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Los Angeles has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around LA that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Image via JF Chen
David Netto is an LA-based interior designer and writer on architecture, aesthetics and cultural history. After dropping out of architecture school, he opened his own studio in 2000. Since then his residential projects have been published in Vogue, House Beautiful, Elle Decor and Veranda, among others. He's the founder of NettoCollection (a modernist children's furniture line), is a design editor at T, The New York Times Style Magazine, and has a soft spot for this spot in Culver City (where he never leaves empty handed).
Lots of people know JF Chen (the Chen Loft) on North Highland—it's a gallery, a store, and one of the most comprehensive collections of furniture and objects in America, not just LA. Joel is a dealer who is really passionate about taste and how rooms are put together, and you can come to him looking for baroque mirrors or Danish minimalism and find ten things to choose from, almost like a department store of style. More off the beaten track, though, is the Chen Vault in Culver City. It feels like an adventure to shop here because you're in an industrial part of town, it's by appointment, and as you drive up you're thinking 'well it couldn't be as good as the other one...' but it might even be better. The range and quality is astonishing, as is the atmosphere, which seems to have a lot to do with the wood warehouse ceiling covering this ocean of treasures. I found a Charlotte Perriand table at the Vault I had never seen for sale before, anywhere. That one went to a client, but you have to be careful because it's hard to leave without something for yourself, too.
· Chen Vault [Official Site]
· David Netto [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked LA]