The quest is simple for the owners of On the Hunt.

It's all about taking something old and something new to create a unique and modern design for patrons' homes.

Gary Pelletier, who opened the retail shop on Church Street in New Milford with his life partner, Ian Durkin, said the store is a whole lot more than just antiques and consignments -- it's a lifestyle design center.

"We like to reduce, reuse and redesign, which has become many people's lifestyle in recent years," Pelletier said.

"A lot of our collections are great pieces that we have given a new look with modern fabrics and finishes or repurposed to accommodate the many different lifestyles of today," he added.

Pelletier and Durkin worked in corporate circles for years before deciding to take the plunge with their first retail enterprise.

"I'd always been involved with antiques, having had my own booth or spaces in an antique center," Pelletier said. "For me, it was always really the design element and the buying and selling that attracted me."

The shop, located just a few strides from the Village Green, carries a little of everything, from furniture to glass, linens, gift items and artwork, many with an equine theme.

The name, On the Hunt, refers to the couple's work rescuing horses as well as an allusion to hunting for that perfect piece to complete a room.

Besides pieces in the store, Pelletier said the shop also offers a variety of services, including furniture refinishing, reupholstering and stained-glass work, creating new designs and restoring older windows.

"Working with stained glass has been something I've really enjoyed for many years," Pelletier said.

He said they looked for several locations for the shop, including their hometown of Bridgewater, before deciding on a storefront on Church Street across from the New Milford Town Hall.

While hoping to attract commuters driving from New York City to their weekend and summer homes, Pelletier said the neighborhood is also undergoing a sort of artistic revolution.

Ameico, a distributor of modern and contemporary design elements, recently refurbished another Church Street building, and Gallery 25 and Creative Arts Studio, a cooperative gallery, was opened last year by the town's Commission on the Arts.

It's really becoming a nice neighborhood," said Mayor Pat Murphy. "It adds another layer of interest in the downtown," she said.; 203-731-3358;

Photography by Tyler Sizemore