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Shopping’s First Resort

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Carolina Street
If you’re not paying attention, you might roll right past Carolina Street, the creamsicle orange shack on Del. 1 in Fenwick. You’ll be sorry you did. If the store’s charming exterior doesn’t hook you, the interior sure will. Antiques junkies, we’re talking to you. Presided over by a one-time high-end dealer with an eye for design, the store gives shoppers with a vintage jones reason to rejoice: well-chosen pieces of furniture, eclectic decor, chandeliers, lamps and unique art. Green thumbs will fit right in, too. Carolina Street sells darling garden swag, from modern to antique. Like its roadside sign proclaims, “Wonderful things for gardens, homes and best friends.” 503 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-2405
 
Manager Lisa Fulton and Roxy want you to make yourself at home at the J. Conn Scott Fine Furniture showroom in Rehoboth Beach. Photograph by Jared CastaldiJ. Conn Scott Fine Furniture
Step one foot into J. Conn Scott Fine Furniture and listen. Do you hear it? Save for tail of dog-in-residence Roxy thumping against the wooden floor, all is silent. Thus is the beauty of J. Conn. Walk around its masterful showrooms, take notes on what inspires you and soak up the eclectic vibe in peace. “We want our customers to look at their own pace,” says manager Lisa Fulton. J. Conn has everything to make your home shine. The Ralph Lauren Home Collection is casual elegance at its best. Much to its loyal clients’ delight, J. Conn switches its fine goods frequently. “We change the showroom every week, and we don’t order in bulk,” Fulton says. There are high-back chairs in blood-orange leather, show-stopping lilac pottery, hand-painted paisley lamps, and more. If you can dream it, J. Conn Scott can make it happen. 27 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3780
 
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The bedroom showroom at Bethany Resort Furnishings.Bethany Resort Furnishings
When it comes to looks being deceiving, Bethany Resorts Furnishings is as duplicitous as they come. From the road, it looks like another humdrum chain furniture store. But when you step inside, there’s a different story. If you like bold, look-at-me pieces, welcome home. Oversized stripes, patterns and whimsical beach-town vibes grace most of the furniture here. If an overstuffed chair with dancing seahorses isn’t your cup of tea, see the fabulous assortment of distressed wooden goods, from benches to brilliantly colored dressers to hope chests. And make sure you pop your head upstairs to check out the wall of work by local artists. The store offers design services such as mural painting and window treatments. Bethany Resort Furnishings also has a clearance outlet in Fenwick. Del. 1 and Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, 539-4000
 
Elegant Slumming
Bling. Bling. Bling. Do you hear that? No, it’s not proprietor Philip Livingston’s phone. It’s your brain registering all things sparkly and luxe at Elegant Slumming. “I refuse to buy mass-produced lines,” Livingston says. “That’s why our customers come here.” Slumming is just the right size to blend treats to decorate your home (think jewel-encrusted photo frames that look good enough to eat and limited-edition vintage-style books that are perfect for the coffee table) with treats to decorate you (think La Nouvelle Bague diamond-and-enamel cocktail rings and cufflinks with flair for the daring dude). The art is divine, the lighting options unlike anything in a department store. There’s not much in the way of furniture. Elegant Slumming is all about the big bangs that come in small packages. 33 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-5551

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Symmetry
Not everyone enjoys bold color on every wall. Those who prefer timeless decor would do well to stop in Symmetry. The name says it all. It’s clear from the store’s artistic, conceptualized displays that the guys behind the counter fully understand the importance of balance and harmony in a home. Earth tones are the name of the game, though a shopper will encounter classic black-and-white damask inspiration here and there. Though Symmetry offers a wide array of lighting, like candelabras and lamps, as well as serving dishes, its gift is providing the just-right pieces your home needs. Is your reclaimed farm wood table missing something that you can’t put your finger on? Let the folks at Symmetry find just the thing. 46 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 260-9741
 
Cottage
Have you ever wondered what 400 square feet of fabulous looks like? The answer lies on Second Street in Lewes. While you may have to jockey for elbow room in Cottage, it’s well worth the fight. Unexpected, budget-friendly home furnishings occupy every nook and cranny. The store even makes trash look pretty with damask-printed garbage bags. A piece to try is the doorknob hanging: a crystal doorknob fixture is attached to a polished piece of colored wood with a vintage keyhole shape. Hang it up for instant hipness. Unexpected finds, like vintage restored purses and art made of Scrabble tiles, make Cottage an eccentric treasure trove. 142 Second St., Lewes, 644-1544
 
Jeff West Home, Rehoboth BeachJeff West Home
Washington, D.C.-based designer Jeff West knows his stuff. Look no further than Jeff West Home for proof. There’s a little bit of everything, from tin magazine tubs to delicately painted china to pillows to antique lamps and furniture. The Dana Gibson pieces are a nod to tradition. The Tole Tea Caddy Lamp in particular is a conversation waiting to be had. West pays attention to the little details, and the little people: You’ll find all things for baby, from gifts to impeccably designed clothes to a soft pink chaise fit for a preschool princess. 413 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3635

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DCOR
Ed Albers and Michael Cusumano want to help you. That’s why DCOR is the opposite of stuffy, intimidating and overbearing. The two wanted to bring to Southern Delaware a marketplace not just for designers, but for anyone who wanted to be inspired by beautiful pieces and expert showrooms—and who wanted the most important thing when it comes to design: access. You’ll get all that and more at the Design Center of Rehoboth. Lighting options run the gamut, from clean and traditional to bold and risky. Even the pillow collection, with its vibrant coastal living influence, is a revelation. If you want to walk around and soak up the good vibes, do so. But if you want some hard-core instruction in areas such as space planning or outdoor living design, you can get that, too. In a nutshell: For every aspect of home decorating, DCOR is as solid a foundation as you’ll find. 112 Atlantic Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-9341
 
Mark Showell Interiors
Talk about elegance. If you’re in Mark Showell Interiors, one thing is for certain: You’re not interested in being just any beach house on the block. Tag team Mark Showell and Julie Metz run the interiors game, and their motto is “Something for everyone.” From whimsical to traditional to oh-my-gosh-that’s-just-the-bathroom opulence, the showroom is rich with nautical themes and vibrant palettes, and there is an assortment of antique artwork to set off any room. The store carries enough product to make everything in your house sing—even your silk floral arrangements, which are anchored in Showell’s favorite line of hand-made Italian pottery and sitting pretty on your Theodore Alexander cocktail table. 59 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-2272
 
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Mod Cottage, Rehoboth BeachMod Cottage
If you don’t leave Mod Cottage with at least a smile, you weren’t looking hard enough. Nestled in the Hotel Rehoboth, Mod Cottage is a fresh, urban take on home decor. Two lines worth the trip: Julia Knight and Hudson Beach Glass. For those high on class, Knight’s coastal living-inspired mother-of-pearl serving bowls are nothing less than art—functional, too. They’re aluminum (but we won’t tell if you won’t). The Hudson Beach Glass collection features vibrant, enigmatic pieces handcrafted in a renovated ice-house in the Hudson Valley. The wave bowls are a must-see. They flawlessly capture the look of cresting waves. Don’t leave yet, though. Take a peek at Jane Jenni’s tongue-in-chic ceramic personality mugs. There’s some magic in this cottage. All the things you see serve a purpose beyond mere beauty. 247A Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7277
 
Habersham Peddler
If you’ve got a soft spot for Colonial America, swing by Habersham Peddler. Go big with classic examples of early American furniture via museum-quality reproductions of 18th- and 19th-century pieces from the Josiah Avery line, or sample the Highland House Furniture collection, which offers everything from country French-inspired pieces to other traditional European stylings. Habersham is more than a furniture store. You’ll find hand-stitched table runners, holiday-themed decor, period lighting, folk art, glaze pottery—anything you need to live the high-country life. An in-store design consultant can advise shoppers on colors and fabrics. If you’re standing in Habersham, consider yourself lucky: It boasts one of the most complete collections of Colonial American furnishings and accessories on Delmarva. 139 Second St., Lewes, 645-8383
 
 

 

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