A new idea is blossoming at White Flower Farmhouse in Southold.
Lori Guyer, who opened the vintage home goods store at the corner of Main Road and Beckwith Avenue in 2011, announced plans this week to expand into a second location. In a post sharing the news on Instagram, Guyer teased plans for the new space, which will take over Ye Olde Party Shoppe just across the street.
“When I saw the space, I just had a feeling that this is where I need to be,” she said in an interview Thursday. “We’re going to create an all-sensory experience.”
She’s partnering with floral designer Nathaniel Savage, who launched his own company, Navanel, last year and has quickly outgrown the studio space he had been renting from Guyer in her existing shop.
“He has a very similar aesthetic as I do and is so easy to work with,” Guyer said.
The new space will be focused on all things garden and outdoor living.
“In my hunting and gathering, I come across so many beautiful large outdoor furniture pieces,” Guyer explained. “Old wicker couches, wrought iron table and chair sets, bird baths. And I just don’t have the room here.”
The expansion will allow her to indulge in all of those vintage garden finds and also spotlight Savage’s beautiful floral creations.
Savage, who has a background in styling, design and food, creates breathtaking floral installations you may have seen at North Fork Table & Inn and Macari Vineyards.
He spent several years working in farm-to-table restaurants and is working toward applying that same ideology to his floral arrangements by highlighting what’s in season and sourcing from local growers during the spring, summer and autumn seasons.
“What’s beautiful about the North Fork is we have such raw, wild, untamed nature and this conversation about bringing the outdoors in, which is my ethos,” he said.
Savage said he’s inspired by the way Guyer’s shop has united local artisans and craftspeople in the community, something he flocked to when he moved to the area nearly two years ago.
“You’re able to find inspiration, community and belonging in Lori’s shop,” he said.
In the current space, Guyer sells dried flowers sourced from a midwestern flower farm and is hoping to take that to the next level in her new space with more preserved flora and botanicals.
Dried and fresh flowers will be sold alongside candles, flower pots, plant markets, seed packets, macrame plant hangers, tote bags and other items.
Savage also hopes the new store will serve as a springboard for continuing work on floral installations, weddings and, one day, offering interactive workshops.
They both expressed gratitude to be renting the longtime party and toy shop, a Southold mainstay that was run by Michael Liegey for 30 years.
“It’s been a huge fixture in the community. I’ve bought so many birthday presents there — it’s like the go-to place,” Guyer said, noting that Liegey will now run his construction company, Peconic Building Solutions, full time.
The history of the building, which dates to the early 19th century, also intrigues Savage, who pointed out that the brick façade has a very unique, Nordic feel to it.
“We want to honor the history of the building,” he said. “Many locals we have met in the community have deep family memories in that toy store.”
One way they’re planning to honor its roots is through a mini-homage to the party shop, which for decades has carried unique items and quirky toys and gifts.
Guyer envisions a display of small-batch candies and lollipops, paper balloons made in Japan, kites, little craft kits and wooden toys.
White Flower Farmhouse customers may also recognize the work of Cutchogue artist Treva Elwood, who crafts cuddly stuffed animals that have become treasured as locally sourced gifts.
“We’ll be doing more from her, like sailboats and whale plushies,” Guyer said.
They will formally take over the space on March 1 and after some light remodeling, a spring opening is planned.