The new shop Tomorrow’s Antiques takes yesteryear’s interior design back to the future.
“Maintain before repair. Repair before replace. At last cost, replace,” said co-owner Steven Mills. “It’s the perfect motto for us.”
The store, which officially opens Saturday during Gallery Hop, sells antiques and discarded home accessories that have been repurposed as modern decor.
Co-owner Justin Smith creates many of the pieces in a studio in the back half of the store. Items for sale include sconces made from old elevator glass and an iPhone dock with a phonograph speaker.
“A lot of this stuff would just end up in the trash,” Smith said. “It’s a shame.”
The commitment to using old materials is a matter of respect for Smith and Mills.
“There is so much character and history and content and feeling behind every little thing,” Mills said of the items the team redesigns. “I think that emotion comes from working on my house.”
After moving into his Victorian Village home three years ago, Mills enlisted Smith to help with renovations (Mills and Smith are brothers-in-law). They re-created many of the home’s original but long-since-lost architectural features.
The process was inspiring.
“We’d find little trinkets in the walls and we’d feel this deep connection to someone who we’ll never meet. They’re likely long gone, but you know that they cared,” Mills said. “To show that you also care about these things, that’s the emotion we’re trying to convey through these pieces.”
The prices of those pieces typically tip into three digits. Because the woodworking shop is part of the store, the two can customize pieces on the spot. The glass used in many of the items is made by local artist Joe Wyman, so those can be custom ordered, too.
“We’re not trying to rewrite history,” Mills said.
“We’re just trying to resurrect it,” Smith finished.