Now & Then

Above: Swoon’s vignettes help stir one’s imagination. The chair, for example, was reupholstered in designer velvet. 

I don’t like to overfill the space,” explains Sue Appleton-Webster, owner of the design shop Swoon. “I like customers to be able to stand back and really look at the arrangements and imagine how they might work in their own homes.”

Before imagining her own store, Sue gathered plenty of experience in the industry, including time at local home design shops. She keeps Swoon bright, contemporary and open to display a fresh collection of furniture, home décor and art.

The vintage and antique pieces in store have been reimagined for today’s homeowners. For example, Sue stripped down one old couch to its solid bones and then re-covered it in a sleek, contemporary gray fabric with minimal flourish. Yet nearby sits a settee with the distressed curves of its original frame appealingly exposed; she added a lush cushion of the softest pink. One restrained, the other romantic, both of the moment. Imagination is key.

Sue roots out inner beauty and good construction, peels back the damaged or outdated influences, and renews pieces. A battered desk is stripped and made sleek with black lacquer. That hopelessly orange and green bar cart you inherited just might be a trendy gem. And so, her shop is a study in mixing textures, colors and periods, including new, which encourages homeowners and designers to show off their individuality. (Like a look with bite? Don’t miss the full-length snake skin, mounted and framed—hypnotic.) 9 Sconset Sq., 203-557-0997;



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