For those of you brave enough to navigate around the Cool Springs area, there are some pockets of treasures. One of those certainly is Northgate Gallery, tucked away from the center of the action, in a quasi-industrial area.
The absolute ONLY reason I ventured inside was because Liza needed to pick up her car being repaired right next door and she had convinced me that this store was a MUST SEE. I walked up to Northgate with trepidation in my soul. It just looked SO big (at over 44,000 sq. feet), and from the outside it looked a little bit TOO nouveau riche, and that there might be lots of “fake antiques” inside (Ouch! What can I say, it’s what I thought!) You know what I am talking about: this type of store, the one I THOUGHT I was entering, is now a staple in too many parts of our fair community….unfortunately.
Well, my first impression was DEAD WRONG. (I actually love it when my first impressions are wrong because it happens enough to keep you on your toes.)
Northgate Gallery is owned by the Clements family. For die-hard antique lovers, the Clements antique auction in Chattanooga is world renowned, as is Northgate Gallery ( I just didn’t know!). With 50+ years under their belt, the family has been in the business for four generations with a focus on European imported furniture including china, lighting and rugs. As we wandered the aisle with Jeff Fleetwood, we saw gorgeous furniture from Scotland, England, France, Italy and Spain. What struck me was the refined craftsmanship and uniqueness of most of the pieces.
The word clever comes to mind again and again. Chairs with seats that reverse, daybeds with carving so exquisite that your mouth drops open and chandeliers gracing the rafters of the ceilings in grandeur. Most of the reproduction pieces at Northgate Gallery are custom made in England by cabinet makers using old wood and techniques from days gone by. The intermingling of antique and reproductions provides a wide and varied price point.
Jeff married into the Clements family (lucky guy) and his knowledge of the business is formidable. At every turn, he would stop and explain the origin, the year and types of woods used in every item of furniture we asked about. I want him to hold a class at the shop and teach about the furniture. He was fascinating to listen to.
Both Liza and I stopped in front of a chest of drawers as if to say, “I saw it first; it’s mine”. Apparently, the technique of stripping, then bleaching fine woods has become quite a popular trend that Jeff saw on his recent buying trips to Europe. We both found the newest addition to our wish list.
TREND? Liza and I never met a TREND we didn’t love. OK, maybe there are a few…
Both of us thought the look of the stripped and bleached oak was OH-SO -CHIC and when Liza found this bedroom set in Restoration Hardware, we thought, “Jeff’s right; it’s a trend. Let’s find more.”
The chest from Northgate Gallery is a tad bit pricey at $45,00, but let’s face it, antiques are like any other investment, if you love it ENOUGH, then buy it. Furniture with a past has a way of grounding our present.
Here are some looks for your to consider. Sometimes you just need to buy a transition piece and then step up for the real McCoy!
Northgate Galley. A beautiful store and a first stop destination whether you are looking for furniture, accessories or lighting.
1690 Mallory Lane
Brentwood, TN 37027