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Legendary Houston Antiques Store is Closing For Good After 40 Years

When Carl Moore Home and its Friendly Owner Depart the Scene, H-Town Won't be Quite the Same

BY // 07.10.19

There are less than three weeks left to shop one of Houston’s most fabulous, lauded antique and vintage stores until it closes its doors for good. Carl Moore Home, formerly known as Carl Moore Antiques, will shutter on Sunday, July 28 with owner Geoffrey Westergaard set to retire.

Carl Moore Antiques opened in Houston in 1980, and Westergaard took it over in 2000 after many years working for namesake Moore. When Westergaard purchased it, he bought Moore’s inventory and the name. It took several years to work out Moore’s selections, but slowly Westergaard brought in more of the international style of antiques Carl Moore is known for today.

In the final weeks, Westergaard is offering the remaining inventory at an astonishing 50 percent discount — practically unheard of for such pedigreed items from across the globe.

“I really want to give everyone an opportunity to buy these things that are one-of-a-kind at a great price. Once they are gone, you are never going to see them again,” Westergaard says when I pop in for a visit at the shop located at 1610 Bissonnet Street after dropping off my 3-year-old at summer camp.

“We’ve become so addicted to ease of shopping that we forget that our interiors are part of our story. And how do you create your own story?” Westergaard ponders. “It takes longer to make a story. But if you go in to Restoration Hardware and buy their furniture, it is their story.”

Westergaard is known for his ability to help clients “find those key pieces that make an interior feel tremendous,” as he puts it.

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“When you’re in a shop, it engages four or even five senses. Online you are overreliant on your eyes — just one sense. We are losing the luxury of shopping in person, of having a conversation with a stranger.”

And Westergaard is a master of conversation. After chatting thought-provokingly about the dramatic changes the internet and social media has brought to retail and media alike, I peruse the varied offerings with him — from an enormous Italian Art Deco oval starburst gilded frame circa 1930 that hung in a palazzo in Italy to an antique French Louis XIII-style walnut armoire cabinet circa 1800 to my personal favorite: a pair of French Art Modern gilt bronze double arm sconces.

Pair Papier Mâché Vintage Indian Male Female Figures Circa 1960 On Brackets
Pair Papier Mâché Vintage Indian Male Female Figures Circa 1960 On Brackets

Westergaard is deeply knowledgable and passionate about the history behind every object in the store — he’ll tell you where it came from, why it might have come to be, and the story about how he found it.

While one would think otherwise given the history and age of some of the pieces, Westergaard argues, “These are not museum quality. They are things that have been used and deserve to continue to be used.”

In fact, he sweetly encourages me to bring my 3-year-old back into the store so that she can touch the pieces and ask questions about where they came from. Yes, you read that right.

No, this isn’t your average antique store, and I, along with many of Westergaard’s clients in Houston and abroad (Carl Moore is available on 1stdibs.com), am very sad to see it go.

The building is already under contract and Westergaard has big plans for retirement — so far he is set to travel the world for a year, complete with a study week at Versailles and a stay at a friend’s villa in Portugal.

We can’t wait to hear from him along the way.

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