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Saturday, June 16, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Window Shopping

A fresh look at Fremont

Festivities: The Summer Solstice Parade starts at noon today. The Fremont Fair is 10 a.m.-8 p.m. today and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. For details, see www.fremontfair.com or seattletimes.com/summerfun.

Traffic: For updates on construction and information for bicyclists and bus riders, see the Seattle DOT website.

For the past year, Fremont had a bit of a reputation as the place not to visit. With construction on the Fremont Bridge snarling traffic, some people crossed this eclectic neighborhood off their list of places to frequent.

"It's definitely affected our business quite a bit," said Shawn McKay, sales associate at Frank and Dunya, an eclectic home accessories and gift store on Fremont Avenue North.

But with all four lanes of the bridge opened shortly before Memorial Day weekend, the Interurban statue back on its corner greeting drivers and the outrageous annual Fremont Solstice Parade taking place today, business owners are celebrating the return of shoppers and parking spots.

And for those who haven't shopped Fremont since the $42 million bridge construction project began, now is a good time to reacquaint yourself, particularly with its abundance of home décor stores.

Here's a sampling of our favorites:

Capers

716 N. 34th St., Seattle
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays;
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays;
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.
206-545-7876

This spacious storefront close to the "Waiting for the Interurban" statue is a gold mine for furniture junkies. It boasts a huge showroom with sofas, coffee tables and chairs.

You can troll the floor for modern, high-quality furniture such as the compact and cozy Georgetown sectional ($3,232) or add some dimension to a living room with the contemporary Annie armless chair ($595.44) displayed in a piney green. Other furnishing options include a wide variety of leather ottomans, a colorful selection of pillows and, with the weather warming up, plenty of patio furniture.

Capers also carries tabletop choices such as a six-piece sushi dish set ($39.95) and textiles from brands like Le Jacquard Francais and Deborah Rhodes.

Edge of Glass

513 N. 36th St., Suite H, Seattle.
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays-Mondays or by appointment.
206-632-7807.
www.edgeofglass.com

Edge of Glass helps Fremont maintain its artistic credibility, with a working glass studio and a gallery displaying pieces made by local glass artisans.

The gallery features pieces made with glass techniques including slumped glass, blown glass and glass jewelry. Local artists often work at the store's studio, and you can buy some of their creations in the front gallery.

The glass options here include artistic pieces to hang on a wall, elegant vases or sconces that will glow at home. Pick out a platter as a gift or select a new decorative pitcher.

The gallery sells small pieces, like a glass starfish for $20, but also features larger works such as a table lamp with an orb-like shade by James Curtis for $2,500.

Frank and Dunya

3418 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle.
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays-Fridays,
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays.
206-547-6760

Frank and Dunya makes buying local easy — it's all the store carries.

The pleasant, homey shop features goods made by local artists and artisans. With mosaic mirrors, funky nightlights and even magnets made by local artists, it's ideal for gift shopping, but it also features affordable, local art for your own home.

Adorable pug portraits by Barbara Noonan (originals, $260-$400) pepper one wall, while a skeleton wearing a top hat (Sam Hamrick, $225) waves from another. Beautiful woven baskets ($165-$185) by artist Buck Owens were tucked underneath a table recently.

Bitters Co.

513A N. 36th St., Seattle
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays
noon-5 p.m. Sundays.
206-632-0886

www.bittersco.com

At Bitters Co., wood furniture handmade by one of the store owners is used to display eclectic wares collected from around the world. It's a calming antidote to the trendy clothing boutiques nearby.

Here, you can pick out a beautiful, rough-hewn wood dining table built by owner Amy Carson for $2,000 or blown glasses from Mexico for $14 each. You can find practical pieces, like polished metal bookends for $56, or indulge in the whimsical, such as decorative egg ceramics ($60).

The store also has an environmentally friendly bent, carrying mats and other goods made from recycled flip-flops, and Carson's furniture, which is built from reclaimed wood.

Vintage wares

Fremont hosts an abundance of funky stores that make it easy to go vintage. Our favorites are the midcentury modern-oriented Fremont Antique Mall (3419 Fremont Place N., 206-548-9140), and the quirky Deluxe Junk, (3518 Fremont Place N., 206-634-2733).

Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or ntsong@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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