Encore Furniture downtown set to take final bow

Encore Furniture will be closing its Plant Street location at the end of the month.

  • By
  • | 1:35 p.m. January 20, 2016
Cups, jars and drink holders sit atop a wooden dresser toward the front of the store.
Cups, jars and drink holders sit atop a wooden dresser toward the front of the store.
  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • News
  • Share

WINTER GARDEN  Phrases along the lines of “rustic” and “shabby chic” come to customers’ minds when they step for the first time through the sliding, barn-style front door of Encore Furniture on Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden. 

Wood canvases reminiscent of decorations that would be found in an old farmhouse encourage customers to “Keep calm and carry on” and to “Behave! What happens today is on Facebook tomorrow.” Nearby, bird cages of various shapes, colors and sizes adorn the large front table, a store favorite. 

These are only a few of the treasures people go to Encore to find. But time is quickly running out for customers to go in and claim them. 

Encore will be closing its doors by the end of January, when its lease is up. The building, which has been for sale for years, has been sold and, with the exception of the front facade, will soon be torn down. Eventually, a Mexican restaurant called The Whole Enchilada, a chain with three locations in Broward County, move into its place.

Store owner and interior decorator Deborah Pilotto opened Encore four years ago. Originally, she had the location across the street, where restaurant and wine bar Urban Flats is now. The business got its start after one of her model homes sold and she was left with the furniture.

“I had actually decorated a model home in Oakland Park and it sold, so I had the model home furniture that I needed to sell,” she said. “It started out with used furniture, model home-used furniture, and then as time went by and all that sold I just went to all-new [items], except for maybe a few antique pieces.”

Pilotto, who lived in Winter Garden for 16 years, previously had a store for five years on Boyd Street called Island Ease, a small gift shop. She had always wanted her own store and often went to Atlanta for the AmericasMart home shows, which are held in one of the world’s largest wholesale trade centers, to get things for her clients.

“They go overseas and … bring shipping crates back over of antiques, and then you can go through the warehouse and pick antiques out and bring them back,” she said. 

Encore’s current location came to be after Pilotto got a good deal on the rental. The building has been for sale for a while now, and before becoming Encore, it sat empty for three years. 

“The building’s old, it has some issues, it doesn’t have air conditioning, the roof leaks, and we’re the only store that has an interior gutter system,” Pilotto said.

However, although the Winter Garden location is closing, Pilotto doesn’t have plans to let go of Encore just yet. She has not found a new location yet, but she is changing the store’s name to Unique Rustique and hopes to have a website running within the next month.

“I enjoy what I do,” she said. “I don’t think that everybody gets a chance to do what they love, and I just really love doing it, I love picking out the things, I really like merchandising the store. It’s just fun for me.”


Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].


Latest News