Downtown Bellingham is a vibrant, happening place every day of the week. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the bustle and cruise by some of its most charming little secret spots, without even knowing what we’re missing. Of course, we do not want that to happen (do we?), so I’m here to point out a few places that totally deserve our attention. If you’re like me, you always appreciate a new reason to venture out of the everyday routine and discover something special—and perhaps even unexpected.
Tucked into a space on Cornwall Avenue (just past Greenhouse) is one such special and unexpected little shop: Ideal. The name won’t tell you much about what you’ll find inside, but worry not—I will! Ideal is a visual feast of well designed and highly functional items to use, to wear, to give (pick me!) and to play with in your home, office, playroom or kitchen. They call their selection “carefully curated goods,” and the description really fits.
It’s clear that owners Lisa Van Doren and Kathleen Iwersen have taken great care in choosing the items that fill their bright space with pops of color, texture and shine. It is the perfect stop if you or a friend are a design aficionado, lover of classic children’s books, fan of the handmade object or simply hard to buy for.
Ideal’s artsy-looking displays are filled with items from around the world, as well as just down the road. Marimekko’s distinctive textiles from Finland are displayed next to ceramics designed by Masahiro Mori from Japan; an Eames-designed tray made in Germany hugs one brick wall, while an Alchemy Goods bag from Seattle graces another.
If there is a creative or curious young person (or nostalgic grownup!) on your gift list, head to the back of Ideal, where amazing children’s books are waiting for new homes. Filled with beautifully detailed illustrations, any of these classics will keep kids of all ages occupied for hours.
In addition to books, Ideal has a section of toys, chairs, puzzles and games for the younger set. And I found several fun items that some of the larger people in my life would love, too.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself, a friend, a kid or a particularly picky person, you can probably start and finish right at Ideal. No matter what your price range, this little shop of functional, approachable, and of course—very well designed—objects will probably have just the perfect thing. Pop into Ideal and have a look. The super-friendly and knowledgeable owners and staff will take good care of you.
Ideal-carefully curated goods 1227 Cornwall Avenue Bellingham WA 98225 360-752-5522 Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.