Best of Philly 2005: Home
Discount Appliances: ABC Discount Appliances
From $269 stoves to $6,900 four-oven ranges, ABC promises one sure thing—all prices are below the MSRP. Known for a huge in-store stock and fab cooking gear (including high-enders like Viking, Dacor and Wolf), ABC also holds an annual inventory sale in May with even juicier bargains (6013 Mansion Boulevard, Pennsauken; 856-665-0711).
Chic bargain furniture: Brandon Home Furnishings A designer friend turned us on to this showroom for overstocked items from high-end retailers; the inventory is constantly changing, but recently a tufted silk ottoman was $365, a charming inlaid Indian chest was $425, and a cool collection of modern white pottery ranged from $25 to $75. There are large living room and bedroom sets, huge mirrors, and great sofas and chairs, too (555 South Henderson Road, King of Prussia; 610-768-9222).
Eclectic home furnishings: Monkey Hill This 10-month-old funky shelter emporium proves once and for all that the words “reduce, reuse and recycle” can be downright chic. The owners stock chests made of vintage yardsticks, rugs woven from sweaters, and aquariums fashioned out of old TV sets alongside splashy pottery by local artist Liz Kinder (6 Coryell Street, Lambertville; 609-397-3332).
Cottage decor: Cottage Home So charming, you’ll want to run out and purchase a country house. Bobbi Adair’s breezy, light-filled shop is a refreshing blend of distressed vintage furniture, new and vintage linens, Italian tole-painted chandeliers, antique iron beds, and various tabletop and other home accents that evoke the cottage lifestyle (213-215 Haverford Avenue, Narberth; 610-771-0111).
Place to furnish your loft: P.A.D. You’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to SoHo. The intimate, minimally designed space and well-edited merchandise are reminiscent of Murray Moss’s eponymous gallery/store, with beautiful graphic dinner and dessert plates, Art Deco-inspired tea sets by Bee House, Danish Modern dining sets, and Seascape pendant lights (804 North 2nd Street; 215-925-4005).
Place for Metalheads: Artesano Ironworks
Part retail store, part design studio, this warehouse-size iron shop just might have that offbeat element you’re looking for, whether it’s a gate, grate, fireplace surround, or new railing for your less-than-sturdy staircase (106 Gay Street, Manayunk; 215-483-9273).
Nostalgia shop: Funhouse This year-old funky antiques/collectibles shop is a fun house, the kind of place you’ll want to spend hours in on a Saturday afternoon, rummaging through estate-sale and flea-market finds. The kitsch factor is high here, and the clutter factor is even higher, but if you’re looking for something in particular, sign the book at the register, and the owners will do the searching for you
(720 South 5th Street; 215-238-8873).
Furniture showroom makeover: OLC After two-plus decades of repping more than 40 lines, Joe Schiavo and Janet Kalter have pared down their offerings to a handful of their best-selling collections: B&B Italia, Cassina, Richard Schultz (outdoor furnishings), and Flos and Ingo Mauer lighting. The results are great, with fewer but better choices and more focused service (152 North 3rd Street; 215-923-6085).
Asian antiques: Liao Collection After moving into a 6,000-square-foot converted factory space last year, Michelle Liao’s premier Asian antiques collection finally has room to breathe. The rosewood and mahogany armoires, painted 19th-century sideboards, drum-shaped stone garden seats, apothecary chests, and canopied opium beds are beautifully displayed, museum-style, like works of art. And the prices are — surprisingly — reasonable (310 North 11th Street; 215-922-2229).