Friday, April 3, 2015


CUE:  Willie Nelson's, "On the Road Again." I've put more miles on my car hunting down cool finds in the last month than I have in the last year, but that's just how dedicated this designer is to adding unique, original elements to interiors.  I decided to start my OTF posts (which stands for ON THE FLY, a production term for quick, honest interviews) because as I hunt for cool pieces, I often pop into great little towns, eat in their restaurants and talk to the locals, so I thought I'd share those adventures with you from time to time (stay tuned for video I'll be adding of my OTF's soon). A few weeks ago I joined two good friends for some shopping in a great little antiques store in southwest New Hampshire called The Melamine Cup (  Located in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, the three-room store offers everything from vintage clothing to Eames chairs, retro clocks to Pyrex dishes from the sixties, all at incredibly reasonable prices.  The owners, Jim and Kari, work hard to keep a steady flow of inventory moving through the store (hence the lower prices), and if they don't have what you need, ask them to keep an eye out for you and they'll check back when they spot the perfect find.  I almost grabbed a few chairs for under $50/each I had planned on reupholstering for a client, but got sidetracked by the cool collection of barware and ice buckets.  Open Thursday-Sunday, the Melamine Cup is definitely worth popping into.  Per the owners suggestion, we headed to the Hometown Diner a few miles away for classic diner fare and service with a smile.  A short 37 mile drive west takes you over the Connecticut River and into Brattleboro, Vermont, a small college town with a rich artists community nestled in the hills of southern Vermont.  While there are many wonderful bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels in the area, I love camping at the Brattleboro KOA in the summertime where owner Beverly treats everyone like family (especially if you have a vintage camper). The Brattleboro KOA is one of the cleanest campgrounds I've ever seen and Beverly and her team make sure everyone has a grand time...and if you don't have a camper or tent, she has a few adorable cabins for rent too! Downtown Brattleboro is peppered with fabulous coffee shops, restaurants and antiques stores that could easily fill up your weekend, so next time you need an escape from the haste of your day, think about retreating to the splendor of New England and the southern hills of Vermont and New Hampshire!
Brattleboro is close to the capital cities of Albany, New York to the west and Hartford, Connecticut to the south.  Amtrak offers a train service from Washington DC, though New York's Penn Station to the northernmost part of Vermont (stopping in Brattleboro) aptly called "The Vermonter" offering one way fares from New York as low as $50.  Winter offers excellent nearby ski resorts, spring, summer and fall are perfect for hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts. If you are a camping enthusiast, contact the Brattleboro KOA by calling (802)254-5908.
As is the case with just about every antique expedition I head out on, I set out with a list of items I need and rarely find them.  Instead, I happen upon other treasures like the vintage barware I found at the Melamine Cup for a client in Manhattan, eighty year old blue-glass mason jars I turned into lights for an outdoor kitchen and Eames school chairs I bought in Brattleboro and shipped to San Diego for a mid-century city home.
The key to this great area is to allow yourself to check in and check-out, enjoy the incredible scenery, wonderful people, delicious food and fun shopping!