We wondered if the owners were in cahoots or if they just had a healthy sense of humour. How better to find out than to go and ask?
We found ourselves stopping at the Blue Dog first where we grabbed a hot chocolate, a green tea latte, and a blueberry muffin demanded by our toddler. We admired the textures and colours of Holly O’s current art installation hanging on the walls and settled into a cozy spot by the fireplace where we could see our next destination from the front windows: an enchanting little cottage aptly named Orange Cat Antiques.
This lovely little antique shop is filled with interesting treasures arranged how one might organize their own home: a living room fitted with Persian rugs, framed artwork, settees and a coffee table. A kitchen with vintage bowls, plates and bakeware. A dining room with a table and chairs and a full set of china. We wandered the shop like we might a museum, peaking into someone’s homestead, imagining how they used to live.
We met the owners John and Peg not long from closing time. They recently returned from living in Shanghai for a number of years before choosing Brantford to set up their dream shop, which only opened last November. During the summer they have a booth at Aberfoyle, one of our favourite and most frequently-visited antique shows because of its diversity of stalls and fun wooden play parks for Moo.
John and Peg graciously allowed us to explore and photograph their store. Each room was as considered as the name of the business itself; ‘Orange Cat Antiques’ is admittedly a friendly play on its location across from Blue Dog, but it is also in tribute to Peg’s two beloved ginger cats. A large statue of an orange tiger – affectionately named Tony – greets customers from the till counter. It is one of the many whimsical cat pieces in their cat lovers collection.
With a healthy sense of playfulness, Orange Cat Antiques is also a great place to find quality antiques at a reasonable price. Even their website is well-kept with each piece of current stock clearly photographed and labeled with a price – an admirable level of organization amongst antique shops.
Our favourite of all the rooms was the Rug Room, a small squarish space stacked from floor to ceiling with stunning Middle Eastern and Asian carpets. The size variety and overall quality was impressive, from large 8×10′ area rugs to long runners. Having spent a large part of last year seeking a set of our own rugs, we fully appreciate Orange Cat’s collection. In particular there is one rug – admittedly the most expensive of the room – depicting an unusual hunting scene set on a blue field. If you buy it, please invite us over often so we can admire it to the degree it deserves.
Alas, we know that once we’ve buffered our savings we’ll be back to this part of town, and we’ll be on a mission: three hot drinks and a blueberry muffin from the Blue Dog please, then a wander over to Orange Cat for a few large rugs.