Every April, the design world gathers in Milan for the annual trade show, . But the city's design riches go far beyond the new. In addition to its renowned contemporary furniture firms and high-end stores, Milan is home to several lesser-known but fascinating shops that offer everything from marble busts to midcentury finds. They're emblematic of the city's uniquely stylish élan—and best of all, you don't have to be in the trade to plunder their treasures.
The beautiful windows of Raimondo Garau's chic space are a constantly rotating display of furniture gems that the amicable owner has found while scouring the corners of Italy and Northern Europe. Garau divides his spacious shop between the vintage and the modern: One half is an artfully curated mix of antiques (check in often, as they get snapped up quickly), while the other houses an eclectic selection of unusual contemporary brands such as , , YDF, and . Via Varese 20, 011-39-02-6599913;
Il Valore Aggiunto
For the last two decades, sisters Elena and Patrizia Sterzi have been amassing a trove of unique and unusual finds. With objects dating from the 1700s to the 1970s, the shop is a veritable history lesson in the decorative arts. It may offer as many treasures as decades, but a recurring element of chic unites the enterprise. Finding the place is not easy: The aqua-green walled oasis is hidden from the street behind a courtyard. But once discovered, the store presents a brash mix of vintage furniture, art, and fabrics. As an added bonus, the sisters are whizzes at custom-made furniture and interior design. Via Mameli 3, 011-39-02-744076;
An offshoot of the original Florentine boutique, Flair Milano is the brainchild of former fashion designer Gian Marco Venturi, who has a supreme eye for high style. Venturi has brought a sophisticated touch to his shop, which looks like the perfectly appointed, cozy-yet-elegant apartment you always wished you had. The well-edited selection—from 19th-century marble busts and 1940s French chairs to mod '70s Italian tables and new Flair-branded products—is in constant rotation, so it's worth frequent stop-bys to this favorite address of those in the know. Viale Regina Margherita 30, 011-39-02-55196038;