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Our Favorite Store: Gore Dean in Baltimore
It takes flair to mix styles and eras in an old industrial mill and make it look so right. Gore Dean in Baltimore pulls it off. A gilded mirror on rustic brick? Made for each other!
By Amy Claire Preiser
AMY CLAIRE PREISER: This feels more like someone’s chic loft than a store. It actually feels lived in.
DEBORAH GORE DEAN: Well, it doesn’t have just one look. I have antique, contemporary, formal, casual…that’s really how people live now. And when I arrange furniture, I like to imagine that I’m going to sit there and talk to somebody. I say, ‘What do I want to have around me?’ It’s such fun to put the right-size table next to the right-size sofa. When you look in a room and it’s wrong, nine times out of ten it’s about size, proportions. I think that’s what the pros do best.
Is that what you do best?
Oh, I’m not anywhere near as good as designers like Thomas Pheasant or Barry Dixon, whom I’ve worked with. I feel like a B-list actress on the Broadway stage compared to them.
You do love decorative accessories, don’t you?
Accessories are so important for creating a personal style. I’ve noticed that with antiques, people aren’t looking for the utilitarian pieces the way they used to — they want the unique object. If I have an offbeat statue or an odd chandelier, that’s going to sell first.
How do you choose pieces?
I pick things I would buy for my own home. Or I’ll think, ‘Ooh, if only I had a house in Wyoming…in the Hamptons….’
Are you attracted to a particular look?
Anything Billy Baldwin or Billy Haines. Clean, simple, timeless. I think decorating is moving in that direction again.
Did the Billys inspire your chair and sofa designs?
Actually, it was my aunt saying how she hadn’t been able to get out of a chair gracefully since she was 35. Neither can I. So I designed the Marbury chair. I could spring out of it without even putting my hands down to boost off. I thought, boy, this is a winner. But the best part is this — your stomach is flat because you’re sitting up straight.
A chair that flatters!
You can throw away those tummy-tuck jeans.
- Vintage and new china from Hermès, Mottahedeh, and Gore Dean’s favorite, Sunset by Missoni for Richard Ginori.
- Stella Marina aqua planters — stylish, earthy, perfect for indoors.
- 19th-century-style landscapes by itinerant artists Wiggins & Paulsen.
- Dozens of monogram styles (see goredean.com) for luxurious Anichini robes, chiffon pajamas, cashmere blankets. Gore Dean likes to fill corners of napkins with monograms so big, “you can’t even read the letters.”
- Mrs. John L. Strong stationery and gifts. “The best! Those notepads for each room in the house are genius. Our most popular is Media Room.”
- Locally made sea salt caramels. Absurdly delicious! $8.50.