Art-Inspired Home Décor
Adorn your living space with handwrought pieces from Granite State artisans
Home décor is an integral but often overlooked aspect of daily life. The energy that our furniture, carpets, knickknacks and wall accoutrements transmit into our homes subconsciously affects our mental state and emotional palette. Including plants, handmade artwork and a profusion of other homey tchotchkes can make a living space feel both welcoming to visitors and uniquely yours. With many Granite State makers offering their own idiosyncratic take on interior decoration, there’s no better time to support local artisans and liven up your living space. Make your room a cozy piece of art with pieces from these New Hampshire artist-supporting shops.
Zach Johnsen, the Granite State artist and designer behind ZENVIRONMENTS Studio, founded this art-driven Littleton gift shop in March of 2021. Dedicated to the “woods and weird,” as their website says, Baba Yaga features an abundance of Johnsen’s original work alongside an eclectic array of apparel, prints, stickers, original art, pins, patches and more from a curated group of makers. Stepping inside their Main Street storefront is like jaunting through a psychedelic forest: wooden cut-outs of ghouls, mushrooms and color-dripped arboriculture adorn the walls; baubles, figurines and dioramas depicting wonky worlds fill nooks and crannies; odd lamps and furnishings — some of which aren’t for sale — populate shelves and floorspace. One gets the sense Johnsen opened the shop as a passion project to display and sell the art fueling his eccentric, hallucinatory tastes. Johnsen’s work for ZENVIRONMENTS Studio has graced the pages and ad campaigns of illustrious magazines and national companies — everywhere from Nike to Mountain Dew, the X Games to MTV, The New York Times Magazine to right here at New Hampshire Magazine.
Open your mind and decorate your house a little off the beaten path at Baba Yaga. Open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dragon’s Bite Handmade Retail
Dragon’s Bite Handmade Retail in Peterborough is essentially a permanent maker’s market, selling the work of over 30 New Hampshire artisans. The shop offers every kind of home accessory imaginable, including drinkware, glass art, cutting boards, crystals, papercraft, outdoor paraphernalia, candles, pillows, suncatchers, quilts, wind chimes and more. As their website states, owner Mandy Carter aims for craftspeople in the Monadnock region to “display, market and sell their products to their neighbors.” Dragon’s Bite features the kind of homespun décor you’d find at your grandma’s house — including cheeky kitchen towels, quippy fridge magnets and canvases with phrases like, “If you’re offended by the things I say, imagine what I hold back!” Dragon’s Bite Handmade Retail is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Prints, blankets, towels, mugs. Trays, hats, shirts, stickers. Original one-of-one art pieces and jigsaws from their own puzzle company. Brainstorm — the Dover-based married-couple art-duo Briana Feola and Jason Snyder — proffers an entire line of original products featuring their distinctive, simple flair. Whimsical doodles and bright colors dance within clean lines and controlled shades. Their style delineates nature, science and travel into state maps depicting cultural landmarks, décor and prints displaying mountains, oceans, skies and vegetation and apparel showcasing bubbly, cartoonish mascots brimming with personality. Brainstorm’s fingerprints can be found nationwide thanks to their impressive project list — ranging from brewery murals, wrapping paper patterns for Whole Foods Market and an entire suite of designs for legendary Chicago music festival Lollapalooza, to name a few.
You can buy their products direct from their website or at retailers in over 35 states, including 17 different New Hampshire shops. If their several-month-long pop-up at Garrison City Beerworks in Dover during 2022 is any indication, they’re also known to set up shop across the Granite State from time to time. Visit wearebrainstorm.com.
League of NH Craftsmen
For over 90 years, the nonprofit League of NH Craftsmen has promoted fine craft, supported craftspeople and enriched New Hampshire’s art scene. Visitors can shop in one of seven Fine Craft Galleries that feature handmade crafts and art and offer a number of educational programs, including classes, demonstrations and workshops open to people of all ages and skill levels.
Throughout its history, the League has helped craftspeople sell their work, hone their skills and generate income. More than 700 juried craftspeople produce contemporary and traditional craft in a wide range of media, from basket-making to pottery, printmaking to furniture making, crafting jewelry, quilts, photography, folk art and much more. The League is recognized today as one of the country’s foremost fine arts organizations, setting the standard for fine hand crafts valued across the globe — and made right here in New Hampshire.
Visit nhcrafts.org/gallery-locations for hours of operation and information on individual craftsmen at each location.