Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shop Series: Creating a Garden Display area

 The shop~this is how it looks as things are getting put together,
and as each load of inventory comes in, there is reshuffling to be done.
I drew up a floor plan of how I imagined the space to be laid out,
but as with everything I do, it is an organic process 
(do you hate that word?)~
if I have to describe it, usually I just decide something like, 
"oh this is the area that I will create a garden zone" ~
and sometimes you guys will give me ideas
that I know I am going to use~
like when Nita,from Mod Vintage Life,
suggested I put my little homemade
garden house in my garden area for a display tool~
I loved that idea!

I made this garden house out of old windows~
you can see how I did it here.
Since the store will be opening up in the late spring, 
here in New England
gardening is embraced by many of us~
I really wanted to have a garden area,
and I made good headway yesterday in starting that zone.
But before I show you how I did that let me show you the finished 
mora clock in cream and old white~
I added more cream to the crown and the waxes and it looks so pretty!
 I painted this for Margaret~
I think the cream and old white look pretty together.
 I will be painting one more for Robin~
I have sold 13 clocks so far!! I get lots of emails asking
how to get one, and I am working on a better online shop,
if you are interested you can click here to get the ordering information.
alright, back to creating a garden display zone....
 The garden area will be in the front double window~and until I get 
drapery fabric that I want I decided to use this big bolt of irish
polished cotton I got at auction two weeks ago.  I rolled it out 
onto the floor and gave myself an extra foot
 of length and then cut 4 panels~
 I bought a huge lot of Irish linen and cotton and 
some had water staining~which I decided to use for my 
display~you know the feeling of tattered elegance? 
 I could throw it in the wash with clorox or oxy clean,
but I think it looks kind of cool like this... 
  Colin and I hung up a 2" antique gold wooden pole~
and I tried out one of the several panels 
I will be carrying in the shop~on the left
 is the taupe and grey toile of birds...its really pretty. 
 And on this narrow window I brought one of my smocked panels
 from home~I am trying to source these as I
 must carry them in the shop too~! 
And look at this darling wire light fixture! Isn't it cool?
Well, anyway, back to the front window~
I took the lengths of fabric and folded over at the top about 6"
 and used clip on rings to hang them from the pole~
but what happened next is what I liked the best.
I had just painted this small demi-lune
 table in Annie Sloan Versailles,
 which is a pale yellowy green.
I really love this color, 
and thought it was nice for the garden area~
so the next thing you know I am up 
on the ladder with a pencil writing out the
 words~Le Jardin~~across the window header.
 Then I took the paintbrush and pot of Versailles 
and just painted loosely over my pencil marks~
it took me 15 minutes to do this and I will be doing more words
 around the room across the wall.
Not sure yet~but maybe it will be different 
Sloan colors or gold or....I'll let it happen organically!
 (that word again).
All of my garden-ish things were put in front of the window
 and I have lots more to add, like statues and urns etc...
and later on in the day hubs and Colin would deliver a table and chair
set that is perfect for a garden room.
 Look at this terrific moss and twig garland! 
I think each roll is about 10 feet long x 10" wide.
I was going to wrap my columns in it~
and it would be pretty with white lights too.
While I was working in the shop
Betsy Speert called to check in on me, and I was telling her 
how I wasn't sleeping well, as so many things are in my head...
I got up at 2:30 am yesterday...argh! Well I wanted to announce
 that my store will offer Annie Sloan products, 
and I couldn't wait to share that news, so thats probably why...
but then I woke up again this morning at 2:30....
its like I have a newborn infant on a breast feeding schedule...
thats what it feels like!! 
Anyway I told Betsy that I had just come from auction
 and I bought a cute table and chairs, 
and she told me it is called an "Ice Cream Set"! 
Isn't that the cutest name for a cute set like this? 
I told her we would have lunch at the set
 when she comes to the shop
 after she gets home from Florida in 2 weeks...
Oh and those pink and gold luncheon sets 
(a coffee cup, saucer and lunch plate) 
were another score from auction...
I had to have them, they are soooo me!
So pretty~and how fun are these chairs!?
 Look at the rock hard flat seats~expect those to be changed out.
  Maybe a flirty little slipcover in something darling and french....
 Oh and the other thing I most wanted to get at auction
 was this gilt tole chandy with porcelain roses.  And I prevailed~
there was some chick from an Ipswich antique shop bidding against me~
and this character my friend Paul 
(who you may see here some day on the blog)
who is a lawyer/antique dealer, 
told me I would get it at a good price 
because they are sooo ugly!!! 
Well if that chick wasn't there Paul would have been right, 
but I had to have it.  Paul and I have such different taste~
he always says, "oh get this for your shop"
 and it is hideous~or he will point to a builder brass standard chandy 
and suggests, "this is perfect for you shop, 
you like chandeliers".....
I just give him the look, and he stops suggesting.
Look at the porcelain roses~some dolt painted them
 in red paint because they wanted red roses.
But you know what is under that red paint? 
Some are pale pink and some are pale yellow!!
They have that gradation of color too, 
so I am going to try to remove the hideous chipping off 
red paint to reveal the stunning pastel roses....
and then clean it all up and make sure all the crystals
are in place and flick the switch and fall in love!!! 
You know, I saw my bloggy friend paint her own tole chandy,
and if you love them like I do, after you have finished here,
go visit The Shingle Cottage for some inspiration!
You might follow her too, 
as she had to start her blog over from scratch.
So that was my day yesterday~see Colin smiling at me?
He knows how happy I am~and its true, I am!



  1. Great table and chairs set, Amy. Love the idea of your little garden house coming to the shop, but maybe you can make another. I love yours in your garden. The fabric looks great at the windows ~ great idea to use it as panels.

  2. Amy, I'm not sure if those are actually "icecream chairs". They're not quite what I had imagined when you described them to me. When you do the seats, make them a little puffy!! I AM AMAZED AT ALL YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR! It tires me out just to imagine all that I'm going to go take a nap.
    Make sure you've left something for me to help with for when I come home in 2 WEEKS!!!!!

  3. The little white metal chair in the corner of your "garden area" is a chair from an icecream set. you know what I mean!

  4. Wow.....
    2 comments on one post!
    Now it's 3!
    This is the last one.....
    Go get some rest!

  5. The Shop is coming together nicely. Love the garden area idea! Sorry you are not sleeping well. It's probably all the adrenalin from all that's going on. You could try keeping a notepad and pencil by your bed and if you wake up, or can't go to sleep because of an idea or to-do that pops in your head, jot it down. Hope you can get some rest soon.


  6. Amy your shop looks amazing!! I can't believe how fast you are putting it together!

  7. Love your ideas for the shop! The garden area will be great this time of year. I like your writing on the wall with the different chalk paint colors idea. You could even make a wall plaque writing the chalk paint names in the colors and place it in the paint section for your buyers to see the color samples up close. I think sleep problems are to be expected right now. You're full of adrenaline during the day with excitement and then it's hard to shut it off at night. I think once you get everything set up and settled and get into a normal routine again, your sleep cycle will improve.

  8. Hi Amy,
    I am back from the coast and catching up on your posts while i have been gone...oh my goodness i LOVE the garden area it looks beautiful already and that chandy is amazing i can't wait to see what is underneath the red paint,thank you so much for the mention :) i even had Betsy comment,i nearly fainted fact after this i am going to frame her comment ;)...
    Loving seeing your dream come together and it is hard to sleep when you have a dream coming together,i was awake this morning and painting the bathroom at the coast at 5:15 and i was beyond happy too.
    Love to you xxx

  9. I am just loving seeing this all come much fun from my perch

  10. Amy,
    Your shop is look more amazing every single time I get a peek.I am so glad you re-posted that window tutorial.I missed that the first time around.And I am making one this summer!


  11. I just LOVE hearing you talk about your shop, Amy! You are just bubbling over with excitement - and it shows in your writing! lol! I just want to sqeeeeeeze you because I'm so happy for you!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  12. Oh...btw....those smocked drapes are just callin' my name..... hehehe!

    xoxo laurie

  13. Amy I am FLOORED at all you have done in such a short time. You are a superhero woman!
    Wow so impressed, its coming along beautifully and I see a Boston road trip in my future!!!!
    I love the smocked panels, and amazing what all that white has done to transform the space.
    You know this renovation would have been an amazing reality show....BRAVO ARE YOU LISTENING!

  14. Your son looks cute sitting int hat chair--:)

    I love those smocked curtains too--I found a set of them at Goodwill a couple months ago. I didn't buy them because I didn't have anywhere to put them. Asked Janae if she would want them and she didn't have anywhere to put them either. I wish I would have gotten them anyway. I need to have a booth or something;) Sometimes I let myself miss out on really good things just because I am afraid of becoming a hoarder. I need to get over that! A little hoarding is okay:)

  15. I am SO enjoying your transformation of the new shop! Hope you will have the strength to continue to blog! It's exactly the sort of darling shop that I can walk into and instantly feel at peace. Barbara

  16. Hello Amy,

    I am simply in awe of how much you are accomplishing in such a short amount of amaze me!

    janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  17. Wow Amy you are on fire...great progress! So pretty!

  18. How much fun are you having and how much fun are WE having watching you have fun!!!! And isn't Nita so smart, suggesting you use your garden "shed-let" in the store -- absolutely darling!!!!

  19. The thought of someone painting over pink and yellow tole roses in the color red makes me just want to keel over! Unreal! (*_*)

  20. Looking gorgeous Amy... love your garden area... and Le Jardin...
    I want to shop in there now! The Moira clock you painted in the white and cream is so pretty... I'm saving up for one! You should sign and date each one you do!


  21. Of course loving everything. But....I didn't want you to bring your pretty green house in from your yard. I want you to create one for the shop. If you show your's. Someone is going to want to buy it. Or you could take orders for them I suppose. This shop is going to be filled to the brims with pretty stuff.

  22. Amy, your enthusiasm is contagious...from your readers to your family...Love the idea of the garden display...definitely will draw people in...

    Love the smocked drapes...Saw them on a post on Thistlewood Farms...had to get them....

    I envision you running with the Olympic Torch in hand racing to the finish grab the Gold Medal...the Gold Medal of Hopes and Dreams..crossing the finish line..achieving your goals...

  23. You did this whole idea by yourself? I guess you can be as good as a home decorator.

  24. You are transforming this place in what must be record time. I'm loving every detail!

  25. I love seeing this come together. I love that chandelier and I love the table and chairs.


  26. the mora clock looks fantastic. evyerthing does. progress!!! go amy go! love the garden area.

    try to sleep tonight......

  27. I am just so happy for you that you are living your dream:) And the fact that you are taking us with you by sharing what you are doing with your new adventure. Love your white floors. That is going to make everything stand out. Where in New England are you? I am in CT. When you open I just may need a road trip:)
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  28. You are like a little girl with a doll house. It's never work when it's fun. :)

  29. I can't believe how you're transforming this space...well, yes, I can. You're doing an amazing job of transforming this space. Everything is looking great! You must be in heaven.

  30. Amy,
    Where can I find those smocked drapes? They are really beautiful.
    Thank you, Michele


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