An abandoned, misfit white table and a $2 seltzer bottle found at a yard sale were some of Rosanna Smith’s very first vintage acquisitions. Those seemingly simple finds were the start of an ongoing love story with the thrill of the (antique) hunt. Smith, a diminutive California native who now lives in Leesburg, first fell in love with antiques during summers spent in Italy as a child. When she moved to Virginia, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She quit her job as a proposal manager and opened a retail antique shop. In a nod to her Italian summers, she named it Bella Villa, meaning “beautiful villa” in Italian.
Today, what started as a small shop is a 6,000-square-foot warehouse that specializes in furniture rentals for parties celebrating life milestones, such as weddings, baby showers and even funerals. “The people who hire me are going above the average wedding,” says Smith. Smith sources her furniture and decor from near (like the Copper Cricket consignment shop in Haymarket) and far (trips to Europe will turn up great finds). Walking into the warehouse is an impressive experience. Dozens of Italian chandeliers cascade from the ceiling, while velvet, suede and satin chairs line the walls, and a mix of sophisticated and rustic accessories round out the offerings.
Bella Villa is already growing out of its current digs, and Smith has plans to expand in size as well grow her online inventory.
With every piece she adds, Smith has a story. She selects inventory with her personal style in mind, combining the store’s “rustic and bling-y” aesthetic with something “imperfect with a story,” Smith explains. However, the beauty of a story doesn’t impact you until you sit in a fainting chair and make it your own.
Bella Villa Antiques & Vintage Rentals
8371 W. Main St., Marshall, 571-921-0356