According to rent.com, most Americans move between May and September, so you may have a housewarming party or two coming up. If your friends or family prefer fun and kitschy home accents, head to the local shops. From secondhand steals to handmade elegance, there are plenty of indie alternatives. Start with these:
Clayton Gray Home
2021 W Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa; (813) 250-3663
It's a little pricier and a lot more sophisticated than some gift decor shops, but there's much to browse on any budget. Shop here for an eclectic mix of home furnishings and word porn galore — mugs, towels, signs and other items have all manner of funny and inspirational typography. Cat lovers will love the spritzer bottle that says, "Check Meowt." One of the best shops for lighting, Clayton Gray Home stocks chandeliers, ceiling mounts, pendants, lanterns, sconces, table lamps and floor lamps. If you can't make it to the shop, CGH has an uber-user-friendly website with easy-to-load photos and descriptive product information — and free shipping.
Largo Eclectic Mall
211 N Missouri Ave.
Largo; (727) 584-4174
Open for five years, the mini compound is more diverse and delightfully junkier than the typical antique shop. Eclectique is the word here. Though you may find some china and frilly things, those items will be mixed in with lighted beer signs, novelty knickknacks, vintage movie posters and old tools and appliances. Browse 1970s dolls, toys and kitchenware, lamps, furniture and more. Local art vendors hawk handmade lamps crafted from old metal pipes, woodworking and rehabbed shabby-chic furniture pieces. Auctions are held the last Thursday of the month, and, surprisingly, vendor space is still available.
St. Pete Indie Market
First Saturday of the month, noon to 6 p.m.
1133 Baum Ave. N, St. Petersburg
St. Pete's monthly Indie Market is always a feel-good experience and will move outdoors next month in time for the early (we hope) fall breezes. Recurring vendors at the market offer handmade, affordable and unique items. O'Berry's Succulents, familiar to marketgoers, merits another mention with their creature-iffic dinosaur, shark and unicorn plant-figurines (oberryssucculents.com). Vendor Nine Lamps has under-$30 art by Marcus Rogers that invokes 1970s R&B album covers, African folk art and the early hip-hop era of boomboxes, Tupac and Adidas. Astatula Candle Co., based in Old Seminole Heights, offers exquisitely natural and simple elegance with clean-burning small-batch soy candles blended with essential oils (asatulacandles.com). For something specific, send questions to director Rosey Williams by messaging the market's Facebook page.
531 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, (727) 344-9663
Sparkly, cheeky, colorful and tastefully cool, Zazoo'd zazzes up with home decor, interior design services and a wide array of stylish novelty accessories. You can go deep with the cheap or splurge on something elegant. We'll opt for the cutest and naughtiest merchandise around — glasses, tchotchkes, coffee table books, "Filthy" handmade soaps and more. Custom pillows and other items with St. Petersburg-themed graphics are perfect for your friends in the Burg. Owner and award-winning interior designer David Fischer also provides custom florals, cabinet makeovers and special-occasion party planning, as well as retail window displays.
The Swag on Central
631 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg; (727) 317-9977
This little shop is a fun place to browse and hang out — it's even outfitted with a lounge, where you'll be greeted by a charming cardboard cutout of a Pips-less Gladys Knight. Furniture and accessories range from shabby chic to vintage to mid-century modern. Sophistication and kitsch commingle cozily — a granite-topped wine table sits under a framed photo of Farrah Fawcett — and the owners can help with refinishing and repurposing.