If mid-size American cities were running for prom queen, Raleigh-Durham would totally be nominated. People love this area, and it's easy to see why. Affordable living, fantastic schools, great restaurants and short drives to both the beach and mountains. In fact, the Raleigh metro area is the 14th fastest growing in the country. Know what that means? Lots of houses and lots of house needs. When we bought our house in 2016, I was 6 months pregnant and we had an entire house to furnish in 4 months. I bought locally whenever I could, combining well-made vintage furniture within our budget (via Craig's List and thrift stores) alongside pieces from Crate & Barrel/CB2 (where I was a part-time, remote employee with a discount). But when it came to new accessories and gifts, I sought out local home decor shops. Here are a few of my favorites:
PORT OF RALEIGH: Founder Ana Maria Munoz has the kind of worldly taste you just don't find much between the coasts. Step into her store (pictured above) and you feel instantly transported to Scandinavia or Australia. Her style is truly modern, and her shop is filled with streamlined, functional items. Very practical, very pretty and without the fuss typically found in the South. I walk in with a wish list for other people and leave with gifts for myself.
HOLDER GOODS & CRAFTS: Concrete floors, white shiplap walls, quirky home goods and local art. Holder Goods feels very big-city cool without bragging about it. I never know what I'll find inside (a recent trip revealed Turkish pillows and Peppertrain jewelry), and I always make time to pop into Boulted Bread next door.
CHET MILLER: This charming shop is the brainchild of Durham retail queen Jennings Brody (see below). A happy hodgepodge of vintage-inspired, kitschy wares alongside small-batch tonics and snappy cards, Chet Miller checks off many boxes on my Christmas shopping list. Ideal for the entertainer, camper, and collector in us all, Chet Miller is the type of jam-packed shop you could poke through for hours on end. PS: Brody's other shops—(1) Parker & Otis for food, cards, gifts and (2) Tiny for all things kid-related—are most definitely worth a stop, too.
ZEN SUCCULENT: I get my indoor plant fix at this blooming downtown Durham shop (they recently opened a Raleigh location, too). It's filled with beautiful vases, darling succulents, and just the best gifts. A recent collaboration with local artist Jordan Grace Owens of hand-painted ceramic planters were to-die-for gorgeous. If you visit the Durham spot, pop into Everyday Magic next door for crystals, tarot cards, and gifts for all of your millennial friends.
VINTAGE HOME SOUTH: If the French farmhouse look is your style, this is your spot (see below). Owned by a local couple with a love for reclaimed wood and linen-tufted furniture, this petite shop offers a rotating mix of small and large items with a pretty point of view.