Shop Visit: Plain Goods
March 20, 2020
Text by Maria LaPiana
Plain Goods, a 6,000-square-foot gem of an emporium, occupies a picture-perfect building in the heart of New Preston.
It sits at the top of a tiny enclave of upscale home, clothing, and antiques stores well known to designers, locals, and weekenders with good taste.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, we took a tour of the shop, courtesy of Andrew Fry, who runs the business with his partner, Michael DePerno. Fry seems to never tire of showing folks around, describing the provenance of this vintage bowl or that cashmere Himalayan blanket. He smiles when asked about the building, the circa 1897 Pavilion Hall. “It was owned by the town and was used for meetings, concerts, and events,” he says. The old structure had fallen into disrepair and was vacant for a long time when the two men took a shine to it. In a perfect example of adaptive reuse, they transformed the space, the project garnering an award from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.
The store features an array of carefully curated home goods and clothing from Europe, Japan, and the U.S., all with a focus on craftsmanship and uniqueness (more than a few of the treasures we coveted on our visit can be found only here). Bespoke furniture, lighting, and vintage and antique pieces lend interest, depth, and texture to the offerings.
The two men bring complementary skill sets to the business. DePerno is an interior designer and shop owner since 1991, while Fry has worked in communications for fashion brands such as Burberry and Tom Ford. They both travel extensively (to France several times a year, to Denmark and Italy, as well as around the U.S.) to keep their goods fresh and inviting. They’re highly collaborative. “We both just look around and do what needs to be done,” says Fry.
The store embodies a simple, well-made aesthetic in every way. It’s intriguing and filled with things you just have to have; it’s pleasurable, epicurean, even a little hedonistic—but one thing is sure: the Plain Goods experience is anything but plain.
Plain Goods, New Preston, Conn.
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