As the wooden floors creak beneath his feet, Geoffrey Westergaard strolls through his beloved antiques store and regards the emotionality that his charming offerings spark.
“These pieces, that are one-of-a-kind, touch a chord in us that often times we don’t know is there waiting to be plucked — until you actually see the object and have an emotional reaction to it,” he tells CultureMap during a tour. “And that is what you don’t get when you’re online or paging through a magazine.”
A fixture of Boulevard Oaks, Westergaard’s iconic store, Carl Moore Home (best known by its previous name, Carl Moore Antiques), is closing shop after 40 years. The antiques haven is offering a 50-percent-off storewide sale until its final day on Sunday, July 28. Westergaard plans to keep some sort of online presence for savvy shoppers.
Westergaard says he simply wanted a change. “I’m going to out myself and tell everyone I’ve turned 60 [years old],” he says. “We’ve been open Monday through Saturday for 40 years. It’s remarkable. I’ve been in the store, six days a week, and I have the opportunity to make it a happy occasion.”
In 1980, Carl Moore Antiques opened in Houston, and Westergaard began working for Carl Moore upon graduating from Rice University with a business/art history degree. When Moore retired, Westergaard purchased the name and inventory and continued for another 20 years.
“This business allows me to use everything that I enjoy,” Westergaard explains. “I love looking at objects, figuring out why is one thing better than another; I like knowing the history; where does it come from, who used it, why did they use it, why was it done this way instead of that way.”
Westergaard says friends and clients have stopped in to reminisce about the pieces they’ve bought only to find something that catches their eye, and who could resist such treasures at such an impressive price.
“I just love that, because this is a business about making people happy; this is a business about taking an object and putting it together with somebody who is going to love and appreciate it and have it add value to their life,” he says. “And, that’s what I’ve been lucky enough to do for 40 years.”
In the final weeks before closing, Westergaard encourages Houstonians to come in for this “wonderful opportunity” to know exactly where and why he bought it. With a gracious, celebratory tone, he explains how he has worked with three generations of family members.
“It’s so special to have that continuity,” he says.
Westergaard is especially fond of three standout pieces: a vintage French Art Deco Walnut Sculpture Panel dating to the 1930s; a pair of antique French Régence Palisander Timber Marble Top Corner Cabinets from 1740, which “retains their original bronze door mounts as well as the original hand-shaped marble tops; and a pair of vintage, 1930s Italian terra cotta chairs, showcasing “winged lions seen fully in the round with heads, claws, and wrap-around wings and tails visible.”
Although Westergaard has cherished the old, he’s embracing a new adventure: those who frequently visit him in-store will still be able to keep up with him.
“The great thing about social media and being able to connect with everybody is just because the physical location changes, I’m still going to be out there; I’m still going to be looking and posting.”