Seattleites like to boast that Portland is our ‘little sister’ city, which may be true in some aspects. But when it comes to design and shopping local, I have to say… they might have us beat. We certainly have some gorgeous shops here at home, but Portland’s are plentiful, unique and – ahem – tax free. Which is why, during the holidays, you see many a Seattle resident hopping the train to Portland for some serious shopping.
Last week, Travel Portland invited me to come down and spend a couple days in the city with the assignment of rounding up my favorite design destinations, and I was more than happy to oblige! It gave me the excuse to visit some places I’d been dying to see, and discover a few new ones too.
At the top of my list was Spartan Shop. I’ve been drooling over their goods online forever, and their space is just stunning. Even on the darkest rainy day, the shop is bright and open, creating a space you want to linger in. Of course the variety of stunning pottery, apothecary, lighting, furniture and more will keep you shopping too. For unique gifts, you seriously cannot go wrong here!
Just down the street from Spartan are a few antique shops worth a treasure hunt including Urbanite and City Home.
City Home PDX
I can never have enough vintage stores, and City Home PDX offer some serious goodies. There are two locations – one that I mentioned above close to Spartan and the other downtown. While I adore browsing through their new and used furniture for gems, I have to admit that on this trip I was most enamoured with their holiday display! I would happily stuff all my Christmas presents into that oversized swan!
Schoolhouse ElectricSchoolhouse Electric has made a name for itself outside of Portland, but their flagship store and headquarters are definitely worth a visit for the merchandising and shopping experience. The industrial space perfectly compliments their vintage-style lighting and housewares. I can never go home empty handed!
(ps – their linens are some of my favorites!)
This newbie to the Portland shopping scene is already making a name for itself in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Kenton. Mantel has some beautiful ceramics and accessories, and I’m kicking myself now for not snatching a few up to take home, I was so focused on chatting with the store’s owner Karen McClelland. I can’t wait to see how this shop grows over the years!
Alder & Co.
I’m a sucker for a shop within a shop, and Alder & Co’s combination of housewares, clothing and – of course – a floral shop had me at hello! This also happened to be in the neighborhood I stayed in, right downtown which was perfect for exploring.
Around the corner from Alder & Co was a plethora of shopping and dining. I popped into WM Goods which is totally worth a stop, and had a very satisfying lunch at Tasty ‘N Alder! Also worth a visit is the beautiful shop Canoe which I didn’t get to on this trip, but have been to before and I love it.Blue Star Donuts were a win in our book (I brought some home for my donut-obsessed husband) and loved the sweet little French spot, Maurice…
Around the corner from Maurice is North of West which is also worth a pop in!
While many of my friends have stayed at the Ace Hotel, I opted for something a little more historic and luxurious with The Sentinel, and I love it! The rooms were spacious and cozy, decorated with a masculine vibe and the most perfect deep green walls…
The Sentinel Hotel
Finally having the chance to spend a couple days in the Rose City to simply explore all the new areas was enough to give me the urge to head back real soon. On top of all the beautiful shops, the dining is kind of amazing right now. I was lucky enough to sneak in a reservation at Tusk, designed by Jessica Helgerson, and I can’t wait to go back to indulge again!
For more ideas on shopping in Portland, head over to the Travel Portland Shopping Guide for info on craft fairs, pop-ups, and more.