Shopping with the Lulas: La Di Da on North Main is ‘Martha Stewart heaven’

I found the “I’ve died and gone to Martha Stewart heaven” CUTEST place EVER! La Di Da is the name of the place at 1416 N. Main St. in the section of businesses right before you get to Auburn Street.

La Di Da, open since October 2005, was only open Saturdays for a while. But the store now carries regular store hours and a big slew of treasures from past and present. If you are into the Shabby Chic or English Cottage look, this is your icing on the cake, girlfriend. (Martha couldn’t have decorated it better herself.)

You will find Shabbied furniture, décor and things from days gone by that will remind you of your childhood. For instance, the most darling Pantaloon Pillow made out of an old pair of lace cotton pantaloons. This immediately brought back memories from my childhood (NOT THAT I AM OLD) in the 1970s when you were trying to look cool in your hip-hugger plaid bell-bottom pants, at the same time as wearing a pair of lace-endowed pair of frilly underwear that made you look like you had EXTRA cottage cheese on your butt and thighs. Oh, if Momma only knew the trauma I went through. Nonetheless, this pillow was adorable and would look quaint in a Victorian parlor.

La Di Da is set up to represent vignettes of different types of décor and eras of the product offering available. The store’s owner, Jeanine Dabson, said her store is constantly changing because of the turnover in inventory. She has rented out space to a few dealers, allowing different tastes and more selection to intertwine with the store’s flavor. The store is packed full of large furniture pieces that are so reasonably priced and in pristine condition that it made me want to run home and start re-decorating!

Visit the Grandma’s Kitchen section and find everything from old tin cookie cutters to a vast assortment of Little Red Riding Hood collectibles. The baby’s room has old and new items alike, which would make great shower or christening gifts, especially the darling baby jewelry. (I don’t even have kids, but I was tempted to buy it because it was so precious.)

La Di Da also carries many new items to add to the vintagey-boutique-ness of the store. Knee-high socks, ties, dahling pin-up cutie T-shirts and purses, because a woman can never have too many purses. No, really, you can’t—trust me, I have oodles.

What are the items in this store that this Lula must have? Well, purses, of course! The dahling pin-up messenger bags, the ever-so-deco smoking stand with a light-up base at $149 (even though I don’t smoke, I WANT IT) and the old Schwinn bicycle ($65) in the window (not that I would ride it, mind you, ’cause that would mean I would have to exercise, but it would look adorable in a French cottage garden).

La Di Da, at 1416 N. Main St., will be worth the trip away from East State Street. Don’t forget to park in the rear parking lot and look for the store’s colorful door. Walk inside, stop and chat with the counter cat (the stray who just showed up one day and took over as boss), and then let the shopping adventure begin!

La Di Da’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, or by appointment. Call 962-1234 for more information.

So, Dahlin‘s, until next time, charge it!—Lula Mae Cobb

Luan Dean and Lauretta Rundgren are co-owners of Lula’s Vintage Boutique, 221 E. State St., Rockford. Info: 962-LULA.

From the March 1-7, 2006, issue

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