As Tampa and St. Petersburg ‘grow up,’ become more cosmopolitan, and attract transplants and influence from larger cities, the range of outlets for art, clothing, home decor, and all other things creative and beautiful has expanded. In particular, the South Tampa/Hyde Park/Palma Ceia and the St. Petersburg/4th Street areas have boomed. Here are some of my favorite spots for finding, in some cases the smallest piece for gifting, and in others, the statement item for a room.
Being – Only recently discovered this playful store. Items range from full furniture pieces and statement chairs to refrigerator magnets and greeting cards. Some items not my taste, but a good cache of elegant, unique items, and at affordable prices. Being also carries raw fabric, if you are planning on doing your own re-upholstering. 4th Street North, St. Petersburg
Bloom – South Tampa’s best indoor and outdoor plant shop. I’ve purchased a number of indoor plants and orchids here…all seeming of good quality and heartiness. South MacDill Avenue, Tampa
Casa Nova – Owned by one of Tampa’s influential gay couples (who are also real estate brokers), this store is full of interesting pieces. The color palate is wide, and pieces range in price. Bay to Bay Boulevard, Tampa
Fig – Another recent discovery, this store is a beautiful composition of monochromatic neutrals. Dominated by earthy tones (brown, taupe, white, cream), this is an upscale store that carries many covet-worthy items in wood, animal skin, linen, and other natural materials. My favorite pieces were a set of yucca plant stalks, that tower at 12 feet or more. Perfect for someone’s loft space, to fill a corner and add texture and volume. 4th Street North, St. Petersburg
Magnolia – Similar to Casa Nova and Fig, but fitting just about between the two in terms of uniformity and color range. Many beautiful items in this store, and many are far out of my price range. Housed in a gorgeous early 20th century storefront in Hyde Park, on a brick street. South Magnolia Avenue, Tampa
Marketplace – A catch-all for design stores and interior decorators, this warehouse-style emporium gives locals the chance to showcase, alongside others, under one roof. Full of beautiful furniture and thoughtful items…definitely a diverse assortment, for the eclectic shopper. North Willow Avenue, Tampa
Schiller’s – If you’re looking for raw, unfinished, found items…this is the appropriate place. Full of ‘junk’ to be discovered and rescued, Schiller himself is usually hanging around, ready to help move something or assist. Finds include: claw-foot bathtub, old theater fold-down seats, church pews, rusted theater spotlight, and vintage white cast-iron scale. West Cypress Street, Tampa
The Red Herring – A cross between Schiller’s and Being. Full of interesting, if completely obscure items that will give a room some character. Favorite find: fossilized coral bookends. I have a beautiful recovered wood picture frame from TRH. Bay to Bay Boulevard, Tampa
Wisteria – Full of more classic, expected ‘antique’ items, this store has lots of beautiful vintage furniture, jewelry, objects, and lamps. Not always my taste, but good for a browse any day. South MacDill Avenue, Tampa
Hopefully I can add to this list in a year!