Anyone who has ever wandered around an antiques shop knows the feeling: You fall in love with an item, but you can’t quite figure out where it will fit into your home. Luckily, the proprietors of four local antiques shops can be matchmakers to help you find iconic pieces to help give character to your home.
Folk art and art pottery were all the rage back in 1996, when Stacy Belkind opened her Tarrytown shop with Marina Bigi. “But our tastes change,” explained Belkind, who continues to spearhead the business together with shop designer Eve Janos after Bigi retired four years ago. Now, the shop focuses on midcentury modern — an era that feels like the perfect match for Westchester. “I really fell in love with the clean lines,” Belkind says, “they grab me. Now I seek out the best examples.”
Examples of the midcentury modern antiques you’d find at Belkind Bigi are a butterfly chair designed with a leather sling over a black metal frame, available in a variety of styles; a Milo Baughman bench designed by the legendary modernist that features the comfort level midcentury modern is known for; geometric abstract paintings signed by contemporary artist Larry Bentley that can add a strong visual accent to pick up furniture, upholstery, rug and wall colors in a room; and stools by Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, famed for his bent wood furniture.
When Lisa Miller left a career designing children’s clothes in New York City for Westchester, she took the opportunity to dive deep into the antiques that she loves. An offshoot of Miller’s estate sale business Zach & Alix Company, The Cottage was originally based in South Salem until 2015 when the shop found its current space in Pound Ridge. “With a little bit of everything,” farmhouse antiques are Miller’s focus. “The pieces are so unique, they tell a story.” But what really draws Miller to the farmhouse feel are the weathered hues. “Color is what brings everything together in a home.”
The Cottage carries antiques like a marching band drum from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9274 chartered in 1947 and still active today; a wooden baker’s rack, with numbers still stenciled on the slats and solid shelves; a tall painter’s ladder with round rungs, a Bon Bon Bread advertising trunk; a narrow and tall 1920s painted blue cupboard with accordion doors and four shelves; and a mid-1880s painted hutch with plenty of character and distressed paint.
BRIGGS HOUSE ANTIQUES
Jennifer Lamb summarized the inventory that she collects with business partner Jennifer Valentine for Briggs House Antiques as primarily “big, brown beautiful furniture.” When they moved to their current location in 2016, the two had opportunity to fill 8,000 square feet in an industrial building with antiques. On annual trips to Europe, they visit trusted collectors who source throughout France and England. Quality furniture is their hallmark, “hopefully destined to become family heirlooms,” says Lamb. They admire personality in their pieces. “Character gives texture to a room,” explains Lamb, “We love knot holes and dings.”
Examples of the antiques found here include an 1850s fruitwood farm table from France with turned legs and two drawers; an 1875 French pine coffer that opens for roomy storage space; a cream-painted Regency chest circa 1830 with faux bamboo molding and splayed feet; a French Louis Philippe fruitwood console with a curved molding above a trio of drawers; and an 1880 etagere with bamboo details, lacquered shelves, and faux chinoiserie crown.
OLD NEW HOUSE
What began as an Etsy store operated out of their home in 2010 morphed into a brick and mortar presence when Melissa and Dave Dilmaghani found a studio in Katonah in 2015. When the retail gift shop next door decided to sell the following year, they snapped up the space to display their wares. Their family has been in the rug business for five generations. Offerings at Old New House include Turkish and Persian rugs as well as West African tribal objects.
You might find a colorful, hand-knotted Persian Kurdish Hamadan rug circa 1930s with a flamboyant Herati motif; West African hand carved wooden bowls (approximately 10-12 inches in diameter or larger) and wooden pitchers circa 1950s or older; circa mid-1900s or older, small African bronze animal sculptures primarily from the Bobo tribe standing 2 ½ inches tall; and a long 63-inch bench covered with Khotan rug fragment from East Turkestan circa 1930s on a wooden base with ebony stain.