Few things are as comfortable or as comforting as a favorite chair or blanket, and designer Janice McCarty has improved on these two old faithfuls by combining them in new and unexpected ways. McCarty combs local antiques shops and swap meets for furniture with character, then restores her finds and swathes them in materials also culled from antiquing forays. The result is overstuffed Americana with a sense of humor.
This departure from McCarty’s usual work as a designer of women’s and children’s clothing began as a personal adventure when she set out to furnish her own home, but it quickly blossomed into a true cottage industry. Now her clothing shop on Third Street boasts wing chairs covered in zigzagging crazy quilts, side chairs draped in stars and stripes, and pillows wrapped in wool camp blankets. But upholstered pieces aren’t McCarty’s only offerings on the furniture front. She also transforms such standard flea market fare as picture frames, bookshelves, and wooden boxes by applying aluminum sheeting patterned with her own hammered designs. Some of her motifs are inspired by Bloomsbury artists, but they take on a fresh dimension when rendered in metal. Now visitors to McCarty’s cozy shop can be outfitted from hem to hearth.