It’s been a long time since homespun equaled homely, a fact driven home by country-cool Old Town Alexandria’s Red Barn Mercantile’s chic new store, opening Saturday at 1117 King St. (703-838-0355). Expect the shop’s trademark blend of rustic (Jamie Young’s leather-base lamp, shown, $490) and modern (Common Good’s eco cleaners). Sisal floors and exposed brick walls lend the spot hip charm.
The Joy of Soy
Rolling your own sushi sounds like a good way to get rice in your cuticles or all over your cucina. But before you throw in the towel on Japanese-inspired DIY dining, try a grow-your-own edamame kit from Table Top ($16, Tabletop, 1608 20 St. NW; 202-387-7117). Plant the seeds in a ceramic planting pot modeled after a glass of beer and serve the full-size pods in the wicker basket included.
Yacht to Be Here
That nantucket sailboat or Montauk manse is probably a pipe dream. But Sail to Sable’s preppy, pretty tunics ($198 each) will make you look to-the-aft-deck-born with their combos of perky trims (rickrack, chain stitch) and poppy colors or prints (pink stripes, zebra). They float into Urban Chic’s (Urbanchiconline.com) Georgetown and Bethesda shops for a trunk show through Wednesday.
It’s the USBuzz
For those last-minute meetings that pop up after you decided to skimp on your morning routine, ShaveTech made an electric razor ($40, Shavetech.com) with a USB charger, so you can keep it on your desk and keep co-workers buzzing about what the iPhone look-alike is as it charges. The unit proves no Norelco — but it delivers a decent trim on the fly, will buzz for 30 minutes and takes four hours to charge. Buy two, and keep one in your carry-on so you have one fewer cord to worry about when traveling.
Tie Is on Your Side
Drug-store hair ties leave a lot to be desired: They’re tight on your wrist, crimp your hair and get lost easier than you can say “I’m chopping all this frizz off.” Enter Indie Girl Hair Ties, available at Hysteria ($7, 125 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria; 703-548-1615). They’re wide and stretchy enough to fix the knotty situation.