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Connecticut's Litchfield Hills

Personal Best Monogram Shoppe If it can be embroidered or engraved, Personal Best has it. Stacks of Egyptian-cottontowels and citrus-colored linen guest towels trimmed with grosgrain line a wall. Tropical-print totes share space with stylish boxed sets of boccie balls, kicky woven sandals, and red leather travel journals. The shop also offers smart clothes for toddlers, like Graham Kandiah hats made of splashy Indian cottons, and kids' upholstery fabrics by Pamela Kline printed with 1930's-style storybook illustrations. 2 Green Hill Rd., Washington Depot; 860/868-9966. 4 N. Main St. (Rte. 7), Kent; 860/927-7171.

Finial Home & Garden A fresh-faced shop owned by Liz Kay and Britt Pendergast, Finial traffics in stunning floral arrangements as well as country furniture and accessories that can be used indoors or out—but nothing rough-hewn, mind you. Here the elements are straightforwardly chic: American Empire-style pedestal tables clarified with coats of crisp white paint, custom ice-blue silk lampshades, throw pillows made with tidy blue-and-white mattress ticking, and mirrored wastebaskets. 13 River Rd., Washington Depot; 860/868-2577.

Michael Trapp Small wonder Trapp was chosen to decorate a room at The Mount, once the residence of the novelist Edith Wharton and now a museum that preserves her memory. Trapp is one of New England's premier antiques dealers—as well as a noted landscape designer and interior decorator—and his Greek Revival house-shop is a shrine to eye-catching funk, from architectural fragments to aristocratically worn tapestries to strangely glamorous seashells. And Trapp's grandly Gothic garden, whose black and purple plants and chipped bits of statuary give it a Morticia Addams charm, surrounds the store. 7 River Rd., W. Cornwall; 860/672-6098.

MITCHELL OWENS writes for the New York Times and Elle Decor.


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