AR­TI­FACTS & AN­TIQUES

Poke around this Mas­sachusetts barn and you’re sure to find some­thing you can’t live with­out.

Country Sampler's Prarie Style - - Contents - WRIT­TEN BY Bar­bara Jack­sier. PHO­TOGRAPHED BY Mark Lohman. STYLED BY Fifi O’neill.

Poke around this Mas­sachusetts barn and you’re sure to find some­thing you can’t live with­out.

It’s a well-known fact that if you are look­ing for au­then­tic coun­try an­tiques at rea­son­able prices, it’s best to search out shops in off-the-beaten-track ru­ral ar­eas. The town of Ber­lin in cen­tral Mas­sachusetts fits the bill. Es­tab­lished as an agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity in 1812, it’s pre­cisely the sort of small ham­let where you might ex­pect to find a beau­ti­fully bur­nished old sad­dle, a wood pickle bar­rel, and a painted farm­house ar­moire for sale. What’s sur­pris­ing is that you might find them all for sale un­der the same roof—or at least on the same tract of land.

Since 1999, Sally Barker, the owner of Count­ing Sheep An­tiques, has sold the sort of an­tiques she loves—first in a tiny out­build­ing on her 19th-cen­tury farm and later in its more spa­cious barn. “The larger space has al­lowed me to in­vite other ven­dors to join me,” Sally says. “Be­ing a multi-dealer shop has greatly ex­panded the types of goods I can of­fer.”

Brows­ing the dis­plays of vin­tage fur­ni­ture, kitchen­ware, gar­den goods and home decor, you might also

glimpse a group of artists in­tensely con­cen­trat­ing on their work. “Our ‘Re-hab to Fab’ work­shops are al­ways well at­tended,” Sally says. “Sev­eral years ago, I started us­ing Chalk Paint® dec­o­ra­tive paint by An­nie Sloan to up­cy­cle pieces that I didn’t think any­one would buy oth­er­wise. Now, cus­tomers can learn how to do it them­selves! This ver­sa­tile paint is used to trans­form fur­ni­ture with lit­tle to no prep work.”

Vin­tage Mar­ket Week­ends are also new to Count­ing Sheep An­tiques’ an­nual cal­en­dar of events. The 2014 Fall Vin­tage Mar­ket fea­tured more than 20 deal­ers from all over New Eng­land and was a roar­ing suc­cess. Cus­tomers asked when there would be an­other. Sally, of course, has been happy to oblige. “We are plan­ning a Spring and Fall Mar­ket this year,” she says. “I had no idea the mar­kets would be so popular. Ob­vi­ously, folks around here love to shop.”

OP­PO­SITE: From the mo­ment you en­ter Count­ing Sheep An­tiques’ circa-1860s barn, the at­mos­phere takes you back in time. Owner Sally Barker used An­nie

Sloan’s “Em­peror’s Silk” red Chalk Paint on the photo frame, metal bucket

and wood box. ABOVE: Tracy Wolf of Fresh Vin­tage Mer­can­tile dis­plays a nos­tal­gic col­lec­tion of pil­lows, lace and bric-a-brac. BE­LOW: Sally stages a va­ri­ety of wear­able items on an an­tique wood rack along with a west­ern sad­dle

and wagon wheel. RIGHT: Gayle Mac­chi of Sim­ply Fab­u­lous De­sign stocks her shop with a mix of vin­tage

and ro­man­tic goods that are a re­flec­tion of her per­sonal style. Here,

a green painted dresser is the fo­cal point of one of her dreamy vignettes.

RIGHT: Jackie Locke trav­els near and far seek­ing out weath­ered, chippy and time­worn wares for her bou­tique, Jackie’s Prim­i­tives. BE­LOW: A toy horse waits

for a new best friend in Robins in the Trun­dle Bed’s booth. BOT­TOM: A metal

pow­der-puff case from the 1950s and a nat­u­ral abalone shell hold a trea­sure trove

of hand­made jew­elry in Sally’s shop.

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