The star of the Wallpaper City Guide: Houston, Peel stands out from the other galleries at 4411 Montrose thanks to proprietor Steven Hempel's curatorial eye for design. If you're hunting for the unusual, exquisite or truly sublime, then look no further. Part art gallery, part gift shop, the boutique offers both locally-made furniture by the likes of Michael Garman, along with baubles that float somewhere between jewelry and tiny pieces of architecture. Each object arrives in a limited run, making your purchase extra exclusive.
This shop is for the most academic connoisseurs of 20th-century design. Le Corb, Mies, Herman Miller and Eames are among the classmates at Sunset Settings, which is family-owned and offers top-form service from Carolyn Brewer, one of the first female graduates of Rice's architecture program. The store is tucked away on the north end of Rice Village in a small, stark-white building in West University. It's the perfect place to pick up a new Philipe Starck lounge or Alvar Aalto vase. Keep your finger on the pulse of the seasonal sales when you can snag design icons for 20th-century prices.
Take a stroll down Rice Boulevard and step inside this picture-perfect papetière. Aiming to bring savvy design to the streets, PH offers all sorts of paper-related possessions: letterpress greeting cards, chic wrapping papers, luxe office supplies and unique gifts are among the merch. If you're in the market for some custom design, from simple personalized stationery to elaborate wedding dispatches, PH can help with its clever cast of in-house designers.
Navigating this emporium of unnecessary necessities can be a daunting task, so skip the small stuff and head to the house where the big design finds hide. Here, you'll encounter fresh shipments from the latest design fairs in Milan and New York, as well as a healthy mix of design classics. If it's distinctive objects you're looking for, then Kuhl-Linscomb has you covered. Even if you're not in the market, shuffling about the showroom is a pleasant way to wile away a weekend afternoon.
Sure, it's the local mecca for masterfully-curated cutting-edge exhibitions, but don't forget to wind your way around the basement's staircase and peruse the museum shop. The store boasts some of the city's most creative merchandise, including wacky watches, reintepretted Chinese lanterns and mini tabletop robots. They're all little pieces of joy that will bring the magic of contemporary art into your everyday routine.
This RO shop is the stomping grounds for the literate fashionistas. With a selection that's half-bookstore, half-design finds, Sloan/Hall has something for everyone, whether it be a last-minute gift or a personal present. Stop in at an opportune time and the handsome Misters Sloan and Hall will hand-pick something suited to your taste. Sidenote: the boys throw a swell party where you can snap a pic with Photos con Queso while noshing on a treat from Armando's taco truck.