Fontaine is all about Christmas these days, but it is not a Christmas shop. The new home decor showroom on East Johnson Street opened in mid-October and is headquarters for interior designer Barry Alan Avery, whose custom orders are stacked neatly in the rear of the shop.
At the shop, you can perch and peruse book after book of fabric samples. Fontaine also sells Company C rugs, which will color your world - just look at the punchy samples. If you don't need a new carpet, you'll at least desire one.
However, what you will notice first about Fontaine are the Christmas decorations, geared toward the vintage. There are piles of boxes of "Shiny Brite" glass ornaments, in the much loved drab-and-green boxes (which will set in motion a complex series of holiday anticipations from childhood, if you're of a certain age; around $20 and up per box). A selection of aluminum Christmas trees ($170-$300) will make the perfect place to hang them.
Large ornaments from Christopher Radko fill out the selection of fragile orbs, and more stock is coming in daily - not that it appears Fontaine is going to run out. Avery has a number of discontinued Radkos as well, including a psychedelic mushroom that's more "White Rabbit" than "White Christmas."
The vintage furniture has a touch of old Hollywood: Note the top hats as a decorating theme, including classic toppers pressed into service as lamp shades. Fontaine sells furniture with "good bones," pieces Avery finds at estate sales and has beautifully reupholstered. The look is upscale, coupled with a delicacy of shape not found in contemporary overstuffed seating.
There are plenty of surprises at Fontaine, too. Just keep looking.
811 E. Johnson St., 608-310-8002
10 am-5 pm Mon.-Fri., 10 am-4 pm Sat.