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Old is New Again

A closer look at a camera-ready antique shop

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There’s usually a big difference between the antiques you see in home design magazines and the ones you find in antique stores. In the magazines, everything is perfect: the pieces are in pristine condition, with no hint of their century or more of age, and are artfully arranged in beautiful, visually appealing ways. Great, you think. I’m going to go buy some antiques to add to my house. Then you get to the musty, cluttered antique stores to find too-expensive, battered pieces that need a lot of love before they’ll be magazine ready.

Jackie Coleman found the same thing. The only difference is, she and her husband Hank decided to do something about it. “We always liked driving around and going to antique stores,” she says. The two would find pieces with good bones, and refresh them as a hobby. “My husband is very talented and creative, and he loves dabbling in things like that.” Now, Jackie and Hank sell those refurbished antiques at their brand new East Bay Antiques in Warren. The store opened late last year, and offers a whole new approach to antiquing.

“We restyle, renew and refresh everything we sell,” Jackie says. “Hank paints them and gives them a new life with new upholstery.” As a result, everything inside East Bay Antiques looks camera (or home) ready. Beautiful high-backed chairs have new fabrics in both contemporary and traditional patterns. Tables have been retouched to have gleaming finishes. Oversized decorative giltedged mirrors sparkle on the walls. It’s easy to imagine the furniture in glossy, perfectly arranged photos. “That’s what happens when people walk in,” Jackie says. “This store has already taken care of all of the work. Even the insides of the drawers are done. It’s already taken care of. “You can put it right into your home.”

A family member who’s establishing herself as a designer merchandised the store into beautiful vignettes that are easy to imagine in your own home. As a result, the store is a great resource for interior designers as well as shoppers. “We want you to see how you’d display them in your own home,” Jackie says. “You can add our antiques to your own pieces – they complement a lot of different styles.”

In addition to furniture, East Bay Antiques also carries an extensive collection of vintage oil paintings, a passion of Hank’s. Jackie prefers more creature comforts. Her favorite item in the store? “Chairs. I really love these spider back chairs we have right now,” she gushes. “I saw them and right away I lit up. We’ve seen them since in Architectural Digest. We try to display things that we’d want to have in our own home." 5 Turner St., Warren. 401-245-5600