Happening in the Hills
Faces, places, treasures, and trends that caught our attention
Perch’s DaviD Whitman, PhotograPheD by bleacher+everarD

A World of Beauty & Design

The owners of Pergola in New Preston, David Whitman and Peter Stiglin, have branched out and launched another gorgeous shop — this time in Kent—called PERCH.

Peter Stiglin and David Whitman have been in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut for over 20 years. Before opening Pergola, their beautiful store in the Village of New Preston, they worked together on creative marketing projects. Before they met, David lived and did similar work in New Mexico for 10 years and Peter was in music production in New York for 10 years. Now they have opened a new shop in neighboring Kent which still has that naturalist aesthetic we all love but with a distinctive design approach. Filled with tasteful collections and artisanal objects, the space is a delight to those who are drawn to designs based on nature, both old and new. Following is a conversation we had with David regarding the new shop:


Everyone loves Pergola, your original shop in New Preston. What made you decide to open another shop called PERCH in Kent?

A combination of things led to PERCH…the more modern tone of the physical space was an appealing “stage” for some of the artisans and collections we have started to discover more recently, especially during our trips to Japan. We were excited about a different “project” space to present work and items which might get lost in the many layers and rooms found at Pergola.


What is the difference between Pergola and PERCH?

Pergola has remained true to its botanical focus through a naturalist lens. Perch has a distinct design focus through that same lens.


Do you find that there is interest in America for Japanese objects, dishes, art and furniture?

Since we first started traveling to Japan and buying for Pergola, about 9 years ago, we have definitely seen an increased interest from our clients in things from both new and old Japan. I don’t know about the rest of the country — Japanese art and design has always drawn a bit of niche audience.


Do Japanese objects and art go well with modern pieces and antiques when decorating a home?

They certainly can – these days it’s all in the mix. But it should be carefully considered with a sense of design.


Japanese lighting can be really beautiful. Is it the simplicity of the designs that make them so appealing?

The washi paper lighting designed by Noguchi are sculptures and light source as one. Form and function.


The shop is beautiful and has a kind of monochromatic palette. Did you intentionally use minimal color when creating the space?

As PERCH is essentially a one-room shop, we pretty much adhere to a natural palette — wood colors, grey shades, a range of blues, green plants, creams, golden light. There actually is a lot of color but it’s mostly on the cool side. Which I think is more pleasing in the one room.


Many of the items in the store come from nature. Is this the common thread between Pergola and PERCH?

A naturalist lens is certainly in the Pergola DNA. As a project of Pergola, PERCH shares in that but with a slightly different focus.


Are your customers locals and weekenders, out of town visitors, or both?

Both the full-time and part-time communities in our area have been wonderfully supportive of what we have done at Pergola, and continue to do at PERCH. The area in general certainly gets a nice share of visitors from near and far places, and we do see many of them especially at certain times of the year — Summer and Fall mostly.


Do you offer design services and commissions as well as what is for sale in the store?

Not really but we do help out with design decisions regarding a piece a client may be considering.


What do have in mind for the future of PERCH?

PERCH is still at an early stage, and will evolve organically. These kinds of projects kind of tell you where they want to go.

4 Fulling Lane
Kent Barns

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