In the long stretch of South Boulevard, you'll find a niche of Charlotte that could be called our Décor District. The area has longed served artists of all kinds and holds a steady place among the interior design set, boasting over 120 unique shops and stops for the aspiring Martha Stewart. Two new furniture stores are added to the row: the recently opened Nadeau and the soon-to-open Southend Trading Company.
For those with an ample budget (or a lotto jackpot win itching to be spent), South Boulevard boasts High Cotton Home Company and The Furniture Connector to cover design and furniture finds. Owner Rodney Hines has reigned at the The Furniture Connector for 12 years, marking his territory in the South End — as the hipsters say — before it was cool. High Cotton Home opened its doors in 2011 in a mix of business and residential buildings directly off of South Boulevard. The latest venture, Southend Trading Company, is gearing up for a grand opening and promises to throw open its stylish doors in the next few months.
Promising to be a mix of modern, French and reclaimed goods, Hines declares in his self-titled newsletter that, "Southend Trading Company will resemble a Paris Flea Market, with a sprinkle of that incredible furniture you remembered as a kid. It will be a fabulous combo of one-offs, unique items and a plethora of fun accessories. What are these things we are referring to? Things that every man, woman and child can fill home with memories." (For more on the man-of-the-hour Hines, check out this recent story from CL contributor Laura Camilo: A Partnership of Sorts; The "retail queen" of Furniture Connector and High Cotton Home.)
To get an idea of what Southend Trading Company may offer, check out the modern gleam of High Cotton Home the next time you swing by The Wine Loft or Cluck-n-Cup and imagine a little Parisian chic thrown into the mix.
For those with a little less change in their pockets but big design dreams, Nadeau is your new wonderland. Located at 3100 South Blvd. in the brick building next to The Lamp Place and across the street from E-Z Pawn, Nadeau is so new it still smells like fresh paint.
Charlotte is the latest big city to host a branch off of the Nadeau tree; transplants from Chicago, New York and Hollywood may have strolled by a Nadeau storefront before. Nadeau isn't a sterile chain store though — there's no pricey Pier 1 faux-boho here. The brand's motto is "furniture with a soul" and lists what will never be found in their stores: never mass-produced, never cookie-cutter or flavor-of-the-month and never boring.
All of the pieces are handmade in India or Indonesia, and are sturdy, solid woodworks of art. But the most stunning thing of all is the price: Affordable. No, we mean really affordable. It was almost shocking to see a beautifully textured, rich chocolate-colored dining room table for under $600, and it was one of the most expensive items in the store. And no, that figure is not missing a comma. (Picture below as proof of the low-price.)
For around the same price as a Target-fabricated bookshelf that requires an hour of assembly, Nadeau can provide a brightly painted and detailed wooden shelf that will stand the test of time (and moving vans).
That's what really separates Nadeau from the already eclectic mix of the Décor District. "Value," says manager Robert Young. "We offer all-wood furniture at unbeatable prices. That's how we operate. Each piece is handmade and hand-painted and when [customers] leave the store they leave with a one-of-a-kind item."
Rich textures dominate the open floor; soft woven chairs, Union Jack pillows in canvas, intricately carved wooden frames for large mirrors. Every armoire handle and desk drawer are aching to be touched again by a human hand, and ready to be placed in your home. The new Charlotte Nadeau is a welcome treat for the eyes, and the wallet.
Visit Nadeau at 3100 South Blvd., and Southend Trading Company will open in the fall at 2935 Griffith St.