Photos: Mike Selsky
Words: Tiffany Chan

The Arts District has all the elements of LA easy living. Sure, it isn't beachside. But the sunshine-laden sidewalks, huge murals, and cute dogs are some pretty solid signs that you should check out this urban destination. Ultimately what sets this borough apart from the rest of LA is its simple design aesthetic among the locals. The storefronts and restaurants are diverse in point of view, but somehow have an overarching theme of simplicity. And since we can't seem to mind our own business, we're popping into five different storefronts for a chat this week. You're welcome.

Poketo is one of the earliest establishments on the block, with roots dating back to 2003. They're known for carrying a mix of stationery and lifestyle goods in colors and designs that are unbelievably clean, minimal, and contemporary. Though they've been around for a while, what they do never gets old. In fact, that probably gives them a wizard-status mastery over the art of keeping it fresh because their innovation only seems to get more interesting as the years go by. They're one of the earliest shops in my memory who set a precedent of what it takes to envision retail as more than just that. As an example, you can geek out over their workshops on Japanese bookbinding or attend talks with their roster of cool collaborators (hey Will Bryant!). Long live Poketo. Oh, and go check out the installation that they have going on in store right now — it's not every day that you get to see a tangle of plants and chairs happily defying gravity.