- A view of Meagan Camp’s space at the Hyde Park Antiques Center, featuring a collection of items found in an historic Rhinebeck barn used as a flower nursery from the 1940s to the 1960s: terra cotta pots with patina, wooden apple boxes with “Rhinebeck, New York” tags, little berry baskets with faded green rims, vintage garden tools, seed envelopes, and hand-stamped planting tags.
If Meagan Camp’s shop wasn’t located in the Hyde Park Antiques Center, you wouldn’t realize that she’s selling authentic relics. You’d think you stepped into Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn, stores that are full of brand new, antique-looking items. Camp has combined the best of both worlds: truly vintage pieces displayed in an airy, clutter-free, sweet little nook.
Owe it to the childhood years she spent examining her mom’s home catalogs with a magnifying glass. Or to the display and exhibit design degree she received from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Or to her current job as an interior stylist for an agency in San Francisco. Whatever’s responsible, Camp’s youthful, contemporary vision is changing our perspective on antiques.
“I’m trying to make antiques fun again,” Camp says. After living on each coast, she settled in Rhinebeck, taking along the West Coast vision she adopted. “In California, people enjoy their life. Nothing is too perfect. See this silverware? It’s a bit tarnished.” Camp is partial to lived-in elegance, evident by the worn baseball mitts, stacks of stained clay flowerpots and delicate church windows that adorn her coop at the Antiques Center.
For her work as a stylist, Camp is always scouting for props. “I’m constantly on the hunt for beautiful and interesting items,” she says. “I found myself constantly frustrated with the stereotypical ‘dark’ and ‘dusty’ aesthetics that seem to follow the world of antiques.” Instead of old-fashioned, musty objects, her nook is outfitted with crisp paper seed envelopes, faded berry baskets, and a gray, wooden fruit ladder. White Chinese lanterns hang overhead and torn out pages from nature books line the walls. The white fireside chair and rare birdcage can be credited to the antiques picker she works with, Mary Ellen Dean of Fiddlehead Farm.
Camp has only been at Hyde Park Antiques for two months, but she’s already eager for a second plot. To fit the limited space, she skillfully edits her collection to create each installation. For this spring’s display, Camp cleared out the 1762 Strawberry Hill barn in Rhinebeck, which was used as a lilac nursery in the 1940s. The current garden-style antiques for sale reflect Camp’s soft spot for all things fresh. “I keep coming back to that word, fresh,” she says.
Camp’s work has been seen in Rue and Hudson Valley Magazine, and she has an upcoming shoot with Country Living. Eventually, she hopes to turn her antiquing side job and Telesca jewelry business into a bone fide lifestyle and vintage shop she can call her very own—with all of the space she could possibly need. For more information, visit Camp’s website at Meagancampstyle.com, or read her blog at Meagancamp.blogspot.com.