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The Little Door time

New antique shop brings more
by: vern uyetake Angela Dickson talks about this baker’s table that she found and how she “brought it back to life.”

This isn't your grandmother's antique store. Instead of sifting through crowded piles for treasures, Angela Dickson wanted her new antique store - The Little Door located in the historic Willamette district in West Linn - to feel crisp, clean and like an upscale boutique.

'I lived in L.A. for many years. This is how I shop,' the West Linn resident said. 'You can see everything. It's simple. If you're looking for something, get right to it.'

Blending antiques - such as a baker's table, light fixtures, a hutch or cart - with new items like candles, pillows and fresh linens, the store at 1871 Willamette Falls Drive is decorated in a soft palette of grays and rich wood tones with white accents. The presentation is minimalist and the vignette displays portray an entire room at a time.

'Here you can buy a whole bedroom or bathroom set rather than one thing,' she said. 'The typical antique store here in Oregon is stuff upon stuff upon stuff upon stuff.'

You still find the treasures, Dickson said, but it's much easier. The store, for example, is named after Dickson's daughter's playhouse. After moving into her home off Petes Mountain Road, she and her daughter climbed a tall ladder in the backyard to see the playhouse for the first time and marveled at it's little door - 'a little treasure,' Dickson said.

And while the shop opened just a few weeks ago, Dickson said decorating the space and bringing in fresh inventory came naturally.

'It's my style. I love shabby chic and some of the pieces stand naturally with their own patina,' Dickson said. 'All the antiques have been refurbished or repurposed - or just rebuilt.'

But they've all been appraised, she said.

'The value that (appraisers) put on (some items) is astronomical. I appreciate the value, but I don't think it necessarily has to be the dollar value. It's what you're going to get out of it. It's how long it's going to be in your family,' Dickson said. 'In this economy, it's more of a decorative value I put on the antique.'

And finding the right customer to fall in love with it.

'If you love it all, you'll make it work in a room. Woods don't have to match,' Dickson said. 'It can be very cohesive if you tie it in with a color, like this white linen.'

Dickson said she hopes to be a scout for unique pieces for the local community - and she delivers large pieces locally.

'I find stuff everywhere. I'm constantly looking. We go all over the place. If we're going on a family vacation, I make my husband make 10 stops along the way,' she said.

For local homeowners who haven't decorated with this type of decor, Dickson said there is nothing to be afraid of.

'Don't get intimidated by antiques if (you) don't have a house full of them. Just mix it in with what you have,' she said. 'Mix (antiques) in in a way that makes the room feel cozy and inviting - it's an easy elegance.'

The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday and can be reached at 503-679-7191.The shop shares a space with the 2nd Time Around consignment and upholstery store.