Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A new sign, our first workshop, and life with dogs

 Our first week at the new store flew by! We weren't sure what to expect because we didn't have a sign yet. We still kinda looked like we were the Northside Liquor store.  There is a glass canopy above the store so we couldn't just throw a ladder up there and remove the old sign. We needed a cherry picker truck, and that is one truck my hubby doesn't happen to have. I wasn't going to rent one either, so we just had to be patient. The phone rang at the store and the sign girl said they were enroute to install our new sign! Justin, Colin and I were all in the shop and were pretty excited to get this thing up!
 The truck with our newly designed sign laying on the flatbed. 
We decided to use a stylized version of an antique upholstered 
chair in addition to the lettering that imitates the 
lettering I use on this blog header.
 We are in a brick building set back from the street and have private parking for 30 cars.
  A glass canopy overhangs the front of the building
and we like putting some furniture out front underneath.
Right next to us is a women's workout gym, and at the other end 
is an established hairstylist that has been here for a long time. 
It seems this location is going to be ideal~we are close to the highway 
and convenient in that aspect and we also have a lot of women
 coming in to see what Chalk Paint® is all about! 
 For example~Colin has been getting quite a few pieces finished
 in the shop, and this antique sideboard was done in Paris Grey.
 We like to use dark wax on Paris Grey Chalk Paint.  
Its very rich and warms up the coolness of the grey.  
Some pieces we whip out the gilding wax to 
enhance the details like this sideboard.
 Really pretty! Colin is getting masterful at his painting and waxing I think!
 Here is how we apply the gilding wax~most often we use our fingertips. 
This is King Gold Gilding wax and we offer it at our online store. 
I am still on the first container and I use it alot!! So a little goes a long way.
 We have tons of painted samples in the store, and this sample 
was the one that inspired the sideboard paint job. If you are undecided
 you can come in to our big long table and go over our sample collection
 to see what appeals to you. Bring in your pillows or wall paint swatches
 or whatever you need to help you make a color decision.
 We had our first workshop today in the new space as well. It was during the workshop that the truck pulled up and installed the sign.  Two ladies painted formal chippendale chairs in Napoleonic Blue for a modern take on this old style mahogany chair. One of the ladies is putting them in her new home in the kitchen (the chairs were her mothers) and her friend helped her by painting another one~so she only has 4 left.  One gal had a cottage table she was doing rustic finish in Arles, the golden yellow color. This was coat one~in the background is a classic chippendale style mirror getting a makeover.  
 This is the kind of stuff I do in my house...I climb up on chairs and paint stuff. 
Do you do things like this? After 3 hours all the projects were finished~
and the painters were happily on their way home with their completed projects.
 Another one of our recent additions is this vanity/desk mirror set
 in a beach glass colored combination paint job.
 Getting a chance to look around and see different styles and colors
 and feel the finishes is one of the things we offer at our shop.
Betsy Speert came by and blogged about her visit at the new shop!
 We are working on our wall of antique and vintage mirrors~
I really love old mirrors. I love them when they are cloudy
 or have some of the silvering damaged, I think they add 
so much personality to a space. 
Mirrors are almost always the right accessory for a room! 
After the class I left early to head home and do laundry and wash some dropcloths and prepare a roasted chicken dinner. The guys were on their own~I asked them to 
send me a fun photo for the blog and this was the most acceptable one I could publish!
Business has been great and we are so happy to be in our new location! 
Running a business is filled with guessing and making decisions
 that you hope will pan out in your favor and while you never know, 
we are thankful that it appears to be the right one for Maison Decor.
So while the guys are still in Reading at the store, 
I am getting this blog off while the chicken is in the oven.  
I fed and walked the dogs~did you know that Justin and his girlfriend Madison 
live in the apartment we have in our home now? 
That means Sylvia lives with us too. 
She is a little mischievous girl...likes to "play" when the older dogs 
Tobey and Dillon have no interest. she likes to chew paper, 
chew laces off shoes, rip holes in hooked rugs...all that kind 
of good puppy stuff.  I swear as I am writing this very sentence 
I look over and she is chewing on the living room hooked rug!! 
Who Me???
Tobey would rat her out in a second if he could talk...
but the piece of paper on her mouth tells all. 
That was from an hour earlier when she was in her paper shredder mode...
now I guess she wants to get the carpets. 
So with that I am signing off!

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hey, we got that!

Now that we have been in the retail business for a little over a year
 I can't help but notice some things related to owning a shop.  
Prices and styles and inventory and all that good stuff.  I subscribe to a few
 shopping vendors like Joss and Main and One Kings Lane and I love looking 
at their offerings. They have pretty pics all grouped in themes, and it is pleasant to
  look around their offerings and sometimes find something you just gotta have!
 But the funny thing is that I have noticed more than a few times that the things
 we have picked out to sell at our stores are often very similar to the items
 I see online at these vendor sites~but with a huge price differential! 
After scrolling around tonight online at One Kings Lane and looking at 
their vintage things for sale I was saying to myself, 
WOW~we have THAT! 
And our prices are sooo much better....I thought this would
 make a fun blog post~so I am sharing OURS and THEIRS. 
See what you think~
OKL French folding chair $259
Maison Decor french bistro chair $89

OKL Vintage Tole Floral Chandy  $819
MD Vintage Tole Chandelier $395
OKL Vintage Iron Patio Set  $589
I just got a set of four of these identical chairs! 
No table, just the chairs so you decide if the table is worth an extra $400~
MD Vintage iron garden chairs ~set of 4 / $120 
They have the same mesh seats under the vinyl cushions.

Antique French Iron floral chairs paired with a different table 
OKL $895
Well the very first thing I ever bought for my first Maison Decor store was a set of 
4 of these old iron garden chairs with the shield back floral detail.
They were white and chippy. 
I since painted them and was selling them for either $35 or $45 a chair.
I can't believe this price of $895!
And then I saw another One Kings Lane listing for the same style.
Iron chairs, chippy white paint ~ OKL 3 for $855
The same chair but now only 3 of them without a table
for almost the same crazy price. Mine were 4 chairs for under $150.
Maison Decor iron chair in hot pink with vintage linen upholstery
Under $45 a chair, just makes me wonder....
How can their chairs be that much? 
OKL 1970s French Country Tole Tray  $119
MD Tole Tray $89
Its not painted in the French Country style, but its got a great color, 
the artist was accomplished and its older than the OKL tray.
Not a huge price difference I will admit~but I am still better in the price department!

OKL Antique Baroque mirror $2999
I just brought home a mirror a little bit smaller than this one, but not by much.
It resembles it quite a bit too~what do you think?
MD Antique gilt mirror $195
It's not quite as ornate but its pretty comparable in style, size and age.
Its got a grand style feeling about it and it is lovely.
And you get to keep about $2800 in your pocket!
You can take that cruise to Bermuda and have your baroque mirror.
OKL Old Designer Books $129
I love using old books for decorating.
MD Decorator Book Collections by Color $70
I thought it would be cool to get some antique
 and vintage books with color coordinated spines. 
At the shop we have a group in green, blue and a pinky coral group. 
They look great for styling our vignettes but they also will be nice on my customers's
table tops or their book shelves as accents with an old world look.
OKL 1950s Coffee Table with Cabriole leg $489

MD Vintage coffee table in Antibes Green $149
Our table is painted green and doesn't have  a cabriole leg, 
but a ball and claw leg instead, 
however that is about the only difference...and of course the price.
Look how fantastic this table is in our window display~and the price is right!
Antique Gothic Mirror $1349
Really? These prices are sometimes insane!
I love old mirrors and cannot resist nice ones at good prices for our stores.
MD Gilt Arch Mirror $140
Its not gothic but its an arch top and has a similar feel and size....
and over $1000 less!

We don't have the best photos representing our unique finds,
 but we do have a good eye for finding the things
that make a house a home.  Home decor accents speak volumes about your own 
personal style as well as make you feel at home in your own dwelling.
Creating a beautiful comfortable home takes time finding the right accent pieces.
We have some special one of a kind accessories. 
We also carry reproductions in addition to our vintage offerings
 that you have seen here in this comparison blog post.
I only buy things I would feel comfortable using in my home~
and those are the things you will find at Maison Decor!

If you have been following my blog you might know that I have used accents
from Home Goods to finish up clients homes.  So I was thrilled to be asked
by Home Goods to be one of ten national designers to be part 
of their Pinterest campaign called Happy By Design! 
Starting in August I will be pinning to the 
Home Goods board, Happy by Design,
showing off some home accessories that I have found at Home Goods 
and how I use them in my designs in the home and in my shop!
  I will be blogging more about this program next month, 
so look for that. I love Pinterest for all the inspiration I find there~
and if you haven't been to Pinterest, you might start at my 
Pinterest page and look through my boards by clicking here.
 Home Goods loved them!

I am teaching Chalk Paint Introductory classes in our new store, 
as well as other workshops  so I am super excited about
how nice the space is for our workshops.
If you would like to read more about the class or register you
 can do so online by clicking below
Come learn how to use the paint with the wax and create lots of finishes!
Its fun and easy and you will leave with enough confidence 
 to paint your kitchen cabinets!
Come see us at our new location
150 Main Street Reading Mass
Mon- Fri 10-5
Saturday 11-4
Located next to Harrow Chicken Pies~
(cuz everybody knows Harrows!)
We have many new pieces of furniture coming in all the time
and  although I try to get these loaded onto our online shop so you can 
look at the latest while wearing your jammies....I will admit a lot
of things never make it online~but if you want to check it out 
visit us at and click on furniture.
 making Life more Beautiful is our motto!
We can customize your furniture with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan
or show you how to do it yourself if you stop by the shop.
There is a popular post I wrote about decorating a house 
on a tight budget in 30 days.
I almost exclusively shopped at Home Goods for this client!
Click on the photo below to read the post.
Wherever you choose to shop to decorate your home, I hope you 
choose the things that make you happy and speak your decorating language!
Are you a traditionalist with a twist? 
Do you favor a bit of French Cottage in your decor?
A splash of bohemian color and texture with a dash of rustic style?
Thats the great thing about decorating~picking a style that feels like you!
At Maison Decor we are all about 
Making Life More Beautiful

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our New Reading Store! Take a tour~

 Welcome to our new Maison Decor store 
Reading, Massachusetts at 150 Main Street!
 We officially open for first day of business Monday July 15th.  
We will still be tweaking and adding items all week long~but here is how
 far we have come in the two weeks since we got the keys. 
We created a European village vibe by painting the floors to look
 like cobblestones, and the walls to look like plaster. 
Of course we used Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan~more in depth tutorials 
will come in the next month or so, but for now its a quick look at 150 Main. 
We made a special section in the back area for our famous WORKSHOPS!
 I am truly excited about this area~drapery panels set the section off, 
and you can walk inside and check out the paint samples and 
wall chart colors. This area will be added to in the coming weeks.
 The main floor is a retail zone where we sell home furnishings 
and accessories in both antique and reproduction varieties. 
One thing we are waiting on is our sign to be installed, at this point the old
liquor store sign is still above the store front! 
Our new sign will look like this~dark aqua on a black background.
But until then look for the liquor store that sells Chalk Paint!! lol

 Scroll through the next few pics to see what we have added so far~
 Home decor books and accessories~
 Vintage mirrors galore~
 Hand painted furnishings~
 Wonderful fabrics~
 Vintage accessories and antiques as well as reproductions!
 We love how it feels in the shop!
 Painting the floors, ceilings and walls made 
for such an enchanted space. 
But it didn't get this way took 12 of them in fact!
 You can see Colin carrying in some table legs 
and the wall behind him is still builder white.
 In this shot Justin is entering carrying a chandelier and 
the wall is now ragged with Chalk Paint® in Country Grey and Paris Grey. 
Its soft and beautiful and everything looks good in front of it. 
 Couldn't pass up this chance to snap them with two antique chandeliers!
 Bringing in the bigger pieces of furniture after the painting
 had finished was the first part of setting up the shop.
 Boxes were everywhere.  We worked well together as a team 
and after many hours and truckloads it would come together.
Here you can see the difference the ragged walls make in the space!
Lots of lugging in of items and props from Colin's red truck.  
The vanity in the front would be painted soon~and the walls would be 
ragged and the draperies sewn and hung.
 It was finally time to open our doors~we still don't have a sign yet though.
 So look for us under the old liquor store sign!!!! 
OMG that is the worst part for me...having no sign, 
but they are working quickly to get it finished.
We took this basic blah store from this....
To this!
 We are located in the Laschi plaza next to 
Harrows Chicken Pies and Calareso's Farm Stand
at 150 Main Street.
We are open Monday- Friday 10-6
Saturday 11-4 and Sunday 11-3
Colin, Justin and I will be there Monday morning~and all week long! 
Looking forward to doing more with our shop as each day allows, 
but for now we would love to see you!!
shop online and register for WORKSHOPS

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