Walking into Seattle’s beloved home goods boutique Red Ticking feels a bit like stumbling into a globetrotter’s cozy attic. On any given day at this Madison Valley spot, you never know what surprises you’ll find tucked away in the store’s vintage cabinets or laid out on perfectly weathered French farm tables. Inviting curious hands to explore, every square inch is packed with rare antiques and artisan wares from around the world, each lovingly handpicked by owner Pamela Robinson. “I love helping people find their favorite things,” Robinson says of the shop’s eclectic collection. “I’ve always had that nesting instinct, and I want to bring it to others so that they love their home as much as I love mine.”
The journey to Red Ticking proved a circuitous one for Robinson, who spent more than 20 years in fashion as a designer and merchandiser. Work meant regular trips to Paris and sideline adventures rambling through the city’s flea markets for rare vintage textiles. These prized fabrics became the source for the store’s original stock, as well as its name, due to her penchant for classic French ticking. “I have a real, undying passion for stripes,” confesses Robinson.
Since its brick-and-mortar debut in 2002, Red Ticking has retained the romance of Robinson’s years wandering through Paris and is stocked with gleaming Louis-Philippe mirrors, rattan bistro pieces and shelves filled with her signature curated fabrics. Over the years, the store has grown to showcase items from other destinations close to her heart, including heavy doses of New England charm. “I spent a lot of time in Montauk and Nantucket, so that coastal influence is a big part of the story too,” says Robinson. “Whether European or New England, the store is about bringing the East Coast to the West Coast. I feel very fortunate to have had the community in Seattle embrace my concept.”
Her sharp eye is so renowned that, besides sourcing pieces for her shop, she’ll track down requests for clients as well. After years sorting through dusty relics around the world, Robinson knows how to spot a diamond in the rough. Some vintage discoveries test the imagination, often bearing severe damage, but, “I have a really super visual sense when I find pieces,” she explains. “I know exactly the fabric it needs, and I know exactly how it’s going to look when it’s finished.” Whether antique or modern, though, her selection criteria remains the same. “It has to have real character and quality, and I have to love it,” she says. “I want things to be special, and I want you to love them and treasure them too.”