From the October/November 2012 Issue:

Design Destination MADISON

    Text and photos: Robin Amster |

Shops in this historic Morris County town focus on unique, casually elegant and custom home decor. While checking out these stores, spend a day in town and also visit the restaurants, attractions and other businesses

Town & Country Home
266 Main Street
Dennis Scribner, owner of Town & Country Home, handpicks everything in his shop, which recently moved from Waverly Place to larger space in a former residence on Main Street. Its three floors are filled with furniture; wall décor, including art, mirrors and architectural pieces; lighting; accessories; and floral designs, including custom arrangements and wreaths. The shop also offers custom upholstery and an in-home design service for everything from selecting paint colors to furniture placement.

With a background in human resources, Scribner decided 10 years ago to pursue his interest in home décor and woodworking. “Everything in the shop looks unique and individual because a lot of it is,” he says. “You can always find something different—the selection changes almost daily.” He specializes in handcrafted wood farm tables, cupboards, coffee tables, benches and chairs. “Over the years I’ve added accessories that complement my style,” he says.

That style is all about “being comfortable with what you have,” Scribner says. “Comfort to the eye, to the touch, to the environment. One of our strong suits is to mix antique reclaimed wood with gorgeous brocade fabric that dresses up the look and also makes it comfortable.”

The larger shop has enabled Scribner to add more seasonal lines, including antique garden statuary, outdoor bistro table and chair sets, birdhouses and furniture, more wall art and a larger line of lighting.

Scribner calls his offerings moderately priced. “Pricing is not a mathematical process; I price every piece individually, and I’m not going to overprice.”

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. 973-966-6688,

Maison Décor
36 Main Street
“Decorating can be like brain surgery for some people—it’s very intimidating,” says Karen D’Addario, owner of Maison Décor. “We try to show that it’s not that difficult. A lot of customers come in to relax and get ideas.”

D’Addario combines her talents as an antiques dealer and decorator in her two-year-old shop. She features an eclectic mix of furniture, lamps, accessories and gifts that incorporate her love of French style. French design goes with traditional as well as contemporary style—“really everything,” she adds.

D’Addario scours antique stores, flea markets and other sources to handpick Maison Décor’s offerings. The shop features a blend of old and new. “Eighty percent of the things are new, but we also have authentic French antiques. At the same time, we don’t want to be like grandma’s house,” she says.

Another specialty is handcrafted pieces, including handpainted signs and wall clocks and custom-crafted memo boards in a variety of fabrics.

This year D’Addario launched a full-service in-home decorating service that will reflect the homeowner’s style, not just Maison Décor style, she notes. Among the services are color consultation, furnishings, window treatments and flooring selection. “Your home should reflect you,” she says. “Everyone has a style, even if you don’t know exactly what you want. You should have images of you and your family; that’s what makes a house a home.”

Nothing in Maison Décor is “outrageously expensive,” D’Addario says. “We cater to every budget.”

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, Monday by appointment. 973-520-8396,

British Home Emporium
91 Main Street
When Nina Karamallis joined British Pine Emporium as an interior designer in 2004, she didn’t envision buying the store with her husband, George. But that’s exactly what happened four years later. The purchase was a natural fit for the couple. George, a former corporate retail executive, was interested in doing something on his own, while Nina had vast experience as a designer, visual merchandising executive and photo stylist.

In its original incarnation, the store specialized in pine antique and reproduction furniture from England. The couple gently transitioned it to what it is today and changed its name to British Home Emporium. It offers interior design services, custom-crafted furniture, custom solid wood cabinetry and tables, upholstery, fabric, lighting, original art, hand-loomed rugs, wallpaper, bed linens, dinnerware and accessories.

“We wanted people to know we’re not just about the super casual part of the home,” Nina says. “As for keeping the ‘British’ in our name, British style is beautiful and eclectic, and British interior design is leading edge.”

Nina calls the store’s style “casual, elegant and transitional.” She elaborates, “It’s casual and contemporary but often with roots in European design—a combination of rustic materials used in a more formal way. It’s a great mix that can work well in many peoples’ homes.”

British Home Emporium employs six interior designers plus an interior architect and an architect. “Each person’s home should be a reflection of that individual. But as designers we should help people move out of their comfort zone into something they really want,” Nina says.

The store “addresses a number of different price points, offering good design at the best possible price,” she says.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, anytime by appointment. 973-443-0303,