Antiques and vintage are plentiful at Peony Lane (video). Occaquan, Virginia, boasts numerous art centers and specialty shops; however, Peony Lane stands out because of the treasure trove and the proprietor Barbara Brookover.
Come along and see Peony Lane through my eyes when I visited.
Peony Lane in Occaquan
Barb greets us enthusiastically from her unique desk or from the doorway leading to the porch. Her friendly demeanor and boisterous manner envelop each visitor, drawing us into Peony Lane.
We can’t move past that welcome without venturing into her shop. But beware. We might have to stay awhile to savor every nook and cranny.
I point out her artful displays. You sigh and look at me with wide eyes. I nod because I know what you’re thinking. How did she get so much in this small place and live to tell about it. Not only that, you can spend hours in two rooms, and you say we have thirty minutes?
But I know I’ll give in and linger with you as though I’ve never been inside!
An old cooling chest shouts “welcome” when we veer from the hallway to the right. I almost want to lean over and pull out a frosty glass bottled drink. Barb has a few peeking out the top.
On smaller tables behind the box, she displays a woman’s vintage hat, compacts, a handheld mirror, and graceful perfume bottles from another era.
To the left of the ice box, a sideboard is replete with photographs and paintings which enhanced the rooms of the early 1900s. We loved the dessert glasses, an oil lamp, and period cookie tins. Imagine the ginger snaps or sugar cookies little hands pulled from those containers!
As we saunter around the room, the slight creak in the floor reminds us of another time.
The gilded chair with elaborate pheasant cloth begs us to stop. But you point out we can’t sit down because the pair of lady’s shoes has taken the seat. A nearby lamp yields a soft glow on animal and flower figurines.
A Second Room
With her winsome salesmanship, Barb wanted me to have it. But I had to pass on that lovely creation. I let a collection of classic napkins suffice.
Jewelry spills out of open drawers. Pearls cascade over a mirror. But we must hurry on.
The back area provided more china, lamps, pillows, and candle holders. Dolls and aprons dot the surfaces.
Even though we have to leave, you and I want to keep in touch with Barb. What a delight!
Peony Lane’s Future
Early in October, Barbara posted on her Facebook page that Peony Lane will close at the end of the year.
Her reason is understandable. She is a “GeGe” and feels this new grandmotherly adventure might rival and exceed her past endeavor.
Barbara, we wish you Godspeed on your journey to impact another generation. Who knows . . . Adalynn might join you in another vintage adventure some day.
Until we meet again on the road, dear reader,