It says consignment but it sure doesn't look consignment.
The first time you walk into Great Finds & Design on York Road in Timonium, you're expecting to find stuff stacked in every corner, just like almost every other consignment shop you've been in.
But what you get instead is something that looks more like a designer's showroom -- a bright and airy living room with polished French antiques, immaculate pickled oak floors, pale pink walls, curtains at all the windows. Even the price tags are elegant -- printed store cards tied on with bows of green yarn.
And then there's Reggie: a little white Maltese curled up asleep in his wicker basket.
"He has all the customers trained," says Camille Quillen-Fulmer, co-owner of the shop with her sister, Dianne Doccolo. "When they come in, they immediately go to him and pet him."
Three floors of this Cape Cod cottage, which they renovated themselves last summer and opened as a shop last fall, are filled with furniture (including a number of painted pieces), rugs, decorative accessories, china and crystal, lamps, framed prints and paintings. Almost everything is arranged into vignettes so -- that customers can get an idea of how things might be used in their homes. Ms. Quillen-Fulmer designs the room settings, while Ms. Doccolo, who sanded and pickled the floors, has a talent for refinishing and reupholstery.
"She can do anything," her sister says. "I can get a creative idea and Dianne's able to execute it."
In the shop they have a Victorian beaver pelt top hat with a leather case, a French writing desk, a 1650 French display cabinet with marble top and mirrored interior, two wing chairs, a bird's-eye maple triple armoire, a Victorian golden oak dresser with mirror, French matted framed botanical prints, a needlepoint-covered ottoman, a waterfall breakfront, a Russian amber necklace and other vintage jewelry, two matching ladies' wing chairs, a Victorian tapestry-covered sofa and two ornate Victorian walnut side chairs.
The sisters do design consulting, helping people rearrange and rediscover things they already have, for $25 per hour. "Often people have things that they've lived with for a long time and they can't really see them in any other context."
They also keep a logbook of specific items that people -- including professional interior decorators -- might be looking for. "Though we may not have something in the store, oftentimes we'll run across it. We've been very lucky about being able to find things," she adds.
For this reason, they like to greet all of their customers and talk with them to try to get to know their tastes. But sometimes getting to know the customers has other results -- like Reggie.
"Two weeks ago a customer stopped in and said she was on her way to the Westminster Dog Show in New York," Ms. Quillen-Fulmer says. "I asked her if she bred dogs and she did. And the next thing I knew, that afternoon, I had a dog."
She pauses and then adds with a laugh, "Actually her husband came in later that afternoon and bought some things."
Great Finds & Design is located at 2350 York Road. There are entrances to the parking lot in the rear of the store from two side streets off York Road -- Washington Street to the south and Main Street to the north. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays. The telephone number is 561-9413.
Well-stocked consignment shop
offers a touch of elegance