Better with Age
Fairfield County Antique & Design Center opens on the Norwalk/Westport line
The only one of its kind from Stamford to Stratford, the new Fairfield County Antique and Design Center in Norwalk offers 20,000 square feet of antiques ranging from 17th century gems to mid-century modern and contemporary design items. Avid collectors, professional designers and weekend hobbyist alike can find one-of-a-kind furnishings, both statement pieces and small accents. The center also houses a 2,000-square foot art gallery. “There’s something for everyone,” owner Geoffrey Walsky says.
Walsky, a Fairfield native currently residing in Weston, says Connecticut is the only place he wanted the center to be. “Besides the wealth, there’s an appreciation for design, art and antiques. And it’s home to me.”
Local designers are flocking to the prime retail location. “I didn’t realize how great of a placement it was until I heard designers were moving their offices to be closer to our 100-plus dealers,” Walsky muses. A unique resource for decorators, the new center offers events and shows geared towards professionals. The center even takes “wish lists” from designers that are then sent to antique dealers, offering a buyer-seller connection.
“It’s a great event space for art and design shows,” Walsky says, who plans to expand the space’s uses to trunk shows, farmer’s markets and outdoor galleries in warmer months.
Since there’s only so much space, Walsky plans to extend the center’s offerings to the web. “I’m very social media focused,” he says. “I’m developing a website and working with 1st Dibs and E-Commerce.” The visionary also wants his dealers to market themselves outside of the center. “I want customers to know who they are,” he explains.
Walsky, who has a background in retail managing museum shops like NYC’s The Intrepid, says the fun in antiquing is “in the hunt.” He frequents estate sales, other antique and design centers, and scours Ebay and Craig’s List. “I like a good flea market,” he adds.
Though Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn make some good knock-offs, Walsky insists that nothing beats the real thing. “Antiques have a better quality,” he says. “And they offer more notoriety based on who designed it.”
Ready to dip a toe (or take a dive) into antiques? Start at one of the center’s auctions, held every Wednesday evening. Anyone can participate in buying or selling an array of items at price points from $10–$10,000.
Fairfield County Antique and Design Center
19 Willard Road, Norwalk; 203-826-8575