WHEN AN EMPTY spot in your house cries out to be filled and you head to your favorite antiques store, do you have to spend more time getting to your destination than you do shopping?
Now, all that traveling is -- pardon the phrase -- history. Put your time to better use by browsing among the expanding selection of antiques and collectibles right here in Severna Park.
There are six very different shops within walking distance of each other near the B&A; Trail in the heart of Severna Park.
Linda Zahn, executive director of the Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, agrees that convenience may be the key to success.
"They may congregate in an area because it can become a one-stop destination for weekend shoppers," Ms. Zahn said. "You don't want to go to an area with one shop when you can go to an area with [many] shops."
The Antique Marketplace next to the trail on Riggs Avenue is in a building that has housed antiques shops for years.
The shop's owner, Sue Beaman, says, "We have a total of seven dealers here. The shop's inventory [runs] from homey, folksy items to elegant sterling silver."
The marketplace is closed on Wednesday. Information: 544-9644.
Across the street in the Morgan building in the former Wild Bird Center is the newest antiques enterprise in the Park: Adair and Halligan Antiques and Imports.
Owned by John Adair, the shop specializes in imported furniture from the 1700s and 1800s, primarily from England and France but also from Ireland, Russia, Sweden and Germany.
Mr. Adair's daughter, Kay, manages the store, which is open each afternoon except Wednesday. Call 647-0103.
In the Baumgarten building at the corner of Riggs and Old B&A; Blvd., Round Bay resident Lynn Harrison has expanded her Antiques Boutique, a display of antique dolls and furnishings, to include the former Bears Repeating consignment shop.
Among the choicest items filling the new space are painted furniture -- undetectably reproduction -- an impressive doll collection and a selection of stamps. "Among our favorite customers are the children who come in with their allowances to buy stamps," says Ms. Harrison. "We hope to start a stamp club."
Big things come in small packages. Don't overlook the tiny Mary's Consignments and Antiques in the Carr Building on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard. Call 647-1142.
Farther up the boulevard, where men once whiled away their Saturday mornings in the Winklemeyer Hardware store, antiques lovers now spend serious shopping hours at Antiques In the Park and Rooms & Gardens.
Owned by Marge Ostruski of Severna Park, the shop offers the softer wares of nine dealers seven days a week. Call 544-2762.