Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Party for Justin and Madison and a video

 As everybody knows, hosting a party takes a bit of work. 
 Cleaning and cooking and all that stuff.  
We were hosting an engagement dinner party
for Justin and his fiance, Madison.  I love to entertain and lets just
 say its been awhile.... since I opened the store I really don't have
 time to do this kind of thing anymore.  But at last the hour was upon us,
so I clicked off a couple of pics of the house all clean and sparkly, 
after putting on a little black dress and now I was ready to celebrate!
Even Sylvia, Justin and Madison's little girl schnoodle, 
got a trip to the groomer
for the big party.  We all decided we liked her 
former look better, all scruffy and adorable, so this may 
be the last time we see her trimmed up. 
 Tobey went to the groomer as well.  Here he is relaxing 
while his mother is busy ironing a white table cloth and vacuuming the house. 
 Yes, the house was ready for a party~and this time I wasn't cooking! 
 I had a caterer bring us the food and do the set up and
 I can only say it made for such an enjoyable 
experience on my part! Much less stress and planning needed! 
 We were having 18 people, all family members, 
and I tried to make sure there were enough seats gathered 
together so we could sit and talk and get to 
know one another as the families had yet to meet.
 So lots of extra seating was squeezed in here and there
 and it ended up working our perfectly! 
Right before the guests arrived I managed to get Madison and Justin
 outside for a quick photo shoot.
I got some nice pictures, and this one was taken 
right after we finished.  I thought it was very sweet.
 Justin and Madison
Two brothers, Two sisters...One Happy Couple!
 Then inside the guests arrived a few at a time and more photos were snapped.  
This is Taylor, Madison's little sister. 
 They both looked beautiful and were brimming with excitement! 
 At this moment it was as if the party swirled around the happy couple 
and only when I called them did they look up from their conversation 
with one another.  I was getting the message to put down the camera, 
so I only had a couple more clicks left in me that night 
without getting everybody nervous.
 Ok, one more private moment...its a once in a lifetime affair, 
and I wanted to give them something they will really treasure as the years go by.
 The party was in full swing and as I walked into the kitchen I saw Colin with my camera! 
 Hah! I loved it! There would be a pic of me at the party afterall. 
Mr. Maison Decor is right behind me.  At the beginning of the night 
Colin did take a posed photo of us in the dining room. 
Its rare we get a pic together, as I am usually the one taking all of the photos.
Mr and Mrs Maison Decor, has a nice ring to it, don't you think?!
 A cute moment with Sylvia and Mr. Maison Decor on the sofa during the party.
 Waving at the camera is Madison's grandfather, Ray, 
while my mother (Justin's grandmother) tickled the ivories.
I pretended I forgot how to play the piano and I asked her to sit down
and refresh my memory.  It worked like a charm! 
We even played a duette and then she was on her own!
Before we knew it the night had come to an end~
everyone had a great time and we loved Madison's family! 
So thankful and grateful for the love they share and 
 we look forward to what the future holds.

If you want to see me playing the piano with my mom
while my mother in law looks on, click on the arrow.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Changes we love and a Mora Clock review

 So many of my blog readers will never step foot through our doors, so 
often I keep those of you in mind so you can see what it feels like in the shop.
Maison Decor is located at 150 Main Street, Reading, Mass in a suburban 
New England town and we feel right at home after getting such a warm welcome
from so many who live here.  I love that many mention how pleased they are
to have a small independent business in their town, and not another chain or big box
store or pizza place popping up.  The "shopping local" philosophy 
is truly what helps our small family business succeed!  Without our
shoppers continued support we would never be able to make it.
Do you know we love when one of our "regulars" walks in and 
checks out the latest and even if we don't have what they want this time,
they promise to be back.  And yes they do come back!
Many of our things are one of a kinds and they are sold quickly.
So come look around and just say hi~or ask us if you are looking for anything
in particular, we are also furniture hunters.  We have a customer request list that 
is filled with the particulars they are looking for.  We will send an email or 
a text and shoot over a photo when we track down something they might like.
 So thank you thank you thank you to all of our new customers and old regulars!  And for those of you  sitting in your armchairs in Texas, (or where ever) this post is for you!  We took our big long industrial table and turned it into our check out counter.  We love how it looks.  I made a burlap skirt for the front 
by stapling it underneath and it is working out great.  Its the perfect height for a counter too.  You can see Justin at work on the computer at a desk we have facing the wall underneath the color chart display.
 This old industrial table was actually used for assembling the tops to bombs in World War II.
It has seen a lifetime of activity, but I bet it likes being in our store best!
 Other vignettes come together when we get new things in, 
like a pair of tufted back club chairs.
This series of Pagoda Prints is wonderful and we do
 sell them separately if all you need is one.
 Grey and metallic and iron all mix it up on a dresser top.  
 Justin created this Book on Hooks whimsical display. 
 Its pure nonsense, but so fun to look at! Does anyone else think 
it reminds them of a Harry Potter moment?  
The hooks are branches and they were installed upside down, 
and the books are vintage.
 Nothing whimsical about this vignette~
its old school European country.
Our lovely antique mora flanks a country chest.
 Colors are French Linen/Old White Chalk Paint mix of 50/50 
for the grey areas, and Old Ochre Chalk Paint for the rest of the piece. 
Its ultra soft and elegant looking with just a bit of distressing.
 Only clear wax for the finish, no dark wax at all.  
This piece is getting lots of looks and the price is right...
I have a feeling it won't be around long.
So if you are in the neighborhood stop by and say hello and see if we 
have anything for your home, or ask us to look for what you need.
Justin will add it to the list on our computer.  Or give us a call on our
official french hotline! Can you see that old phone behind J? 
Yup, it works and we use it all the time. 
This week I am taking 3 days off!! You wanna know why?

Because we are hosting an Engagement dinner here 
this weekend and I need to whip everything into shape.
Mr. Maison Decor came home last night and said it 
felt like the good old days around the house~everything is
getting sparkled up and straightened out and I will be taking
pics of it all and showing if off right here!
Until then~have a great weekend!

Oh yeah....I almost forgot!  The Deluxe Mora Clock review!!
 We got the most lovely call from Antoinette who lives in the Hamptons. 
 She ordered a Gustavian Grey Deluxe Mora clock last month.  
We figured she was  pretty nervous
 about it because both Justin and I had spoken to her on the phone.  
Well she called today to say it had come and as she 
unwrapped it she was so happy with how stunningly beautiful it was!
Justin spent many hours on that clock and in particular the clock face
and she was beyond happy with it.  We were happy she picked up the 
phone for the third time to let us know she was very a satisfied customer.
So if any of you are on the fence, we have been getting very nice 
comments on them after they have been received.

Go to our website above for more information on workshops,
mora clocks, furniture as well as Chalk Paint®!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Planning a Party and Refreshing Furniture Hardware

We are excited about Justin and Madison's engagement and are having a party
in their honor so the two families can meet and get to know one another.
So before my parents head off to Florida for the winter I will be 
organizing a dinner party celebrating the event.
I wanted to get an invitation that would be a keepsake for the couple
and I didn't have much time to do it.  Luckily I found the most fabulous place
right near my shop called the Paper Store. This is not a sponsored post by the way,
I just was thrilled with the options and the professional help I received when 
I visited the shop.  Lilly, their design gal, showed me how I could select a 
template, then pick out all the colors I wanted for the image and the font as well
as tweak font styles.  The above image was shown in the
 store as a red image with black font.  If you know anything about me, 
you know red is not a color I use very often.
So I selected a pale greyish blue and paired it with a taupe font.  Then the 
couple's names were made a bit darker to highlight them.
Lilly showed me backer cards which are heavy stock cards that you can have
your invitation mounted on, and it looked very polished that way,
so I opted for a chocolate brown backer card.
This is just a snippet of the card as I don't really want 400 people showing up
to the party!  The most amazing thing was that Lilly did them right in front
of me and I had them within an hour! The price was very reasonable too~
so if you have a special occasion that you would like to make a little more 
special, take a trip to the Paper Store and check out their custom invitation section.
I went there thinking they would have all things paper, like scrapbook stuff and 
fill in the blank invites, but its really not like that at all. Its more of a boutique 
with lots of cool things and a fantastic invitation department.
So stay tuned as I do a little redecorating around the house
for the party.  I want to do a little freshening up of our decor and isn't
 a party just the thing to make you want to take action?
 While I am thinking of freshening up my decor, 
you might be thinking the same thing with the holidays rolling around.  
Take a look at some of your furniture and think about giving it a 
makeover with easy to use Chalk Paint®! Or just freshen up the 
hardware by changing it out to silver or brightening it with a gold.
Here is a dresser we are working on right now in the shop. 
 I think it would be a fantastic small size buffet piece 
in a dining room or even a hall table.  
A good before and after is always fun to look at.  
You can see all the details this piece has going for it. 
My kind of cabinet! I knew it would look great painted, 
and we broke out our Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.  
I used Old Ochre for the main part of the cabinet and then highlighted 
some areas with a mix of French Linen and Old White.  
The hardware was removed this time instead of painted over, 
and it was darkened with time and age.
 An easy peasy way of reviving your hardware 
is a finger tip brushing of  Gilders Paste.  
 Here is the cabinet showing the left untouched and the 
right with a swipe or two of German Silver Gilder Paste.  
German Silver is one of the many metallic colors you can use for your hardware.
 Its a color I liken to a champagne. 
Its a silvery gold color....not too silver and not too gold. 
We have all kinds of other wonderful metallics too,
Celtic bronze, and Antique Gold and plain Silver to name a few.
A side by side comparison shows it off nicely.
At $11.99 a tin its well worth it and
 simple to apply with just a finger swipe.
Find this at our online store
Looking forward to our Chalk Paint Workshop on Saturday!
You can sign up and register online as well as shop for goodies 
and paint and paint accessories.
Did you know we have the lowest prices on Chalk Paint®?
Well, we do and we are proud of it!
Lastly, we want to thank all of our new and repeat customers
that have come to our shop at 150 Main Street Reading MA.
We had a successful Columbus Day sale and sold 11 pieces of furniture!
So that means we will be getting more pieces ready in the shop
and of course we will be showing them off right here.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday update from home: our Furniture Sale, My sketches and more

 One thing I enjoy doing is sketching whimsical scenes.  I did a couple of sketches a few months ago for two of my friends who I met since becoming at stockist for Annie Sloan.  One friend lives in France and her name is Claire. She has a dog named Derek and he has become her steadfast sidekick.  He is a bit of a nuisance at times and once she blogged about him chewing up her expensive Annie paint brushes.  So I was inspired by that to draw this sketch for Claire.  Derek sits on her french settee that is in her shop and I put a chewed up brush next to him for a laugh.  We often share jokes about this and that over FB message service and this little sketch includes some of those.  I meant to send this sketch to France but got busy with life and the running of my own shop and kind of forgot about this sketch that just sat in my sketchpad.  Well after Colin graduated from UMASS he got his diploma in the mail and I decided to go to the frame shop and have it properly mounted and framed as it was a big achievement.  Then I remembered the sketch and decided to frame it up before I sent it to France to insure Claire would hang it up properly and get a laugh perhaps.  The framer told me I could do it with a high end type of plexi glass that looks like glass, but wouldn't break on its way over to France.  I swear it really does look like glass! Anyway, I also did another sketch that day,
 and it was for my friend in Florida, Robyn.
 This is the sketch I did for Robyn. Robyn Story is pretty much a Retail Tycoon! 
She is known for her luxurious decorating style and her over the 
top store in Tampa Florida.  I had a bit of fun with this sketch in
 that Robyn never wears colored clothing. Only black. Seriously, 
I have never seen her in a color. 
So I decided to put her in a purple pantsuit just because I could!! 
The rest is pretty much true to Robyn, the big chandelier, the leopard carpeting~
all those things you might find in her shop. I had a lot of fun creating 
these sketches and I have one or two more up my sleeve hopefully soon.
Yesterday Mr. Maison Decor and I went to a funeral service for a beloved family member of his.  Barbara was a spry yankee gal who lived up to her 90th year without much of a hiccup, but then slipped and fell and hit her head and died very soon after. It was a shock to all of us, but I think she was lucky really to have lived her life without having to leave it with much suffering.  Her service was so wonderful, all the speakers including the minister did such a great job remembering all the things that made her special.  Both hubby and I left feeling uplifted and touched.  We have been to many services that just don't do the deceased justice. Do you know what I mean? Kind of a bland memorial that could fit just about anyone, I have heard too many of those kind of send offs.  So this was really beautiful to be part of, and I know she would have been pleased. 
RIP Barbara.
So as you know, life goes on and while I was at the funeral Colin attended 
the auction for our shop.  We will be having some lovely pieces come into 
Maison Decor in the coming week.  Two servers, one petite shown above, 
and a larger Hepplewhite style server/buffet.  
Also a great looking ornate dresser similar in style to our 
Paris Grey buffet, and some other tables.  
 We will be arranging the shop again as much of our furniture has sold!  
We have had a huge month so far selling a lot of furniture.
Then we have to move things around, and so we create little moments or 
vignettes to inspire the home owner to visualize the piece in their space.
 Our chandy supply has been selling off one by one too..
the large Empire chandy is not for sale, as I love it too much to part with it.  
I like the ambience it gives our shop and that is why it hangs in the window.
Our 9 foot long industrial table is in the window and has the most
wonderful patina! I can think of a million things to do with this table.
But for now it is a great display piece for whatever we out on top.
 The dresser that we got at auction could be a twin to this buffet.  
How about that huge antique french laundry basket? You never know 
what is going to be in our shop~it changes up weekly so pop in and take 
a whirl around the shop.
 I finished upholstering this pair of chairs after I painted them.
 Instead of going all frou frou with the fabric 
I picked out a mens wear style pattern for the upholstery.
 Its a silvery grey pattern and I loved how these came out!
 They sold before I put the fabric on however, and I have to say 
if they hadn't I might have taken them home to keep.
 We picked up a couple of industrial carts from a New Hampshire factory.  
These are the real deal. We sold two and have two left.  They really are amazing
pieces with plenty of industrial chicness to add to any dwelling.
See the original paint on the cast iron hardware?  
And the lettering stamped on the wood sides?
These babies run for $1300 at Restoration Hardware. 
Ours are about a third the price!
And with the Columbus Day Sale we are running 
(last day is Columbus Day 10-14-13), 
you can get an extra 20% off any furniture purchase including these fabulous carts!
So come on in on Monday and check out our prices and stock.
We would love to see you!

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