One of the benefits of being retired and living in West Hollywood, California, is that the area is checkered with interesting antique shops. For sale is everything from gold-plated 1920s telephones to vintage Oriental buddhas. I enjoy the wide range of antiques available, from expensive museum-quality pieces to more fun, pop culture items. Some of the shops on La Cienega are more like museums, filled with all kinds of beautiful pieces. Within easy walking distance of my apartment are many antique shops, here are my four favorites:
Dagmar 9025 Santa Monica Blvd., dagmardesign.com. This requires a pleasant stroll of almost a mile, and it’s located just this side of the border with Beverly Hills. It’s a beautifully furnished, modern store, offering contemporary and antique furniture, as well as lamps, mirrors, artwork and other classy vintage merchandise. I frequently linger in Dagmar, and not just to admire the beautiful items. I’m always hoping a movie star will happen to emerge from a limo, enter, stop and shop.
French Kings Antiques 538-40 N. La Cienega Blvd., frenchkingsantiques.com. Located on the busy intersection at Santa Monica Blvd. Walking into this beautiful store is like being transported back 150 years or more to the most elegant shoppes in Paris. You’re surrounded by beautiful furniture, lamps, clocks, mirrors, sculptures, paintings and other examples of French decorative arts. Of course, some of the prices reflect the value of the one-of-a-kind genuine antiques, and to the sharp-eyed shopper they’re worth it.
Off The Wall Antiques 737 N. La Cienega Blvd. offthewallantiques.com. Just a few blocks north of French Kings, this quaint antique shop was featured in the TV show, Storage Walls. Some of the quirkier items made for humorous watching and exploring. In a recent visit, there were many unusual sights. They included a vintage canoe, stuffed animals, pool table, neon road sign, full-size 1930s movie theater ticket booth and abstract pieces of sculpture.
Out of the Closet Thrift 8224 Santa Monica Blvd., outofthecloset.org. This is one of several retail operations of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. While not strictly an antique store, it’s located near the wealthy residential areas of Beverly Hills and Brentwood. That results in much of the donated furniture, lamps, ceramics and art objects proving to be quite valuable finds for savvy antique bargain hunters. Those looking for vintage books, magazines and old phonograph records can also discover many of them in this shop.