Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shop Series: vintage neon sign, chandelier, linen chalk paint and floors

 This is a lot of work, but its also a lot of fun getting this shop pulled together. 
Thank you so much for your emails and comments and interest
 in general as I share the process of opening a small store front.
So I thought I would ask you all what you think 
of this vintage neon OPEN sign. 
 It hangs in the front window, and was installed when
 there was a florist in this space years ago...
 Two big roses in red flank a green OPEN sign.  
The wood blinds will be gone so imagine that they are not there....
 Woohoo~look inside my shop at night~
you can see all the fun stuff in there!!
 (...and the chaos)
I won't be having night hours, and I think it detracts from the window display planning. 
 I want to have beautiful draperies pulled to the side and this sign might
 not look so hot~your thoughts?

Ok, moving on...another long day yesterday on Patriots Day which is a holiday special to us in Masschusetts honoring all the Patriots that fought for our country over the years....
we went to the funeral of my sister's father-in-law, Mike the Milkman,
 who himself was a Patriot and he had a fitting service on that very day...
afterwards hubby and his son Scott (10 years) and I came home
 and got in our painting clothes!! More painting awaited us, and Scott was
 soooo excited to paint! You know how you really don't want your little kids to 
actually paint anything in your house, like a wall?? Well in this case I was 
priming the second half of the shop floors and figured that there was no risk in 
having an enthusiastic 10 year old helper...plus he has seen his
big (step) brother Colin working on the shop when he looks at my blog, 
and he wants to be part of it too! His mom prefers him not to be shown 
on the blog, so that is why you don't see his face here...
but he is the sweetest little red headed boy and he turned out 
to be quite a good worker and painter to boot!
We needed to wash the floors first with a TSP solution 
and Scott was excited to use the floor washing machine. 
I mopped after him...we did sections at a time.
This side of the shop the floors are in rough shape~
but if I was a 110 years old, I would look pretty bad too.
We started priming at opposite ends and met in the middle~
It is amazing how much changing the floor color 
from dark brown to white makes
in the overall feel for the space~it feels bigger and brighter.
 While the primer dried I tested out a color for the beadboard 
and I am going with it~
it is French Canvas ( a BM color formula I make up at Lowes)
and it is going to look soft and lovely with the lavender walls.
 And then I indulged myself by painting this oak bookcase..
 Really great details on it all around, which means when painted it will look terrific.
This piece has some alligatoring of paint which is fabulous...I remember hating it 
when I was 20 years old~now it is an asset on older pieces 
for added texture and that patina style look we love.
So while I painted the cabinet with Annie Sloan french linen chalk paint, 
Scott got to work on the second coat of primer for the floors. 
He was in his element, putting Tim McGraw on his Pandora play list and
was singing and painting away!! It was very cute!
They were bare to the bone wood, and they sopped up 
the first coat of primer like a drifter in the desert getting to a water cooler.
 Oh and look at this pretty baby~Italian gilt chandy in the nicest shape~
I bought it for my front window display 
(not the window with the OPEN sign)
And another pretty vintage chandy will be in the shop offering soon~
look at the fleur-de-lis details!! 
 As has happened the last 3 nights in a row, after working long 
and hard we left the shop and walked across the street to
 a wonderful old Railroad station restaurant!
 I have been living on steak tips and salad with blue cheese dressing~
totally lo-carb and I can say I have lost 10 pounds already!! Woohoo~
If you come visit, plan to have lunch over there~the best steak tips ever!
And then back to my shop at 7:45pm...
I have one more task I want to do
before we call it a day.
Hubby took a hammer and removed all the hunks of glass 
still stuck in the window frame.
I was afraid to touch it~and I want to finish that window off with the 
vintage wallpaper and paint and some old french lace too I think~
a few glass shelves and I will have a nice display cabinet that is unique.
Good night 50 Summer Street~
see you in the morning!



  1. Since you asked, I don't think the neon sign adds to the ambiance. You could instead, since your front door has a glass window, put a hand painted sign there large enough to read from the street. The kind that hangs from a string, that you flip around when you leave for the day.

    And I was wondering when that glass was going to go! Good old hubs, taking care of that detail for you! I love seeing the progress, and Scott is such a good helper.

  2. I agree the neon sign will detract from a beautiful window display! A quaint and unique wooden sign would add to the look! Love the store already! It's going to be a big hit!

  3. Looking GOOD! Put the sign inside over a display of anything floral or vintage!What a LOT of work but it feels so good doesn't it? Can't wait to see it all!
    Blessings, Lorraine

  4. I love the sign, but it doesn't seem like the you I've come to know

  5. Looking good! I like that your shop is on an old main street like that. I vote for the neon sign to be removed. I don't think it fits the style of your shop. The colors of red and green are glaring and I like the old fashioned black and white sign that hangs in the window that you flip that says open/closed. Since you won't be open at night, you don't need a neon sign. Besides, people will be able to see that your shop is open if the lights are on anyway.

  6. Oh Amy,
    I so wish i could come and help you,it is killing me watching from here in England,i want to sing to Tim Mcgraw and paint floors too! bless Scott what a little sweetheart for helping.
    The lavender and cream looks beautiful together,really soft and dreamy, it has me thinking for my bathroom now hmmmmm?????
    Everything is looking really fabulous and i am so happy for you xxx
    So sorry to hear of your sister's father in laws passing x

  7. Fabulous job!
    I agree I think the neon open sign is great...but maybe not in the window...besides you can move it somewhere else in the store & put it where you want!

  8. Note to self~ Open antique shop to loose 10 pounds!

    I may pin that :)

    Love all the updates!!

  9. The sign is lovely but not for your window or doorway. Put it in a hallway or another part of the store. I can't wait to see what you are going to do with the displays, etc. You are all working so hard and it's coming along beautifully. Thanks for sharing your new adventure with us.

  10. Okay, I'm sorry, but I don't like the neon sign, Amy. It looks like something for a diner or gas station, not your beautiful shop! I do love the way the painting you've done has lightened up and even made the space feel bigger than it already is. That bookcase is going to look great when it's done! It sounds like everything is falling into place nicely for you. Have you planned a Grand Opening day yet?

  11. Amy, I believe YOU could have built Rome in a day! Your progress is amazing in such a few days. I admire your vitality and vision.

    Put your pretty draperies in the window but not the sign. Maybe it can have a home someplace else.

    My church has been giving away old pianos that had beautiful carved details. No one wants them even for just the haul away. If anyone should offer you one, take it. They are beautiful when painted and could be used for display too.

  12. I love love love that sign....and if you were open at night....I'd say keep it. But yes...perhaps it does not give the french ambience you are after. I too would move it to the inside and turn it on in a garden area of the store. Perhaps created a large green house like the one that you have at home and put all your garden like stuff in there and around it and use the sign there. Or just hang old windows in one section to give the feeling of a greenhouse in the store.

    I have to say that street looks so wonderful. So lucky for you that there is a good place to eat across the street where you can get something you love to eat for dinner. Your displays in the windows will get the restaurant goers interested to return another day.

    Sorry I missed your call last night. I was charging my phone in the kitchen and doing taxes in the other room and just let it ring. I didn't want to stop. I saw well past midnight that it had been you and I wished I'd gone in earlier to see who it was. Sorry...can't wait to talk.

  13. What a fun sign.I love seeing it all come toegether, I bet this is going to be a happening place right off the bat! AND you lost 10 pounds.....thats what I call amazing icing on an already delicious cake!

  14. Lose the neon sign, no doubt about it... Buh bye!
    The shop is looking great! Is that lavender Portland Gray? Its really pretty and complimentary to what you've brought in... can't wait to see those blinds gone and your windows all done up pretty...!


  15. Amy, First it's so nice to see Scott! Takes me back to our first emails when we were both pretty new to blogging. The shop is looking fantastic. I think the sign is cute but I think it's a detraction overall. It just doesn't speak to me in regards to what you're all about. You should put it on Etsy and get some money for it and then use that towards the shop! I like the curtains idea. I draped lots of fabric and curtains in my shop windows and for me and what I wanted it looked great. Since you won't be open at night just leave a lamp or two on...you'll find that it's so beautiful! I loved looking in my shop window at night...it made me want to go shopping!
    I'm so happy for you and to see how beautifully this is coming together!

  16. LOVED Marcy's comment...it's true! Moving into a dump makes you lose weight to. I should know! lol

  17. This is so fun and exciting! I vote to ditch the neon sign....

  18. Another busy day. You are making me tired. You have lost ten pounds from going non stop! I would not use the neon sign especially since you won't be open at night anyway.

  19. You are moving right along. I am so proud of you. It is looking good even at this point. As to the roses sign...hmmm...I think you will have to wait and see what it looks like when you have the blinds removed and then play with the placement of it.

    How great that you let the "big little guy" help. I'm sure he has such a deep thrill doing that.

    Blessings...take a deep breath and remember to relax a bit when you can! xo Diana

  20. Love the roses on your open sign. So excited for you. It is shaping up so fast and so nice. Blessings- Paula

  21. You were just kidding about the sign right?LOVE that chandy.And everything else is looking ammmmmmmmmmmmazing!!!!!

  22. Neon sign must go. There is probably a hip cool shop it would look perfect in but NOT yours.

  23. the italian chandelier! oh my. all of your hard work is so fun to observe (smack me). seriously. i love that you're taking us on this ride because each chapter can be savored later!

    smiles to you, and sending extra reserves of strength.


  24. Oh how I wish I was there to help you, Amy! What fun to see it starting to take shape! It's going to be just beautiful! I adore the painted floor. It did make quite a change in the entire atmosphere of the room. Love taking this "make over trip" with you, girlie!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  25. Oh my gosh, i LOVE the space. It's look great. The light floor totally transformed it. As far as the open sign, not sure it really 'goes' with your style. However, let me put my marketing hat on. I do like the fact that it might help catch people's eyes as they go by at night. BUT since you won't be open at night and it says 'open'. I'm leaning towards 'no'. but don't throw it away.

  26. What a great space!!!! The renovations are looking great. I love the neon sign, but perhaps somewhere else, as previous posters have suggested. Can't wait to see the total end result. You sure have a sweet hubby to help you. Happy Spring Ya'll from Houston, TX

  27. Things seem to be going so well! That restaurant sounds like will become a regular hang out for you. :)

  28. love the sign, but it just doesnt fit your style. as others say, maybe in another area, cause it really is neat, unique. probably lose bout 5 more before all finished huh. yu dont need to go too overboard in that dept. looks so much bigger with the white floors. only thing i wish you wouldve done walls in your blues.... so happy for you amy. cant wait to see all finished and OPEN FOR BUSINESS. curtains will set it off perfectly. especially with the chandy. i so wish you all the best....susy ps do try to slow down a bit. i KNOW that its new, exciting, and all but you have to take care of you too.......

  29. It's really coming along nicely! I agree with a lot of other readers: remove the neon sign. I'm not sure I would have drapes pulled back over the windows. Use every bit of window display space as possible. Maybe just flank the windows on the inside with just a hint of them from the outside. People are going to want to see your beautiful things from the window ...and then come inside to shop/buy :-)

  30. Looking awesome Amy! I agree about the sign...maybe you can use it in some other fashion? Not sure if I missed it somewhere in your posts, but do you have a tentative opening date? Just curious! ~Stacy~

  31. Amy,

    Love that chandelier, and I like where you are displaying your chalk paint! Lots of details and it's all coming together.

    Between feeling anxious, no time to eat, and lots of movement I think you've figured out the secret to weight loss!!


  32. Looking good Amy.. You already have such incredible stuff for your shop! I too say ditch the sign.. I don't think it would go with the theme of your shop. take care, Maryann

  33. Time for the sign to go visit a different garden! Not the right ambiance for Maison Decor (that is what you'll be calling your shop, right?)

  34. To a French girl like me, the sign screams "American fifties". I love it, but I'm not sure it's the look you're going for... Your shop is going to be lovely!

  35. Love the sign; however, I agree with Nita's comments. This is so much fun watching the amazing progress of your shop. You are blessed to have handy helpers!

  36. So exciting for you, Amy and for those of us within driving distance of your shop. i have already mapquested direction from my home in NH. Thank you for the great ideas and inspiration!

  37. Sign HAS to stay. You just can't move an old relative out and put them on the street. You can make it work. I love the sign and the history.

  38. amy your just amazing maybe put the sign over the ladies room i think it would work with your sense of humor but honestly im so impressed with your progress i can't find any words my mouth will not close long enough to think amazing just amazing!!!!

  39. I love the neon sign...however, I am agreement with you in that it would definitely detract from the gorgeous drapes you are planning to hang in the window...I am sure you will come up with a creative way to use that sign....

    Looking magnificent so far....love your little helper!!
    They get such joy in knowing that they helped and are part of the process...

  40. I'm in the minority here, but I love the neon sign. There have been many many times I've not stopped at a store (paritcularly a new one) because I wasn't sure if they were open and didn't want to take the time to find out. It's important to catch the eye and make it clear at a glance that you're open. And I think the design of the neon sign (even though it's neon) is quite vintagey and appealing. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. Looking forward to seeing more of your lovely shop! :)

  41. This is going to be such a wonderful shop-what a labor of love for you! :) chris

  42. Your fabulous store is coming along ever so nicely. You're lucky to have so many wonderful (free) helpers.I adore the sign too, you must keep it, but perhaps it's better suited for another area of the store (and it speaks of the history of the place).

  43. I love the neon sign, and think it should stay. If not in the window, then somewhere else. Maybe where the cash register will be? I wish I lived close enough to visit your shop. It will be lovely, I'm sure.

  44. Coming along nicely. Love the chandys, 10 pounds I am so jealous!


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