Susan’s Keen Eye for Unique Finds
by Ashley Stewart
One of the most fun things to do on the Plateau is prowling through the antique shops. Each collection is a reflection of the dedication and discerning eye of the owners and buyers, and no one is as dedicated or discerning as Susan Young at Summer Place Antiques.
For the last nine years, Summer Place Antiques has been providing Cashiers and Highlands with antique furniture and curios from around the world.
What makes Susan stand out from the crowd is the fact that she doesn’t just pick out the pieces she wants in her store. She personally goes looking for them. Every spring, Susan travels to Western Europe to attend antique markets and fairs, searching for the perfect pieces. But these aren’t your average, touristy Saturday street markets. Susan works closely with local dealers in Belgium, prowling through miles and miles of dark, dusty warehouses.
“Being so centrally located in Europe, Belgium is a great melting pot of cultures,” Susan says, “I’ve found pieces from Italy, England, the Black Forest, just about everywhere.”
One of her finds this year was a matching pair of hand-painted Bavarian benches from the late 19th century. The artwork is exquisite and beautifully preserved. The same can be said for the six-foot, hand embroidered wall hanging from the 1920’s. It’s hard not to appreciate the hard work that went into creating something so intricate on such a large scale.
After 35 years of working as an interior designer, Susan has developed a keen eye for pieces that she knows her customers will appreciate. Much of what she finds are what she calls “smalls” – accessory pieces that are easy for seasonal visitors to pack and transport. But she doesn’t shy away from big pieces like dining tables and dressers. Not only is finding furniture on the Plateau more convenient than driving down the mountain, it also adds a more personal touch to your home than just finding something at IKEA.
The only drawback from shipping a 40-foot container full of treasures to Cashiers every year (apart from getting it through Customs, which is an adventure in itself) is finding a place to put it all. Inspired by French street markets, Summer Place Antiques holds their own Paris Flea Market to thin out their inventory. A season long event, Susan is constantly choosing pieces to put in the discount barn to make room for her latest acquirements.
Summer Place Antiques is located 371 Highway 107 South in Cashiers. They’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. For more information on Susan’s latest collection, call (828) 743-9151.