I love Washington, DC.  It has great museums, lovely neighborhoods,very good restaurants, and in Georgetown especially, individually owned shops that express the point of view of the owner. One of my favorites is the antiques shop of Marston Luce. The moment you look in the window you are captivated. There is always a wonderful display of well worn furniture with soft patina, garden ornaments often with moss growing on them and beautiful decorative objects.  Up the steps and open the door and you are transported to the South of France.

On my most recent visit, I walked into the warm and sunny space and saw countless beautiful items that could easily change a bath from strictly utilitarian to a space that is stylish and inviting. Ceramic bowls, architectural ornaments, old glass containers, diminutive chairs and vintage lighting will cast their sophisticated authenticity on any wall or shelf for dramatic effect.

The general vocabulary of Marston’s inventory is traditional. However, taken out of the shop and isolated in clean and even modern interiors, each individual item can add a splash of color, a reference to the past, a practical resting place for modern amenities, or merely a quirky personal statement.

Marston opened his shop about 30 years ago.  He shared a passion with his late wife Julie of all things architectural and antique, especially American folk art. Later their love turned to all things French; glassware, pottery, and baskets and other art  forms for both the house and garden. Of course, that led to the purchase of a country house in the Perigord to facilitate their travels throughout France and to immerse themselves in French culture. They wanted to be able to take off on a moments notice to travel to find wonderful objects to send back to the shop in Georgetown.

In the past 10 years or so there has been a proliferation of antiques shops and antiques centers where small booths showcase a huge array of objects and furniture, some wonderful and some merely old. It is always fun to test yourself by trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.  On the other hand, it is both stimulating and refreshing to enter a shop like Marston’s and find 20 items you would gladly take home. Just one or two small accessories can change a room from bland to beautiful  Try it yourself and let me know how you have made out.

To see more of Marston’s inventory check out his new web site at www.marstonluce.com.

I am going to be in SanFrancisco next week for a quick R&R in Napa and the Fall Antiques Show.  Peter Sallick will write for the blog while I am away.


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