When in search of gold, Estate Treasures of Greenwich is a prime hunting ground.
It won’t take an Olympian effort to find a wealth of golden-hued accents, since they can be spotted nearly everywhere you look in Harriet Roughan’s sprawling 7,400-square-foot showroom in Riverside.
Gold gleams in the necklaces and earrings filling the display cases near the entrance. It’s echoed in the tresses of a young maiden featured in a Royal Doulton figurine. It surrounds the mirrors, simple to ornate, and artwork nestled in gilded frames.
That’s not all. It’s also on the rimmed tea sets and drawer pulls of stately desks and dressers. Golden tones also add vibrant life to fireplace accessories, lamp bases, medieval-looking sconces and fanciful scrollwork on book covers and bindings.
Of course, looking at a shop’s merchandise with such a pointed perspective will limit you to just a portion of the offerings.
So be sure when visiting Estate Treasures – which marks its 35th anniversary next year – to broaden your scope.
“This is an unusual store,” says Roughan. “You never know. Behind every corner you’re going to find something.”
The shop is an antique consignment shop, though it also imports a wide selection of antique and antique reproduction furniture from Europe. It’s also a distributor for Lee Industries, which specializes in upholstered furniture, and features a number of decorative accents from Theodore Alexander.
“We try to display everything so people could see how it would look in their homes,” she says.
In a continuing effort to meet client needs, Roughan recently welcomed a “shop within a shop.” Just Shades, a veteran Manhattan company that offers modern and traditional lamp shades, has opened a branch within Estate Treasures.
“I just think it’s a good meld. We sell a lot of lamps.”
Roughan points to her keeping up with the times as a reason for her store’s longevity.
“The antiques business is not as strong at it was. That market has changed and because it has changed and the young people’s decorating habits have changed, we have changed.”
So while she still sells antiques, the mix is more varied. These days, a shopper will find a Victorian dresser but also a 1950s Eames chair. Shoppers will also see contemporary goods with classic and traditional appeal, from throw pillows and vases to desktop accessories and bookends.
All is designed to keep the customers coming back – and finding their own treasures among her inventory.
“We are not a museum,” she says with a smile. “I don’t want to admire it. I want to sell it.”
Roughan is still very particular about what merchandise she stocks, no matter the era. It’s been that way from the start.
“There was nobody doing consignment 30 years ago,” she says. “That was an unusual thing.”
Today, she says that “the accessories are all consignment goods.”
She still hits the road for buying trips in Europe and loves to spot trends at the famed furniture markets of High Point, N.C.
“I love to go to England to see how furniture is made. All my tables that come from Italy, I’ve watched them being made.”
It’s all designed to please her longtime customers while attracting new ones.
“This business is such a repeat business. I would say 90 percent of my client base is repeat customers.”
Those longtime customers know well to stop by during her now-signature tent sales. Each spring and fall, the space in front of the East Putnam Avenue store is filled with desks and chairs, armoires and tables at deep discounts.
“Getting a good deal is the name of the game for a lot of people,” she says.
The sale has proven so popular, she moves it into a local hotel each January, too.
And her customers are never far from Roughan’s thoughts. At the store every day, her attention to detail is clear. She even sends a personal thank-you note to shoppers who spend $500 or more.
“If they choose us, you’ve got to say ‘Thanks.’”
And in doing so, Roughan continues to connect with her clientele, setting a gleaming standard of service.
“I feel like I’m here eight days a week, and there’s no other place I’d rather be.”
Estate Treasures is at 1162 E. Putnam Ave. in Riverside. Call (203) 637-4200 or visit estatetreasures.com.