Columbus, Ohio USA
Return to Homepage

Dis 'n' Data
By Margaret Marten, Editor
May 2011


Since opening a year and a half ago, Old World New Home, a retailer of antique and vintage furnishings in the Short North, has moved twice, occupying three different storefronts. Owners Carlene Crist and daughter Betsy began the business in Columbus at 1196 N. High St. next to What The Rock?! in October 2009. When their lease expired a year later, they could see how the cautiously small space was beginning to cramp their style so they jumped at an offer from Christy Clagg across the street to share her showroom at High Street Furnishings. Clagg, however, became another rambling retailer, relocating to Clintonville a few months after their arrival. Weighing the options carefully, the Crists decided to move further south and finally settled into their “New Home” at 941 N. High in February. It was a good move. “The [pedestrian] traffic is much, much better,” said Carlene, “and we love the building and working with the Wood Companies.” As mentioned in this column (archived online November 2009), Carlene’s father, the late Carl Nickell, was a well-known antiques dealer in North Hampton, a trucker by trade, with an all-consuming passion for old furniture which filled their home, and the love of old continues. Most items in the shop have been refurbished and repurposed, including a farm table currently on display, constructed by a local artisan, made from reclaimed wood (barns, porchposts, architectural salvage) that can be custom ordered in different sizes. Landlord, Mark Wood, was intrigued by the item. “It has the extra character that you wouldn’t find in a new table, he said. “My wife and I enjoy antiques, and I thought that was a really neat piece.”

The store inventory has expanded with more small-ticket items, including the ever-popular Sensible Scents candles, organic herbal soaps, as well as gardening items, decorative pots and statues. “They need to come in and see what we have,” said Carlene, “because we’re an eclectic blend of old and new.” Custom work – upholstery and painting – is their specialty, furniture stylized to suit individual tastes and decorating needs. As a single mother who raised three children (including twin boys), Carlene learned how to make decisions and move forward. It’s nice to see the mother-daughter team working together to build a business and continuing a family tradition. Located at 941 N. High next to z pizza, Old World New Home is open Tuesday through Sunday, Noon to 7 p.m. Call 614-935-6575 or visit and Facebook to learn more.

Furnishing and home décor stores continue to crop up in the district. A Home on High Directory highlighting 14 home décor retailers who are open in the Short North on Sundays can now be found at Among the more recent offerings is T. David Collection at 772 N. High St. next to Torso. The name gave me pause until I met the owner, Tom Crumley, and was able to associate the letter T with the name Tom. And the name Tom I mentally affixed to our publisher, Tom Thomson, for later recall. The fact that Tom Thomson’s brother is named David was icing on the cake for my memory bank. When I inquired about his business name, Crumley – who is perfectly happy with the name Tom and doesn’t want to be called by his middle name David – said he thought the initial ‘T’ in T. David Collection sounded nice and had a “different feel to it.” I understand what he means. Tom’s Collection is not as impressive as T. David Collection – especially once it’s gone through the wringer of associations in my mind – while the letter T brings up images of English teapots, “to a T” correctness, propriety, refinery. But what about an alliterative name like Crumley’s Collection, did he ever consider that? I really like that name, but I also understand the hazards of running with it. Someone hard of hearing might construe something less desirable like “Crummy Collection,” while there is nothing remotely crummy about the store. What is probably most interesting about all this is that Tom Thomson’s name is not really Tom. His shipmates called him Tom when he served in the navy. He hated his real name. And after the war everyone continued to call him Tom, or Tommy as you’ll hear him referred to in the Short North, but his real name is Nelson. On the other hand, Tom Crumley’s name is actually Tom, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his business card, and he tells me that people are now calling him David even though he likes the name Tom.

Crumley is not only a collector but a musician. He began playing the piano as a youngster, training himself by ear without instruction, after seeing Carmen Cavallaro perform on television over Labor Day weekend when Tom was 10. He was inspired, persevered, and accomplished what he set out to do in spite of his parents’ reservations. Later, during college, he began to play professionally at parties, private luncheons, clubs, and a weekly gig at Shaw’s Restaurant in Lancaster. To make a living after graduating, he remained in Lancaster (where he grew up) and taught high school math and English, later moving to Columbus to work in retail and visual merchandising. He continues to perform, and you’ll find him happily ensconsed in front of the piano at Club Diversity every Thursday night, a regular since they opened 10 years ago. The short-lived James Club downtown was another highlight in his career as well as Tony’s Restaurant. You’re probably wondering by now what it is Tom actually collects. One thing he collects is fine antique furniture. He opened T. David Collection in German Village six years ago after realizing it was “now or never,” and credits his longtime friend and business associate, the late Marcy (Martha) Masoner, owner of Bexley Antiques, for providing him with the knowledge and expertise he needed to pursue his dream. Working in her store once a week for a decade before she closed in 2006, he learned a lot about antiques, enjoyed the experience and was inspired. Tom’s past work in visual merchandising is evident everywhere in his new store, which is lovely. Lamps and mirrors, both old and new, create warmth for living space along with a healthy selection of contemporary home décor items. And being an entertainer, he naturally focuses on accessories for entertainment, new and vintage barware, serving pieces, unique glassware. The only thing missing is a piano. He admits that it would be exciting to have the instrument there, to be able to perform in the store for special occasions like Gallery Hop and that he has been weighing the possibility, even pointing out a likely spot for it. Both the opening in German Village six years ago and the relocation to the Short North in March took a lot of thought, planning, and late-night ruminations. Tom promises he’ll continue to ponder the possibility of the piano project, even if it means lying awake at night to make up his mind, so stay tuned.
T. David Collection, 772 N. High St., is open Tuesday through Saturday 11-6, Sunday 12-6, and closed on Monday. Their number is 614-542-4300. Visit Tom’s blogspot (while the website is being reconstructed)

Meanwhile similar entertainment ambitions have struck chords in the hearts and minds of Italian Village residents Rick Gore and Peter Yockel who recently spearheaded a fundraising campaign to form a professional theater company in the Short North. Before moving here from Florida a couple of years ago, the pair were active in musical productions. A Dispatch article informs us that by the end of 2011, after renovations of a High Street building, they will begin to offer “new, recent and rarely revived musicals, plus at least one drama or comedy each year.” Visit their Web site at to learn more and access the Dispatch story.

The Short North Business Association has organized “Hump Day [s]Hop” for anyone who is looking for the Gallery Hop experience in the middle of the month. Businesses here plan to extend their hours, musicians will roam the streets, and artists will attend the event every 3rd Wednesday throughout the summer season on May 18, June 15, July 20, and August 18.

News about upcoming events in the neighborhood can be found in Community Events and the Bulletin Board.

Email the Editor

©2011 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.

Return to Homepage