San Clemente can be a bit of a jaunt for those who don't live there, but one reason I do make the trek is to check out what new retro furnishings I can find at La Casa Verde de Granada. La Casa Verde is a tiny antique furniture store converted from a house and hidden in a neighborhood just a street away from downtown San Clemente. Owners Jim and Ellen Bodas, who are artists and lovers of rustic, reclaimed objects, repurposed their Spanish-style home into a store back in 2009. Since then, their delightful Casa has been a draw for anyone who wants interesting furniture pieces they wouldn't find at Ikea or Crate & Barrel.
The arrangement of furniture at La Casa fits a theme for whatever room it's occupying. So vintage dishes, tea kettles, brightly colored pitchers and funky silverware are arranged in the kitchen area, sea-themed knickknacks and antique toiletry items lounge in the bathroom. Mid-century modern lamps, end tables and modern sculptures hang out in the interior rooms, while lawn chairs, succulents, and planters bask under the sun in the patio and back yard. And like any true San Clemente store, you can also buy seashells, conch shells, barnacles and other aquatic items to remind you of the beach.
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La Casa's selection is impressive, not just for retro junkies but artist-types who enjoy something extra in their living spaces. Books on fine artists, prints, movie posters and gorgeous ceramic pottery caught my eye. If you're the type to get into home improvement projects, you can also buy cans of Debi's DIY Paint to liven up your furniture. And for an antique store, prices are more than fair (boss man Gustavo found a bourbon decanter for Kentucky yard-sale prices, which is cheaper than cheap).
It isn't the only antique store in the vicinity—you can find shabby chic and retro stops around the corner—but its charm, organization and remarkable taste stands out from the rest. Come by!
La Casa Verde de Granada, 130 Ave. Granada, San Clemente, (949) 498-2560; www.lacasaverdestore.com.