As the owner of The Summer House in New Canaan, Margaret Schwartz handpicks great finds, including antique treasures. Her work was recently recognized by Antiques Young Guns USA, which named Schwartz the inaugural Antiques Young Gun of the Year. Here, the design specialist shares a few of her insights.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN ANTIQUES?
I always wanted to have a mix in my shop, but wasn’t quite sure I had the background for it. Yet I put aside my doubts and invested more in antiques for The Summer House. I could not be happier with that decision. Antiques are beautiful, but there’s so much more to appreciate about these treasures. Each piece has its own unique story. I love researching the provenance and heritage of each one.
IS THE BUSINESS CHANGING?
I would love to see a resurgence in Main Street antiques stores, but I don’t think consumers shop that way anymore. If dealers work together, though, we can build a stronger industry. I’m very inspired by the success of overseas collectives like Lorfords in the U.K. Now, collectives are gaining ground here, as you see in places like the Fairfield County Antiques and Design Center. This one-stop shop experience could be a tremendous area of growth.
WHAT ANTIQUES DO YOU CARRY AT THE STORE?
I source everything from Europe because I find the value and quality of those pieces are unmatched elsewhere. Personally, I love a wide variety of antiques, from French to Tibetan, but my favorite items are Swedish—Gustavian, country, Rococo, I love it all. And Swedish works with so many styles, including transitional and the mid-century look that is so popular these days.