Meet Roni Brown, Antiques Dealer and Shop Owner.
Roni Brown’s life philosophy is as straightforward as it is uplifting. “There’s not a day that passes,” she says “without me feeling a great sense of gratitude for the life I have created.”
The life for which Roni is grateful encompasses family that provides much joy, a thriving antiques business, a beautifully decorated 1926 detached home located in Toronto’s Upper Beaches neighbourhood, and days that are “typically constructive and gratifying”. Roni goes on to paint a picture of what a day in her life might resemble.
“My day may start with a leisurely stroll in the neighbourhood or it may be a day of sourcing product for the shop. There is much time spent at the shop preparing items for sale and styling them for photos. Every day, inspiration is sought, whether it is for my home or my shop.”
Browsing through stunning images of Roni’s home and shop, that inspiration is in clear view.
The life for which Roni is grateful encompasses family that provides much joy, a thriving antiques business, a beautifully decorated 1926 detached home located in Toronto’s Upper Beaches neighbourhood
Her house, Roni explains, “was purportedly constructed for the builder and his wife. It consists of two bedrooms and is quite quaint. It is a traditional Toronto house constructed with classic red brick. It is a work in progress. Renovating a home takes time and the house’s history needs to be honoured.”
“An eclectic mix of authentic and diverse genres”, is how Roni describes her decorating style and assigns to it a terrific analogy. “It is how I imagine world peace would feel. French, Italian, Canadian, Danish, Chinese, German – so many different origins coexisting beautifully.”
"Renovating a home takes time and the house’s history needs to be honoured."
Delving further into her home’s décor, Roni says, “A neutral palette is punctuated with bold ceiling colour, art, and accessories. Cherished objects from family and friends are throughout our home. It’s my belief that a touch of whimsy is a sweet surprise, such as a full size pony for my grandchildren. Guests are inquisitive and fascinated by the uniqueness of our space.
Having a two-car garage allows additional living space in the better weather. One section serves as a workshop and the other we refer to as our lounge/studio.” It is in this studio that Roni’s collection of “the cool, unusual and irresistible” finds a home.
“It is a very fortuitous situation to have this invaluable spot. Having an antique shop is yet another opportunity to enjoy many other design styles. The shop offers a great range of pieces from rustic to ornate.”
Roni was pleased to share her favourite sources when shopping for such unique finds whether vintage, rustic, or otherwise. It makes sense that as the owner of an antiques business, Roni declares, “There is nothing quite like an antiquing adventure. Shopping in-store is preferred, however online is utilized as well. Our home is filled with vintage and antique pieces, which have been discovered in many places.”
"There is nothing quite like an antiquing adventure."
Roni points out that as an antiques dealer, she is privy to private viewings of collections. “Oftentimes, prized items come home to stay. Online venues, such as Instagram and Facebook, are perused for pre-loved items. It’s also quite surprising the free sidewalk finds that we have happened upon.”
When it comes to factors that spark decorating ideas, Roni notes, “inspiration is all around. Walks in the neighbourhood, fabulous movie sets, design magazines, dining out are but a few sources of influence. Travelling can reveal so much inspiration. Architecture is a major source of inspiration and beauty. Looking at the details of a doorway, the lines of mouldings, fine points of hardware, these and more give motivation for designing.”
Roni names Europe as her favourite travel destination, “with France and Spain being my top picks”. These faraway destinations, she notes, offer abundant options for unique home décor finds.
“The antique markets are amazing and we purchase vintage or antique items to salute our adventures. An original oil painting of a whimsical deer in a tuxedo was purchased at Marché aux Puces and it is one of my most cherished mementos.”
Hobbies and/or special interests add to Roni’s life and she applies and builds upon one of the core principles that her parents taught her, “to leave a space in as good a condition as it was found. Now, it’s my preference to leave it in better condition. Whether it is picking up trash and pulling weeds in the neighbourhood or painting the exterior of a building next to my shop, I believe it’s quite simple to spread beauty in the world. Every day I peruse design books and footage for inspiration and motivation. Restoring items in need is another regular activity.”
"Inspiration is all around. Walks in the neighbourhood, fabulous movie sets, design magazines, dining out are but a few sources of influence. Travelling can reveal so much [as well]."
“On a different note,” Roni says, circling back to what she cherishes most in life, “being a Grandma brings such immense joy. There is nothing comparable to the happiness of spending time with my family.”
Roni concludes with this succinct yet gracious reflection, “it would be a great pleasure to bring inspiration to others, as others have inspired me.”
Visit Roni on Instagram at vintageandantiqueshop to learn more about her antique business.