Monday, August 25, 2014

Trip to MV, Floor planning, Clam Bake, & Shop Inventory

My sister Ellen informed me it has been two weeks since I last 
blogged!  How is that possible?  I am finding it harder to keep all
the balls in the air, especially during summer time.  Summer is 
when we all need to take a vacation or a few days here and there
to stop and get recharged, don't you agree?  Especially if your
life is like living on the gerbil wheel...round and round it goes!
So here is a bit of what I have been up to for the past two weeks.
This is a newsy post, so just a warning....I won't be offended if you 
don't read the whole thing.  Lots of personal stuff is included in the latter half 
of the post so if you are interested, read on!
Lets start with the shop~
 Maison Decor is humming right along, we have been getting in furniture pieces,
all of which are vintage.  Since our shop is small, we don't have room for lots
of furniture.  So the pieces I like to add are those I would put in my own home.
This is kind of my rule of thumb for buying anything that will go into our inventory.
 How about an elegant console table from Baker Furniture? 
 Or an old iron chandelier that oozes European charm?
 A gilt mirror that has seen slightly better days, but is still a beauty!  
Little chips off the bottom give her a pretty nice price tag, and you can 
have the look you love without breaking your bank.  Its not a repro either,
this is the real deal!
I took a selfie in the mirror after layering in front of another larger mirror.  
 A very interesting gothic styled chair.  Perhaps it lived in a church or monastery before it landed at Maison Decor.  One of my readers called it a Bishops chair.  Gina, my decorating assistant, said she saw a chair like this in a high style decor mag.  The chair was in a bathroom, placed next to the tub with towels folded on it~I can totally picture that!  Don't you think that using unusual pieces in unexpected places is what gives a home soul?   
This beautiful armoire dresser combination is getting an
 Old White Chalk Paint@ refresher, with a hand rubbed clear wax finish.
  Its the most beautiful bedroom piece  I have ever had in the shop.
We also got a big shipment of new and reproduction home decor accessories
 last Thursday.  Price points are fantastic, from $6 to $200, come in and see what's new!!

 Lots of interesting hooks in great looking styles and rustic and elegant finishes, wall art~botanicals and iron wall plaques, linen drapery panels, big linen euro shams in pale grey in Bella Notte style without the Bella Notte prices! 
 Yummy shabby washed linen in 27" size~perfect for sofa or bed!
Beautiful cotton velvet pillows to throw on your sofa or bed to 
update it for the fall in purple, pinks and grey. 
I have been doing some custom painted furniture jobs as well. 
 This is a wonderful glass front cabinet
that we painted Old White on the exterior, and French Linen on the interior. 
 It had many shelves that go inside, and our client already has this in her dining room 
and has all of her white plates and silver pieces stacked on the shelves. 
 When you paint a china cabinet or hutch, think of what color your plates
 are so that your interior color can coordinate or be a perfect backdrop 
for what you plan to put inside. So you can see that we have been busy!  
And of course Justin's shop in Boston is taking off! 
He is getting all kinds of great feedback on Yelp for Pioneer Goods Company.
  He also was written up in last Sunday's edition of The Boston Globe in the Arts section!!
He is also an Annie Sloan Stockist in Boston and his shop is at 764 Tremont Street and is open from 11-5 on Wednesday through Sunday.  Its in the South End and it really has a neighborhood feel over in that part of Boston that is so delightful.  This kid is going places!  And speaking of going places, on a whim I decided to visit mom and dad at their home on Marthas Vineyard. 
 Since I have Sunday and Monday off, I decided to get on a quick flight
 and head over to make the most of my time. 
 Normally I would have driven an hour and half, then got on a 45 minute ferry and finally land on that precious little island where they live.  But since I am time crunched, taking a Cape Air flight made sense.  These are small 9 passenger planes, and you have to walk out onto the tarmac to board.  Its kind of crazy in a major airport, like Logan in Boston to walk
 around big planes, to climb into your little plane.
 As we walked out I could see someone checking the engine....lol!! 
 I got put on first in the seat right behind the pilot then tried to
 take a selfie showing how small the plane was as others boarded.

 In a half hour I was on the ground and mom picked me up to head into lovely Edgartown.
We strolled down North Water street and sat up on the porch and had a drink before dinner.
 My dad was off island helping my brother build a deck at his home, 
and so it was a girls only visit and boy did we have fun!  
 We went to the annual clambake at Farm Neck Golf Club where my mom is a member. 
 Clam Bakes are traditional New England picnic events.  
A big pile of lobsters and steamers and mussels and the fixings
 like corn on the cob and roasted red potatoes and part of the feed bag.
Everyone gets in line and gets their plate loaded up for the finale of the summer at Farm Neck!
President Obama was on the golf course, so when we arrived, we had to pull our car over and have it examined, and then we needed to get "wanded" to be checked for explosives before entering the club.
 There were several hundred members attending and it was a glorious night for the clam bake! I was here 17 years ago when Bill Clinton was President, and I met him at the clam bake that particular night.  But this year we didn't see President Obama, only his swat team and entourage while they waited for him to get off the course.
 This is such a beautiful golf course, I can see why the President spent many days golfing here.
 The next day I wanted to rearrange my parents living room.  They have lived all over the world and many of their treasures from years overseas they still have today.  The layout of their home includes this
oversized living room and as you may know, large spaces are hard to figure out sometimes.  We have the fireplace as a focal point as well as the TV.  My dad likes his lounger and so that has to be incorporated into the layout.  Its real life living!! 
 There needs to be consideration to traveling between rooms as well as to the outdoors in this room.
To the right is an old Chinese desk and next to that is a piano, creating an awkward line up on that wall.
I planned to bring the desk into the living room and try to put the chairs next to the fireplace. I wanted to rejoin the two bookcases into the corner of the room, and move the TV closer to the fireplace.  That way Dad could have his lounger moved over into the conversational area I planned to create, not leaving it out in left field by the bank of doors.
 Large sliders run along the back wall of the living room.  A million oriental rugs collected during their years living in Pakistan are spread over the floor. The old wall unit has been broken apart and now flanks the giant flat screen tv.  Something just felt wrong about the layout, and mom was game to help shove the furniture around to come up with a more attractive floor plan.
 The pair of blue club chairs are against the half wall on the right.  The vibrant blues pull the color from the rug and the lamps.  But somehow the focus on the fireplace has been neglected, and there is no real conversation grouping of furniture.  It is all just spread out in one big gigantic circle, against the perimeter of the room.  The fireplace wall felt awkward too, with the big blank space to the right.  Check out the changes we made, using what we had.  
 We grouped a gallery wall of artwork from their collection all in the fireplace area.  The bookcases got rejoined and placed in the corner.  The blue chairs float on opposite corners of the room, angled toward the sofa.

Here you can see the piano on the back wall, and the Chinese desk is now in the living room seating area.  It works much better, at least mom and I thought so! Not sure what dad thought when he returned from my brother's home. After this little decorating project Mom and I went to the Black Dog TAvern for lunch, but not before stopping in to see the newest New England Annie Sloan Stockist, my friend and former customer, Anne-Marie Eddy.
Her shop is in Vineyard Haven and is opposite the Black Dog Tavern, and around the corner from where the ferry comes into port.  Look at the ocean view she has! Her shop is Refabulous Decor and she does a lot of custom painted furniture on the island as well as sell home decor and Chalk Paint.
She was painting away in her bare feet in her shop when I popped in on her!
I think the island is lucky to have their very own Annie Sloan Stockist.  
Her shop is lovely so if you are visiting the island check out
 Refabulous Decor and say hi to Anne-Marie.
Then mom and I went over to the Black Dog for lunch.  The Black Dog also owns a couple of antique Schooners and my son Brandon worked as crew on one of their boats for two summers.
You can take a day sail out of the wharf right here on one of their boats.  I used to come visit Brandon when he would get in from his week long sailing trips, so this brings back pleasant memories of an easier slower summer time that I used to enjoy.  Now being a shopkeeper, those days are OVER!!! I have to squeeze in times to relax and this quickie visit to the island was so precious and enjoyable.
I only had an hour and half before I had to get on the little plane and head back to Boston.  My flight was at dusk.  I plopped on the chaise on my parents back deck and savored my last hour.
 The little Martha's Vineyard airport~its too small for Obama's Air Force One plane.  The 
8 other passengers and I headed out to the plane.

 There is my pink bag on the trolley. The sun was setting and the pilot was waiting! Hubby would be picking me up in less than an hour. 
 One more selfie inside the cabin~look at the lady behind me watching!
 Haha, she doesn't know I have a blog to write.  She just thinks I am self absorbed.
Flying into Boston at sunset on a gorgeous summer evening.
All the city lights were sparkling as we came in for our landing.  I highly recommend flying to the Vineyard from Boston if you can, its quick and instant and I think I will always want to go this way, unless I have to travel with my dogs.  
 The very next night we had a party at Justin's dad's home.  
We have a wedding coming up, and its coming fast!! 
Justin and Madison will marry in early October and this was a good time
to connect with everybody before things start going into warp speed.
Many pics were snapped~my sister Ellen jumped in on this one.
Photo bomber!!!
I am so proud of all the things that are happening to Justin right now. 
 He is taking a giant step forward with his life, marrying this remarkable woman 
who is no stranger to hard work and determination herself. 
His shop is getting accolades after months of his 
efforts and vision being crafted together.
Its just all such a whirl of accomplishment and life building. 
 Living in the moment, but looking to the future! 
The day after our family party we had yet another family event, it was to attend a funeral of a beloved family member of my husbands.  She welcomed me into their family and was as interested in my children as my husbands.  
We will always remember Elinor Johnson and what a class act she was.  
So much of life has us running around, being busy with the events of the day.  But times like weddings and funerals are the big moments that bind us together with the label FAMILY.  I love my family, and if you read this all the way to the end, you are probably a member of my family!!  Seriously, thanks for reading the blog, and I will try to keep more current.  Hope your summer is ending on a high note!  Fall is on its way, along with my son's wedding, and a trip to FRANCE! 
 But thats for another day.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Potpourri: Remaking cornices, Maison Decor Mora Clocks, Cool Stuff

Maison Decor Mora Clocks are a big part of our family business. We often
will get a photo of the clock in its forever home and we love seeing these photos!
The clock above is living in a historic home in Rhode Island.
Imagine our excitement when we saw our clock in Jennifer Holme's parent's
house.  I knew Jen's mom had ordered an Antique White clock from us, and 
I was secretly hoping it might get captured by Jen and her amazing photography skills!
She never mentioned a word, so it was so fun to see it pop up today on my blog roll.
She just does a beautiful job with her images, doesn't she?
I will have a link to her blog post at the end of this post if you would
like to see more of her parents New Hampshire home. 
 It's understated country elegance,
 and we are happy our Mora clock lives in such a nice place!
Here is a collage of the applique line we carry called EFEX.
It can do amazing things to plain and simple pieces of furniture.
The appliques are latex and from New Zealand and are amazing!
This day bed was created by Victoria of Trois Petites Filles. First she created a rich
and elegant french bed using the Efex from our shop.  Then she discovered that her bed
was a fullsize and she really wanted a queen size. So she cut the footboard in half and then built
an entire back and front section and seat to become a settee! She still has the headboard in tact
and is using it behind her queen mattress, but how about her thinking up this project? 
A link to her story and how she did it will be at the end of the post as well.
Look at these traditional, yet dated,  cornices.  I probably made a few of these in my lifetime
of doing custom window treatments, as it was my specialty back a few years or so ago.
Did you know you can recover these fairly easy?  The hardest are the ones with curves,
like these however.  When my design assistant, Gina, asked me to help her with her project
we got to work and look how beautiful they turned out.
 They are for her daughter's bedroom! They don't look anything like the old striped ones!
Gina had windows with roman shades in white with pink dots, but
wanted to have a more finished look.  Isn't this pretty paisley fabric
 with poms just perfect for a little girl?
I had to wait all weekend before I got to see how they looked installed above the romans.
So pretty and they finished off the space nicely.  
We will be working with more fabrics and doing a line of fun toile color mixes
in the shop.  I got a mini armoire and I want to stuff it full of pillows that you wouldn't
find in most places.  That's the thing about custom, you get to make what you want
out of any fabric that tickles your fancy. Give us a few days to get more of these whipped
up, and if you have fabric you would like to get a quote on for your custom made 
pillows, drop me an email.  We use a down insert with a zipper closure, but you can 
choose a fiberfill insert if you prefer.  See our Efex cabinet behind the chair? That is
our display area for the applique line. We have been working on small boards to 
show off just how pretty these appliques are once painted.
We are carrying pretty knobs in mercury glass, iron, porcelain and stone
in the shop now after being asked more than once to please carry them.
So here they are!
Don'g forget we can custom order rugs like this one for you.  Our samples are
hanging up in the shop with sizes and prices right on the back so you can 
browse without having to ask "How much is this?" a bunch of times.
I hate having to ask for pricing, especially on custom orders.
 Here it is in the grey color.
And here it is in the aqua color.  It comes in a beige tone too.
Our sister store, Pioneer Goods Co, in Boston is doing well! Justin just added
this solid oak center hall table to the shop today.  He has been selling lots of furniture
as his prices are great, and his eye is killer!  So pop in on him at 764 Tremont St on
any Wednesday through Sunday 11-5.  Or check our online furniture offerings as 
I am cross referencing his furniture listings on our Maison Decor online shop.
Yesterday I just got in some new old stock from my picker.  I love the stuff I get from
her~its always authentic and right up my alley.  A large iron chandelier with acanthus leaves
and a big metal tassel hanging from the center is the latest antique chandy she brought me.
I think it needs rewiring, but thats easy enough at a lamp shop.  I will try to post pics ASAP and perhaps add it right back here on this post after I get back to the shop tomorrow.
I also got a decadent gilt mirror that is a bit tattered, but ever so lovely as well as 
a wonderful old French Provincial part armoire part dresser.  Its like a men's size
dresser but has the look of the armoire~so terrific because lets face it, armoires can 
just eat up a room.  This way you can have your cake and eat it too!
I added four new paint workshops to the online store for easy registering as well.
My advanced class is very limited in size, so if you are ready for the next level read
the description and sign up pronto.  Washes and dry brush techniques will be mastered!
Lisa Ard, a stockist from Florida paid me a visit last week.
It was nice having another stockist in the shop to compare notes with,
and lucky for me I got to put her into action as I was bombed with customers
and needed her help!  She owns Sweet South Cottage in Tallahassee.
To see more of Dear Lillies parent's home click here.
To read more about how this turned into a settee by Trois Petite Filles, click here.
 To visit our online shop for Mora Clocks, Chalk Paint,
 Efex, Furniture, Workshops and more, click here.
To find out more about Pioneer Goods Company at 764 Tremont St in Boston
go to the website by clicking here.  
This beautiful photo was taken by Henry and Mac Photographers,
who will be shooting Justin and Madison's wedding in October!
For those of you in the Boston area, remember to check out this Sunday's
Boston Globe in the Arts section as they will be featuring Justin and Pioneer Goods
in the Enthusiast about Instagram.  He is posting under the moniker @pioneergoods
and you can follow more closely with behind the scenes stuff on IG.


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