This Garwood Shop Is a Haven for All Things Antique, Peculiar and Beautiful

Cheech & Roo offers repurposed furniture, curious finds and a feel-good experience.

Elisa Miranda with husband Moe and daughter Madison, 26, whose nickname, Cheech, gave the store its name along with Roo, her brother, Ross (not pictured). Doberman pinscher Suede is the store mascot. Photo: Erik Rank

Entering the world of wonders that is Cheech & Roo is a sensory experience. From the visually enchanting entryway, with framed vintage photographs and elegantly poised statuary, to the inviting scent that at once seems familiar and new. The space feels homey. Music plays softly, and guests feel welcome to indulge the urge to run a hand along one of the smooth, glossy painted chests or tug open an ornate, brass-handled drawer.

Creating this haven for all things antique, beautiful and peculiar was the natural result of owner Elisa Miranda following her instincts. “I’m visual; I want people to walk in and be wowed. There’s texture and layering; walls aren’t just painted, they are stamped or Venetian plastered.” 

A former art student, in 2014 Miranda gave an old dresser she owned a new look with paint and fell in love with revitalizing and repurposing furniture.

“At that time, it was all about chalk painting,” says the exuberant Roselle Park resident, “but that trend passed.” Today, she says, the glassy finish of lacquer is the hot furniture fad, adding, “I can do any look.” Her repertoire of custom finishes is broad and her verve about the work even more vast. “We do new pieces, heirlooms, kitchen cabinets. We pick up and deliver, everything,” she says.

Miranda’s quirky items range from vintage dishes to porcelain teeth to a church’s confessional kneeler. Photo: Erik Rank

Miranda says Garwood—known as the small town with a big heart—is an ideal location, sandwiched between the tony, million-dollar-house towns of Westfield and Cranford. “But it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive up in,” she says. 

“People are always telling me to change my prices. But I believe living good can be affordable. Bring your kids, bring your coffee. I want the just-looking crowd to come in and wander. I don’t follow people around. You can look, and you can leave. It’s about the experience.”

Maybe you will buy something, maybe you won’t—but if you see a clever arrangement of vintage pipes and go home and style your grandfather’s collection similarly, Miranda says she’ll be delighted. 

Filled with repurposed furniture, Cheech & Roo is also a treasure of vintage home goods and quirky finds, plus items Miranda just loves, like goods from Bridgewater Candle Company, images from travel photographer Scott Levy of Rahway, and fanciful handmade jewelry by Bill Wagner of Cranford. 

“Sometimes people come in with laptops and lounge. There’s even a couple having an engagement party here,” Miranda says. “The space has taken on its own life.”

Cheech & Roo, 246 North Avenue, Garwood; 908-619-9693

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