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A New Vintage

Chatting with new Antique & Design Center owner Geoffrey Walsky

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When a young Geoffrey Walsky was getting toted around by with his mother to trunk shows, he had no idea that one day he’d open his own 20,000-square-foot design center. Owner of the new Fairfield County Antique and Design Center in Norwalk, Walsky talks shop about antiquing, interiors and the Connecticut community.

What first drew your interest to antiques and interior design?
As a kid, my mom was a decorative designer, originally from France. She would begrudgingly drag me to shows and antique galleries. Then as an adult, my wife and I got into buying antiques and started collecting more than we could keep, so we became dealers. 

How can an antique complete a room’s design?
I like an eclectic mix of old and new, antique with modern. A lot of people comment that places like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware offer new items that look antique, but the real thing has a much better quality. And there’s often more notoriety based on who designed it.

Do you remember the first antique you purchased?
I can’t exactly, but my wife and I are suckers for old wood with interesting details: Pieces with inlayed design, and old secretaries.

Is there a trick to finding that “wow” item?

No! I have a strong retail background, and always went by the maxim that you don’t buy for yourself, but mirror the mission. Now, we buy things we like and it works for us, and is successful sales-wise. We shop estate sales, other antique and design centers, and even Ebay and Craig’s List. I like a good flea market, the fun’s in the hunt.