Foundry Brings a Parisian-Style Flea Market to U Street

Interior designer Yvette Freeman’s retail space is a treasure hunt for home-decor enthusiasts.

Opening vintage furniture store Foundry had been designer Yvette Freeman’s dream for years—she waited until she found the perfect U Street location to make it a reality. Photograph by Erik Eucke

Slideshow: An Inside Look at U Street’s Foundry 

When DC-based interior designer Yvette Freeman isn’t working with clients or partnering on new development projects, you’ll find her at the helm of a rusty old van, cruising country roads and tracking down estate sales in search of the next great furniture find.

“It’s just me and Big Frank,” she says of her trusty Ford, which she takes on weekend “picking” trips to North Carolina, Kentucky, and through the backwoods of Virginia. “I’ll rummage through barns, poke through people’s attics. You never know what you’ll find—the uglier, the better!”

For years, Freeman’s discoveries—which she refreshes and reupholsters herself—sat in her Swann Street garage or adorned the historical buildings she restores with her brother, Joe Freeman, the other half of the Freeman Development Group. But last month, she opened U Street retail outpost Foundry—a “Parisian-style flea market” in the heart of DC’s up-and-coming design district­—to bring her treasures to a new clientele.

“I’ve wanted to do this for years but waited until I found the perfect spot,” she says. “This is it!”

The 1,200-square-foot space is overflowing with reclaimed decor, all cherry-picked and painstakingly refurbished by Freeman. Handpainted chests reside next to linen-and-burlap armchairs and industrial stools. Vintage theater lights hang alongside oil canvases and time-worn maps. Each item has a story, which the designer is more than happy to tell. Show her a vintage suitcase, a silk-shaded chandelier, or a church pew, and she’ll tell you exactly where she found it—at a theater in Chicago, an estate in the south of France, or a textile mill in Richmond.

This weekend, Freeman is unveiling another expansion: a barn sale at Springdale Farm near Frederick, Maryland. Each month, the farm will open for a three-day tag sale featuring redone and “raw” furniture, as well as textiles, lighting, and vintage ephemera. Expect barbecue, holiday decor ideas, and some quality picking of your own—we’re sure you’ll find enough to fill up your own Big Frank. For more information, click here.

Foundry, 1522 U St., NW; 571-277-5245. Open Thursday through Sunday from 11 to 7, or by appointment.