A truly unique shop opened for business at 67 Purchase Street last month. Junktique Recycling breathes as much life into antiques, as it does the indoor corridor next to Chase Bank.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
A truly unique shop opened for business at 67 Purchase Street last month. Junktique Recycling breathes as much life into antiques, as it does the indoor corridor next to Chase Bank. Owners Laszlo and Daniella Toth Farkas sell vintage furniture, as well as pieces refurbished with Chalk Paint, created by Annie Sloan, one of the world’s leading decorative painting experts.
“We try to look for truly unique pieces, and we paint only those that are worn. It’s easy to do it with Chalk Paint,” explained Daniella. “My goal is to help people see the beauty of recycling and reusing old pieces, whether they paint the furniture themselves or have me do it.”
“Junktique,” a portmanteau combining “junk” and “antiques,” reflects the universal credo that “one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure.” As far as the “Recycling,” the Farkases say being environmentally conscious and appreciating the value of reusing old furnishings comes naturally to them.
“Back in Hungary, we appreciate the older things and we’re pleased to see that’s the trend here now,” said Daniella, referring to their homeland. “We’d rather buy an older piece that needs a little bit of work than buy a new piece that is not built to last and is more expensive.”
Coming full circle, when Daniella first came to the United States as an exchange student 13 years ago, she landed in Rye. She took classes at Manhattanville College, worked as an au pair in Harrison, and hung out with her new friends in Starbucks on Purchase Street. She and Laszlo met here, married two years ago, and opened their first store in Norwalk.
“We had a lot of clients in Norwalk coming from Westchester County and New York City, so we began looking for a second location,” said Daniella. “I never thought I’d have a business here. I am thrilled because I have such good memories of Rye.”
An inspiring duo, Laszlo buys the furnishings and makes repairs, while Daniella has the eye for color, does the painting, and runs the paint workshops. They renovated the 1,200 square-foot site themselves, utilizing resilient recycled materials like barn wood. They installed a paint bar, a workshop corner, and cleverly painted the floor with Annie Sloan’s palette.
Upon her discovery of Sloan through a customer at Norwalk’s Junktique Recycling, Daniella rushed to Rhode Island, the closest distributor, to purchase her first batch of Chalk Paint. Sparing no time, she worked with it, sent Sloan photos of her finished pieces, and inquired about selling Chalk Paint at Junktique Recycling.
Impressed, Sloan, who hand picks all her “stockists,” welcomed her on board, and it’s exclusive to Junktique Recycling from Norwalk to New York City.
Trained extensively in faux finishing and other techniques, Daniella now holds four-hour workshops on Saturday mornings at the new shop for $150, a special promotion running through November.
The beauty of Chalk Paint, which is available in a broad range of vibrant colors, is that it’s entirely user friendly. Remarkably, it requires no sanding, stripping, or priming and it may be applied with brushes or rollers. The fast drying paint is then followed with a coat of clear soft wax for a modern look or dark soft wax for an antique finish. In addition, it can be applied to any surface, including wood, metal, plastic, and terracotta. It works as well on old furniture and floors as it does on walls and ceilings.
“Chalk Paint has nothing to do with chalk board paint,” noted Daniella. “It is named for its chalky consistency before the wax coating is applied. It’s also important to know it’s non-toxic, lead-free, and odorless. ”
Daniella and Laszlo welcome lovers of antiques, as well as those Daniella calls D.I.Y.s (Do-It-Yourselfers), who are happy buying a quart of Chalk Paint and refinishing furniture themselves.
“I love working with people and I love painting pieces and transforming them from ugly to beautiful,” she remarked. “It is very satisfying work.”
For more information about products and workshops, call 481-5353 or log on to www.junktiquerecycling.com. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.