With four mattress stores, Vienna might be Washington’s most genuine bedroom community. But Vienna is far from a sleepy suburb. A fierce community spirit supports a small but quaint historic center and a growing number of home and design sources.
To get to Vienna from Washington, you first crawl on Route 123 past retail monolith Tysons Corner and all the surrounding development. A couple of miles later, trees appear and you’re on Maple Avenue, where typical suburban shopping centers with national chain stores are mixed with small businesses such as orchid boutiques and spice shops. For a dose of charm, there’s historic Church Street a block away. A walking and biking trail runs through it. Shop for retro rattan chairs or Niermann Weeks chandeliers, drop off an ottoman or lamp you’ve been meaning to unload at one of several consignment places. There’s a town green with benches where you can sit and check your e-mail or have an ice cream.
Vienna has a number of long-standing home-related businesses. Got a broken clock? The Clock Shop (109 Church St. NW) has been providing repair and restoration of fine clocks for about 40 years. Love lavish silk flower arrangements, Bergère chairs and gilded cheese domes? For more than 30 years, Posh (bigger, posher location at 419 Maple Ave. E and original at 200 Dominion Rd. NE) has sold furnishings and design services.
Here’s news on another local favorite: Pear Tree Cottage (130 Maple Ave. E) has been a go-to shop for years for vintage and new home furnishings and garden accessories. The shop has been closed for remodeling since May 1, but Jennie Latham, the former manager and new owner, is restocking and will reopen by the end of June.
Sanctuary (109 Church St. NE) Urns of lush flowers and plants and an open door welcome shoppers to Sanctuary, a high-style interior design shop and studio known for its personal service. Owner and designer Hillary Staats travels the world in search of style trends and creates an ambiance in her small shop that is both comfortable and beautiful. You’ll find things such as an old Turkish rug from the Grand Bazaar dipped in dye for a new look, glam lamps from Arteriors and inlaid-bone chests from India. She has lots of fabric and wallpaper samples to share.
Valerianne (211 Mill St. NE) Aimee Wedlake Lange brought high-end bed and bath linens and accessories to Vienna in 2008. In 2012, she moved to a new shop nearby. Her specialty is mixing and matching bedding from many designers and weaving textures and colors to create unique combinations. Watercolors of feathers, iron blanket stands and upholstered headboards are some of her wares. Pillows range from $195 to $475. The shop has also added salvaged and vintage furniture and accessories. Chat with Lange and Jura Koncius for our weekly online Q&A on decorating and household advice. Submit questions here.
Kiln & Co. (132 Church St. NW) This cute shop takes the paint-your-own-pottery craze to another level. The well-organized store, which opened a year ago, has just expanded and added more classes for all ages. Owner Sarah Selvaraj has lots of different designs — platters, noodle bowls, mugs and more — to paint, and she provides pottery wheels for you to create your own. There is more: pottery summer camp, bridal showers and birthday parties. A date-night option for couples is called Cork and Clay: Bring your own wine and make your own pottery. Selvaraj says some couples have been inspired to sign up after seeing the Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze pottery wheel scene in “Ghost.”
ANTIQUES, VINTAGE & CONSIGNMENT:
Church Street Antiques (131 Church St. NW) This antiques and vintage shop opened in September in a 100-year-old house. On a recent visit, I spotted a romantic lace tablecloth for $75, a $245 Virginia duck decoy, a pile of $9 Civil War bullets from Winchester and a 1920s vintage tennis racket for $95. Repurposed pieces are a specialty, including wall hooks made of antique doorknobs and violins turned into lamps.
Consignment Boutique (141-A Church St. NW)
This place has been around for 25 years and has mostly clothing but also a section of home items. The store takes consignments on housewares, Depression glass, needlepoint pillows, small pieces of furniture, vases, antique china, collectibles, art and more. You never know what you will find; merchandise changes daily. To consign, call for an appointment; walk-in consignments are taken some days.
Just Like New (145 Church St. NW, Suite 200) This is a family-owned consignment business and a fixture in town, open since 1973. Jewelry and clothing take up most of the store, but there are home furnishings as well, mostly upscale tableware and accessories and very small pieces of furniture. I saw an $89 framed gilt mirror, $79 William Yeoward glasses, a $395 Herend lamp and a $30 retro fondue set. Consignments are taken by appointment, but you can usually get one the same day.
Refind (101 Church St. NW) Carey Williams opened this shop in 2009 to sell consignment furniture and home accessories. She decided to update the mix with new affordable accessories and gifts, things such as $11 garden stake candles and $22 red-and-white burlap storage buckets. Recently, I saw a $142 vintage rattan bar cart, a previously owned lobster platter and dish set for $68, and a vintage red metal barbecue tray for $24. Consignments are by appointment Tuesday through Friday.
Tuesday Morning (136 Maple Ave. W) This national retail chain (there are more than 800 locations) specializes in brand-name and designer closeouts, including lots of home items. You’ll find neatly organized aisles for linens, small pieces of furniture, housewares, kitchen accessories and seasonal items. I saw upscale brands such as Peacock Alley and Sferra in the linen department. There were attractive $11.99 bath sheets and $44.99 Lenox crystal cake stands. Confession: I bought a 14-cup Cuisinart coffeemaker for $27.99. Why is it called Tuesday Morning? Apparently, the founder believed that Tuesday was the first positive day of the week.
GRAB A BITE
In an unassuming retro building, Maple Ave Restaurant (147 Maple Ave. W) dishes up delicious big and small Asian/French plates of Thai okra and fried green tomatoes. (Make reservations, even for lunch.) The tiny Sushi Yoshi (101 Church St. NW) has a loyal following, and there’s often a line when it opens its doors for lunch.
Chat Thursday at 11 a.m. Aimee Wedlake Lange of bed-and-bath shop Valerianne joins staff writer Jura Koncius for our weekly online Q&A on decorating and household advice. Submit questions at washingtonpost.com/home .
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