WHAT WE LOVE: A lifestyle shop celebrating impeccable craftsmanship, purity of form, and nature’s ever-changing palette. We would love to live in the beautifully merchandised Plain Goods.
WHO: Interior designer Michael DePerno and fashion brand manager, Andrew Fry.
WHERE: New Preston, a charming rural village in the northwest corner of Litchfield county, Connecticut.
A Best Lifestyle shop, the beautiful Plain Goods is located in New Preston, Connecticut. Proprietors Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry chose the name, ‘Plain’ to honor their preference for a simple unadorned aesthetic, and ‘Goods’ as a nod to a “dry goods” shop representative of the range of products they carry. Plain Goods has a beautifully curated mix of new, antique and vintage items, with a focus on well-made items that are handsome and practical in their simplicity. Popular items include vintage and antique furniture and accessories, men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, and home textiles such as linen napkins and fabric by the yard. We first featured Plain Goods in 2016 however outgrowing their original shop, in 2019 Plain Goods moved to a larger space. Relocating within the charming town of New Preston to the historic Pavilion Hall, Plain Goods expanded their retail space from 700 to 6,000 square feet spread over two floors.
Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry, shopkeepers at Plain Goods
For Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry being shopkeepers is a way for them to share the things they love and their vision for beautiful and creative interiors. Michael has always been a shopkeeper, and previously had shops in New York City and California. Also an interior designer, Plain Goods is the perfect opportunity for Michael to convey his point of view to potential clients. Andrew’s background is in fashion PR, marketing and branding.
What inspires you? We are inspired by life; nature, travel, small museums, architecture, quality craftsmanship, old homes and their many original details, textiles and our customers and their appreciation of our work.
Who inspires you? We are inspired by the many designers that we carry in our shop. Margaret Howell for her steadfast and thoughtful approach to designing and creating quality garments that are meant to last. Elena Endriukaitiene from Uzupio Keturiolika for her exquisite personal style and devotion to some of the most thoughtfully designed clothing we’ve ever seen. Her attention to detail is evident in all aspects of her garments from silk linings to flat-piped satin interior seams. Her fabrics are also perfectly composed, many of them coming from Italy and Japan.
These creations become the inspiration for our twice-yearly campaigns which we shoot locally in Connecticut. For us, this is the ultimate moment where our clothing, locations, styling, photographers and the other creatives that we work with come together and create a glimpse of what we see as being beautiful and hopefully inspiring to our customers.
Our inspiration runs deep for the many artisans that we employ, from the small furniture restorers who can still do the richest French polishing to the upholsterers and slipcover makers who use brass zippers, cotton thread and tack and hammer with real ticking for the undersides of sofas and chairs.It’s these people, who honor what they create and care deeply about the quality of their work, which is a constant inspiration. We truly believe in the saying it’s all in the details.
What are your favorite shops? One of our all-time favorite shops was L.Becker in NYC. They’ve recently closed their doors at this location and will re-emerge in NJ. Pupi Solari in Milan for classic children’s clothing, Massimo Alba in Milan, Odetta Vintage in Paris. We love a handful of old school fabric shops around New England. The Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington, CT, and Michael Trapp in West Cornwall, CT. Friedrichs Optik on Park Avenue in NYC offers the most exquisite horn eyeglass frames coupled with excellent service. Without a doubt, any good antique shop, thrift shop, and flower shop around the world that is authentic and that doesn’t follow the latest trends.
On The Future of Retail
“We hope it returns to what it used to be or at least a version thereof. A time when people had to venture out and have a true experience. I still buy most things when we’re out and about and rarely buy online. It’s important to see, feel, smell, try things on etc. It’s not that we’re against online shopping but the pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction that somewhere in the middle would be wonderful.”
17 East Shore Road, New Preston CT