Shop Talk

What’s new in Seattle-area retail

Story by Stacy Williams

Endless Possibilities

When redesigning a room, where is the best place to begin? “A lot of people start with the rug,” explains Monica Koreski. “Many times we help people find companion pieces—they come in with a picture of an existing rug and want a new rug to go with it.”

Koreski is the showroom representative for Endless Knot, a boutique that recently opened inside the Studio G11 ( showroom at the Seattle Design Center.

With more than 100 designs in a wide selection of colors, Endless Knot has rugs to please any style palette. Each is hand-woven, employing a centuries-old weaving technique and using original designs from contemporary artists throughout the country. Feeling creative? If a client wants something unique, Endless Knot’s state-of-the-art design-studio program will create a rug based on color, pattern and size specifications. For a medium-to-large rug, the process takes about three months.

What Koreski sees with her Seattle clients are “elegant and simple designs,” such as designer Susan Eslick’s Parkside Capri rug, which she says is very popular for its use of tone-on-tone color—another design aesthetic that is favored by Seattleites. “I think it is a part of the minimalist lifestyle people have here,” Korseki says.

Branch Out at LIMN

When LIMN (an old English verb meaning to draw or illuminate) first opened in San Francisco 25 years ago, the weekends brought hoards of curious onlookers wanting to wander the 44,000-square-foot colossus of modern design. But a high-end showroom with a bazaar-like atmosphere was not what creator Dan Friedlander wanted for his customers who were serious about a carefully crafted modern aesthetic. So LIMN closed its doors to the public, allowing only design professionals access to its more than 1,200 international furniture manufacturers and an art gallery with its own curator.

What San Francisco shoppers can’t have, Seattleites now can. On November 9, Friedlander opened LIMN ( at 629 Western Ave—and walk-ins are encouraged any time. Designers will have the showroom’s celebrated lines—including Armani Casa, Ceccotti, MDF Italia—and an exclusive LIMN rug collection at their fingertips. The 9,000-square-foot space will also house an art gallery, consistent with the company’s mission: “to be a locus where art and design meet and are discussed.” The showroom will feature small vignettes that mix brands to give it “more of a lifestyle feel,” says Eric Fassett, Seattle store manager.

Wrap it Up

Scrapbooking mavens looking for countless colors of plain paper or dozens of decorative scissors should not look for them at Swee Swee Paperie ( in West Seattle. Owner Ann Conway takes the work out of DIY by choosing the best paper products for those who crave the exceptional when it comes to their creative needs.
Featuring designers such as Russell + Hazel, Luna Lux, Paper + Cup and Herman Yu, Swee Swee is enticing paper aficionados from all corners of the city.

Do-it-yourselfers can, however, take advantage of the store’s gift-wrapping service, in which clients collaborate with the store’s assistants in choosing among the plethora of wrapping accoutrements and then put it all together for the final presentation.

“The beauty in the wrap should be as enticing as what is inside the package,” Conway explains. “We like to make each item unique by adding that extra detail to make it special for someone to give as well as to receive.”

Expect to see a lot of rich colors and textures in the wrapping, such as velvet and chiffon in the store’s signature hues of brown with various shades of pink and plum.

In addition, Conway offers a corporate gifting service through which she will find and assemble baskets of goodies according to a client’s wishes. Her goal is to “put a contemporary spin on a traditional thank-you,” so don’t anticipate plain fruit and nuts. With this triumvirate of paper, wrapping and gift-giving services, Swee Swee Paperie (4218 SW Alaska, 206-937-7933) is a paper person’s paradise.