Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wells Union Antiques

The next stop on our July 4th Wells trek was Wells Union Antiques on Route 1 in Wells.  This is an interesting place and I really learned about a cool business concept here.  When pulling into the parking lot you are immediately struck by a row separate shops that are adjacent to each other – the exterior of each shop is unique but they also somehow remain cohesive in appearance.  Well, there is a very good reason for this – they are all “condos” that each proprietor owns but must play by the same association rules as their neighbors.  Great concept – individual shops gaining strength in numbers for the purpose of sharing advertising and building maintenance costs as well as appealing to a broad spectrum of folks with varied tastes/needs.  Broaden appeal and share overhead – great concept!
Wells Union Antiques
1755 Post Roat (Rt 1) Wells, ME
Cohesive look from a distance

Peggy Carboni's up close - very much
personalized to her shop's style
 The first shop we stopped in was Art Smith’s shop.  He had some really cool architectural salvage pieces and was doing some really refined repurposing of  salvage pieces.  We saw some phenomenal stuff here but let me tell you this is really a look for inspiration kind of place unless you have a fair budget to spend. 
This penguin was one of the more reasonably priced items at $110 - loved him!

If you are looking for spectacular eye catching architectural pieces he definitely has them.  Just inside the front door was a really awesome bicycle built for two that had just the right amount of aged patina on it to make it cool (but unrideable).  I absolutely fell in love with a carved wooden bear umbrella stand – he was adorable and a real conversation piece but a little out of my price range (aka several thousand dollars…really!).  Unfortunately we didn’t get a photo of him so just imagine the coolest carved bear holding a horizontal ring with holes in it to hold umbrella’s. 
The next shop in the line was Peggy Carboni Antiques.  Peggy was kind enough to share the information of this being a condo property.  We instantly bonded the second I entered her shop and immediately spotted the huge display case of rhinestone jewelry right at the front of her shop!  The contrast between Art & Peggy’s shop really speaks to the cool dynamic of Wells Union Antiques.  Where Art’s shop is very architectural (one might say almost masculine) Peggy’s was much more focused on that ubiquitous shabby chic cottage look.   While shabby chic is not particularly my decorating style, I certainly appreciated the all of the pretty things at Peggy Carboni’s.
Peggy's contribution to Shabby Chic

What a great way to display vintage linens!  Defintitely
brings that old mercantile feeling to the shop

These were so fun!  1950's
juice glasses with fun
flower graphics
The shop next to Peggy’s had some really great pieces – very traditional Maine antique pieces (the livable kind not the untouchable kind). 

Upon walking in the door the first thing we saw was this fabulous bank of vintage lockers painted a burnt sienna shade of red.  I could find a million (ok maybe just several hundred but you get the idea) things I could do with these in my house!
Check out the turn handles on these!
Wouldnt they be great storage for an
office - perhaps add shelves in each
There were a couple of additional shops that were not open the day we visited but if what we did see is any indication of what these shops might be hiding it will definitely be worth another stop.

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