GARDE is one of those shops that makes you feel the need to go home and instantly purge 90% of your current furnishings and decor (oh, and clothing too). Not only does owner Scotti Sitz have an amazing talent for sourcing expertly crafted pieces from all over the world, but she also has discernment in choosing her inventory (meaning she has no problem passing on amazing pieces that don’t fit the GARDE aesthetic). By staying within the confines of a minimal color palette and sourcing modern items that use natural materials, Scotti has built a collection that feels cohesive, intentional, and ultimately harmonious. It’s like the Kate Moss of design stores: understated, unfathomably gorgeous and effortlessly cool.
GARDE, West Hollywood
Scotti Sitz, Owner
1. How long have you been in business and how did you get started?
GARDE opened in March of 2012. I had a passion for interiors and spent many years doing interior design here in Los Angeles. My last interior design project was working for a French family. All of my sourcing had to be from overseas and I quickly realized that there were many designers and artists who had no representation in Los Angeles. I was surprised and frustrated that I couldn’t get what I wanted here in LA. So I decided I will fill that void. I had long wanted my own shop, and that experience helped formulate my vision more clearly.
2. Why did you choose this location to open your business?
I have watched this neighborhood evolve over the years into a wonderful destination for vintage furniture, lighting and design, as well as restaurants. Beverly Boulevard was always my first choice for a shop location. The street is one of the few with grass and magnolia trees, it just felt right.
3. How would you describe your store’s style/aesthetic?
The words I have always thought of when relating to GARDE is “modern natural.” Clean and minimal with layers of warmth, tactile elements and sometimes unusual.
4. Where did you get your name from and what other names did you consider?
Naming a business is probably one of the hardest things to do. We ran the idea of GARDE which was a take on avant-garde by friends and it just felt right. Now we could not imagine the name to be anything else.
5. What types of items are your best sellers? (i.e. brands, specific pieces, etc.)
Honestly, a variety of items are great sellers. Right now, our top items would have to be The Black Walnut Oval Bowl by The Wooden Palate in Los Angeles, the Scintilla Brass and Glass Table Lamp from Dante Goods and Bads in Germany, The Censer Incense Burner from Apparatus Studio in New York City, The Medallion Mirrors by Rooms Design of Tibilisi, Georgia, as well as a range of marble or stone pieces by Belgium’s Michael Verheyden. And last Tom Dixon home accessories continue to fly out!
6. What item do you have in the store now that you would want to have in your home?
Everything! Every time something new arrives I want to take it home, but if I had to choose one item, right now my current love is the hand-blown glass bowls from Alexa Lixfeld of Hamburg, Germany.
7. What have you been inspired by lately? (colors, styles, themes, locations, etc.)
I’m having a pink moment which in my monochromatic world is unusual. But I recently brought in soft pink linen bedding and then I did some signage in hot fuschia pink. I am off to France in a week and taking a side trip to Arles in the South so I am hoping for lots of inspiration!
8. Is there something you thought would sell really well but didn’t?
Some things are ahead of their time and take a bit longer for customers to appreciate, like a couple of avant-garde jewelry designers that were more art than wearable.
9. Where do you mainly source your items from?
Most of our sources are from Europe. Many designers come to us via word of mouth now, but my travels to Europe are always great for new discoveries.
10. What was the first big lesson you learned from opening your store?
How much hard work it is!! Stick to your gut instinct. Every time I think to try something new that may not be my style or taste, it usually bombs.
11. What would your one piece of advice you would give to small businesses?
If you’re doing it yourself and on a budget, get ready to do everything and make sure you are very organized! Follow your heart, and enjoy the ride.
12. What stores do you shop at?
I wish I had a chance to get out more and shop. In LA I love NK Shop, RTH and Hammer & Spear. For fabulous vintage I adore Dana John. In Palm Springs I head to Flow Modern.
In Paris I try to visit L’Eclaireur, Muriel Grateau, and in Antwerp of course Dries Van Noten.
13. Do you have any plans to expand your inventory?
I am always expanding and mixing the inventory. I would love to bring in more and more! I just need a bigger box!
14. What trends, if any, are you tired of?
Anything General Store, and DIY projects. There are so many talented artists and designers making wonderful creations that I don’t need to make a thing.
Come visit Scotti and the impeccable GARDE at 7418 Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood. In the meantime, here are some of my favorites…
1. Bawl Wooden Coat Hangers | 2. Dandelion Weave Hemp Rug | 3. Madeline Weinrib Rug | 4. Rebecca Atwood Pillow | 5. Apparatus Incense Burner | 6. Billy Cotton Brass Chandelier | 7. Natasha Wheat Necklace | 8. Indigo Storm Pitcher
Think your shop would be a great fit for our next tour? Contact us for info on pricing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*all shop photos by Jessica Isaac for EHD