Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shop series: Signed the lease~day one

 Today was the day the building inspector was coming to sign 
off on my occupancy permit~that meant if 
everything looked safe and to code he would sign~and then 
I would sign the lease with the building owner, Mike. Mike only had 
to remove a locking mechanism on the back door to meet code and that
 took him just a minute~so I had the permit to occupy 
and now I was going to sign an agreement to lease this space for one year....
dipping my toes in the water of retail...heck, I was jumping right in~!
The next matter was for me to hand him a check and 
he handed me the keys and we got to work ripping up the carpet...
our deal is that he has to rip it up and sand the floors, and I finish them,
but Mr. Maison Decor and I are going to help do the nasty job with Mike.
 Mike told me that parts of the floor had some plywood patching...
but that didn't  bother me.  I will have armoires and cabinets
 and throw rugs on the floor and the overall value of having 
100 year old floors overrides any patches in my opinion. 
 You can see where the fir boards meet the plywood
 which is at the front window area.
Its like looking back in a time machine when you see these 
old buildings and you peel back the layers.
 The for rent sign was down!! 
There's a new game in town: MAISON DECOR!
 See the bead board walls, I love them! I plan to do a 
window display in the smaller front window straight ahead~
imagine a chandy and my gold chair and some tulle or linen fabric...
 The room is kind of divided into two spaces 
with the columns holding up the ceiling where
a wall once stood, as this was two tiny store fronts.
I can hang lots of chandys between these columns.
 When we rip up the carpet I am told there will be 
patchwork between the columns~
not a perfect floor, but perfect for my store.
Hubby arrived to help rip up the carpeting~
this is gonna be a dirty job.
 Before we did that, Mike gave us a tour of the building 
so we would know what to expect and what we had 
access to with our agreement...
this is my side entrance as I am on a corner lot...
 I love copper clad bay windows with the beautiful patina~
Mike is pretty particular about maintaining his 
old building, and I think that is fabulous!
Mike took Dave and I on the cellar tour~while they 
talked about the heating system I 
cruised around looking for old stuff.
 There was a neat old sign showing the original name of the apartment...
if Mike and Frank from American Pickers were here 
they would have wanted this baby.
Dave wants me to hang it up in the store....we'll see. 
Old plank and bead board walls everywhere you look...
Old apartment doors stacked up~Mike said I could have
 them in the shop as I want to do some fun things
 with these old doors...painted of course!
 I have an extra bathroom in the cellar~
its a soapstone sink..truly grungy and great!
And there were at least 4 of these awesome sinks...
people were doing their laundry down here back 100 years ago.
I want to have one for a display with plants or garden things..
if I can convince someone to carry it up to the shop.
 Lots of old hooks like this dot the walls...
 Back up the stairs to my shop, we have carpet to remove! 
Then Mike is buying us lunch at the neat restaurant across the street.  
 Hubs kicked the roll of carpet, then there was 
underpadding to roll up too~and tack strip to pry off.
 The front door is a bit of an issue as there used to be
 two doors so the floor is non-existent save
 for a big hunk of cement...but I have a plan...
 I helped a lot, but I had to take pics as I am a blogger first!!
 And finally it was all up~with patches of 
painted floors in red and grey on one side~
but I can totally visualize the store at this point!
 And floors without any finish left on the other side....
(note: imagine chandys and pretty furniture~not this mess)
 There is just something about the details of an older building like this door knob. 
Simply gorgeous!
 We were finished at 50 Summer Street~see the pretty brass numerals set in the old cement stoop?
Yup, thats my address~pretty name for an address I think.
The shop is at 50 Summer Street, Malden Massachusetts. 
The new home of Maison Decor.
 I am designing signage and awnings right now~so many things to do...but floors first.
Then we had lunch with Mike and we really hit if off~
 These are my store neighbors~I think its going to be great~
 I met Frank the barber when I was leaving today..
he's a couple doors down and quite adorable. I'll try to get a pic...
 Well I got out of bed at 4 am~I couldn't sleep and now am sooo tired.
But a good tired, you know? And this pretty sight was waiting for me 
when I arrived home "from work". 
Pretty pink petals littered the lawn and front steps after a rainfall.
And when I got home I saw that I had sold another mora clock~
this one will be Annie Sloan cream with old white~I can't wait!

Does this photo scare you? It shouldn't~
once these floors are sanded they are going to look so amazing.
Remember, there is a point where things 
look worse before they look better.
Tomorrow the floor sander guy is coming to give me a quote~
I'll be at the shop starting to paint the walls all day, 
and waiting on a shipment of angel wings and mora clocks!!!
 Its soooo great having a shop! 
My first official delivery to someplace that is NOT a residence.
I told Mike (the landlord) I would start painting the walls tomorrow...
Mike asked me who my painter was....I said, "ME!!"
Kind of funny~I just assumed he knew I would do it...but
he doesn't know me yet.
And I didn't even get to tell you about my 9 am appointment 
with the local bank begging asking about a small business loan.
It went exceedingly well (and they nothing about blogland)~
But I'll share that event with you next time!



  1. Amy!! I love to peek into your journey!!!! How totally exciting!!! And when are you going to open?? coming to Boston in summer to look at colleges with my son... How far out are you?? Marcy

  2. Marcy I am ten-15 minutes north of Boston~its an easy drive and right off the highway...great restaurant across the street in an old railroad station too for afterwards!

  3. Wow, it is all moving so quickly. You are one busy lady.

  4. So how is your bathroom renovation going?? Haha, just kidding! Totally feel the excitement and absorption of the store! Wish I could be a big part of it. But happy to play any role! Can't wait to see what you do with the floors!

  5. Hi Amy,
    Melrose, I was wondering what town. I love the address '50 Summer St', it sounds so pretty. I love the old 'New Talmage Apartments' sign, especially the shape. I know you could give it a gorgeous Annie Sloan paint makeover and have it blend in nicely with your shop. It's a nice way to pay homage to the history of the building.
    So excited for you!

  6. It's going to look great, Amy! I can just imagine all of it! I can't wait to see your signage and awnings. I'll bet the bank will be a breeze ~ I think being a woman and small business owner is a plus in that regard. Did you tell us a color for the walls already? Or is that a surprise? : )

  7. I am so excited for you. Good luck!! Hope you'll have time to post. Can't wait to see your progress.
    Ladybug Creek

  8. So exciting Amy! I love how this is unfolding!It's going to be amazing!

  9. Hi Amy, I can feel your excitement and I am soo happy for you! Thanks so much for taking us on this journey. You know I came really close to opening my own shop here last year. I looked up suppliers and opened accounts. I looked at shop premises and asked about rent. I think you are very lucky to be able to rent for one year first. No one would give me less than 3 yrs, so this put me off going ahead. If things went bad i would be stuck paying rent for all that time. I asked if I could start with one year then take the 3 yrs but no one would have it. So I decided not to go ahead. just one question I would like to ask..will you be working in the shop on the week ends or will you employ some one? This was the second biggest issue as I wouldn't be home when Fred and the kids were home and to employ someone would be out of the question. Maybe one day it will happen, just listening to you is giving me the bug again. take care, Maryann

  10. Congratulations!!! I am so excited for you and can't wait to see how your new boutique comes together :o)I wish I lived closer so I could shop there though!!!!
    Have a great weekend...don't work too hard :o)

  11. Congratulations Amy, it's going to be great. Yes, I can see the potential and you'll make it into perfect!

    Hope you'll consider doing some mail order for your blogging buddies.

  12. I am living vicariously here, girl! Truly so much fun to have you walk us through this. I just KNOW you are going to do a bang up job on this. I have to laugh when people ask me who we use for painting, too. Hellloooooo...I am a DIY, remember? I just can't wait to see more,Amy. Get some rest so you don't burn out before you even get started. Being tired is a good thing- when it is a fun-tired! xo Diana

  13. I am enjoying reading about this new journey you're on. Looks like you're getting alot of support from the landlord and your family. That's so good to hear. That building has alot of history to it. I think it will be a great place to shop and own a shop!

  14. oh Amy, I'm living vicariously thru you!! Have fun!!

  15. What a great space! The columns, the floors....I see all kinds of possibilities. I'll be watching the evolution. Eeeeeeee, I'm excited for you.

  16. Congratulations, Amy! What an exciting time in life for you! I applaud you for having the courage to take this step. I think those floors are beautiful, by the way! Can't wait to see your progress.

  17. This is so exciting Amy, It's so much fun seeing your progress. Congratulations and best wishes on your new endeavor!

  18. Amy your vision is amazing congratulations it is so exciting to be part of your journey. Thanks for sharing with all of us. Your yard is beautiful too wow I love springtime the colors are so pretty.

  19. Oh...I can see it...I can see it. Your yard looked so pretty with all the pink petals. I love spring so much. Those sinks are fantastic. All the details of the store are just perfect. And what about that address? I love it so much. It would be a great name for a store all on its own. Watch out Rachel comes Amy Chalmers!

  20. I can so picture this does look like a lot of work..but it is going to be so worth it! Is the landlord helping with the cost of fixing it up? This is really going to up the value of his property!

  21. i love that you are doing the painting...i would not expect any less from a pro!!!

    so excited for you, amy.


  22. Oh, i can soooo see this. Just look at this fabulous old building. I loved the view looking up outside of the copper clad bay windows, what in the world could be cooler than that! And that old doorknob, and the sinks downstairs! Plus, you can just have the old doors...! this place is jam packed with potential. The columns are cool too... What color are you painting the walls!!??? I can't stand it, i wish i was there... and your hubby is such a sweetheart, just seeing him walking in to help you touched my heart...


  23. Amy,

    This is all so exciting! It's fun to be included in your journey :)

  24. I love that I get to be a part of this adventure! Congratulations! So exciting!

  25. well, im very happy for you. i knew you would have sleep issues. in the good way. im glad that youre letting us go on this ourney with you. i cant wait to see when you are finished. wow the tales that building could tell i bet. and what a cool sign. i think you should put it up in your "shop". so happy for you. best of luck. try to get some sleep. know it will be hard. youll probably just end up dropping from exhaustion....aka lack of sleep. well wishes, and take care of yourself, susy

  26. Love the address, love the floors...they don't scare me one single bit but then you've seen the house I moved into now haven't you?!? And I love being my own painter too! Amy your shop is going to be so dang pretty! I am already envisioning the whole thing...gosh it brings back sooo many memories of mine and you have MUCH more to go on than I did. There is so much charm there! I can't wait to see it all filled up and decorated with your beautiful touch! I want to come help you. I know you're so busy and probably going on excitement only at this point. Try to'll need it!



    p/s tell hubs to grab that sink...and I agree that you've got to at least grab that sign...gosh you could probably get a pretty penny just listing it on Etsy! lol

  27. I loved this post. The place is amazing and I can see it will be really pretty and welcoming...

  28. So excited for you Amy ~ place looks amazing and "50 Summer Street" has such a classy ring to it!

    Looking forward to following your journey! I have always wanted to visit Boston . . . may have a good reason to now!!!!!


  29. Wow! Copper clad windows, columns, door knobs, wall hooks, concrete laundry tubs, lovely wooden floor boards, it's all happening! So special and so historically unique and precious. Thanks for sharing. I'll look forward to wathcing the progress.

  30. Amy this is so ridiculously exciting. Everyone is living their store opening dreams through you!!!! And how fun for us that we get to come along on this wonderful sure to be successful journey. You are going to have a ball...I can feel it an see it. Congratulations again!!!!!

  31. How exciting for you! I bet your brain has a hard time turning off for the day with all of your creative juices going. If I find my way near you I will put your shop onplaces to visit!
    All the best!

  32. I too live in MA & just yesterday I saw a listing on Craigslist for a sink that looked very much like yours. If only it wasn't so heavy, I would have jumped on trying to get that beauty! I can just picture it in a garden filled with flowers.

  33. I can totally see the potential in this space with your touch of magic! You go girl!

  34. It looks awesome to me right now and after you've put your touch's on it. It will be amazing!
    Good Luck!
    Mansfield, MA

  35. I am totally hooked on the New Adventures of Maison a TV series...I am so over the moon happy for you...the architectural elements are wonderful!!..Love the sign all the history..
    Happiness everywhere!

  36. Amy, I'm picturing the finished floors and they're beautiful! I can't wait to see what happens next in your grand adventure! Amazing how connected we feel with old buildings and old homes, isn't it? What a charming address to boot! I'm SO thrilled for you!!! :)

  37. I can't get over how exciting and fun it is to watch someone else get their dream store! So happy for you!

  38. It is so fun watching you go through this process. I had a clothing store for a few years in upstate NY....if I knew then what I know now, it would have been a decor shop instead of clothing....I am thrilled for you!

  39. I can see wonderful possibilities! Oh man, it'll be gorgeous!

    There is one thing I was kinda going "huh??" about: Your went ahead with the shop "before" you went to the banker for an operating loan? Yikes! You are a determined owner :-)

    I'm loving the "Shop Series" blog posts!

  40. O those pictures were wonderful. What a great space. I always imagine the possibilities when I see old buildings. The floors are great, not to mention those sinks.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I look forward to watching the transformation.

  41. How exciting for you! I can't wait to see the finished product & am close enough to actually take a ride & see how fabulous you've made it! :) chris

  42. How exciting. The floors are going to look great. Hardwood floors will ad a lot of charm to your space. I love the old doorknob. It's nice to dream and kink of pretend it was my shop and envision everything I would do to it. Its nice for me to daydream.

  43. Amy,
    I am so excited for you.OMG this is amazing.Your shop is going to be GOOOOOOOOOOrgeous!!!!! Lucky are those who will be able to visit.Looking forward to your next post.That building is amazing BTW just beautiful.

  44. Malden is just a hop, skip and a jump from me! Can't wait to come visit when you open!

  45. I am so excited for you! Oh I do see potential, you are so brave and we get to live vicariously! You know the part I would hate....the book work YUK, it seems you either get a creative mind or an analytical mind? Oh so glad maybe you can use the EZ Tracer for a sign!!!


  46. So excited for you! And you're right, what a great address! It's gonna be great!

  47. So glad I found your blog! What an exciting time and total inspiration for me. Can hardly wait to follow along.

  48. White Ironstone Cotttage gave me the 411 on your blog!
    I will be a follower!
    So excited for you ....we have a booth @ an Antique Mall so your adventure is so very exciting for me to follow!
    Bless you as you start this journey in your beautiful new store!


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