Best Sofas 2008 | My Sofa Store | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Featuring 200 different sofa styles, 500 chairs and thousands of fabric choices for every lifestyle and budget, this shop near Knox Street will help you create the seating of your dreams. With the help of in-store designers, you can put together a one-of-a-kind sofa—fabric, frame, hardware, everything—starting at around $1,500. For the eco-conscious, there are green-friendly components to work with. And all the designing and room planning is free of charge. We like that these upholstery entrepreneurs keep it simple. Sofas and chairs only—not a coffee table or candle in sight.

Some bigger-name thrift stores have, over time, become less and less of a place to find an actual good deal. (A dress that originally sold at Target for 20 bucks...and you want $12 for it? A hideous '80s prom dress for $34.99? Dream on.) Value World, on the other hand, continues to have good prices on clothes, shoes, books and housewares. Also, the selection tends to be better (read: less picked-over by hipsters) than some of the local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. Our specific finds have included: a leather Prada skirt for $7, several pairs of nearly new Cole Haans and some Chanel flats ($5).

The missus disagrees, insisting that, look, Learning Express in Snider Plaza's probably more deserving. But here, we'll go against our better half's better judgment and proclaim this Preston Royal relative newcomer the best of 'em all, for a handful of reasons. Chief among them: Its shelves and aisles are cram-packed with all manner of kiddie whozits and whatsits from brain-teasers to board-games to ride-'ems to wear-its to make-'ems to break-'ems and everything in between and beyond. It reminds us of the original Puzzle Zoo in Santa Monica, not its more sterile NorthPark sibling: a toy store run by a proprietor without an internal editor, someone who sees a U.S.S. Enterprise replica and buys it not just because it'll sell, but because it'll look awesome on the shelf of warship replicas and other military items perched across the aisles from the latest and greatest in night-time reading situated across the aisle from the Paul Frank retro-Batman tees we'd like in our size, please? There's plenty available for the talented and gifted child whose brain always digs some fine tuning, but also loads of fun-and-family items as well, for when you just wanna play with the kiddo.

In all our days combing vintage racks across the continent, we've never had so much fun shopping than at Dolly Python, whether during regular hours or during one of the store's party/shopping events. Perhaps it's because owner Gretchen Bell has an awe-inspiring range of sizes and eras to wander through. She has a fantastic eye for wearable treasure, and unlike many other vintage-pickers, she buys from the public in addition to estate sales for steals. She'll tell you straight up if something looks weird, and she can pull together an outfit you never dreamed of but will love. The dresses are lovely and the T-shirts dandy, but what really makes Dolly Python a gem to shop in is the massive assortment of vintage cowboy boots. They go back decades, and most aren't worn out, just perfectly worn in. Check out the jewelry and handbags too. With 17 vendors (including Bruce and Julie Webb of Waxahachie's Webb Gallery), folk-artsy oddities abound. But save some serious time for trying on the boots and threads.

Courtesy of Forever Young

Over in Grand Prairie lies some mighty groovy competition to the oft-praised Good Records of Dallas. Forever Young Records stocks the largest selection of vinyl we've seen in Texas—from ABBA to Zappa and everything in between—as well as a stellar selection of CDs and cassette tapes. If you're into forgotten gems of the past, this is definitely the place. We've found plenty of titles we'd only read about before seeing them here. Sure, the old black platters can be pricey at times, but we're all about tangible gratification in this era of eBay and Amazon, especially when there are 80,000 LPs to flip through.

Granted, there are a few fun things you can do in the dark (e.g. hide-and-seek, hide the sausage, etc.). But for most day-to-day activities, you're gonna need light. And if you can't find a lamp/sconce/chandelier/light sculpture to suit you at Lights Fantastic, it's possible that you're legally blind. For the more conservative among us, there are classic lamps from Stiffel, gorgeous chandeliers from Schonbek, and enough Craftsman- and Tiffany-style fixtures to furnish every house in the M Streets. But it's contemporary lighting in which Lights Fantastic really shines (pun unapologetically intended). Groovy mid-century-type fixtures, bold steel and glass fixtures, cutting-edge LED lights: They're all here. And once you've selected your lamps, be sure to stock up on compact fluorescents, Verilux daylight bulbs, or even the bizarre, "as seen on TV" O-ZONELite (air purifier and light bulb in one!). With more than 1,500 fixtures on display, you're bound to find something to brighten your home.

Started by two local wine nerds, this brand-spankin'-new wine shop specializes in hard-to-find vino at reasonable prices, as well as boasting a slowly expanding online inventory for those of you who've "tasted" a little too much to leave your house and hit up a traditional liquor store. Looking for a 1985 Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon? How's about a 2001 Penfolds Grange? They've got all that stuff and more, and they'll bring it to your house! Not only do they deliver, they also offer two monthly wine club memberships for the aficionado in your life—delivering two bottles a month to your door for $49.99, or for those of you with friends and money, 12 bottles a month for $239.99. They say good wine gladdens a person's heart, but we say good wine delivered straight to your door gladdens harder.

The unassuming little shop on Lower Greenville stocks the edgiest casual threads from London, Milan, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam. On frequent buying trips abroad, Harry and Vicki DeMarco, who own this boutique, pick up hot new items in line with international fashion trends. At price points that don't bruise the budget (and you shouldn't miss the 60 percent off midsummer sale), the cute skinny jeans, mandala-emblazoned tees and nipped jackets have a right-off-the-runway look without that mass-produced sameness. You can order online from H.D.'s, too, with no extra charge for shipping.

If the catalogs and store racks are any indication, designers these days are touring the globe to gather inspiration. At this branch of the national women's clothing chain, each new season brings a slew of colorful new blouses, skirts, pants, dresses and knits with artistic influences from many cultures. Peasant-style shirts come in natural fabrics, many with delicate patterns and interesting trims. Skirts are even more intricate, like the summer's "Miroslav skirt" made of cotton poplin decorated with tasteful gingko leaves and an embroidered hummingbird. Youthful dresses are elegant, fun and flirty. And if you like comfy, wide-legged trousers, this is the place. We also like the handcrafted headbands, beaded jewelry and knit caps. And don't overlook the sale racks, a goldmine of still-fashionable bargains.

Located in the heart of the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff, Epiphany offers a funky yet elegant collection of clothing, jewelry, handbags and home décor. The colorful wardrobe pieces are a mix of boho and sophisticated styles. Check out the designer jeans, baby T's with the Epiphany logo and pretty Hanky Panky lingerie. The jewelry is affordable and fun, much of it handcrafted. Service is tops too. Try on racks of outfits without doing that awkward peek out of the dressing room. One of the sales staff will always be there to help just when you need it.

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