Home: Shop: Atlantic City & the Shore

It used to be the place to see and be seen, but since the days

IT USED TO BE THE PLACE to see and be seen, but since the days of donning fur coats and white gloves to stroll along the boardwalk, Atlantic City has lost some of its famous luster. Now, though, with an influx of posh restaurants run by celebrity chefs, and luxury casinos and hotels, Philadelphia’s summer destination has been reborn. And nightlife isn’t all that’s new at the shore this season. Tuck your blueprints into your beach bag next to the suntan lotion and towels — fabulous home furnishings are just a few tolls away.

We love the truth-in-advertising name of the Borgata’s WHIM boutique almost as much as we love considering the impulse buys we’d snap up there after hitting a jackpot: designer handbags and jewelry, kitchen electronics by Cuisinart, and assorted tech gadgets (iPods, digital cameras, plasma and LCD flat-screen televisions). Plus, you can get everything you need to re-create the luxury of your casino hotel room at home, from a scandalously plush Revel Bed mattress and Fili D’oro 300-thread-count linens to colorful margarita glasses from the hotel’s Gypsy Bar. 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City 609-317-SHOP (609-317-7467), whimstore.com

At the Tropicana’s newest extension, The Quarter, you can spend your poker winnings at RITTENHOUSE GIFT & HOME. This Philadelphia ex-pat combines French, Italian and shore-related themes to provide you with a shopping trip to the European seaside without the jet lag. Pick up imported Italian ceramics, fancy Mistral French soaps and shower gels, or vintage posters of the coast. The Quarter at Tropicana Casino and Resort, 2801 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City 609-344-0033, tropicana.net

How perfect is it that a renowned crystal company that shares its name with a French card game opened a store in a casino’s entertainment complex? Not nearly as perfect as the weighty Philippe Starck crystal vases, delicate stemware and stunning handcrafted chandeliers you’ll find there. BACCARAT also has a shimmering, miragelike display of earrings, necklaces and cuffs — pleasant reminders that crystal isn’t only for the table. The Pier Shops at Caesars, 1 Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City 609-345-3155, baccarat.fr

Just outside AC proper, furniture and accessories store DENOVUM houses a quirky (but not kitschy, we swear) selection for any true shore house. Keep an eye out for Morristown native Peggy Karr’s fused-glass plates and serveware, Carter couches and plush chairs, vibrant fish-themed benches and wall-hangings by Joe Marinelli, and floral-fragranced Voluspa candles. 910 Asbury Ave., Ocean City 609-814-9084

Mother/daughter team Solveig Tank and Stella Newman earned the nickname “The Bed Doctors” for the lavish displays of European-style linens by Bella Notte, Peacock Alley and Rachel Ashwell in their fine linen store FEATHER YOUR NEST. A “check-up” can include free in-store design consultation and registry-style wish lists. High rollers can spring for the Bed Setup Service and have their sheets delivered, freshly ironed and turned down for them — mint optional. 1205 Tilton Road, Northfield, 609-646-0061

Furniture artisan and Cape May native Christine Grassi custom designs much of the exotic wood furniture on display in her store, SURROUNDINGS FINE FURNITURE STUDIO, including the popular “Wave” coffee table in curly cherry and walnut and the zebrawood and walnut “Oceana” table. Traditionalists can take their pick of pastel-hued solid wood furniture by Maine Cottage. 1201 New Road, Linwood, 609-601-7000

Head through an archway and you land in PETITE SURROUNDINGS, where everything is pint-sized except style. Owner Kim Blake has pulled together an inspired collection of hand-painted cribs by Newport Cottage, Elizabeth Allen Atelier shabby-chic bed linens and charming nursery-rhyme-themed chandeliers by Louise Antoinette. Inquire about interior design services — if you ask nicely, Blake may even offer up the name of her resident muralist. 1201 New Road, Linwood, 609-601-9100