If it seems like we keep returning to a stretch of 14th Street between S and T streets, it's true: The neighborhood keeps morphing into one of the most happening places in town for home furnishings.
Add Vastu to the mix of shops that begins at Garden district, a city nursery, and ends at Muleh, a branch of the Bethesda store offering exotic wood and woven fiber furniture. It's handsomely installed in a former car dealership and onetime home of the Black Cat night club.
Co-owners Eric Kole and Jason Claire have gathered a welcoming collection of Ultrasuede sofas, brushed nickel tables, bamboo lamps, Mexican resiin vases and cork chairs from independent vendors.
Accessories include martini glasses with platinum overlays and silk and linen pillows. Sofas are priced from $1,800 for fabric to $4,000 for leather.
"We found that in Washington, if you wanted something unique and not common and something that did not come from a catalogue, there wasn't anywhere to shop," says Kole. "People in this neighborhood are fiercely independent and they don't want conventional stuff."
The name Vastu comes form the ancient Sanskrit philosophy that the placement of objects affects your state of mind. Had it with feng shui? Vastu stocks four books on vastu.
--Jura Koncius (May 2003)