Interesting antique and vintage stores with goodies from India to France (and everywhere in between) are sprinkled throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County, Washington. In fact, there are so many that I couldn’t cover them all in a single post! So today, I’ll introduce you to two very new and unusual shops that I think you’ll like as much as I do.
Our first stop is StoneHouse Artifacts, which specializes in “Treasures from Colonial India,” and is located just a few miles east of Bellingham, off of Route 542. The brand-new shop is adjacent to the home of its proprietors, Lydia McCauley and Kurt Scherer, and filled with French, Dutch and British Colonial pieces, rustic art, and hard-to find artifacts from all over India. Now, I haven’t yet traveled to the Indian subcontinent, but like many, have always found its history and culture fascinating. And if you enjoy the furnishings and folk art from that part of the world, then StoneHouse Artifacts is going to be your new favorite!
Each piece has been hand-selected by Kurt and Lydia, who have traveled many times to India (and beyond) and created their shop around their passion for the furniture, collectibles and textiles from that part of the world. Lydia McCauley is also a well-known musician, composer and performer, while Kurt is a builder who incorporated Indian materials and architectural elements into their home and shop.
Rosewood, teak, jackwood and ebony pieces anchor the shop, and include apothecary and dowry chests, tables, doors and cabinets of all kinds. Folk art items, such as a (very rare) Himalayan juicer, assorted marapachi dolls and fabric stamps with various patterns are also prominent. Bronze tribal pieces are displayed against warm white walls, while rustic bindi boxes sit atop a table.
Huge, hand-carved doors are propped up here and there, some featuring a deity to protect the home’s inhabitants. Seeing them made me wish I had a home worthy of such a grand entrance! The shop also features plenty of practical items that any home can handle, like low-slung beds that have been repurposed into coffee tables, and beautifully carved beds and benches.
Kurt and Lydia gave me quite an education, describing such interesting details and stories about the folk art and furniture, the shawls and textiles. They are both very knowledgable, warm and welcoming. I can’t wait to return, see what’s new and share a cup of chai with them.
StoneHouse Artifacts has something for just about everyone. Whether you’re a fan of the British-Dutch-French-Indian cultural mashup or not, the history is fascinating, and every piece in the shop has a significance and beauty all its own.
4471 Squalicum Lake Road, Bellingham, WA 98226
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
StoneHouse Artifacts on Facebook
Now let’s hop over to Ormolulu, a fabulous shop in downtown Bellingham that looks to Europe and America for its eclectic mix of “rough luxe” (I love that term!), industrial chic, and farmhouse decor, along with French antiques and artifacts, and tons of fun vintage finds that would look right at home in most any home.
Ormolulu is owned by Debi Burton and Jim Blondeau, who have many years of experience in antiques and vintage décor. After traveling to antique shows throughout the region for two decades, they recently decided to get off the road and establish a brick-and-mortar shop.
And what a shop! Jim and Debi remodeled, opened up and brightened the 3,000-square-foot space, which for many years was home to the Blue Horse Gallery. Debi’s interior design background is evident throughout. Ormolulu is visually stunning, with every item displayed to perfection. But don’t worry—it’s not a “look-but-don’t-touch” sort of place at all. It’s approachable, fun and funky, with surprises around every corner.
Ormolulu has an eclectic collection of both serious and fanciful items that are fun to look at. They’d be even more fun to enjoy every day in your bedroom, kitchen, living room or wherever they might land. I spied everything from authentic twin bell alarm clocks to the most fabulous Mid-century Modern light fixtures ever, along with ram skulls, Art Deco lamps, metal cabinets, embroidered pillows, painted screens and vintage suitcases. Oh, and windmill blades! And antique lockers! I could go on, but really, you should just get yourself to downtown Bellingham and check it out for yourself.
When you go to Ormolulu, be sure to take advantage of free parking in the lot behind the building (on the Bay Avenue side). They are open four days a week, from Friday to Monday, noon to 6:00 p.m. Where are Debi and Jim the other three days? Lucky for us, they’re traveling around, curating more amazing items for the shop so we can bring them home.
With Debi’s warm and friendly advice, and Ormolulu’s thoughtfully chosen and high-quality goods, it’s easy to make your home industrial, chic and luxe, even if you’re not an interior designer. (And if you are, my advice is to get yourself down there right now!)
301 West Holly Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Ormolulu on Facebook
Looking for “traditional” antiques? Check back for my next post, which will cover many more options!