Real Old shop in Asheville River Arts District showcases unique collectibles, furniture


Real Old, a new shop that showcases unique collectibles and some new high-end furniture, is now open in the Historic Cotton Mill Studios building in Asheville’s River Arts District.

The shop is an arm of Old Wood Co., which makes furniture from reclaimed wood. Darren Green founded Old Wood Co. in 2007 with an eye toward making custom-made tables and other pieces from beautiful reclaimed wood for homes and businesses. He’s been growing that business ever since. It’s good to see this remarkable furniture on display and see the responses to it also. Furniture such as that from is making a comeback because people enjoy having unique pieces of furniture in their house.

Green plans to use the 700 square feet of Real Old space as part showroom for Old Wood Co. pieces, as well as part sales space for some cool collectibles that he has access to. His cousin, Paul Rifkin and Carol Rifkin, once owned and operated the Not Your Ordinary Antiques shop on Page Avenue in downtown Asheville, and Green is selling some of those antiques, as well as his own furniture.

Real Old will also “evolve into a trade showroom for interior designers, architects and builders, to work on custom designing pieces and related wood and steel products,” Green says.

Last month, Real Old held its first designer social, an event that drew interior designers interested in checking out Green’s stuff, old and new. The next one is scheduled for July.

“There are so many design professionals who don’t know we exist,” Green says, and the Real Old space is a great way to get people together and show them.

Green has deep family ties to the furniture and furniture-making industries. His great grandparents founded Pearlman’s Furniture in Asheville nearly 100 years ago. Green built on those traditions with Old Wood Co., making custom pieces and often collaborating with other local artists and craftspeople. Green’s clients include Panera Bread, Alamo Draft House, Marriott and many more.

After a decade in business, Green says his business has diversified after starting out with several commercial clients that account for about 70 percent of Old Wood Co.’s business. Green says today his company does “a lot of work for people seeking one or two pieces, custom stuff, that will likely be our life blood.” He employs 10 people (including himself).

Now Green wants more of a retail space “to draw people in an introduce them to what we do,” he says.

Follow Real Old on Instagram at @realoldasheville.