At Umbrella Home Decor, Chic Style Reigns

Old is gold at this eclectic Hopewell interior-design shop.

Umbrella Home Decor Photo courtesy of Umbrella Decor

If you’re on the hunt for 19th-century English, Hollywood Regency or mid-century modern furnishings, you may find what you are looking for at Umbrella Home Decor. The creation of sisters-in-law Fay Sciarra of Lawrenceville and Linda Sciarra of Sergeantsville, Umbrella is a mecca for vintage furniture, art and unusual home accessories.

“We like to mix in offbeat curiosities and love to hear customers tell us that they never know what they’ll find at Umbrella,” Fay says. “Our ever-changing selection is staged to entertain and offer design inspiration.” Fans of flea markets and antique stores, the duo opened their Mercer County retail business in 2009.

Fay, an accomplished assemblage artist, optimized her connections with seasoned antiques dealers after years of buying vintage elements for her artwork. Linda and Fay teamed up with dealers to co-create a home-decor collection and chose the name “Umbrella” because their dealers are committed to the umbrella concept of infusing a showroom with cool, abundant inventory that is not mass-produced.

“We represent the best antiques dealers within 100 miles, and each of our hand-picked dealers has a history of selling antiques for at least 25 years,” adds Linda. “They have diverse expertise and tastes.” With their well-guarded sources and connections, the Umbrella partners consistently offer an eclectic collection of inspired furnishings.

The shop, located 10 minutes from Princeton, features iconic designer pieces by tastemakers such as Tony Duquette, Verner Panton, Mies van der Rohe, Paul Evans, Kelvin LaVerne, Ray Eames and Milo Baughman. Other showroom staples are handcrafted farm tables, as well as tabletops and legs in a variety of styles, sizes and finishes.

Umbrella’s 4,000-square-foot showroom occupies the second floor of Hopewell’s historic Tomato Factory Antiques and Design Center. (Another 20 independent dealers are located on the first floor.) Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Umbrella also sells online at 1stdibs.com and chairish.com, marketplaces for design lovers.

Fay Sciarra and Linda Sciarra Photo courtesy of Umbrella Decor

5 Dealer Tips for Shopping Vintage

Get the best stuff at the best price with these tips from Fay:

1. The most interesting, eclectic interiors mix furnishings of different styles and periods. Before you shop, get ideas from your favorite magazines. 

2. For a home with character, avoid mass-produced items and choose one-of-a-kind and vintage furniture, art, mirrors and found objects. These pieces will elevate everything else in your space, and you might even save money.

3. When buying antiques or mid-century modern furniture, it’s okay to ask for a best price. You can usually get at least 10 percent off any item above $100. 

4. Antiques dealers are used to haggling, so make an offer, but don’t be insulting. (Offering 50 percent of the tag price would be a no-no.)

5. Too busy to drive to a brick-and-mortar shop? Peruse your favorite antiques or vintage dealers online if they sell on 1stdibs.com or chairish.com.

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