Home and Table Magazine: Greater Philadelphia Edition Spring2017 - Page 17

Preserve the Present A few blocks across town, innovative design and old-world craftsmanship intersect at a new, lifestyle-minded store. By Scott Edwards Preservation Fine Goods, a small-batch home goods and furniture store, opened in November on Lambertville’s Church Street, which, block for block, may be the densest concentration of design-minded resources in the Philadelphia suburbs. Kate Marsh, its owner/curator, smiles easily, betraying her Midwestern roots. She’s here because she sensed a need, first within her own house- hold and then among others like her, trying to forge a modern existence in homes that run 100-, 200-years-old. Preservation is the rightful way. But the preservation of what? What matters, of course. Materials matter “I have a real interest in material, so everything here is based kind of in craft discipline. So, ceramics, metal, wood, for sure, and textile,” Marsh says. “And then I just try to find, besides ourselves, people that are making elevated design decisions with those materials.” Preservation is Marsh’s first store, but not her first business. She ran a graphic design company in New York for about a decade before she left to pursue a furniture design graduate degree at the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. There, she met her hus- band, who’s from the Lambertville area and is a cofounder of the sav- vy, Philly-based furniture and home goods line, Edgewood Made, whose pieces make up most of the store’s evolving inventory, including a pair of corn on the cob holders that Marsh designed under the label and refers to as “jewelry for the table.” Less is more Marsh’s travels are extensive: a year-and-a-half in England, most recent- ly, a few months in Buenos Aires. An d everywhere she’s been, she’s sought out the “minimal expression” of the culture. A couple of large-format, intricately detailed prints of the interior of trees’ trunks hang in the store. “I think there’s another artist who does something similar, but it’s all reproduction and I only wanted the ink on the paper and to feel that connection with the maker,” she says. Preservation, likewise, is spare by design—white walls and shelves, dark wood floors and tables. And the subdued palette carries over to the fea- tured pieces. The thinking goes, according to Marsh’s logic, the less you have, the more you can invest in it, financially, sure, but emotionally, too. To her, an Edgewood Made porcelain pitcher’s staying power is as import- ant as how and by whom it was made. Furniture is a lifestyle Marsh has a hard time defining her motivation for opening Preservation. It’s clearly not a vehicle for driving her furniture. Two months after open- ing, she had yet to include a single piece. “I will, I will,” she says. “I think, like, my first instinct, though, is to try and make it feel like a complete environment. I passionately wanted to promote a certain life, a lifestyle brand or something.” The difficulty in articulating it may stem from the fact that it’s still a life- style-in-progress. Her own home, an old farmhouse, is mired in a major renovation. They gutted their kitchen, built their own cabinets, because they’re woodworkers, and then lost their momentum. The store, however, seems to have become an inspiration, the realization of her aesthetic, her philosophy, really. “I have a schedule for the next three or four months where the bathroom and the kitchen are going to get done,” she says. Preservation Fine Goods, 9 Church Street, Lambertville; preservationfinegoods.com. 17 homeandtablemagazine.com | SPRING 2017