As the Palm Beach season is revving up, designers who are working feverishly to complete projects in time for the official kick-off can still take advantage of the many varied and quirky shops which make up the West Palm Beach Antique Row association, along with a number of non-participating dealers who are located in the district. All are worth checking out.
Even if you might think that surfing the web on sites like 1stdibs will be much more time efficient, there is nothing like the experience of walking into shops, and entering into a conversation with the dealer to learn about each piece you find. In my opinion vintage and antique pieces should be viewed in person – touched, prodded and examined with a discerning eye. And as I’m finishing a large project this week in Palm Beach, I went with smart phone in hand to chronicle my daily finds.
For years I have taken advantage of this concentration of shops; finding period Continental furniture and lighting to classic mid-century finds – and everything decorative, kitsch, and in between. There are also a number of consignment shops which can prove worthwhile for the avid shopper.
The unofficial borders are South of Belvedere Road to Southern Boulevard along South Dixie Highway, but if you travel north, south or west, you will find other inspiring shops.
As I sneak out from the task of overseeing the final touches to the backgrounds, I am searching for that special quelque chose to close the deal. No matter how close we may seem to be, there is always one or two items to complete the scheme and give it the “wow” the room deserves. Is it the unique pair of stools for the Living Room, just the prettiest console for the entrance, or the chock-a-block, full of character work table for the kitchen?
There are over 40 shops, galleries and thrift shops – here is a short list of some of my favorite resources in West Palm Beach.
Butterfly works by Nadine Kalachnikoff, Lars’ wife
Lars Bolander has been a fixture in Palm Beach for many years, and has recently relocated his shop from the island to West Palm Beach to join his colleagues on Dixie Highway. He still specializes in Swedish design and antiques, but also offers a number of quality reproductions as it becomes more difficult to stock the shop with originals. His is a one stop shopping experience. You can buy all of the key pieces for a room and accessorize it from him too. Being an interior designer, he brings his style to fruition with ease.
A rare hand chair in white by Pedro Friedeberg at Galere
Galere is considered one of the leading dealers in 20th century decorative arts and design. Owners Kurt and Kim have a sharp focus on how they stock the shop, and have in the past been responsible for establishing certain period designer’s reputations. One of the specialties is their collection of Italian art glass. The inventory is carefully vetted and the shop is known for carrying classics; yet they surprise us from time to time with rare discoveries.
Run by husband and wife team John and Nancy, Wilson Antiques regularly has container shipments arriving from France and Italy throughout the season, with a treasure trove of softer, time-worn, and less formal Provincial antiques. In season you will find merchandise spilling out into the backyard where you can also find great garden and outdoor pieces as well. This is antique shopping like it used to be.
Jeffrey Marie Antiques
Jeffrey Marie Antiques is a longtime veteran of Antique Row. Another husband and wife team, Jeffrey and Elisa have been collecting objects of beauty and rarity from all over the world, and from all periods ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries. I always relish my time spent in their shop. The vibe is clearly reminiscent of old world collecting. If they had been around 90 years ago, Addison Mizner would have been their best client.
James and Jeffrey Antiques
Offering a blend of 18th and 19th century furniture, lighting, and accessories that are indicative of the classic “Palm Beach” look is James & Jeffrey Antiques. Old world with a bit of a twist. All the de riguer elements can be found here. The look is somewhat dainty and sweet but chic non-the-less.
The Elephant’s Foot
The Elephant’s Foot is a charming shop which has a definite European direction to its stock. With a renewed interest in chintz, this would be the perfect place to find good steadfast antiques to satisfy a more traditional style. Along with a very usable inventory of furniture, there are also a great many smalls ranging from porcelains, silver to exotic wares.
Gary Rubinstein Antiques
Gary Rubinstein Antiques has locations in West Palm Beach and in North Miami. Gary spreads his vast inventory from various periods and decorative styles with discernment towards each market. The West Palm Beach shop offers a more classical, yet with a slight edge, inventory of beautiful furniture and lighting catering to the “Palm Beach” look; while the other location is almost exclusively 20th century. The drive to North Miami is well worth the effort if what you are seeking is mid-century modern.
Well, I am here for another week and a half so I’ve only just begun my search. Stay tuned for more next week on where to shop here in Palm Beach and points south!
I have to say that it is so rewarding to get out from behind the desk, and to stop in and see what each dealer is showcasing. The allure of being in a shop and seeing all these great items is so much more inspiring. The nuance of the patina on a cabinet, the texture of a painted chair frame – isn’t always evident in photography, plus, the dealers always appreciate a visit from time to time – they get lonely!
An added perk is that you may find the unexpected lurking in the corner – not yet photographed and posted on the internet for sale. Many a fabulous find has been secured in just this way. Knowing that you got to see it first and can procure it before the world even knows it’s available to buy.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. As always, thanks for reading.
Written by Carl Lana