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Great Home Design: Online Inspiration
Comments () | Published October 21, 2010
Best Online Stores
Many national retailers offer Web sites that include online shopping as well as design tips, blogs, photo galleries, and customer stories. These include Restoration Hardware, Room and Board, and CB2, Crate and Barrel’s hipper sibling. The following sources offer services or products that stand out from the crowd.

Brook Farm General Store 
A “modern general store” perched under the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, this shop stocks everything from vintage glass pharmacy bottles to wooden-handled scrub brushes to seagrass hampers. “I like the functional but elegant aesthetic,” says design blogger Jenn Lore. “It’s a great place to stock up on well-made basics.”

Chairloom
McLean designer Jill Sorensen says she loves to peruse the online catalog of masterpieces by Molly Andrews. Thanks to Andrews’s handiwork, once-tired wing chairs and Victorian settees get reimagined with fresh textiles, from organics to suzanis and mod graphics.

Design Public
With a lively modern aesthetic, this assortment of contemporary lighting, bedding, wall embellishments, shelving and storage, gifts, and baby gear delights design lovers. You can check out Design Public’s blog, Hatch, follow it on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for a weekly newsletter that unveils new designs, deals, and inspiration.

Etsy
A virtual souk of handmade and vintage gems, this popular online marketplace showcases the wares of hundreds of thousands of small-scale craftspeople and artisans from more than 150 countries. Sift through the hordes of goods using targeted keywords, or stick to the items featured prominently on the homepage, which are hits with users and editors.

1stdibs
 Antiques dealers from around the world convene on this virtual marketplace to list their wares, so you can browse through midcentury Italian consoles, Art Deco lithographs, crystal French chandeliers, and Eames folding screens in the comfort of your slippers and robe. Think eBay but with vetted sellers and a glossy sheen. Though labyrinthine in scope, the shop is easy to navigate and also features interviews and shopping tips from top designers.

Three Potato Four
Conceived in 2007 by a Reston couple, Janet Morales and Stu Eli, this cheery online mom-and-pop shop and blog is a compendium of secondhand collectibles such as colorful vintage blankets, antique card catalogs, skeleton keys, galvanized oil cans, and other unusual finds.

Vastu
 This 14th Street DC shop’s online home has its full inventory of modern, customizable furnishings. “You draw it, they can make it,” says DC designer Liz Levin. The site’s blog, Design Clique, features a design challenge each Wednesday, in which Vastu’s in-house interior designers reply directly to a reader-submitted question.>> Next: Budget Sources, Local E-Decorators, and Room Planners

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 10/21/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Articles