No map needed
When I moved to the area several years ago and began interviewing interior designers, I’d regularly hear about this mystical spot known as Treasure Island. Mostly the designers mentioned it as an aside — someplace where they’d say they made an incredible find and leave it at that.
Not being a local, I assumed they were talking about someplace on the Treasure Coast, across the state around Palm Beach. A year or two later I happened to be driving down Central Avenue and was astonished to see Treasure Island Antiques. I immediately made a U-turn (probably illegally) and found myself in a place of wonder. Forty-plus antique dealers under one roof, with hidden gems around every corner. You could — and probably should — spend an entire day exploring.
That’s how it felt to owner Wilton Wood when he purchased the store four years ago. Mr. Wood was a veteran who had gotten into private security contracting for the government overseas. But he was looking for a business, and when he saw the for-sale ad for Treasure Island, he thought it was worth checking out.
“Antiques are history, and I love history,” he says. “Everything has a story, and I love that you can never know everything there is to know about antiques and vintage items. There’s always something to learn.”
He wasn’t even looking for a retail shop or an antiques store when Treasure Island caught his attention.
“It’s an eclectic mix of stuff from hundreds of years ago to modern and everything in between,” he says. “And it’s nothing that you would find in the big box stores. If you want something unusual or different or funky, this is the place to find it.”
Treasure Island almost defies description. From vintage lithographs to Florida kitsch to historic furnishings, it’s here. I once almost bought a 9-foot wrought iron chandelier there before I realized I had no way to get it home or anyplace to put it if I could get it there. Even so, I still have nonbuyer’s remorse.
But the good thing is that all you have to do is plan another visit to the shop to find your next great discovery. Mr. Wood and the dealers within will be happy to show you around anytime. ¦
— Treasure Island Antiques 950 Central Ave. 434- 7684 www.treasureislandnaples.com