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Shopping features art, home decor, apparel, accessories

A guilty pleasure for many, shopping takes on new meaning downtown with a variety of new galleries, shops and boutiques enriching the emerging retail scene. The eclectic mix of vintage gives shoppers a collection of edgier, yet chic, options for both home and closet.

Long regarded as a great place to buy art, downtown offers even more options today thanks to new destinations like The Contemporary Arts Center, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., which hosts a mélange of progressive artists. There is also Emergency Arts, 520 Fremont St., a creative co-op that is home to a contemporary art community with more than 10 galleries throughout.

The 18b, The Las Vegas Arts District is comprised of various galleries, such as Brett Wesley Gallery, 303 North Studio, Blackbird Studio, City of the World Gallery, Gainsburg Studio, Pinup Pointe, Ryan Williams Fine Art Gallery and Trifecta Gallery. Resident art expert Marty Walsh, with Trifecta Gallery, said that buying art is much like treasure hunting: Look for the unexpected.

“Today, there are more art-buying options downtown than ever,” she said. “For those who appreciate ‘the thrill of the hunt,’ downtown is the perfect art-hunting grounds, as some places are hidden and off-beat. Downtown is a treasure hunter’s paradise.”

According to Walsh, the best part of shopping for art is meeting the friendly gallery owners and artists who are both knowledgeable and helpful. Walsh has a few tips of her own when it comes to building your own art collection.

“Always start with something you are attracted to — even if you don’t know why, and even if the piece is a tiny bit out of your budget,” Walsh said. “Once you get that feeling of owning an object created by an artist, it never goes away. There is something visceral and rewarding about living with art. If you’ve experienced and responded to that sensation once, you understand and appreciate the power of art. “

When it comes to shopping for home décor in Las Vegas, downtown may not be on the top of the list for most, but there are a handful of specialty home design shops that carry unique and chic décor to outfit the home.

According to Jill Abelman, co-owner of InsideStyle Home and Design, 1119 S. Main St., the Main Street area is becoming a home décor hot spot with boutiques such as Patina, 1211 S. Main St., a mix of upscale vintage furniture and collectibles, and One Man’s Trash, 1300 S. Main St., specializing in midcentury furnishings. Rounding out the list of new, interesting and emerging home décor destinations are Retro Vegas, 1131 S. Main St.; Corner Store Furniture Co., 1201 S. Main St.; Gaia Flowers, 6 E. Charleston Blvd.; Vexed By Design, 1017 S. First St., and The Funkhouse, 1228 S. Casino Center Blvd.

Abelman, whose InsideStyle Home and Design location is known for offering the whimsical, said it’s all about finding conversation pieces that will make your home stand out.

“Downtown home décor shopping is for folks who don’t want what ‘everyone else’ has,” she said. “It’s way more fun to find something unique, with a story about where you found it.”

The trend she loves most right now is mixing a little bit of an industrial flavor in home décor and combining old with new. “But whatever your inspiration, know that you have many stylish options downtown — right at your fingertips,” Abelman said.

Once you’ve stocked up on home décor and art, reinventing your wardrobe is next. Just as downtown’s home décor boutiques specialize in the unique, so do the clothing boutiques such as Coterie, 515 E. Fremont St.; Stitch Factory, 300 N. Las Vegas Blvd.; and Gypsy Den, 213 E. Colorado Ave.

According to owners and sisters Courtney and Kinsey Peters of Electric Lemonade Shop, 220 E. Charleston Blvd., the advantage of shopping downtown is that you will have a unique shopping experience no matter what.

“You’re never going to have an issue with feeling like you’re in the same shop,” they said. “Pay attention to where the product is made, touch the fabric, and have more of a relationship with what you’re buying.

“It’s better to buy one piece that costs $100 than to buy several $10 items that never get worn and end up in the back of your closet.”

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