Frances Brayshaw had a life-long dream of opening her own shop filled with beautiful objects. A few years ago, after various stints with other design shops and boutiques, she did just that in a tiny historic cottage on Maple Avenue in Vienna (VA). A crisp green-and-white striped banner proudly reads 'The Pear Tree Cottage', and a seasonal arrangement of pumpkins, kale, pansies, and assorted garden statuary lures passersby into to her little atelier where scented candles burn sweetly, and numerous lamps and mirrors provide beautiful illumination. Frances loves the Hollywood vibe of Kelly Wearstler, Trina Turk, and other West Coast designers who mine the 40's and 60's for inspiration. The shop's offerings include lots of silver-mirrored vases and lamps, lacquered boxes of horn and shagreen, crystal-decorated iron chandeliers, and Lucite tables. Another vibe that runs concurrently to the glam of old Hollywood, is the weathered and worn patina of nature. Sort of like peeking into Hollyhock, Ted Muehling, or John Derain's treasure trove, antique urns/stripped columns/cement cherubs/rusted garden armillary/gazing balls flirt among branches, feathers, shells and nests quite charmingly and make for a romantic pairing. The shop also carries case goods, notably bureaus and chests, as well as Sheraton/Chippendale inspired chairs, table linens, and tea/coffee paraphernalia for the discerning host/hostess.
Almost any and every item in the shop could be easily incorporated into a transitional or modern home, and this fluidity, as well as quite reasonable pricing, makes the inventory turn quite frequently. The two antique Chinese vases I coveted will probably be gone upon my return, so perhaps I should have taken advantage of a 24 hold policy, yet I forgot in a hurry to get home before the rains started. Nevertheless, upon each visit, something unique grabs my eye, and except for space limitations (and a tight budget), I could have taken everything home and loved it all. If looking for a unique item to update your current look, or as a special gift for a loved one, consider dropping into this charming little shop on the main street of Vienna (VA) at 130 Maple Avenue. You'll love the experience, as well as meeting the dynamic and charismatic owner/buyer/merchandiser/packer/seller/design whiz -- Frances (and her great staff), so call ahead for shop hours at 703 938 1331, or visit online at www.thepeartreecottage.com.
Please enjoy today's visual treat, and stay warm and dry during this weekend's unexpected rain and sleet.