Places That Inspire Us: Columbus

The state slogan “Ohio, The Heart of It All” gives a nod to Ohio’s location at the “heart” of multiple major Eastern and Midwestern cities. Ohio is also home to the most elected presidents. But perhaps we love Ohio most for being the state where our brand was founded and is currently headquartered. Paying homage to our home state and its capital – and the city that harbors Frontgate’s newest store – we break down some of our favorite places around Columbus.

Easton Town Center

It seems fitting to begin with highlights from one of the best retail experiences in the country: Easton Town Center. Known for its mixture of highly recognized brands, luxury retailers, fine dining and exceptional walkability, Easton provides the opportunity to visit a range of purveyors, from the esteemed Gucci to the revered Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (founded and headquartered in Columbus) in one fell swoop. Easton was the easy choice for Frontgate to expand its physical footprint with a 13,082 square foot retail experience. The store is a destination for elevated home furnishings with an in-house design studio crafted for expert designers to collaborate with customers. Directly next store you’ll find Ballard Designs, Frontgate’s sister brand.

Short North Arts District

Make sure to take a stroll through the Short North Arts District, which is chock-full of stunning shops, art galleries, exhibitions, street art, record shops, craft breweries and some of the best restaurants in the city. We reveled in our time exploring the local gems available in this part of town, known as the “art and soul” of Columbus. Rose Bredl Flowers & Garden is the most charming fresh flower shop with a garden-inspired experience. A few feet away, women’s fashions are on full display in the chic and eccentric boutique, Ladybird. In addition to the gorgeous assortment of clothing and accessories, the space is designed to feel playful against an urban backdrop – iron spiral staircase and all. Grab dinner and a cocktail at gastropub and oyster room, The Pearl. Design lovers will marvel at the brown leather details and the mosaic tiled floors – and everyone will love the famous cheeseburger on the menu! Stay at The Graduate Hotel, the quirky hotel chain that celebrates local history and school spirit. The Ohio State outpost of this college-themed hotel is a delight to the design enthusiast’s eye, with wallpaper featuring students spelling out O-H-I-O, and university band instruments hanging as an art exhibit in the lobby lounge.

Flower Child Vintage

If mid-century modern is your style, look no further than Flower Child Vintage to fulfill your dreams of scoring a retro Barcelona Chair and more. This two-story shop is so vast that you can walk through it over and over and still feel like you’ve only scratched the surface. It’s a one-stop destination to score a vintage peacoat, colorful Fiesta dishware, a new piece of art and an authentic Arco Lamp. We challenge you not to love the thrill of the hunt here.

German Village

A few blocks south of downtown Columbus lies the picturesque enclave that is German Village. Wander through the neighborhood with its famous cobblestone streets and 19th Century European-style brick buildings to admire every unique home. The neighborhood is also home to quaint restaurants and shops including the famed Book Loft, known for its more than 30 rooms filled with books. Down the street, we discovered Hausfrauhaven, the ultimate destination for wine lovers. Its shelves are full of rare and exquisite bottles that are perfect for adorning a home bar. Finally, enjoy the sights and tastes at The New York Times–ranked restaurant, Chapman’s Eat Market. The muted pastel hues, floral touches and the modern backdrop have transformed an already cozy restaurant into a downright charmer.

Kelton House & Topiary Park

Peek into the past with a tour of Columbus’s Victorian-era Kelton House Museum & Gardens. This historic home incorporates elements of Greek Revival and Italianate styles – and was part of the Underground Railroad. We reveled in the beauty of the handpainted China (created by the lady of the house herself) and the window cornices that include scraps of old furniture the Kelton family had discarded. These design details come by way of the last Kelton to inhabit the house, Grace, who was a Jackie Kennedy-hired interior designer for the White House. The gardens feature lattice work and trimmed hedges, making them an elegant backdrop for any modern-day event. Speaking of gardens, while in the East Town Street Historic District, be sure to visit the nearby Topiary Garden Park. The only park of its kind in the world, it’s a living recreation of Georges Seurat’s famous Post-Impressionist painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Beauty is abundant at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Explore indoor and outdoor gardens interspersed with Dale Chihuly’s one-of-a-kind glass blown artwork. Monthly events with whimsical themes add an extra layer of allure to an already enchanting locale.

Columbus Museum of Art + Columbus College of Art & Design

A trip to the Columbus Museum of Art should also be a part of your Columbus itinerary. The downtown museum collection spans American and European modern art, Impressionism, German Expressionism, Cubism, folk art, contemporary art, glass, photography and more. It’s situated on the famed Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) campus. CCAD brings an array of talent to Columbus in addition to providing free public programs to the central Ohio community. CCAD also offers art and design classes for adults and children as well as a plethora of community events such as the popular student art sale.

For more places that inspire us, check out our design lovers’ guide to Dallas.