Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The idyllic coastal town of Camden, Maine may look familiar even if you've never made it up to Vacationland. You see, the popular tourist destination—population 5,000—is so perfectly Maine it served as a backdrop for the movie In the Bedroom as well as Passions, that ultra-campy soap opera with all the witches and dwarfs.
Once an industrial force and producer of carriages, sashes and blinds, railroad cars, woolens, boots, and mattresses, Camden is now best known for the spectacular Camden Hills State Park and the yearly U.S. National Toboggan Championships.
You can't miss Surroundings. Right smack dab in the middle of Camden's Main Street shopping corridor, this purveyor of specialties for home is painted pea green and features a huge purple awning.
The interior—a warren of tiny alcoves and rooms including a small rear deck over-looking the harbor—is as quaint and quirky, softly lit, aggressively-stocked floor-to-ceiling, and undeniably homey. You can imagine your fictional New England grandmother living amongst the polka dot teapots, plaid lampshades, and hen-decorated dish towels: A no-nonsense but lovable old broad who grows blueberries, makes her own pickles, and sometimes sneaks a little blackberry brandy into her coffee.
Surroundings stocks a wide (and incredibly deep) assortment of accessories and decorative bits for home and kitchen. Ceramics and linens cascade from a variety of hutches and open cabinets and no surface is left un-merchandised—yet, there is obviously a method to the madness.
You'd never call it messy.
Find chintz china with matching tea towels and oven mitts; white-washed breakfast trays; pine cone-shaped and scented candles; an unbelievable plethora of linens (match napkins to table runners to lampshades); and a small array of tiny decorative statuary for your garden.
For your kitchen find quirky gadgets: a pig-decorated spatula; a ceramic cow-shaped creamer; massive coffee mugs; more teapots than you've probably ever seen at once; and many, many adorable salt and pepper shakers shaped like you name it. And Nana's jam? Well, like just about every shop in Maine, you can buy some of that, too.
· Surroundings [Official Site]
· All Maine Coverage [Racked]