I am a frequent visitor to the charming village of New Preston, Connecticut, a town filled with home and antiques shops not far from our Waterworks offices. I cherish my conversations with the individual shop owners, their direct engagement with clients and knowledge of their personal preferences, and the unusual merchandise. These and many other factors create a truly memorable shopping experience. Of course, it helps that the village has wonderful well-maintained 19th-century buildings and a fabulous waterfall that provides an outstanding background.

I usually write about New Preston shops around Christmas because each one creates an extravaganza of gift opportunities. However, when I was at Pergola on a recent summer Sunday the shop looked so visually arresting I was ready to settle in for the day. I wanted the time to look at each and every item, one more unique than the next. (My dog Lulu was in seventh heaven because her favorite box of treats was behind the counter.)

The shop is owned by David Whitman and Peter Stiglin, who told me they continually seek new sources of ideas and items, from a speciality greenhouse in Massachusetts to the magical Kyoto flea markets. I didn’t even know Kyoto had flea markets, but their annual trips to Japan result in a soulful layer of unusual finds from this culturally rich country with a deep reverence for the natural world. Whitman and Stiglin are curious; from a walk in the woods to a chance encounter in New York, their antennae are always up and they bring their unusual finds to the shop for all of us to discover.

By way of description, I can tell you this is not your typical garden-variety shop. Pergola blends an inspired selection of weathered antiques for inside and out, books and art celebrating flora and fauna, elegant topiaries, and always, a bit of garden whimsy.

Pergola Home
7 East Shore Road
New Preston, CT

visit new preston online: newprestonct.com


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