Country Market Mercantile, Mandarine, and More

A peek inside the latest buzz-worthy design news happening in Connecticut.
Storage and fireplace

Country Market Mercantile: Photograph by Morgan Yeager

Country Market Mercantile, in the Silvermine section of Norwalk, has served as a local commissary for the past century, selling everything from daily goods to antiques. The general store now offers items for a modern country lifestyle and features some of the comforting furnishings from the adjacent Inn at GrayBarns. The gift and coffee shop features Intelligentsia coffee, fresh baked goods by SoNo Bakery and take-away culinary provisions from the GrayBarns kitchen. Floral arrangements and curated retail items include “GrayGoods,” a line of home and lifestyle items designed by Nikki Glazer, made ethically in the U.S. 193 Perry Ave., Norwalk,

dresser with green walls and lamps.

Mandarine: Photograph by Jorge Gera

Orange Twist
Business partners Courtney Chessen and Lori Waller have opened Mandarine, an interior design, home furnishings and gifts store in Darien, modeled after the success of their original store in Glenview, IL. Chessen, who was raised in Darien and returns frequently to visit family, spotted a vacant store in downtown Darien this past summer and knew it would be the perfect location for an East Coast shop. The aesthetic is unpretentious yet classic and geared toward homeowners who need help with a project or designers that are looking for unique accessories to complete a room (designers receive a trade discount). The store is set up as room vignettes and features many designer lines, as well as a signature selection of pillows and upholstery. 863 Post Rd., Darien, 203-767-3303,

Pretty Please
Recently opened in Westport’s Sconset Square, the Sitting Pretty shop is filled with stylish finds from local artisans, offered alongside goods from American and European vendors. Tabletop, home accessories and gifts are curated by Westport native and store owner Laura Mason. A few of Mason’s favorite things: Paige Gemmel pillows, home accessories by Dana Gibson, jewelry by Helga Wagner of Palm Beach and artwork by friend and artist Carol Calicchio. Mason scouts out vintage and one-of-a-kind treasures during her travels for an ever-changing eclectic inventory. 6 Sconset Square, Westport, 203-349-5061.

Photo courtesy of Recycle Robshaw

From Rags to Riches
Finding a solution for the leftover fabrics, off-dye lots, misprints and color variations that are inherent with handprinting and handblocking, John Robshaw has introduced Recycle Robshaw. Blazers, blankets, robes, vests and eye masks are some of the products created from remnant fabrics. Robshaw notes that the textiles, though flawed, are still beautiful and present an interesting design challenge to find inventive uses for the material. “In my bedding and fabric world, we’re always printing, and we always have off-dye lots, misprints and color variations from handblocking,” says Robshaw. “I wanted to be responsible for our waste, and so Recycle Robshaw was born.” Available through Fig Linens, Westport, 203-227-8669,,

New Haven Happening
Torrco’s new design center in the Elm City boasts 3,200 square feet, showcasing the latest trends in luxury and wellness products for the home. The space was designed with inspiration in mind. Clients can test products, including working steam showers, showerheads, air tubs and faucets. Torrco also carries shower doors, custom vanities, countertops, hardware and accessories. Lighting is creatively displayed, suspended from clouds hung from the showroom’s high ceilings. Consultants are highly trained and situated throughout the showroom to assist trade and retail customers. 105 Hamilton St., New Haven, 203-867-4096,

A print version of this article appeared with the headline: Design Notes