by Maggie Zeibak
The past is in your future. You may love watching The Antiques Roadshow on television but hunting for furniture or home accessories just became a trifle more convenient. A new store called Nice and Easy Antiques can surprise the diligent shopper with unusual and unique pieces that aren’t dark, heavy and cumbersome.
Tucked away next to Rocky’s Surf City the ever-changing window display welcomes you to a shop choc-a-bloc full of treasures guaranteed to bring style and warmth to your home.
Sisters Marcela Cavaglieri and Clara Digiuseppe, who have shared a passion for classic furniture and antiques all of their lives, decided to graduate from spaces in Antique Malls and open their own storefront. Why choose San Clemente?
“Because everyone wants to be here! It is a wonderful place to live – we’ve been here over ten years and we want to work where we live and we know so many people,” Marcela laughs. “We started off decorating our own homes and gradually made the transition into retail. We truly love what we do and now we have many loyal customers who trust us and we work closely with several interior designers. Of course, our regular customers often ask us to find special items so we work with dealers to accommodate their requests.”
Artfully displayed in groupings, the reupholstered and refinished furniture showcases smaller items such as delicate linens and vintage fabric cushions and pillows. European china pops up everywhere, platters, teapots and unusual teacup-stands mingle with mirrors, keepsakes and an array of colorful drawer-pulls.
Not one to pass up an opportunity to obtain new merchandise, Clara busied herself at the San Telmo market in Buenos Aires during a recent vacation, nailing several unusual purchases. She says that their inventory changes over weekly and there is always something new in the store.
“Our customers tell us they really like our fresh look and how we’ve arranged the store for easy browsing. They like the mix of items for sale and they definitely like our good prices. We have a “cottagey” and “new country” feel when we give new life to old furniture. We have Moms coming in looking for practical, easy living furniture – they want original pieces not chain store items in their homes. They are also looking for new family heirlooms that can be passed down to their children.”
Gently used treasures that great-grandma loved can become a little girl’s dream. Wicker chairs, small chandeliers and pictures of roses, roses, and more roses to adorn the walls and decorate a special haven for that little princess. Not only can her room be dressed up but also the Sisters have select clothing available (especially for Grandma to buy) that you won’t see anywhere else.
Devoid of dust, some of the most interesting things for sale are propped up nonchalantly against the soothing celery-green wall. Rescued from the wrecker’s ball “architectural salvage” emerges into the must-have category. Protecting hunks of history, these old doors, windows, fences and parts of old houses are given a face-lift and make the transition as a “re-appreciated find” into newer homes. Solid mantels, wood corbels and antique-inspired lighting add more than a touch of whimsy and quickly become the focal point of a room.
Many of these items can be found down the steps in “The Back Porch,” a nook designated for outdoor furniture. Expertly refinished, matching chairs, lounges and tables can grace any patio in an instant and create the ambiance ready for an instant party. Scattered around this eclectic selection of desks, stools and old-fashioned suitcases are interesting flowerpots of varied shapes and sizes – ideal for gifts.
Timeless additions to our homes create sentimental feelings, as we grow older. In our younger lives we want to discard all that is old and forage around for all that is new – after all, we have lived with the choices of our parents and it’s now time to make our imprint on the world. Strangely enough, as we start nesting and producing families of our own, we start appreciating those familiar surroundings of childhood and find ourselves wanting to duplicate auntie’s primitive hutch or serve a Holiday meal on bone china rather than paper plates. Traditions creep back into our lives.
For Cavaglieri and Digiuseppe, their appreciation of the precious past runs deep. Self-proclaimed, “Sisters by birth; Friends by choice” their dedication to their new venture is evident as is the cheerful happiness in their warm greetings to their customers. Drop in and say “hello”, they’ve got coffee and cookies every morning. b
NIce and Easy Antiques can be reached at 492-2622.