It always surprises me that when I get to the final stage of an interior design project and it is time to accessorize that I panic! Finding home accessories for a project is a challenge and can be time consuming.  Shops that specialize in designer accessories are few.  So it’s always a question of where should I look this time?

My go to place is La Conner in Skagit Valley. And while some old timers lament ‘what’s happened to La Conner’, when it comes to finding the best home accessories La Conner is a natural winner! La Conner’s small coastal town atmosphere with its unique shops, not to mention art galleries, makes for an unusually pleasant and often productive adventure. Driving in on Chilberg Road while feasting my eyes on the wide open farm land and the mountainous land masses beyond, I delight in the good fortune to spend an afternoon in LaConner.


GO OUTSIDE is a shop with a fun mix of cook books, gardening gear, and home decor and accessories.

I start with Go Outside which is a small mercantile shop located in a quaint wooden building. When I arrived on an overcast Sunday recently, it was just full of people having a very good time looking at the diverse merchandise that Mark, the owner, has artfully assembled. And despite the fact that what I am looking for may not be here, it gently eases me into ‘La Conner’ while finely attuning my designer’s eye.

From there, I visit the gift shop at the Museum of Northwest Art. I just love this shop! I am especially fond of their ceramic art and glass. I was delighted by the playful yet sophisticated ceramic animals by Makiko Ichiura. The rabbit jumping over the moon is amusing and charming and iconic.


CARAVAN GALLERY is a treasure trove of home accessories, jewelry and crafts from around the world.

A favorite destination is Caravan Gallery. This shop with its idyllic patio is itself a creative work of art and design! On this shopping trip I was taken with the beautiful Thai pottery jugs that have been converted into table lamps. This gallery also has a diverse collection of carved wood screens from Thailand and China which can be used decoratively on walls and between rooms to great effect. In addition to the other crafts and jewelry, there is a small collection of African masks and some nice African textiles.

Two other galleries that I visit are just across South First Street. The Artist’s Remarque has a diverse and extensive array of art. It is always worth looking through the shop to see what is available. On this trip there was a small collection of prints by the much beloved Alaskan artist Rie Munoz; large, masterful watercolors of the sea and nature; and small, atmospheric Northwest landscapes that I just wanted to scoop up and take home with me.

The other must stop is Earthenworks Gallery which is a collection of fine American crafts. Again I was drawn to some very remarkable lamps by Ugone & Thomas. These handmade lamps are sophisticated, playful and imaginative. They are fine little works of art. One floor lamp with a slate base and copper stem had a painted ceramic shade with tiny perforated holes to recall a constellation.


TWO MOONS GALLERY & GIFTS is a beautiful shop with a diverse collection of wonderfully designed clothing, art and objects for the home.

Unfortunately, there is not enough space here for me to delve into other favorite galleries like Two Moons or Gallery Cygnus but you will want to visit them as they are wonderfully curated and have beautiful art and decorative pieces. And if you are in the mood for antique lighting, there is no better place to look that Mary Davis Vintage Lighting. I stopped by late in the afternoon and the warm glow of her fabulous collection of vintage lighting pulled me in from the street like a warm embrace.


MARY DAVIS VINTAGE LIGHTING is an extraordinary collection of antique lighting housed in the old fire station in La Conner, WA.


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  1. Dennis Mateski says:

    Having visited there myself several times, I must agree La Conner is a treasure, both for its unique shops and its quaint, welcoming architecture. Never know what you may find, and looking is half the fun!

  2. Tory Heinonen says:

    Before you do anything to change your home decor – whether it’s just one room or the entire house, ask yourself (and others in your family, if it’s a group decision), what do you want to accomplish. Is it just to get a fresh look with a new color on the walls, or is it to really throw out the old and start all over again? If it’s a new wall color you’re considering, make sure the paint you purchase will compliment your existing furnishings. Don’t rush out to your nearest home supply store and purchase a can of paint because it’s on sale or your think the color will do. Get several paint swatches and bring them home.”:;`

    Keep it up

    • Austin-Murphy says:

      Hi Tory,

      Thanks for reading the blog and for your comment. I totally agree with you. These suggestions are intended for
      those who have assessed their real needs and are looking for something to enhance their life and home in a
      real and non-frivolous way.

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