Kate Aldrich and Tim Shaffer

The Taste-Makers

Two years ago, Kate Aldrich was designing high-end plates for five-star restaurants, and Tim Shaffer was an online merchant specializing in vintage home décor. They lived in Denver, but many of Aldrich’s clients were on the Strip. That made for a hectic travel schedule, so they did the reasonable thing and moved to Las Vegas. They bought a home in the trendy Rancho/Alta area, and new dreams began to stir. Passionate about art, décor and design, they found a dearth of boutiques they liked, so last April they dropped their old careers and opened Patina Décor in Downtown’s Main Street furniture district.

Their timing was perfect: The area, wedged between the Arts District and the Stratosphere, was just beginning to take off. Aldrich and Shaffer sourced one-of-a-kind mid-century antiques from California, and their approach suited Las Vegans with eclectic tastes. “People aren’t apt to buy an entire house full of furniture these days,” Shaffer says. “Our customers are usually very tasteful, adding to their home one piece at a time.”

Patina’s goods range from sofas to clothing. The biggest seller, though, is barware. “Tim works very hard to get great vintage barware,” Aldrich says, “and we sell it as fast as we can get it.”

Patina’s mission is to not only help make homes more beautiful, but also to enrich the lives of its residents with furnishings that have a story. For proof, Aldrich and Shaffer point to their own favorites: for him, a hammered brass elephant by Sergio Bustamante; for her, the 1940s art-deco Italian mirror behind her Austrian desk (it’s not for sale, she says).

They are continually surprised by the shared ambitions of their clientele. “Some of our customers who are very young,” Aldrich says, “they’ll come in and have a preconceived idea of what they want, and it’s very interesting—wow, where did they get this look or this taste? It’s amazing.

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