Shopping Worth the Trip: Bowerbird, Peterborough, New Hampshire

Text by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz

Katherine Forrest was watching a PBS special on the bowerbird when she decided to name her shop after the species. The bird, which makes its home in Australia and New Guinea, is best known for the male’s ability to construct elaborately decorated follies (also known as bowers) using sticks, flowers, and brightly colored found objects in order to attract a mate. The bird is dedicated to his work, continually refining the structure.

Forrest envisioned her shop in much the same way, a place where one is meant to be smitten. With the help of three friends—an expert on children’s books, a landscape architect, and a collector of midcentury furniture and accessories—Forrest, whose first love is antiques, has assembled a series of bowers carefully decorated with all manner of new and found objects.

Striped cotton carpets are displayed on a wooden rack that would make a great fixture in an unfitted kitchen. A 1950s sofa is freshly upholstered in a riot of floral-patterned fabric. A bin of vintage silver begs to be taken home for Thanksgiving. And as if that weren’t enough, there are antique garden ornaments, painted ceramics, shapely vases, commodious bowls, wonderful books, and a great big map of the USA.

Suffice it to say, Forrest’s bowerbird worked its magic on us. Wooed by a tiered stainless-steel cart, we brought it home. It’s going to make the perfect bar cart at our next cocktail party. 16 Depot Square, Peterborough, N.H., (603) 924-2550

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