Editors' picks for the best of shopping in Columbus

Editors' picks for the best of shopping in Columbus:

Mini Empire

Kris Konieczko and Chelsea Cabot

Where did these two come from? It seems like just yesterday we first heard someone say, "Have you been to Objects for the Home?" Or an exchange in which someone said, "Oh, I got it at Objects for the Home!" Vernacular (clothing, jewelry, gift and home items) and Cosecha (kitchen and cooking goodies) seemed to sprout up overnight. We still can't get enough of their sharp buying, impeccable merchandising and, well, just plain great taste. Watch out for them-because they're certainly not done building yet. objectsforthehome.com, shopvernacular.com, shopcosecha.com

Store for Japanophiles

J Avenue

That this store is tucked into a hard-to-find spot in the Kenny Centre (Tensuke Market is around the corner) only adds to its delight. For the diligent seeker, a small but fascinating taste of Japanese culture awaits inside. One wall contains a montage of cookware, food containers and utensils. In another section, browse beauty supplies like lotions and hair coloring. And in between, let your eyes feast on tea accessories, lucky cats, greeting cards and other slices of Japan. javenue.us

Sexy Barware

Al's Bar Supply

If we didn't shop at the Upper Arlington Whole Foods so much, we might never have found out about Al's Bar Supply (a sign is nailed to the back of a garage that faces the store's parking lot). And we might never have found the sexiest bottle opener in the world. Fashioned from brass in a simple crescent shape, it could easily be mistaken for a piece of jewelry or art. But all it wants to do is pop open a cold one for you. Now that is elegance. alsbarsupply.com

Window Displays

Tigertree

Co-owner Niki Quinn harnesses the power of a storefront window like no one else in Columbus. She doesn't just display items in it. She art directs that window. The display has been as simple as an exploding heart fashioned out of paper streamers. It's been as low-fi as Ziploc bags strung up, full of soil and seeds that gradually blossomed into a hanging garden. And it's been as technically adept as a few penguins taking slippery rides up and down a series of mechanized zig-zagging paths. In the Short North? Make a point of stopping by for a moment of wonder. shoptigertree.com

Space Upgrade

Wholly Craft

Much as we loved Wholly Craft and its sassy cat-girl mascot when they occupied a shabby storefront in Clintonville, we are positively smitten with the new bright, wide-open space that opened around this time last year. Owner Olivera Bratich's vision for a space to sell and teach all things hand-crafted is so much more fully realized in this storefront farther north, still in Clintonville. Just be ready to lighten your wallet: The eye-popping merchandising makes everything look irresistible. whollycraft.com