An emerging crop of unusual design and home-furnishings shops is turning Santa Fe's eccentric Guadalupe District ― a neighborhood long embraced by locals as an unstuffy foil to the Plaza and Canyon Road ― into a shopping destination offering alternatives to the ubiquitous Santa Fe style.
Just a 10-minute stroll southwest of the Plaza, the Guadalupe (aka Railyard) District is mostly a haven of oddball boutiques and gift shops. But places like the Design Center, a tony antiques arcade housed in an art deco building that was formerly a Chevy dealership, are beginning to draw luminaries such as Tom Ford and Jane Fonda.
The center's most esteemed shop, Claiborne Gallery, long a leading source for high-end Latin American antiques, juxtaposes Old World finery with streamline moderne; an 18th-century sabina-wood table from Mexico sits beside an angular leather-and-iron desk, one of the many new pieces designed by owner Omer Claiborne.
Across the hall, Gloria List Gallery specializes in rare 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century devotional and folk art, chiefly from South America, Italy, Spain, and Mexico. And at Sparrow & Magpie Antiques, owner Julie Vaughan carries American antiques, folk art, and textiles. One of her most distinctive offerings ― a red-and-white Depression-era grain bin ― hails from northern New Mexico's San Luis Valley.