A tour of Canal Street and the South End, where decorators from near and far come to score precious finds
John Street Antiques: Japanese Awaji tea sets circa 1910
The South End has long been known as a go-to design district. Its old warehouses are filled with almost anything you can think of—Art Deco Murano glass jars, eighteenth-century Italian gilded chairs, even a Tibetan temple wall. The wealth of objects draws the trade, but the rest of us home-design obsessives who can’t tell the difference between a Canterbury and a Whatnot will find plenty to appeal to our relaxed, sophisticated style. Make a day of it. All vendors are worth a pop-in, but here are three to get you started.
What are the hot trends? The staff can’t tell you because many customers are movie set designers. The 15,000 square-foot warehouse covers the whole spectrum of antiques, offering wholesale prices to the trade and people like you and me. We can feel at home in the low-key, friendly, non-stuffy but definitely stuffed-with-stuff space. We got this out of them: mid-century modern style is definitely going strong.
50 John St., 203-324-4677
Browsing? You can start at home with Harbor View Antiques’ comprehensive online inventory, if, say, you’re trying to find a steel-brushed mid-century modern desk. And if they don’t have it, they’ll find something just like it but it’s much more fun to go there. Harbor View offers more than 20,000 high-end antiques— furniture, jewelry, art, accessories and more—from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries and from around the world.
101 Jefferson St., 203-325-8070
Old, dog-eared paperbacks not cutting it anymore? Owner and designer Mari Ann Maher can outfit a library with antique or new books on any topic. That’s just one service (along with upholstery and furniture restoration) offered in this 23,000-square-foot showroom, where sixty design-minded vendors have set up vignettes showcasing the “chic to unique” objects.
69 Jefferson St., 203-327-6022