish modern round to oval teak dining table by Dyrlund circa 1960s / 1970s

I first found this shop when I was on the hunt for a small credenza to hold the TV. They keep a really good selection here in a variety of sizes, styles and finishes. Broyhill credenzas like this one make me question my decision to go with built-in shelves. Mmmm...  Also note the incredibly stylish and comfortable leather chair and the naked-lady salt-n-pepper shakers. No Mad Men home is complete without those. 

Broyhill "Emphasis" Long Credenza – 1960s

This bar is all sorts of awesome – loving those salmon-colored bar stools – and now i have a strange urge to order a dirty martini (I don't drink martinis). Odds are good that I'm going back for those teak cups. They are begging for a luau, and I still need to throw a housewarming party. 

Danish teak mid century cups
1960s Danish Mid-Century Bar with Salmon Stools
Danish Armoir with vintage fan and bowling ball lamp
Mid century Black leather slipper chair
Vintage Beware of Pick Pockets Poster

Big thanks to Mark Johnson, co-founder of Hunted House, for curating and maintaining one of my favorite stores in D.C. This post was not sponsored in any way – I'm just a fan of the shop and was feeling guilty keeping it all to myself. If you live in the area or are stopping through, make sure you check it out!  These pics are only the tip of the iceburg, and the inventory is constantly changing.

Mark Johnson, owner of Hunted House

Anyone know what that style of chair is called? I want to guess Egg, but I'm probably wrong. Any favorite pieces catch your eye?