Meridian Industrial


10/10/2019 | Keith O'Connor


A variety of treasures await shoppers at a quaint little store called The Mallard’s Nest in Stafford, Conn., which features an eclectic mix of antiques, restored, recreated, vintage and invented items.

“Our real specialty is furniture,” said owner Monty Michalec. He finds his old furniture at auctions, tag sales, and from people who bring them into his store.

“I like to have an assortment of pieces like desks, chests, tables, book cases, dressers and other unique pieces of furniture. If you have a variety of things to offer, then you have a better chance of selling something,” Michalec said.

“I refurbish and refinish the furniture the old school way to a natural finish. It brings out the best in these old pieces of furniture….the actual beauty of the wood. And, by the time I’ve completed my work on one of them, I’m proud of what it looks like. And that is what I like the most,” he added.

Using his inventive nature, Michalec also comes up with his own furniture created by using other pieces on hand.

“I had a pine door that I made into a coffee table and two chairs that I made into another coffee table,” he said.

And the prices are reasonable.

A five-drawer dresser might go for around $220, a refurbished cedar chest for $160, and refinished tables might run from $250 to $350.

“There is nothing like a nice piece of antique furniture placed in a contemporary home….it lends character and jumps out at you,” Michalec said.

On the collectibles side, Michalec has amassed a unique collection of collectibles and folk art.

“It’s hit or miss. Everyone collects certain things, and if the price is right they will buy it. I have old games, milk bottles from certain dairies, and plenty of collectible items from Stafford like signs and old yearbooks,” Michalec said.

A sampling of past and present items once sold or to be found include: old movie posters, carved wooden ducks, boxes, old-fashioned cash register, antique Singer sewing machine, baskets, crates, old soda bottles, all kinds of pins, and more.

The Mallard’s Nest also has tools for sale.

“It’s a guy thing….a little room loaded with tools. It’s slightly chaotic and almost overwhelming. There are hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, hand planers, chisels and on and on, but no big tools,” Michalec said.

In yet another room, you will find an assortment of vinyl records to look through and purchase.

“It’s not organized. I just put them in there. Scattered around and in crates. A lot of young people are into vinyl today. I’m sure there are some good finds in there for some collectors. To be honest with you, I haven’t done any research…..I don’t know their value and don’t worry about it,” Michalec said.

“Some of them framed look good on the wall,” he added.

The Mallard’s Nest is also home to Knitting Criations II, a knitting and yarn outlet sponsored by Knitting Criations in Somers, Conn., which provides knitting supplies for sale.

“We are located in a wooden barnboard building. It looks old. People think we look little from the outside, but we are really big inside,” Michalec said.

“And we have a pond with ducks,” he added.

Thus the name The Mallard’s Nest was born.

The Mallard’s Nest is located on 17 Crystal Lake Road (Route 30) in Stafford Springs, Conn. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


if you have a special furniture or collectible request or question, call Michalec at 860-684-3837.

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