Shop Visit: One Kings Lane

March 1, 2020

Text by Erika Ayn Finch

We’ve all read the headlines about the demise of the traditional brick-and-mortar business model in favor of online shopping, but then a brand like One Kings Lane (OKL) comes along. In 2009, when anxiety-inducing online flash sales were all the rage, One Kings Lane jumped into the game. The site offered timed sales on deeply discounted luxury home accessories with the intent of “democratizing design,” says Debbie Propst, OKL’s president since 2016.

The company developed a passionate customer base, which led it to evolve into a more constant resource. In 2015, OKL unveiled its own brand of home goods and began offering design services from its New York City offices. In 2016, armed with a slew of market data on where its most loyal fans resided, the brand opened its first physical shop in Southampton on Long Island. A SoHo boutique followed in November 2018. Finally, Boston got in on the act last October when the company opened a store in the city’s Fort Point neighborhood.

In that 3,500-square-foot space, built as a warehouse by the Boston Wharf Company in 1907, shoppers will find a select offering of the 80,000-plus items offered on the OKL website. Each piece has been curated for the neighborhood and the season. There’s also an in-house designer available by appointment and a collaboration with U.K. kitchen makers Plain English. (OKL has a to-the-trade program, too.) It all translates into a homey space where animal-print rugs from Stark Studio Rugs happily coexist with Kim Salmela chairs, lighting fixtures from Visual Comfort, and a variety of accent pieces.

Propst, who’s originally from Scotland, says it’s been a joy to get to know the Boston community, especially the bustling Seaport district with its influx of new homeowners. “I think people today decorate their homes like they think about their wardrobes,” she says. “There are pieces you invest in because you know you will cherish them forever, and there are pieces you purchase at a more accessible price. It’s important that One Kings Lane carry that breadth of style and offer the most quality possible at each price point.”

Editors note: The One Kings Lane shop in Boston has closed, but you can still shop online at One Kings Lane

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