Snatching the perfect vintage find can be difficult given the amount of reproductions that are on the market these days.
That may be the case unless you are Michael Kalesti, the owner of the recently opened Kent Décor in Bedford. The 500-square-foot store is chock full of authentic vintage and modern home décor items representing a variety of home styles, from mid-century modern to Hollywood Regency and everything in between.
Kent Décor brims with a combination of new and vintage contemporary home furnishings – vintage lamps, antique dressers, coffee tables, chairs, mirrors, ceramics, sculptures, unique gifts, both vintage and new, along with the abstract paintings of Rebecca Ruoff, who works alongside Kalesti and whose works are sold in the store.
The business also serves as a consignment destination for those interested in consigning furniture, art and home décor.
Kalesti, who ran a similar business, Kent Home in Chappaqua, until he closed it in March, started in the designer menswear business and remained there for 20 years. He worked in New York City with companies such as Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss, among others.
While living in Manhattan, he spent almost every weekend hunting the city’s flea markets and looking through old estate finds and other treasures. His passion for authentic vintage items led him to create the business he now owns, as well as applying for membership to the high-end luxury dealer platform 1stdibs, which Kent Décor has been a member of since 2013.
Retaining a brick and mortar store is crucial to the success of his business, said Kalesti, a Colorado native.
“For us it’s important that our customers and the designers we work with can come into the store and see the items for themselves,” Kalesti said.
Most of his inventory is purchased through a trusted network of dealers, while other pieces come to him via word of mouth, through clients who are downsizing or from local realtors.
Some of the pieces found at Kent Décor include an early 20th century Italian chandelier made of Murano glass, the mid-century Roman warrior table lamps, and Chinese Jingfa cloisonné table lamps.
Kent Décor also represents a number of high-end furnishing and lighting companies, including Anteriors, the leading provider of luxury lighting, wall décor and decorative accessories and well-known brands such as Herman Miller, Knoll and Restoration Hardware. Customers can order items from Chilewich, Litalla Glassware and other companies.
Kalesti’s relationship with a growing number of artisans allows him to showcase myriad unusual items. They include the elegant Middle Kingdom porcelain made in China by local artisans, the bronze sculptures of Sharon Wandel, the steel sculptures of Japanese artist Kishida Katsuji and the chrome ball lamps by George Kovacs.
Kent Décor also provides home styling and design consultation for clients who are interested in this specialty service.
Discovering many of the vintage items at Kent Décor is part of Kalesti’s fascination with the business. His desire to save them from extinction is another.
“A lot of things are discarded and thrown out these days, when in fact many of them have a lot of value,” he said.
Kent Décor is located at 11 Court Rd. in Bedford. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment Monday and Tuesday. For more information, visit www.kentdecor.com or www.kentdecor.1stdibs.com.