We geek out over Target’s newest collections and Ikea’s smart-but-stylish storage solutions like the next person, but while big box retailers are often the most accessible—and affordable—options, shopping small remains our favorite way to outfit a home. For starters, you’re more likely to find unique pieces that no one else will have in a tiny boutique than you are in the discount section of HomeGoods (all due respect to the mecca that is HomeGoods). Then there’s the fact that the production process tends to be more transparent and ethical with smaller shops.
But it’s one thing to support local businesses and indie shop owners, and another thing altogether to actually find them. The advent of the Instagram store has helped give a platform to some smaller brands, but through our day-to-day work (and personal Instagram stalking), we’ve found a ton of smaller companies worth a spotlight as well. Here, a small selection of our favorites.
Jessica Dailey, Digital Editorial Director
This Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based shop stocks the perfect mix of investment pieces and affordable, on-trend decor made by independent designers. The brick-and-mortar is a must-visit if you're in the area, but my favorite sections to browse—the under $50 and under $100 goods—are available at any hour, from any location (my preferred spot is my sofa on a Friday evening after a couple glasses of wine). I currently have my eye on this $62 kilim bath mat from Quiet Town and literally every ceramic from Studio Arhoj.
Cyrus Ferguson, Market + Membership Manager
I’m a fiend for vintage objets d'art, so a major highlight of my Instagram feed is Casa Shop. They find the best funky yet elegant pieces, often in glass or ceramic, and curate them into a really enchanting assortment.
Mackenzie Dunn, Contributing Writer
I’m especially into supporting businesses with a charitable or social purpose, and The Citizenry is one that invests in artisans around the world to bring high-quality, small batch global decor to your door. By shopping here, you’re not only supporting local fair trade environments, but getting some exquisite textiles and furniture in the process. Currently coveting this cozy, hand-loomed alpaca throw, straight from Peru.
Aaron Bengochea, Associate Digital Photo Editor
Counter-Space is a great combo of hard-to-find vintage pieces and beautiful handcrafted furniture made in-house. Everything they sell floats between being functional and a piece of art for your home (a two-for-one!).
Nikhita Mahtani, Digital Editor
My sister lives in LA, so I’ve visited this Cali cool store several times. I’d always wanted to buy a couch from there, finally realized that they ship everywhere, and took the plunge! I love that their style is modern glam, and even though HD Buttercup isn’t cheap, the items are built to last. Trust me: It’s been five years, and my sofa is still going strong.
Alyssa Clough, Social Media Editor
Okay, so Heath Ceramics definitely has a cult following, but I still consider it shopping small and supporting a local business. All of their product is crafted in San Francisco, and if you've spent any time looking at interiors on the internet, you've seen their tile. As a renter (on a budget) who doesn't have a real home to renovate, I look to their smaller decor pieces to add to my home. Each time I'm in the SF area, I treat myself to a new piece (plates, mugs, cups, etc.), but they also sell online. Most recently, I picked up a pink bud vase—if you're looking for a tiny pop of color or the perfect gift, this summer set is so good.
Lahaina Alcantara, Digital Photo Editor
This used to be one of my favorite shops in Brooklyn to peruse small home goods. A few years ago, they moved online and shifted to focusing on production of their in-house textiles which are incredibly chic and minimal. If you too want to live in a caramel, beige, and soft grey universe—they’ve got the goods.
Lydia Geisel, Contributing Writer
I don’t consider myself a minimalist, but Leibal’s finds always speak to me. Their selection just feels really curated, sculptural, and geared toward function, which I love. Think: understated statement objects, like this gritty terrazzo mirror.
Elly Leavitt, Associate Digital Editor
If you love vintage finds that look like they were directly extracted from a chic home in the south of France, SFGirlbyBay’s Super Marché shop is definitely worth a visit—because largely, the curated treasures actually were found at markets along the south of France. From larger furniture to smaller decorative pieces, each item is strictly one-of-a-kind… so if you see something you love, act fast because once it’s gone it’s gone. The inventory of gorgeous pieces from around the world is updated regularly, so it’s almost like a virtual flea market.
Anna Kocharian, Digital Editor
What's the digital version of window shopping? Because this e-shop is one I find myself constantly perusing for inspiration. It's extremely well-curated and features a great variety of design-forward pieces that range from the ultra-luxe and splurge-worthy to the handmade and one-of-a-kind.
See more cool shops to know:
This Wellness Mecca Is NYC’s Best-Kept Secret
Our Favorite Vintage Shops on Etsy
Where You Should Be Buying Rugs, According to the Pros
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