Shops for Just-Right Gifts

Editors' Pick

These seven shops carry unusual and often handcrafted pieces that make for unique, personal gifts—no matter who you are shopping for.

For the Friend Who Has Everything:

Blue House

A longtime standby, this Bethesda gift shop is an explosion of color, brimming with housewares, jewelry, clothing, furniture and more. You can keep your focus local by snagging a few Chouquette bonbons (yes, Old Bay seasoning, caramel and chocolate do taste nice together) or a beachy-bright bag from Scout, the Georgetown-based accessories company.

7770 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-656-6088,

For the Consummate Host:

Red Orchard

Your dinner party host deserves better than a bottle of Cupcake Chardonnay. This gem in Wildwood Shopping Center provides quirky-cool artisan kitchenware, scented candles, books and other home decor. During a recent visit we spotted items that would suit everyone from a sarcastic bachelor (felt pillows by Alexandra Ferguson with sayings such as “Be Nice or Leave”) to a Julia Child wannabe (Larch Wood wooden cutting boards).

10253 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, 301-571-7333,

For the Birthday Boy or Girl:

Strathmore Gift Shop

Located in The Mansion at Strathmore, this gift shop offers a trove of potential presents for crafty kids: kits for making puppets, haute coloring books (think animals or fairy-tale characters) and magnetic block sets. Or snag one of Areaware’s whimsical Cubebots, wooden robot figures that can be posed a zillion ways.

10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, 301-581-5175,

For the Co-worker:

Coco Blanca

It’s hard to go wrong with neutral. At this serene home-and-clothing shop, you’ll find lots of creams, grays and metallics. Expect fringed wraps and scarves (around $100), Turkish hand towels in muted shades, and lots of pretty barware. Jewelry in natural materials—such as freshwater pearls—also shines.

10241 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, 301-493-9000,

For the Fashionista:

Tabandeh Jewelry

Sure, diamonds are sparkling, but the jewelry at this hidden gem in Mazza Gallerie would make a clothing-mad 20-something’s heart melt. Gift-worthy dazzlers range from Chan Luu’s elegant leather-and-pearl wrap bracelets to party-ready dangle earrings (with big faux gems and bright fringe) by brands such as Gas Bijoux and Iradj Moini.

5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 202-244-0777,

For the Newlyweds:

Sabun Home

When the wedding registry has been completely picked over, check out this snug boutique, which specializes in spa and bath products from Mediterranean countries. Pick up his-and-hers matching robes in terry or cotton broadcloth, colorful striped hand towels and scented olive oil soaps. A sweet-smelling candle from Aquiesse offers a little extra romance.

7123 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda, 301-656-2302,


Next >>