Sitting Pretty home decor sets up shop in New Canaan

NEW CANAAN — Laura Mason, owner of the Sitting Pretty home decor store, had so many locals visiting her Westport shop that she recently decided to move it to New Canaan.

“I came here because I had a lot of great customers from New Canaan,” Mason said. “This town has a wonderful downtown with stores owned by individuals, so every store has their own style and charm — very personal.”

Sitting Pretty has a new second floor shop at 111 Elm St. in with colorful items from far corners of the world and right nearby.

Mason said she curates a wide array of personal and household items from local artists as well as from the Netherlands, Italy, Morocco, Japan and France. She sells furniture, sweaters from France, lamps, puzzle cards, trays, gifts, ottomans and much more.

Prior to COVID-19, she traveled widely, bringing back items from her trips that she brought back to her store in Sconset Square in Westport.

Many of those items were sold to people from New Canaan.

The Westport native is excited about moving her store to New Canaan.

“I like the idea of being in a town like that,” Mason said. “The people here are very aware of creating a good vibe.”

Mason, an experienced designer, educated in interior design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, said she likes the designer Epice from Paris and carries many of the designer’s items. She started at first with Epice scarves.

Traveling to France, “I discovered they had a home line. I was excited,” because “I don’t see these products anywhere else. I was glad to bring back something more unusual.”

She helps people shop for items to add flair to their homes, by looking at pictures of their rooms on their phones.

“I tell them

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Mirror House unveiled in New Canaan

As a drone circled above, a blue plastic cover was lifted off the Mirror House at the corner of Maple Street and South Avenue, a new venue to promote plans for a future New Canaan Library.

Inside the 224-square foot three-sided mirrored building, visitors will learn about plans for the 48,000-square-foot library designed to echo mid-century modern architecture.

“This Mirror House, inspired by our own Glass House and designed in Europe, is going to be our headquarters for sharing the plans and meeting with people to build support, doing education and hopefully a lot of fundraising,” New Canaan Library Executive Director Lisa Oldham said at Tuesday’s ceremony.

The coronavirus pandemic forced changes to the project, reducing the number of people allowed inside at any one time.

“The incredibly clever people who work at the library have devised a way to use technology — augmented reality — so that people can do self-guided tours of the project inside this space,” Oldham said.

Visitors are encouraged to download the library app to cell phones, then by directing their cell phones toward either the poster near the entrance or one of eight posters inside, can watch videos about the vision for the new building.

People can watch explanations delivered by architects, staff, volunteers involved in planning, and Margaret Russell, former editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest.

“I am so excited that this library celebrates the legacy of the Harvard Five and the best of mid-century modernism that flourished in New Canaan,” Russell says in the video.

“I think that the new library plan is so beautiful in that it references modernism of the past, but absolutely navigates everything we need for the present and is incredibility prescient to what we need for the future — a very anticipatory building in terms of its materials and it flexibility,” Russell says.

The Mirror House was designed by OOD, an Estonian design team strongly influenced by Philip Johnson’s Glass House and mid-century modern architects, including the Harvard Five, whose work is also echoed in the new library design, according to a press release distributed by the library.

“The best libraries today, moving forward, reflect that communities that they serve,” Oldham said at the event. “In the past, every one (library) looked

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