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HOME Sets Up Shop at a Second HOME in Hudson

Rural Intelligence Style Shopping at the cavernous shop HOME on Route 23 in South Egremont, Massachusetts evokes the thrill of a treasure hunt. That’s no coincidence; each giant container of goods shipped from Asia—with contents hand-selected by owners Renee and Paul McBride on their latest of 17 annual trips there—is loaded not just with jewel-toned contemporary resin Buddhas and gleaming new red-lacquer furnishings, but also with artifacts whose patinas reveal they’d long lain buried on the sea floor or underground – literal buried treasure.

Rural Intelligence StyleNow shoppers on Warren Street in Hudson will also have a chance to dig through the loot. The McBrides are opening their second location this Saturday, September 22, creating HOME’s second home, so to speak.

At either store, the adventurous, hunter-gatherer aspect of HOME blends with one part museum and one part exotic travel, forming a fusion cuisine for the eyes. HOME showcases both old and new furniture, textiles, tableware, and objets from Indonesia, Bali, Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Korea—and even China, where some of the sunken ceramic treasure began its life, as ballast in trade ships that unsuccessfully sailed south, hoping to swap their bowls and such for the bright new wares of foreign lands.

“You can tell when there’s been a newly discovered ship as the weekend market in Bangkok will be full of shell-encrusted ceramic plates, bowls and pots,” says Paul, who specializes in the historic artifacts.

Rural Intelligence StyleSalvaged bronzes, funerary pieces, and temple carvings contrast starkly with gleaming new lacquer-ware tabletop pieces and vivid linens—all of it tucked into cubbies in tansu-style Japanese cabinets or artfully arranged atop chests-on-chests that are likewise lavishly adorned with metal hardware. Traditional Asian shapes such as altar tables and chest-on-chests mingle with contemporary teak slabs carved into chairs, benches, and low tables with the feel of the forest still in them.

HOME’s range of customers is diverse, too. At the Egremont base, open for 13 years, window-shoppers drawn in by outdoor displays of statuary and furnishings join passionate collectors of all things Eastern, some of whom assign Paul McBride targeted treasure hunts for specific objects before the couple and their children depart each winter for Thailand. It helps that Asian designs work so well with other styles—Victorian, painted primitive American, and even mid-century modern (“That’s what we mix it with at home,” says Renee), to name a few great pairings.

Rural Intelligence StyleOther longtime regulars include area restaurateurs, who know to order indoor or outdoor furnishings by February—standard designs or custom, including whole suites or even just replacement tabletops—so they’ll have it by spring, fashioned from weatherproof tropical woods. HOME has outfitted John Andrews, Café Adam, the Old Mill—as well as many backyards and gardens of many an in-the-know homeowner. 

The new Hudson shop, at 558 Warren, is actually just the latest in several incarnations of a business that had its genesis nearly 18 years ago, when Renee Martin said yes to a date with her then-boss’s son, Paul McBride, who was already spending time in Thailand. By the time the courtship, wedding, and honeymoon—to Bali, of course—culminated, Renee had not just a new last name, but a new career-in-the-making. At first HOME was about reselling goods from their annual overseas trips at booths at notable antiques shows, such as Brimfield and Southampton, but as happens with committed collectors, the couple felt the bigger pull. “We wanted a store,” Renee recalls. “And actually, we wanted a store in Hudson.”

They scouted there, but it would prove to be 13 more years before that wish was fulfilled. Though selling furnishings and more, HOME in Hudson will emphasize décor and dining accessories—including pillows, baskets, place mats and table linens, trivets and trays in lacquer and rattan, dishes, and serving pieces. It will also feature Good Charma jewelry from Pamela Fink, clothing from Ashe Veza, as well as fabrics and soft goods from Tillett & T4 (formerly called Dek Tillett of Sheffield, the latest incarnation of Paul McBride’s family business), where Renee met Paul in the first place, before their HOME-making adventure began. —Margaret Roach

Rural Intelligence StyleHOME Asian Antiques

Route 23, South Egremont, MA
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: noon - 5 p.m.. 
Other days by chance or appointment

558 Warren Street, Hudson, NY
Thursday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: noon - 5 p.m. or by appointment


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Posted by Bess Hochstein on 09/18/12 at 04:13 AM • Permalink