Best Of 2006

Best Home Store for When You've Overgrown Pier 1: Being: The Art of Living

Nothing against the Pier, but when you’re looking for furnishings a little less mass market and a lot more high style, it’s time to move to another state of Being. As epitomized by the casual élan of its dreadlocked furniture maestro Elle, Being (celebrating a fifth anniversary this year at Baywalk) is all about unpretentious but unmistakable chic. Nothing’s cheap, but nothing’s break-the-bank expensive either, and everything’s of good quality. Like an amazingly comfortable woven-leather wing chair, a classy update to the canvas butterfly chair that has long graced dorm rooms. Or the handsome “plinyl” (that’s polyester vinyl) place mats and area rugs from Chilewich. Or anything by master modern furniture mavens Mitchell Gold. Plus witty kids’ toys, Florida postcard coasters, unusual jewelry, candles in scents (and colors) like papaya and coconut, and enough throw pillows to smother every upholstered surface in your house — not that a Being customer would do anything that excessive. Baywalk, Second Avenue N. and Second Street N., St. Petersburg, 727-822-6252.