The chaise lounge aside, Middleton doesn’t really sell furniture. She sells “accent pieces”—end tables, tea trays, and shelves along with lamps, wall sconces, pictures, and clocks. Some are old pieces with the original white paint partly worn away. The rest are modern reproductions made to look old and weathered. Rose Cottage also carries things that aren’t white, like scented candles, a smattering of dark Americana pieces, big bunches of colorful silk flowers, and a bookcase filled with a large selection of incredibly realistic imitation fruit.
Rose Cottage shares space with O’Neil’s Home Furnishings. Owner Mary O’Neil Hamilton had planned to move upstairs and sublet the first floor. When Middleton came along, Hamilton decided to stay downstairs and share a showroom.
It’s a major career switch for Middleton. She spent twenty-five years in purchasing, including a twelve-year stint with the South Carolina Department of Corrections, where, instead of furnishing homes, she furnished prisons.
Rose Cottage, 8110 Main, Dexter, 272–2015. Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sun. noon–3 p.m. Closed Mon.