Where to go when you've got to go somewhere—and fast? Settle down, Santa. We're here to help.
The museum's gift shop is often just as good as the exhibits themselves. There, we said it. Judge all you want. Newly arranged to accomodate the institute's rental gallery, the store feels more tightly curated and edited than ever. Come to think of it, the shop at the Frye is pretty awesome, too. File under: Fine gifts and fun fineries from around the world and local makers. You can as easily spend $20 as $200.
After you've hit SAM, stop by this gorgeous pulp mart where slogans, signage, calendars, and correspondence have never looked—or felt—so good. File under: Letterpress printed matter, handbound books, and graphic design-centric games and cool objects make clever gifts for literary Seattleites.
We feel better just walking into this place—even if and when we felt perfectly fine to begin with. Karyn Schwartz's collection of gourmet salts and top shelf bitters mix (get it?!) well with potions, lotions, and elixirs for the feel-good life. File under: Foodies, natural beauties, the perpetually under-the-weather, and the perpetually on-top-of-it-all.
Ada's Technical Books
You might not infer this from the name, but Ada's is the kind of place where you can find something for every age group—provided the 8 and 80 year-olds you know are inquisitive, interested, and good humored. There's much more than books here; games, tinkering toys, and even a cafe for tired shoppers. File under: Smart people like smart gifts.
This little cornershop in the ID has more in store than you would think. From washi tape to cotton scarves to imaginative jewelry and wooden blocks lettered not with the ABCs but French words for frog and sailboat, well, it's sort of soup-to-nuts situation but in a very imaginative way. File under: Put on a blindfold. Walk in the door. Pick up the first thing your hand grasps, and take it up to the cash register.
The Palm Room
Plants are a beautiful gift and the people at the Palm Room are beautiful people—as in, they know how to make stuff grow and they're happy to hip you to the secrets. Only they never act like there are secrets. It's a very chill kinda spot. A very chill, stylish, modern spot. And we like that about it. File under: Homebodies, grow-their-owns, and those who cultivate a stylishly natural life.