Paulette Pearson, Guest Contributor
Photos by Lena Marshall & Aaron Bleidt
Northwest Arkansas’s fine antique stores don’t just offer beautiful antiques and one-of-a-kind treasures – they’re treasures themselves. From the inside out, each sparkles with the distinctive style, expertise and vision of its owners, whose styles range from elegant French country to rustic and even shabby chic. Allow the owners to give you a lesson in history. Or, bring home your own bit of the past, whether it’s as show-stopping as a stately armoire or a pair of European castle doors, or as small as a porcelain figurine or silver trinket box. You’ll also soon see that buying authentic antiques doesn’t always mean breaking your budget – NWA’s antique stores have something at every price point. So, whether you’re re-decorating, looking for a particular piece, or shopping for that perfect gift, the hunt is over. There’s no need to search any farther than these exceptional stores…NWA’s antique shopping treasures.
French antiques are a family affair at French Metro, where owners Terry and Renée Hunt, along with son Alexander, display their family’s passion for French culture and fine art through the exquisite antiques they hand-select and import directly from France. A walk through this Dickson Street destination is reminiscent of a trip to the Louvre in Paris, albeit on a much smaller 7,000-square-foot scale. The store itself is a work of art, from the antiques and oil paintings the Hunts import to Renée’s philosophy in displaying them. “Negative space is necessary to view art,” Renée explains, referring to the space she leaves between her antiques to emphasize their silhouettes. She also considers shape, color and texture: “Wherever you turn in the store, you see a composition,” she says. Just as Renée’s fluent French has helped her forge “treasured friendships” in France crucial for acquiring rare antiques, Terry’s expert woodworking skills allow him to do on-site restoration work and “add his own loving touches.” Together, they provide loyal clients and new customers alike with authentic antiques—armoires, secretaries, buffets, desks, and much more—in supreme working condition. Don’t forget life’s simpler tasks either, urges Renée. “Why not treat yourself to a cup of tea every morning served from an 18th century porcelain tea cup?” she asks with a smile. Mirrors, clocks, vases and crystal chandeliers are just a few of the other small treasures available to make even everyday details truly special.