Having been in retail since her first job when she was 16 years old, Julie has had her hand in this particular business for seventeen years. Many people may remember it as Botanicals, but she felt the name was a bit vague, and as most people simply said, “I’m going to Julie’s,” after opening in her new location a year and a half ago, she streamlined the name to emphasize her focus: home and garden.
Incredibly aromatic Nest candles fill the whole of the tiny front room with a luxurious yet casual essence. Julie has made a conscious effort to not have commercial fixtures in her store, rather filling it with homey cabinets and hutches to display her goods that include Emma Bridgewater pottery from England. She travels extensively trying to find unique pieces such as hand-carved tree ornaments from Michigan, velvet pumpkins made by an artist in Wisconsin—and Julie personally sews all the pillows.
The enchanting back shed, which is off of her working area and up several steps, houses an antique French wine rack and an old wrought iron bed (covered with her pillows); a mirror and straw hat hanging on the walls; and orchids and potted plants covering every tabletop.
Julie has always had a special yen for topiary because she “loves shapes,” though she also carries seasonal plants and creates floral arrangements for special occasions (like small weddings). Incorporating her clients’ personalities is important, so if a customer wants a particular plant in a container, Julie will suggest they bring something (like a soup tureen) from home rather than use a run-of-the-mill stock container.
Julie O’Keefe’s Home & Garden is a tiny wonderland of unique gifts and garden artistry, set in a welcoming and casual, yet elegant, environment. She says her shop is “all the things that I enjoy.” You may very well enjoy it, too. Again and again.
Julie O’Keefe’s Home & Garden
1367 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Website: Julie O’Keefe Home and Garden