Havre de Grace is not only rich in history and charm. It's also the place to find that rare accent piece for your home. The downtown area offers almost a dozen antiques and home design stores, as well as several shops that are almost - if not quite - one-of-a-kind.
Known as "The Buttons Lady," Dee Foe has been collecting buttons for the last 30 years. Her store, Art Pantheon, is full of them - many of them in works of art Foe has created, as well as mounted on cards that some folks like to frame.
This 20-inch by 40-inch button collage is entitled "Faith or Doodle #1" ($3,825). Foe created the design by combining 7 doodles she had done while talking on the phone. She says it's made of old mother-of-pearl and cloth-covered buttons - 2444 in all.
This 30" x 44" oil painting is Foe's personal favorite. Entitled "Woodland Circus" ($2,800), it's based on her time spent in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.
This diptych is a work in progress, incorporating threads Foe has salvaged from old buttons with charts her late mother created to keep track of the dahlias she planted in her garden. The charts had colored strings attached. Foe says she plans to create painted paper dahlias and attach them, as well.
Art Pantheon is located at 327 St. John St. Call 410-942-1390 or go to artpantheon.com
Distinctive Decor Ltd.
This interior design shop specializes in custom window treatments, blinds, shades and shutters. But, the store is stuffed with many other items for the "traditional to transitional" home, including lamps, pillows, furniture and table top items.
This Thaxton tufted chair ($1890) and Thaxton ottoman ($860) looks extra comfy with a 22" x 22" leopard print pillow ($89) and a 13" x 22" lumbar pillow with a vintage postcard print ($58).
There is a large variety of lamps that range in price from $5 to $500. This 33" high brown marble and crystal table lamp ($305) is set off by a 16" x 32" gilded mirror ($175).
Distinctive Decor Ltd. is located at 322 St. John St. Call 410-939-2995 or go to distinctivedecorltd.com.
This is the only fair trade store in Harford or Cecil counties, according to owner Becky Collins. She says everything here is created by artisans and farmers in developing countries, and purchased from them in ways in which they are paid fairly and not exploited. Even so, the unique accent pieces you'll find here for your home come at great prices.
This teapot ($44) and teacups ($14 each) come from Nepal. The goraraCQ stone votive candle holders ($7 each) were made in India. And the bamboo tray($22) comes from Vietnam.
This 23" diameter wall hanging ($89) is hand cut and hammered in Haiti from a recycled oil drum.
This 12" high Kenyan painted wood zebra stool is great for kids, or for use as a plant stand.
Doodads, Inc. is located at 308 St. John St. Call 410-939-8003 or go to doodads.us.
If you like antiques, but aren't in the mood to go wading through crowded aisles and dusty piles you find in many antiques stores, this is your kind of place. Owner Stephen Formwalt carefully edits the antiques he shows here, and combines them with a few select collectibles - like Hummel figurines - and newer gifts, home accents and table top items.
Welcome Fall with this seasonally themed sugar bowl and creamer ($10 each, or $18 for the set), a small white ceramic pumpkin ($4) or 10" tall ceramic rooster ($22), 11½" square platter or harvest wreath ($49.95).
This classic 18"x15"x11½"H 1930's era needlepoint footstool($95) is made of mahogany.
This 18" high 19th century Chinese vase ($250), green Victorian glass covered jar ($425) and Victorian creamer ($125) are some of the antique glassware featured in Simplicity.
Simplicity is located at 454 Franklin St. Call 410-939-6129 or got to simplyantiques.vpweb.com.
Havre de Grace is known for its decoys, most of which are used more as home accent pieces these days than for duck hunting. Vincenti Decoys offers dozens of the carved waterfowl made by Patrick Vincenti - who co-owns the business with wife Jeannie - as well those made by 25 to 35 different carvers from Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.
This Mallard drake ($100) and Wood Duck drake ($250) are two decoys created by Patrick Vincenti.
Items made by other carvers include (from left): a Grebe ($98), a Plover ($495), a Kinglet sitting on a stump ($125), a Ruddy Turnstone ($155), and a mouse ($58) that is carved to hang over a shelf or table or - in this case - the base of the Ruddy Turnstone.
These are two antique decoys crated in the late 1880's by decoy artist Ben Dye; a Red Head drake ($925) and a Canvasback drake ($1200).
Vincenti Decoys are located at 353 Pennington Avenue. Call 410-734-7709 or go to vincentidecoys.com.