Got to hand it to Sandy Steele — she’s persistent in the sweetest way! For months she’s been asking me to drive out to Frederick, MD, to see her new shop, The Loft at Antique Imports. Well, I finally went out there, and I CAN’T BELIEVE I didn’t go sooner.
Basically, she takes high-end custom furnishings and accessories from designers, who for whatever reason don’t need them. Maybe a client didn’t want it anymore, or it was used for a show house and is now languishing in storage, or a client is redoing a house and tossing a perfectly great piece to make way for a new look.
I especially love this sleek Shaker-style coffee table,
The prices are ridiculously cheap — sometimes up to 75 percent off retail. All styles are represented based on what comes in from week to week.
These vintage Hans J. Wegner chairs caught my eye.
These two tiny tables came from a designer whose client was getting rid of them to redecorate her $6 million house.
Anyone in the mood for Moroccan? This chair is one of a pair.
I love this farm table — its warm glossy finish evokes comfort itself.
Sandy also does great business with upholstered pieces. These sweet tailored chairs are ready for a tea party:
(note the cool mid-century end table, too)
And in this case, the client ordered the sofa below from her designer, but decided she didn’t want it after all. Sandy told me the fabric was $300 per yard.
The accessories are adorable, too.
This pair of elegant round tables would look great in almost any setting.
And as you wander the building’s two levels (soon to be three), you see great vintage relics from the old building that at one time was a tobacco barn. Sandy says they went through and painted all the walls in Ben Moore’s Navajo White, but left the piping as-is. An old fire hose also adds character to the surroundings.
So, if you’re unsure whether to commit to driving all the way out to Frederick (which is about an hour from my house in Arlington) just do it — frequently, because Sandy’s inventory changes every week, and the prices are seriously insane.
The Loft at AI
125 East Street
Frederick, MD 21701