A room vignette by My Sister’s Garage in Windham, Maine, offers ideas to borrow and treasures to buy.Photo Credit : Courtesy of My Sister’s Garage
There’s a quiet rebellion under way against fast furniture, one being waged with images that show how pretty antiques can be when they’re spiffed up and surrounded by contemporary accessories. Among those leading the charge are these New England home decor stores, whose vintage-meets-new aesthetic is so inviting, you’ll want to plan a redecorating road trip and give upcycled finds the chance at a new life in your home.
Sisters and business partners Sarah and Jenn Tringali unleash a frenzy on Facebook every Thursday. It isn’t just a few cutthroat regulars madly refreshing the page at 8:30 p.m. so they can put items on hold before in-person shoppers get a look on Friday and Saturday. Some followers click through photos for the therapeutic joy of imagining life in the cozy-chic, Maine-flavored room vignettes—each a soothing blend of hand-painted, restored vintage pieces and brand-new accents—that the sisters create.
From $5 tiny treasures to beds, dressers, and sofas that rarely cost more than $500, all stock is typically cleaned out by the time the Tringalis lock up their uncle’s antique farmhouse at 5 p.m. Saturday. Then, the cycle begins anew: rescuing furnishings from Maine homes, reimaging their look and their use, and resetting the entire store in a way that’s so enticing, customers sometimes purchase complete rooms. mysistersgarage.com
Multidealer antiques malls can feel chaotically cluttered, but here, it’s as if elves have rearranged heavy furniture and nostalgic bric-a-brac, added handcrafted touches, and then hidden in the shadows to observe shoppers’ glee. No elves, though: just the 70 select vendors inside this 9,000-square-foot store that moves roughly 10,000 vintage and artisan-made items each month, before they can gather any hint of dust. Located on the lower level of a revitalized 1860 mill in Worcester’s thriving Canal District, Crompton Collective reflects owner Amy Lynn Chase’s passion for supporting local creatives and elevating antiques dealing to an art form. Every old object styled to look newly on-trend is a reminder to think twice before landfilling relics from our well-made past. cromptoncollective.com
Come spring, Carolyn Leiter fills her heartwarming store with silk tulips and daffodils and cute-as-a-bunny accessories, but they’re not the reason you’ll wish you’d pulled up in a truck (if you didn’t). In an on-site workshop, Leiter’s husband, Richard, turns salvaged furniture and industrial castoffs into statement pieces that are colorful, fresh, and perfectly suited for your cottage or farmhouse, or even a contemporary space that’s crying out for a conversation piece. Weathered doors become coffee tables; china and curio cabinets are made over as eye-catching shelving units; dining tables are one-of-a-kind inventions destined to appear in generations of family photos. You’ll want to shop for pottery, New Hampshire–made soaps, and wall hangings, too. Pick up anything that captivates you immediately, because if you hesitate, you may find the item has found another home. revivedfurnitureandhomedecor.com
Savor the moment when you pull open the door of this strip-mall store and discover a sophisticated “found goods” emporium brimming with vintage furniture and unique homewares, all thoughtfully curated in earthy tones.
A sleek online presence and appearances at Brimfield shows have won owners Julie and Dave McNamara a following far beyond Massachusetts’s borders, and while they now have pickers feeding them the antique cabinets, tables, armoires, chests, and other hefty pieces for which they’re known, they still have to work to keep up with demand. Take inspiration from how they marry the old and the new, then gather up taper candles, turned wood bowls, New England artist prints, pillows, clever gifts, and quirky whatnots. You may need to spring for a well-traveled antique suitcase to cart it all home. vintageretriever.com
It’s your “dream house by the sea” Pinterest board in 3-D. Since 2016, cousins and longtime antiques collectors Maribeth Zoglio and Caitlin Greene have built a reputation for styling roomscapes that mix handmade and new elements with sturdy pieces from the past, freshly painted in coastal hues. Last fall they completed their most ambitious transformation yet, moving their shop from Main Street in East Greenwich to a long-abandoned and overgrown mid-1700s home on Route 1 in North Kingstown. Their labor of love has given their furnishings a refreshed historic backdrop, indoors and out. Whether you buy hand-poured candles, locally grown spring blooms, vintage art, woven goods, hand-painted words of wisdom, or an entire room, you’ll lend your living space a seaside-vacation vibe. thewhiteelephantri.com