Set up to look like an old-fashioned general store, Moon River Chattel in Williamsburg is a charming, rustic yet chic shop with an inventory that way supersedes flour, sugar and penny candies. My favorite thing about this boutique is that it straddles the fence between thrift and vintage; you won’t find broken or chipped dining wear or furniture with torn upholstery. Rather, the goods at Moon River have already been salvaged and refurbished to maintain their antique appeal but with a hint of modernity. For seasoned antique shoppers like myself, this means no sifting through the rubbish to find the gem – every piece here is that gem. In fact, the craftsmen at Moon River restore their orphan finds right across the street. By request, Moon reps will take you on a tour of the workshop where you can purchase undone pieces at lower prices.
Even if you’re not ready to make an actual purchase here, Moon River is a fabulous place to start when setting off on your journey to find the perfect lampshade. Your imagination is certain to be sparked with ideas for honing in on “the one”. You’ll also find kitchenware, wrapping paper, books, plant pots –along with a humble collection of sofas, tableware, bed linen, soaps, distressed wood shelving, and a hodge-podge of other large and small goods.
Price wise, Moon River Chattel is a location often crossed out on shoppers’ lists of stores to shop at. In other words, Moon is not cheap. Case in point: an empire dresser for $875, a single sheet of wrapping paper for $3 and a simple pair of antique wooden chairs for $200. The last time I was at Moon River, I purchased a ruffled kitchen apron adorned with a cabbage-rose pattern for $45.
The service at Moon River is notorious for being somewhat unavailable and aloof. I am the type of shopper that doesn't like to be bothered much. Particularly in an antique shop where there are so many nooks and crannies to get into, I prefer that my curiosity not lose its momentum – so the iffy service doesn't bother me. I hope it’s not a qualm of yours, because you’d really be missing out if you didn’t visit Moon River.