Shop Visit: 22 Milk Street

Text by Debra Spark

When Ariana Fischer moved from midcoast Maine to Portland in 2009, she brought her three children and her interior design practice with her, but closed G.F. MacGregor, her stylish home decor boutique in Rockland. Now, the shop is back, with a different name—22 Milk Street—but a similarly central location, in Portland’s historic Old Port (and just across the street from Fischer’s interior design studio, making it easy for her to move back and forth between businesses.)

In a corner space, 22 Milk Street offers the unique goods that Fischer has been identifying—and, in the case of furniture like an upholstered bed frame, a contemporary turned-leg sofa, and a leather easy chair, designing—for clients for years. In 1,600 square feet divided among two rooms, shelves and tables display international items, work by local craftspeople, distinct vintage pieces, and contemporary wares. Here, you might discover African baskets, Parisian silver cocktail stirrers, Italian towels, and Belgian linens, as well as finds from closer to home: blankets from Brahms Mount and Evangeline and fine architectural hardware from Lowe Hardware, all in Maine. Fischer features stock from well-established designers and companies—think Visual Comfort for lights, Manuel Canovas for throw pillows, and Philippe Starck for transparent chairs—as well as plenty of surprises like acrylic cubes encapsulating tiny botanicals and indoor/outdoor torches that do not extinguish in the wind. Other items have a humorous edge. A tiny snow globe with a Buddha inside, anyone? Fischer says she’s “easily bored,”
so she constantly rotates what’s available, making repeat visits worthwhile. There’s always something new to see.

22 Milk Street, Portland, Maine, 207-536-1414, 22milkstreet.com

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