Akulina's Antiques SignWhy Akulina’s Antiques

Call the shop owner crazy, yes that’s me….having a dream of taking a dilapidated building and giving it a face lift. Knowing little about restoration at the time of purchase, nor having a business plan about what the building could become. It was truly an emotional decision to purchase the property and save it for future generations.

Yes, I love collecting but having an antique store was not a foregone conclusion. This property took on a destiny of its own. After several years of pulling apart, cleaning out and starting the major HVAC overhaul, the project took a sidestep. Life changed and my partner was no longer by my side to complete the dream. I sat idle and debated whether to tear it down (or burn it down if I thought I could get insurance monies –only joking) or to pull myself up alone, dig deep and start again.

The transformation began in earnest with many family members and friends pitching in for yard work, painting, wall repair, floor stripping and the like. After 15 months the bottom floor was complete and a day-care owner was interested in renting the space. Sounded good at the time, but the deal never materialized. Conversations with other small business owners came and went. More idle time and antique stuff began to grow and multiple inside as the space became a storage location.

Magically (not really) the idea of the shop was born. Akulina (my daughter’s middle name) is her Russian great-grandmother’s name meaning Golden Eagle. Perfect –add the word antique behind it and I’ll be first in the phone book listings (does anyone use a phone book anymore?). The doors opened in 2007 by chance or by appointment. It’s still pretty much that way, except now the shelves and walls are jammed with antique and collectibles and because the second floor has become my home, it is easy to welcome shoppers when they knock on the door.

Shop motto: even if the Open light isn’t blinking—ring the bell.


About the Building

Akulina Antiques is located in a typical Harmonist single-family frame dwelling constructed in 1820. The red-painted addition was added in approximately 1826. Both downstairs and upstairs the floors are original. Windows were replaced to reflect the period 8-panel windows. Fireplaces on both levels have been restored.

Walls were insulated with pig hair. Kiln-hardened bricks were used for exterior construction on brick structures. S tie rods were used in the center of the brick portion.

Each Harmonist household had its own garden, even though food was provided by the Society. The shed (no longer standing on this property) was vital to the household as a food storage area, tool and wood shed, chicken coop, cow stall, root cellar, and outhouse.

When the building was purchased, it was a 2-unit apartment building in desperate need of TLC.

The interior was chopped up into small dry-wall segmented rooms, the floors were covered with linoleum and carpet, the windows were sagging, the wood-sided add-on was deteriorated and the walls and ceilings needed lots of repair.

On the outside, the yard was only weeds and 11 scraggly trees and large bushes were in random spots. The back corner of the lot was a household garbage dump.