Whimsical gifts, home design and a Zappa at Henry Road

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carole rosner90BY CAROLE ROSNER

Colorful, whimsical, fresh and fun, Henry Road in Studio City is one of those shops that needs to be discovered. I’ve been inside this tiny store on Laurel Grove Avenue (just south of Ventura Blvd) many times and each time there are new reasons to linger and explore.

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Paula’s bright, eclectic fabric designs are all over the store on furniture and accessories. Photo: Karen Young

Paula Smail, a self-taught textile designer, opened Henry Road in May 2008 after selling her collections on-line and to specialty shops. Named after her childhood home in South Africa, Henry Road is stocked with a mix of old and new, one-of-a-kind and trendy items.

“I’m not limited creatively here. I want people to come visit even if they don’t buy anything,” said Smail.

Pillows are designed with a variety of textiles. Photo: Karen Young

Pillows are designed with a variety of textiles. Photo: Karen Young

Smail’s bright, eclectic fabric designs are all over the store — on pillows, stuffed bears, chairs, aprons and even chandeliers (creatively made from old Victorian lampshades and fabric remnants). She produces new textile designs for Henry Road every 18 months and the manufacturing is all done in Los Angeles.

There is a myriad of gifts available.  Photo: Carole Rosner

There are a myriad of gifts available at various price points. Photo: Carole Rosner

Not looking to decorate?  That perfect present can be found here as well.   There’s a wonderful selection of African, Columbian and locally produced jewelry, coffee table books (on my wish list: My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and their Final Meals), European inspired Le Vieux Monde candles, and so many more  unique  gift ideas at various price points.

Diva Zappa mixes photography and hand stitching on the canvas. Photo: Karen Young

Diva Zappa mixes photography and hand stitching on the canvas. Photo: Karen Young

Every four months Smail chooses an up-and-coming artist to be featured at Henry Road. Matt Adrian, an acrylic painter, was most recently showcased.  Opening October 22 at a special reception from 5-8pm, Diva Zappa, daughter of Frank and creator of Hand Made Beauty, will have her art hanging on the walls.

Diva Zappa uses her photography of rockers as well. . Photo: Karen Young

Diva Zappa uses her photography of rockers as well. The hair in this piece is done by needlework. Photo: Karen Young

By combining a love of knitting with her photography skills, Zappa creates intriguing, colorful, unique hand-stitched canvases that look like wearable art.

Smail  explained that her store is not a “gallery,”  but a place to “showcase young artists with work that I like before they get established.”

Although Henry Road seems like a store found in Berkeley, London,  San Francisco or  New York City, I’m glad it’s much closer to home.

Stuffed whimsical animals in a myriad of fabrics. Photo: Carole Rosner

Stuffed whimsical animals in a myriad of fabrics. Photo: Carole Rosner

Featured Artist: Diva Zappa, Oct 2009-Feb 2010  Open House: Thursday October 22, 5-8PM.

Special offer for MDF readers: 25 % off through October 27

Henry Road 3949 Laurelgrove Ave Studio City, CA 91604-2522 (818) 762-8966 www.henryroad.com Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11AM – 6 PM, Sunday: Noon – 5 PM

Henry Road is just off Ventura Blvd.

Henry Road is just off Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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