Every nook and cranny at Jett Thompson’s fledgling Englewood antiques shop is chock-a-block filled with treasures that design cognoscenti can’t seem to live without. In fact, the eclectic and ever-changing mix of lighting, furniture, accessories, original art and ethnic handcrafts tends to be addictive.
“I only buy what I love; I buy from the gut,” Thompson explains while pointing out a pair of vintage consoles completely faced with whale bones. “They weren’t a cheap date. But I had to have them,” she quips. Thompson honed her sophisticated taste while working in the antiques and home accessories fields in Atlanta and North Carolina, where she also cultivated exclusive contacts accessible only to top stores and interior designers.
Combining her passions for travel and the decorative arts, Thompson peppers the store with hand-picked textiles and crafts purchased on myriad trips to Africa and Asia. “My wanderlust is perpetual—I’m always ready to go,” she confides.
Can’t live without: “Textiles—I love antique fabrics because they tell a story like actors in a play,” Thompson explains. Pillows made from old Suzani wedding fabrics from Uzbekistan ($750) are instant sellouts.
What this town needs:“Dearborn Street needs to be rediscovered as a destination for art, shopping and dining. We’re getting there,” she explains, pointing out a French bistro, a tapas bar and French Specimen domes ($975 to $1,450).
Conversation pieces Repurposed objects delight throughout the store: An old Indian bed becomes a coffee table, a gym floor resurfaces as a dining table and weathered vine balls are beguiling as one-off lamp bases ($475). Jett Thompson Antiques, 447 W. Dearborn St., Englewood, (941) 460-2777
Kimono Chairs created quite a buzz at the 2009 ICFF show in New York. Upholstered in the finest Nishijin silk used for traditional obis (the sashes that tie kimonos), the Kimono chaise (shown above) and Hakama chair with ottoman are crafted in the U.S.A. Through designers or www.kimononewyork.com
Double Take The newest addition to design star Michael Vanderbyl’s Archetype outdoor furniture collection for McGuire is so sophisticated, you’d expect to see it take center stage in the living room. The club chair combines latticed teak with foam seat and back. Baker, International Design Center, 10800 Corkscrew Road, Estero, (239) 992-9815
Sitting PrettySpoil them properly with KnollStudio’s new mid-century modern classics scaled for kids. Knoll offers the same iconic chairs by renowned designers from Mies to Bertoia, all customizable in finish, fabric or leather. Order a pint-sized Saarinen womb chair (from $2,380) at Home Resource, 741 Central Ave. (941) 366-6690.