19 West Hargett Street, Raleigh
In recent years, the Triangle gift-store sector has boomed, with standbys like Chapel Hill’s Cameron’s or foodie emporium Southern Season augmented by humble weekend markets and high-end boutiques alike. No place splits the middle more capably than DECO Raleigh, a small downtown space with big ideas. Owner Pam Blondin has somehow shoved distinct atmospheres into her one corner, so that the crowded shelves and circuitous aisles suggest a thrift shop, while the goods themselves can make the place feel a touch fancy. And the vibe-heavy “parklet” (a few parking spaces, really, recast as a miniature public park) outside upholds Blondin’s devotion to upping her city’s idiosyncrasy. With trinkets devoted to weed, booze, sex, and snark, and T-shirts that speak to local grammar and graces, DECO has a highly developed sense of humor. But with its home furnishings and candles, perfumes and jewelry, it’s got a sense of decorum, too, suitable for Triangle-centric gifts, however naughty or nice.