The holidays are quickly approaching and a great way to support the community is to buy from local businesses. I recently stopped by a brand-new business in Olympia called Sound and Vision Living. Described on their website as “embodying the fun and funky spirit of downtown,” Sound and Vision Living is the perfect place to visit when searching for a unique gift this holiday season. The chic and airy space located in uptown Olympia is filled with new and vintage mid-century pieces along with locally crafted art and décor.

Sound and Living candles
Local candlemakers and other artisans are featured at Nicole Durden’s unique boutique. Photo courtesy: Nicole Durden

Owner Nicole Durden is an Interior Designer who has spent the last 15 years working in the construction industry in Sacramento, California. She and her husband Dan discovered Olympia during a weekend getaway in the Pacific Northwest. They had been discussing moving back to the area when they visited Olympia and knew immediately that it was the right city for them to begin a new adventure. “The first time we walked around Olympia, we knew it was the right size city and had the vibe that we were looking for,” says Nicole Durden. They sold their home in Sacramento and moved to Olympia, purchasing a home in the San Francisco street neighborhood. “We moved households twice, completely remodeled our new home and opened a business all in the span of eight months,” explains Nicole. I would have guessed they had been here for years based on the calm esthetic in the boutique and their good-natured joking during my visit.

Nicole is highly trained in choosing flooring, cabinetry, paint colors and all other building materials that go into the design of a remodel or new build. She is excited to translate that experience into helping local residents make good design choices in their own homes. I remarked that a visitor to the shop would likely benefit from some free design advice while shopping for décor items. I have been lost in the home section of many big box stores needing some design direction and look forward to visiting Nicole the next time I am looking to add something to my home décor.

The average person may not think that their home budget supports the advice of an interior designer, but as Dan points out, “you can spend thousands of dollars on tile and labor, it makes sense to spend a couple hundred making sure that you are choosing the best tile that will add to the enjoyment and value of your home.” Nicole’s design services range from just a few hours to help choose paint colors or furniture, to a complete house build or remodel.

The boutique itself is reflective of Nicole’s personal design esthetic, self-described as a cross between Mid-Century and Boho. A visit to Sound and Vision Living is a treat for the senses filled with handmade fabric wall hangings, pottery and naturally scented candles. Several local artisans are featured in the boutique, such as art by Thomas Boatright and jewelry made by another local artist known as Silent Goddess. Nicole and Dan have worked hard to fill the boutique with beautiful quality pieces, while keeping the price range attainable for shoppers.

Located on 4th Avenue just across from the food trucks makes it a convenient spot to stop off on your way in or out of town. The neighborhood just east of Olympia City Hall has become a design center with nearby businesses like Courtyard Antiques and Peacock Vintage. “Mary Corsica of Courtyard has been very helpful in welcoming us to the neighborhood along with Jackie of Peacock Vintage,” shares Nicole. “We have sent each other customers and look forward to further collaboration.”

On the day I stopped in, the Olympia Downtown Ambassadors were paying a visit to Nicole and Dan to share information with them about Twinkle Fest. Twinkle Fest is a friendly competition between local businesses that will ensure a very festive downtown atmosphere for visitors.

Sound and Vision Living
Sound and Living Vision features Mid-Century and Boho furniture and décor. Photo courtesy: Nicole Durden

Nicole participated in their first Third Thursday and looks forward to future events. Third Thursday, which is sponsored by the Olympia Downtown Alliance, provides unique in-store promotions, sales, book signings, music and more. “We are really excited about the upcoming holiday season and more people discovering us,” says Nicole.

Sound Vision and Living stays open until 7:00 p.m. each evening except Sunday so that squeezing in some browsing before or after dinner in downtown Olympia is a convenient option for busy shoppers. For more information visit the Sound Vison and Living website.

Sound Vision and Living
721 4th Ave E., Olympia
Monday – Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


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