Yvette Freeman wants everyone to live in well-designed spaces. That was one of her motivations behind opening Foundry, a new home-furnishings shop along the 14th and U street corridor that specializes in vintage, antique and repurposed goods.
Another reason she opened the shop was to share all the treasures she finds. Freeman, you see, is a “picker.”
“A picker is someone who sees the beauty in everything,” she says about her habit of rummaging through dumpsters, junk stores, and garage, estate and liquidation sales in search of dingy and discarded home goods that she can revive and resell.
“I’m drawn to the ugly duckling,” she says. “I look for stuff everywhere. There’s very little I throw out.”
That’s good news for her customers, who benefit from Freeman’s keen design eye and her ability to reinvent. She does all the painting, upholstering and pillow-making herself.
In a recent visit to her shop, we spotted a mid-century armchair upholstered in cowhide ($1,340), a vintage military toolbox ($48), a pair of industrial tables with the Union Jack painted on the tops ($550 each) and a Swedish-style upholstered linen headboard ($489).
The shop is a smartly styled blend of vintage, antique and new furniture and accessories. You’ll find traditional, modern and contemporary pieces mingling alongside the just plain quirky (an example: an antique horsehair duster with an ornate silver handle for $43).
The shop is only open Thursday though Sunday so Freeman can spend the rest of the week hunting, gathering and redecorating. She restocks and restyles the entire shop once a month so regular customers will always see something different.
For Freeman, finding new uses for old objects isn’t a trend; it’s a way to live.
“Things are prettier and more functional pre-1970,” she says. “Vintage pieces, if made well, will be around forever.”
Foundry is at 1522 U St. NW. Visit www.foundrybyfreeman.com.