Newspaper logo  
   A Little Bit of France Can Be Found on Falls Road


A Little Bit of France Can Be Found on Falls Road

by Alice Cherbonnier

Marie-Noelle Walsh
When Marie-Noelle Walsh decided to open a business in Baltimore specializing in French country antiques, she and her real estate agent checked out all the hot spots—Federal Hill, Canton, Fells Point. But it was when exploring on her own that Ms. Walsh discovered the 1700-square foot space her business, Bastille French Country Antiques, now occupies.

“I looked at 50 other sites,” she said. “Nothing appealed.” Once she decided on the Hampden location, she said she found Main Street Hampden and other merchants to be very helpful.

The space glows in its new coat of light orange and bittersweet sponge paint, applied by Ms. Walsh herself when the painter didn’t show up when expected. The front windows were redesigned to allow for changing displays of furniture and accessories.

An interior designer trained at the Pratt Institute, Ms. Walsh plans to use her shop as a base for her design consultation business. Since she’s in and out of the shop on appointments, for now shoppers need to call ahead on most weekdays to arrange for her to be there. The shop is open to the public, for now, from noon to 7 p.m. on Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Ms. Walsh may also be absent for another reason: she plans regular travel to France to buy new merchandise that has been scouted by two associates. The trio seek items in the French countryside, where the quality and price are better for resale. They look for solid wood pieces, along with interesting accessories, including china, candlesticks and vases.

“I want to have things that are affordable, that people can enjoy in everyday life,” she says, pointing out an old prie-dieu (for kneeling in prayer) priced at $90 that today can take on a new life as a clothes-horse in a bedroom. There are also large armoires priced in the low four figures, plus a wide array of tables and chairs and other furnishings.

The shop is laid out and decorated as if it is a private home, and furniture surfaces are used to display fresh flowers—including orchids—to give the feeling of a residence. Indeed, Ms. Walsh says there have already been luncheons held there by cultural groups, and more are planned.

Though the location of Bastille is new, the business is well-established. Ms. Walsh first opened up shop in San Francisco over 15 years ago. Once she became a single mother of two, Ms. Walsh moved to the York, Pa. area to be near her parents and take time off to raise her children. Now that they are teenagers, she has resumed her work.

For more information, call 410-338-0506 or visit the shop’s website at

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on June 10, 2003.
6.10Local Newsbriefs
6.10MTA Rate Increases Go In Effect June 30
6.10A Little Bit of France Can Be Found on Falls Road
6.10Liquor: The Other Drug
6.4City Council Unanimously Condemns ‘Patriot Act’
6.4City’s Neighborhoods Are Becoming Poor Stepchildren {Updated!}
6.4Fate of Northern District Police Station Not Clear
6.4 Sports: Injury Bug Bites Birds
6.7Letters to the Editor
6.4The New Republic
6.4Baltimore City Comptroller Pratt
6.4FCC Chairman Powell
6.4The Public about the Plight of the Working Poor
6.4Channel Guide Magazine
6.4‘Beyond Paradise’ Profiles Silent Film Star Novarro
6.9Ridgeway Elementary School will present six performances of "The Wiz" in June.
6.4The Washington Post— and George Orwell
6.4Behind the Scenes at the FCC: Access Counts
6.4French Ambassador Details US Media’s Falsities
6.4Public Appears to Shrug Off Reporter’s Misdeeds
7.2Of Mice and (Con) Men
6.22The 'Crime' of Exercising Free Speech at Baltimore's Inner Harbor
6.10Editorial: Middle Child Must Help Itself
6.10Editorial: Jayson Blair, Minor League Liar
6.4Phony-Baloney Constitutionalists
6.4Remote Control “Democracy” in Iraq
6.4Korea: A Change of Viewpoint
6.4Rolling Back the 20th Century
6.4Transcript of a Censored Commencement Address
6.4A Jobless America Is an America at Risk
6.4If History Is Prelude...
5.7Noted Reporter Robert Dreyfuss Draws Crowd Here
4.9Q & A with Greg Palast {Heldover}
6.27Dean or Kucinich: Which is Better for Progressives?
6.4Who Is Howard Dean?
6.4The Free-Market Al-Qaeda
6.4Tensions Thaw, but Is Peace Possible in South Asia?
6.4Scientists Dispute Pentagon Claims about DU
6.4Can Venezuela Avoid Civil War?
6.4Operation “Syrian Freedom”
6.4Nader Signals He Will Run Again in 2004
6.4Iraq’s Infrastructure Situation Is Critical
6.4How a U.S. Company Props Up the House of Saud
SCREED: news major media ‘tries to hide’
Websites We Like!
Analysis & Perspective

Public Service Ads: