Whether you know it or not, you’re casting dozens of little votes each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the busiest time of the year for shopping and how you spend those hard earned Benjamins has a direct affect on the built environment around us all. Shopping at a particular type of establishment casts a vote which encourages more of that experience. If your dollars are spent at the big-box, suburban mega-chains, you are voting to promote dismal environments, impersonal experiences and enormous parking lots. And if that’s what floats your boat and you’re fine with the consequences –to each their own. The flip side of the coin is that those same dollars can foster mom-and-pop shops that strengthen community and create personable experiences.

Last year we introduced a Gift Guide for the Persnickety Design Types and this year we’re giving a shout-out to ten local Seattle shops where your moolah goes to support everything great about the built-environment (think of it like the cheat sheet for where to shop). These are just ten of our faves, hit that comments button and let us know about yours – whether they’re in Seattle or elsewhere.

Picnic: A Food and Wine Boutique
6801 Greenwood Ave N, 206.453.5867
Bespoke foods from small local producers line the walls at Picnic and the beautifully canned and bottled products make excellent gifts for foodie types. Owners, Jenny and Anson, are usually behind the counter making delicious food and they’re always happy to help pick out the perfect bottle of wine. The selection of wine is special but cost conscious – we’re big fans.

[Photo by BUILD LLC]

Peter Miller Books: Architectural & Design Books and Supplies
1930 1st Ave, 206.441.4114
If the people on the receiving end of your gift giving have an ounce of design consciousness in them, they’ll appreciate darn near anything from Peter Miller Books. Tell Peter a bit about who you’re buying for and he’ll take it from there.

[Photo by Emmanuel Buenviaje]

: Your Home for Modern Living
251 Yale Ave N, 206.749.9575
You can’t go wrong picking up a gift from Velocity, everything has already been filtered down to functional, beautiful items for the home. The shop is located along a great street for grabbing a cup of coffee and poking around.

[Photo courtesy of Velocity]

: Every Presentation Deserves a Haus
2008 1st Ave, 206.374.8566
For the organized, persnickety types this is the Shangri-La. Paper, envelopes, portfolios, pens – they make it all look gorgeous.

[Photo courtesy of Paperhaus]

: Men’s and Women’s Boutique and Bespoke Tailoring
2419 1st Ave, 206.441.1999
The intersection of timeless quality and forward-design is a rare find and Kuhlman’s seems to have achieved it. The shop is a great neighborhoody place and it’s always a joy peeking in and seeing what new finds they’re selling.

[Photo by Invisible Hour]

: Baby Nursery Furniture, Toys and Accessories
259 Yale Avenue North 206.254.0400
If you’re buying for the kiddos do them a favor and introduce them to good design early on –the parents will also thank you.

[Photos courtesy of Tottini]

Elliot Bay Book Company: Seattle’s Legendary Independent Bookstore
1521 Tenth Avenue, 206.624.6600
There’s just something about touching and feeling a book that online purchasing will never beat. With a café and frequent author readings, Elliot Bay Books is the quintessential neighborhood spot.

[Photo by Kirsten Joyrice]

Re-Soul: Shoes, Home Furnishings, Artwork, and Jewelry.
5319 Ballard Ave, 206.782.1127
It’s a lifestyle store that carries all the stuff people enjoy surrounding themselves with. Everything from the shoes to the music has that design sophistication to it. Their cool jewelry has been known to get the BUILD boys some serious brownie points from time to time as well.

[Photo courtesy of Resoul]

Theo Chocolate: Makers Who Roast Fair Trade Certified Cocoa Beans and Organic Cocoa Beans
3400 Phinney Avenue N, 206.632.5100
Theo’s offers locally made, high quality, organic chocolate that you can buy while you’re taking a walk around the pleasant streets of Fremont. The tour of their facilities is also highly regarded.

[Photo by Aiden Duffy]

Ten Pachi: Salon & Store
5611 University Way NE 100-A
The shop is well organized and aesthetically pleasing to the modern eye. Gifts include some of the most well appointed hair products we’ve ever seen and a range of exceptional Japanese cards. Gift certificates are also available and highly touted as the salon has a healthy list of clients.

[Photo by Aaron Leitz]

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