Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mix and match table settings and shop update

First of all~ thank you sooo much for your supportive comments 
yesterday on my announcement of opening my retail shop.
If you missed that post you can read it here.
I have been pleasantly surprised at each step of the way so far.
I was expecting to have to go through a permitting process
and pay for all kinds of site plans and traffic studies and 
floor plans to scale~and instead after being called to the 
building department for a meeting all I have to do is meet at the
shop on Thursday and get it inspected for immediate occupancy!
**Pinch Me**
I couldn't believe it~its a message from the city that they would
love to have a shop like this in that neighborhood~
it is in a neighborhood business zone 
so they are kind of careful what they will and won't allow.
My first step in getting a shop was letting my fingers do the tapping
right over the keyboard on the computer~
I looked through the neighboring areas to see what was out there
and that is where I saw this listing. But many shops aren't online, and they
are advertised by little signs in the windows with a phone number.
My shop was advertised not by owner, but by a broker, so I will 
be paying half a months rent to her as a commission~
something I discovered yesterday as I had no idea....I 
guess it is in the small print on the online ad listing~but 
since I had no clue as to what I was doing, I learned this after the fact.
So this is the kind of stuff I guess I will be finding out the hard way.
I do think ignorance is bliss~and it helps me just go for it!!
So anyway, I met the building owner and checked out the interior
and it was really quite awesome, or it will be after I am done with it.
 This is the inside of the shop and what you see when you walk inside~
there is a huge mirror (odd but workable) along the back wall, 
a radiator stuck in the middle of the room and 
horrid commercial grade carpet covering the floors.
Upon first inspection of the place I went to the corner of the room and 
looked underneath to see what kind of floors this hideous rug was hiding...
they were nice fir floors!! On my second visit the following day I met the owner and 
we hit it off!  I think he is going to be a great landlord~he loves the idea of my shop.
I asked him if he would pull up the carpet and have the old floors sanded for me
as I wanted to do a painted finish on them and seal them myself~
He said, "Oh I saw something like that on Martha Stewart"~
I gave him the high five~as he agreed to my proposal. So stay tuned
for that process as it may be as early as next week!!
This view is looking towards the front entrance of the shop.
This is a beautiful old building~over a hundred years old built in 1899
with bead board on the walls covering up to 7 feet high, 
with plaster above. They removed a wall at some point down
 the middle of the space and installed some columns...
overall its a big bright space with vintage character galore!
Can you picture lots of chandeliers hanging in here
with a lighter airy palette and all kinds of pretty fabrics and 
gorgeous painted antique pieces???
So that's my update this morning~
on Thursday I meet with the bank to talk about a small
business loan (which is totally new ground for me)
and then i head over to my shop to sign the lease and start
writing checks and grab the keys to my destiny!!
Switching gears, I am sharing the table I set for Easter dinner.
This was a very casual dinner with only 5 of us dining.
 I realized that something I do quite often with my 
table is that I tend to just add lots of different patterns
in fabric runners or place mats and mixed up china and glassware~
and thought maybe I would share that here with you.
 I like the happiness of a mixed up table setting~I made this quilted
 runner out of the edge of a bed quilt that I used for slipcovers~
I had another quilted runner on the opposite side of the table~
I like to use runners along the edges so they serve as a hybrid 
of a tablecloth and placemat.
 A pork tenderloin with pineapple would 
be served on a big purple transferware platter.
Have you noticed that transferware mixes with any pattern?
Its a great neutral~I take my platters off the wall,
wash them, use them, wash them, and then hang them right back up!
Jami from Freckled Laundry brought me a
 set of these pretty brown and white Limoges crescent shaped dishes as 
a house gift~I am not quite sure what they are supposed to be used for 
(I wondered if they were finger tip bowls)~
I served a fruit salad in them at the dinner.
My son's dad, Barry, brought me a pot of pansies, 
dusty miller and sweet alyssum~
 You can personalize a potted plant by adding an unexpected element 
and make it cute quick centerpiece!
 So it was a lovely quiet dinner with some of my favorite people in the world!! 
Handsome and sweet Colin home from college for only 24 hours~
Handsome and thoughtful hubby~
(who is behind my shop endeavor and is as excited as I am)
and there was my MIL and exhubs~not sharing their pics though.
My darling Dillon~his head is as soft as chinchilla fur..
if you have never felt chinchilla...go to the fur section in your local 
Macys and say you are looking for chinchilla...just to rub it! Its amazing!
(not trying to offend the animal rights groups here...its just the only way I know 
of to touch a chinchilla!)
So mix it up~pull out your florals and stripes 
and pink and blue glasses and granny's plate 
and the garden urn and set a fun 
and fabulous table with no effort at all!
I'll be back at the end of the week showing
more of the shop and what is going on!



  1. How exciting to have found the shop! I can imagine it filled with french country goodies...yum! I will live vicariously through you as you decorate and fill it up.

    Your easter table is lovely and I love the table runners! What a neat idea.

    Have a lovely week!

  2. Those crescent shape dishes are bone dishes, a necessity for all Victorian table settings!

  3. If you've got a landlord that watches Martha Stewart, you can probably do anything you want in that shop, Amy! : ) What a great space, and MY mind was working on how to work with some of the stuff there. That mirror could be a great asset ~ framed out. You are going to have so much fun bringing all your stuff in and setting it up!

  4. Victorian settings are so pretty. The dishes look great

  5. I'm so excited for you Amy! You're living my dream of opening up a shop just like yours!! Good luck to you and I'm looking forward to following along. Hope you have a wonderful day, Gail

  6. HOW IN THE WORLD did I miss that post yesterday???? OMGOSH!!! I am SOOO happy for you, Amy! I wish I lived closer I would be right there helping you carry in and clean up and sort out and set up (free of charge, of course-well, I work for Starbucks).

    I an just thrilled that your store is coming to fruition. It is something my daughter and I almost did a couple of years ago...but it was just not to be with things that were going on in the family at the time.

    It is going to be beautiful when you are done. I can't wait to see it.

    It sounds like you have a good landlord and that is key-and I love the fact that he is willing to work with you. In THIS area the owner of the store pays the fee to the realtor that is doing the rental for them. I have never heard of the person renting paying the fee. I suppose each state is different.

    Blessings to you. Now you know we don't expect you to miss a single post just because you are opening a store...right?>) xo Diana

  7. What a wonderful place to have your shop Amy. It is going to be beautiful and very successful!

  8. Good Morning Amy,
    I have to laugh because your new landlord truly has no idea what a score he has landed with you as a tenant. I imagine when you are done preparing your space he will be offering YOU money to stay!
    I have always wanted to set a mix-n-match table and I think I will be able to fairly soon seeing as I have developed a plate addiction these days! Your Easter table looks fabulous and I must say, your son IS very handsome! I have sons the same age and love watching them become men (as bittersweet as it is).
    You go girl!

  9. I know you are getting so excited about your shop! :D And I think your table is so lovely. You have a very handsome family!


  10. This is so exciting. It is huge inside. Lots to fill. That is great that he will have the floors done for you. I would not have a clue how all this works either. I would love a shop, but just too risky for us especially in this area. Tough to make it here. Love your Easter table and you must have a great relationship with your x to have him join you. That is great.

  11. HOW EXCITING! I missed the big announcement yesterday - BEST OF LUCK and can't wait to keep up with the progress! Thanks for sharing and have a great day! Jalon

  12. Congratulations on the shop! Always been a dream of mine too. And you'll NEVER run out of blog material. I can't wait to see what you do with the place, it already oozes such charm and you're going to have so much fun with it!

  13. Oh Amy..the shop is fabulous!!!! Great space and layout...the floors will be beautiful. I can just see all your wonderfully chic French fabrics..vintage treasures and painted furniture...YUM!!

    So glad you have a good landlord...what a difference that will make.

    Looking forward to the next post.

    janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  14. Your shop is going to be very charming with it being in an old building like that! Great idea to use a table runner as one long placemat for your guests too. Your table setting was very pretty and the perfect colors for Easter.

  15. Amy, what a lovely table setting! Love the mix of patterns!! Congratulations on your new endeavor! I look forward to hearing more!

  16. SO glad its all working out so well....and to feel that welcomed already has got to be a great sign from the Design gods that you are doing the right thing Amy!
    LOVE your beautiful table..that last picture could easily be front page mixing up things too, gorgeous!

  17. How wonderful; your own shop! I hope you will be taking lots of pix of the whole process for your fans...your's is my favorite designing blog.
    When I saw your funny dish, I immediately thought 'bone dish'. It's very different from most of them, but it would certainly keep things on the plate, instead of sliding off on the tablecloth.
    Love your platters...I sell European porcelain on it.

  18. I missed your last post so I am sending you a lot of good wishes now! This is so must be walking on the clouds and having butterflies in your stomach at the same time!

    Your table looks springy and pretty!


  19. so excited for you amy. dillon just melted my heart.



  20. Amy,
    Your shop is going to be gorgeous.That has great bones I am seeing what you are seeing.Thanks for keeping us posted.

  21. Loved seeing your family..they will be important for your future success!

  22. Oh that shop has so much potential! I LOVE the gilded columns. It will be spectacular with your touch no doubt.

    What a gorgeous dog Dillon is!!! Such a sweet, gentle face. What breed is he?

    Love your tablescape. I want those blue and gold goblets! Can they be bought somewhere or are they vintage?

  23. You are living my dream! I am so excited for you. The beadboard and the columns and the wood floors sound fabulous and will make the shop so special and warm and inviting along with all the beautiful pieces you will put there. And your dinner table is so pretty. I have a Colin too, now 33, and newly married but he didn't make it home for Easter. :(. Looking forward to seeing more of your new shop. xo

  24. What a lovely Easter table. Of course my favorite is Dillon. I'd love to smooch that head. I took Franklin to Shannon's the other night and he had a time playing with her big dogs. I think the new shop looks perfect. A perfect space for a French Decor shop. I'm so happy that the landlord gets it. What a gift that is! I think the mirror will work out beautifully. Love the columns and the fact that he will pull up the carpet is pretty amazing. You are just going gangbusters.

  25. It's so much fun to hear and feel your excitement about your new shop, Amy! What an awesome space! I can just imagine the magic you're going to work on it. It's going to be utterly fabulous! Can hardly wait to watch it's transformation, sweetie! :)

    xoxo laurie

  26. Exciting times for you and your upcoming shop! Can't wait to read/hear more about it in upcoming posts.

    My aunt and uncle used to raise chinchillas...I remember their extra super soft fur! And our son and daughter in law have a pit cross...yes, they have the softest heads and ears..and are truly lovable!

  27. Someone has probably already told you, but it's a bone dish.

    Your table is so pretty. Love the stemware...are those antique? I to love mixing up patterns.

    I was so excited for you yesterday when I read your post about your storefront! I read it on my Iphone, in bed, and so I didn't comment. I'm not good at typing anything of length out on my phone yet. My kids make fun of my texting ability...or lack there of.

    The store looks so charming. I can just imagine how it will look when you've got it all filled up. Be prepared because it is a big change and even bigger commitment of time and energy on your part. I know you can do it though. Someday I think I might have a shop again but for now I am happy doing all from home. I hope you'll have some help and I wish I could be there to help you.

    Ripping up that carpet will make such a HUGE difference. Our building also had ugly, gray commercial carpet. I couldn't rip it up because it was 5000 feet but at the time I had a big inventory of needlepoint rugs and other carpets to cover it plus so much 'stuff' that it really was hidden by everything else.

    It looks like there are some pretty columns in there. I like that and it will help in defining certain areas.

    I wish you the very, very best!


  28. I feel the excitement in your post! I am so excited about this..wish I lived near you and I could come help you do your floors. It is going to be beautiful! Your Easter table looks lovely too. Oh, my son has a pet chinchilla and she is so soft. She is white with a brown patch on her eye--very rare. Chinchillas are so much softer when they are alive:)

  29. So very exciting, Amy ... congratulations!! It's going to be a huge success, and I love that you're taking us along the way on such a wonderful journey! I admire your vision and going after your dreams!

  30. The shop is going to be amazing! Love your tablesetting, and the sweet personality of your Dillon shines through in that photo.

  31. Looks like you found a great shop with lots of potential- and how fortunate to have a landlord who watches Martha Stewart- that made me laugh. :) Can't wait to see what you do with the space. I'm itching to jump in there and get my hands dirty, wish I lived nearby.

  32. You are living my dream....I am every so excited for you..You must be so thrilled to embark on this ever so exciting journey...I know the shop will be very obviously have succeeded in all your endeavors...I wish you much luck and happiness..this is truly something that you were meant to do...I love it that you are following your dream to reality...As the great Emerson said, "hitch a wagon to a star"....

    When you get all set up, I love to take road I see a road trip to Boston in the future!!!

  33. i am soooo excited for you!!!!! I can't wait to see what you do with your new shop, I just know it's going to be awesome! Looking forward to more posts on how it's coming along!

  34. So excited for you and you are gonna rock that space!

  35. You go Girl
    So happy and excited for you on your new adventure Love the space and your drawing of the front to be looks fabulous

  36. Amy,
    this is insanely exciting. That little place has so much potential.. you are going to make it amazing. I can totally see it with chandys and fabric and all Frenchy and Shabby Chic. They're going to be so lucky to have your cute little shop on that street. I can't believe there are hardwoods under that hideous carpet. That's perfect! You were just talking recently about how you'd kinda run out of space to do cool stuff at your house... isn't that funny, and now this

    And, if i ever have a chance to paint Dillon... that is sooooooo the photo i'm gonna use...
    look at those sweet soft eyes... whoa



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