- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lucketts, Va., is a town with one stoplight but dozens of armoires, iron garden statues and French-inspired linens. That’s because the tiny outpost seven miles past Leesburg has become something of a mecca for local antiques enthusiasts. Three antiques and home-decor stores line the main intersection in Lucketts, and it is the place to be whether you are looking for a piece with history or just browsing.

“There is something here for just about everyone,” says Amy Whyte, an interior designer who has been working at the Old Lucketts Store since it opened 12 years ago.

In fact, it was the Old Lucketts Store that put Lucketts on the antiques-hunters’ map. Owners Pat and Suzanne Eblen bought the building, a former general store and post office that had fallen into disrepair, with the idea of restoring it and opening their own store.

Thirty independent dealers display their stock in the store. That makes for an eclectic mix of handmade soaps, refurbished china cabinets, whimsical tote bags made from oilcloth, midcentury modernistic pleather love seats and glass knobs to give cabinets new life. Ms. Whyte calls it “vintage hip.”

Sure, a large piece of restored furniture may be costly, but a shopper also can find bargains here. Much of what is for sale is similar to what one would find in grandma’s attic, and it is priced accordingly. A set of sterling silver spoons, for example, is $14. A bowl of antique pool balls is $28. The glass knobs run $5 each.

The Old Lucketts Store has a monthly Design House Showcase the first weekend of every month. That’s when the staff redecorates a neighboring building and offers everything for sale. Ms. Whyte says customers may come to Lucketts to save money but leave with inspiration after they see what a change of hardware and a coat of paint can do.

A similar lesson can be learned next door at Beekeeper’s Cottage, starting with the bright polka-dotted exterior. Inside, the store offers “romantic home furnishings for the wonderfully spoiled home,” owner Nancy Hilliard says.

Beekeeper’s Cottage, which also opened in 1996, is modeled mostly on Rachel Ashwell’s “shabby chic” design, meaning this is the place to shop if you are in the market for a pink painted bed frame, chintz pillows and other very feminine goods.

Beekeeper’s Cottage specializes in unique gifts such as soap that looks like robin’s eggs, pricey bubble bath recommended by Oprah and all things heart-shaped.

One current best-seller is a replica of a World War II-era poster that says, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” Ms. Hilliard says.

A sign of a new attitude in tough economic times? Most likely, Ms. Hilliard says. Stores with moderately priced goods such as the ones in Lucketts are doing well, perhaps because people are giving up the idea of a house full of new furniture and instead seeking a great find with a history, she says.

“People are nesting, but not spending their money on getting a whole house redone,” Ms. Hilliard says. “But they still need to have a house feel like home.”

Rounding out the home-oriented trio of Lucketts stores is Really Great Finds, the place to find goods before they experience a rehabber’s touch. This store, across the street from the Old Lucketts Store and Beekeeper’s Cottage, specializes in furniture and has a huge collection of outdoor items, such as planters, iron statues and other salvaged items that would look great in the backyard.

Want to go antiquing?

• The Old Lucketts Store, open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is at 42350 Lucketts Road, Lucketts. Call 703/779-0268 or visit www. luckettstore.com for more information.

• Beekeeper’s Cottage also is at 42350 Lucketts Road. Call 703/771-9006 or visit www.beekeperscottage.com. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Really Great Finds is at 42410 Stumptown Road, Lucketts. The store’s summer hours - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except closed Wednesday - start March 1. Call 703/779-7709 or visit www.reallygreat finds.com.

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