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One Mercantile

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Plain Goods In New Preston: Simple, Well-Crafted And Inviting

By Jacque Lynn Schiller

Just before the bend of New Preston’s picturesque shops, or slightly past, I suppose, depending from which direction you arrive, and up the hill, is what would be my ideal country retreat. A sun-filled space with white floors and graceful lines, neutral textiles and well-crafted, and sometimes well-aged, furniture, its richly layered but effortlessly relaxed rooms speak indulgent comfort.

But as much as I’d like to spend the day tucked under a soft blanket, reading a book in a corner, I’m not sure the owners would appreciate my lounging. The place is not for sale, nor is it available to rent. The contents, however, are a different story. Welcome to Plain Goods, the chic collaboration between interior designer Michael DePerno and partner Andrew Fry.

Fry and DePerno.

Plain Goods is a shop that specializes in the things the two love, “simplicity, quality craftsmanship, natural fibers and things that are designed to endure.” Located along the Aspetuck River in what once was once a private home, the snug (not too big, not too small) building dates back to the 1800s and couldn’t be more charming. “The space itself needed some TLC and we brought it to life with the thoughtful renovations that we’ve done,” says DePerno.

The sweet cottage is the latest embodiment of Mr. DePerno’s intuitive style guidance. He began his career at the New York institution ABC Carpet & Home before opening his own ventures, Hope & Wilder in Soho and REN in Los Angeles.

“When I decided to move back east from the west coast, I discovered Washington, where I purchased a home,” says DePerno. “When Andrew and I met we decided that we wanted to create a shop that expressed our point of view. New Preston is a wonderful location and setting. There are shops that are diverse and creative. This area has become a destination for shoppers and we’re very happy to be part of it.”


Opening just before the start of the holiday season, the thoughtfully considered items on offer make short and pleasurable work of your gift list. “Currently we are working with Makie. We love her sense of color and style with imported fabrics from Italy and Japan which are fashioned into children and women’s clothing. Beautifully made and simple,” DePerno says. “We’re also working with Sam Hamilton of MARCH in San Francisco. We’re the only east coast shop carrying her line of pantry items and kitchenwares. There are several lines that we have exclusives on and private labels with. Small leather goods and clothing will also be a big charge.” The owners’ gift suggestions: cashmere-lined leather slippers from Italy, organic cotton waffle towels, spices from MARCH pantry, or a one-of-a-kind antique treasure.

Signage was designed by Megan Wilson of Ancient Industries.

I was particularly drawn to the children’s section, with adorable mitts and Liberty bibs, stuffed animals and tiny sweaters. Shelves filled with antique collectibles or “smalls” also piqued my interest.

In keeping with the seasons, expect to see “lots of cashmere and woolens in the colder months, and handmade leather sandals and linens in the warmer months” in addition to befitting events. On December 19, for example, Plain Goods will host a signing of a beautiful Rizzoli title, Life|Style Elegant Simplicity at Home. Its author, lifestyle authority Tricia Foley, should feel right at home in this natty environment.

You will as well. Just don’t nap in the soft and snuggly Makie.

Plain Goods
One New Preston Hill Road
New Preston, CT
(860) 868-0280


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Posted by Lisa Green on 12/15/15 at 11:53 AM • Permalink