I've done the U Street Corridor before, but it's always en route to somewhere, or to pop into some specific place (usually after darting into Cakelove for a cupcake), or heading to the Black Cat when the shops are shuttered (and there was that one night in the basement at Cafe Saint-Ex...). But it's up the street from my new job, so I've taken a few lunch hour laps--and now I'm hooked.
My favorite place of them all: Reincarnations Furnishings. Packed to the gills with unique yet not completely off-the-wall pieces including couches, artwork, lighting, sculptures--one of those stores where you could picture at least 50 things you see in your house.
And that's even before you look at the price tags. It's SO reasonable. I saw almost this exact chandelier at Bowhe & Peare in Bethesda for around $700.
At Reincarnations: $225.
I spoke to the owner, Christopher Torres, who gave me a brief rundown about the place. They started out selling chiefly estate and consignment (hence the name) that they refurbished, but over the years, they've evolved into selling new pieces. Their business model is to rely on turnover, constantly getting new pieces in and selling as cheaply as they can. Best of all, it means that every time you go in there, you'll find something new.
Tip: the back wall in the basement is full of great bargain items!
Reincarnations Furnishings, 1401 14th Street NW, 202.319.1606; Open Tuesday-Sunday 11-8.