ECLECTIC TREASURES

by LESLIE J. THOMPSON / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

CAREER COUNSELORS AND SELF-HELP gurus will tell you to find a job that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. If the maxim holds true, then Beth Barnett Callahan has been blissfully unemployed for several years.

“I am so lucky that I’m able to come here every day,” says Callahan, owner of LOST…again Antiques and Décor. The native Dallasite with the platinum bob greets visitors with great enthusiasm from her perch at the front of the bustling antiques showroom. She purchased, moved and renamed LOST… antiques to LOST…again Antiques and Décor in 2016.

As in its former incarnation, LOST… again is an ever-changing treasure trove of vintage and antique furniture, jewelry, collectibles and decorative items from around the globe. Currently located in the Dallas Design District, the 15,000-square-foot showroom features everything from art deco, Machine Age, Hollywood Regency, and mid-century modern furniture to Chinese Fu dog statues, African masks, 3-foot geodes and Beatles memorabilia. In short, it’s a one-stop shop for design enthusiasts, guaranteed to have that unique item for everyone.

Many of the original store’s finest vendors moved to the new location, including Dinostaur, purveyors of earthly and undersea treasures; The Antiques Source, which sells fine 18th- and 19th-century antiques; and Machine Icon, specializing in museum-quality Machine Age art deco items. Other dealers followed suit, such as Linda’s Designers Group, which fills the store in a swirl of high-style color; Shake Rag Records, which carries a plethora of vintage albums, guitars and funky collectibles; and Horserace Hugh, with his elegant, highly carved antiques.

“This is not your average antiques mall, because it is eclectic, with quality things,” says Linda Feld, one of more than 20 vendors at LOST… again. Her own capacious retail space includes Tobia Scarpa leather dining chairs, Murano chandeliers, lava stone pillars and an etched brass dining table designed by Bernhard Rohne for Mastercraft.

“People are looking for clean, they’re looking for new color, they want to revamp their interior,” she says. “We have a lot of inventory that caters to that.”

Homeowners also no longer want “matchy-matchy” interiors, notes the veteran high-design furniture and art dealer, which makes the showroom even more intriguing for customers and designers searching for unique finds. “You can walk through here and get ideas,” says Feld, who sources much of her inventory from estate sales and private auctions in Florida. Both she and Callahan are choosy about the quality of inventory they carry, she notes, adding, “I don’t put in anything that is subpar on the floor.”

The brightly lit warehouse space attracts clients of all ages—primarily homeowners—as well as local designers looking for unique finds or creative inspiration. “We have people who come in around their lunchtime and just walk around to relax,” says Callahan, who likewise feels replenished when she browses through the space.

In addition to drawing customers from across the metroplex, LOST…again had great success with its first online auction this past September, garnering more than 5,000 views for the internet-only event. Prospective buyers could preview auction items online or in person at the antiques mall the week before bidding opened and collect their purchases at the showroom in the days following the sale. “We had the lots stacked down the aisles,” recounts Callahan, including merchandise from in-house vendors, estate sales and other local antiques dealers. “People like to dig. The closer together things are, the more they like it.”

The next online auction is scheduled for February 3–10, 2020, at lostagain.hibid. com. In the meantime, Callahan is blissfully minding the store, soaking up inspiration as new inventory is added daily. “It’s a fun place,” she says, nestling into her chair at the front desk. The diverse dealers and eager shoppers fill the space with positive energy, which in turn fills her with joy every time she clocks in. Quips Callahan: “This whole place is about the people; it’s not about me. I just sit here and do stuff.”

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Leslie J. Thompson is a Dallas-based freelance writer with a passion for interior design and international
travel. Read more of her work at lesliejthompson.com.