Playing Possum

An unassuming metal building just east of Milton houses one of the area’s best-kept secrets – The Copper Possum antique shop. More than two dozen dealers gather under a single roof to showcase their treasures.

A stand of old live oak trees graces the grounds at Copper Possum.

A stand of old live oak trees graces the grounds at Copper Possum.

What sets this apart from other “antique malls” is the vision of the shop’s owner, Kim McCarthy. She selects her dealers carefully and keeps a close eye on not only what they’re selling, but how things are displayed. Each booth showcases its eclectic offerings in a pleasing, stylish vignette.

An inviting array of vintage textiles begs exploration.

An inviting array of vintage textiles begs exploration.

What buyer can resist stepping into a tiny room furnished entirely in shades of Rachel Ashwell’s “shabby chic” whites and pastels? One spot, charmingly fitted with log siding, showcases vintage tools, buckets and primitive wood furniture. Lamps, books, artwork, linens, and toys tempt buyers’ memories and wallets.

Look at that gorgeous white lawn dress. Right out of Downtown Abbey!

Look at that gorgeous white lawn dress. Right out of Downton Abbey!

In a shop filled floor to ceiling with ever-changing items, one of the most reliable things about Copper Possum is the rate at which items turn over – while the quality is consistent and the selection generous, things don’t tend to stay around long, so if you find the perfect porch quilt or a vintage twig rocker, you’d better pay for it today, because it’ll probably be gone tomorrow.

Treasures as far as the eye can see...

Treasures as far as the eye can see…

I don’t typically go in there looking for anything in particular. Instead, I prefer to go in and let something find me. For instance, just this week I determined to pass through Copper Possum in search of two vintage-looking counter stools for my kitchen. (I sold the ones I had in the garage sale fever that gripped me recently. Turns out I probably should have held on to those until I had replacements ready.) I came out with a vintage European grain sack that will be so perfect stuffed with a down-filled pillow and perched on the weathered old bent cypress chair on my front porch…also a Copper Possum find. Was I looking for the feed sack? Well, no. Does it bring me joy? Why yes it does! And so this is how I go to Copper Possum looking for one thing and end up being found by something completely different.

P.S. I’ll post a porch picture once it’s all together, I promise.

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