America’s Best Independent Design Shops: Good Neighbor

The design shop-cum-cafe in Baltimore, Maryland, draws inspiration the owners' Indian and Egyptian heritages.
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Shawn Chopra and his wife, Anne Morgan, drew inspiration from their respective Indian and Egyptian heritages when they established Good Neighbor, a design shop-cum-cafe in Baltimore’s lively Hampden neighborhood. "The whole concept was like going to your neighbor’s home," Chopra says. "In both our cultures it’s common to welcome someone, give them something nice to eat, and make sure they have a nice chair to sit in."

Shawn Chopra (left) and Anne Morgan opened Good Neighbor in May 2020. The duo restored the former hardware store to maintain its original character, but added touches like acoustic cloud ceilings with caning inspired by rattan weavers in Chopra’s mom’s hometown of Chandigarh, India. 

In that accommodating spirit, Good Neighbor lets visitors test-drive its merchandise by offering an inexpensive menu of light provisions with international influences, served on stylish tableware available in the store. "Even if you can’t buy the fifty-dollar mug, you can still drink from it while you’re here," Morgan says. Customers can also browse the store’s rotating collection of ceramics and woodwork by Baltimore designers along with textiles, furniture, and housewares by national and global brands. 

Just outside, visitors can enjoy the store’s spacious deck and garden, where it regularly hosts community events. It was there last July that Chopra and Morgan held the first Good Neighbor Design Week, which brought together area residents and Baltimore designers like Michael E Haskins Jr. of Currency Studio. "There was this beautiful bridging of worlds," Chopra says. Next, the Good Neighbor owners are expanding on their vision, enlisting local architects and designers to create an eight-room guesthouse in the space above the shop.

Good Neighbor’s Regional Recommendations 

Arch Handle Mug by Pamela Zhang 

"I enjoy Zhang’s work for the playful forms and ergonomics," says Chopra. The RISD graduate’s colorful ceramics are sold at Good Neighbor.

Tilt Lamp by Hill Studio 

"Jesse Hill was a lead in-house furniture designer for Herman Miller," says Chopra. "He recently started a studio in Baltimore, where he makes his own line." The products include colorful lighting and chairs.

Lloyd Lounge Chair by Crump & Kwash 

"The Lloyd Lounge Chair is so thoughtful throughout its design," Chopra says. Stools and chairs by the Baltimore studio are on display and for sale at Good Neighbor. 

Blenheim Side Table by Area Fabrication 

Principal designer and fabricator Andy Karnes works with fine woods like white ash, white oak, cherry, and walnut to make midcentury-inspired stools, tables, and benches finished with low-VOC, hard wax oil.

Charcoal Vase by Personal Best Ceramics 

"Whitney Simpkins represents the best of Baltimore," says Chopra of the ceramicist. "We use her cups and plates for our cafe service."   

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