Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Decorating Inspiration

Its the last day of 2013! 
When a new year comes along I find it brings a unique energy. 
One of all things new, a brand new start, and a time for reinventing. 
 Naturally I think of my home decor and now that includes the store decor.
Even if just a little bit or a whole lot, everything is 
open to renewing and review.
So with that we have been working on our shop during
our closed Christmas holiday to do a little bit of tweaking,
some redesigning and remodeling.
Together with my sons, we hatched a plan to create a little
more ambience in the Maison Decor shop.
It was a basic box with 4 walls, which doesn't give us 
the interior display space, nor does it give our shoppers the
experience we want them to find when they visit.
And so a wall. 
Yes, my guys built us a wall in one day. 
Justin used previous builder's experience and together with Colin they
had this amazing L shaped wall constructed in short order.
What a difference it is going to make!
I was so surprised at their skill in getting it up
and so excited to think of the fabulous things to come.
Funny how a simple thing can be so powerful in design.
The fun part comes next with using the wall for a backdrop of
placement for furniture and home decor accents.
So look for some changes in our shop and I will 
be sure to share it online here of course.
The guys and I have business meetings where we discuss purely
esthetics and our design vision for Maison Decor.
We are excited to execute our vision in 2014.
Justin and I will head to Atlanta in a few weeks
 to the big Home Decor & Gift Market
in search of things to bring back for our shoppers,
all selected with the Maison Decor esthetic in mind.
Our esthetic is going to be a mix of my true love 
of Rustic French style mixed 
with a bit of Shabby Chic along with Justin's preference 
of Rustic American Classic Farmhouse style.
This wonderful eating area is a good example of the mix of styles
we will be focusing on for the shop.
Rustic with classic elements that have 
a European antiquity about them.
Lanterns and chandeliers with tons of neutrals in 
greys, black, ivory, white and beige.
Metals, both rusty and gilded, will mix freely side by side.
Its so invigorating to think of decor plans,
whether its for a home or for a retail location.
Maybe you are thinking of switching things up a bit too?
Perhaps start an inspiration board, whether its on Pinterest
or created in reality on your dining room table.
via House Beautiful
An inspiration board will pull all your thoughts together
and keep you focused on what you really like.
I am working on a giant inspiration board for
the shop called Maison Decor Style.
One look at the board will tell our shoppers
 what our design esthetic is all about.
Finding inspiration comes from so many different places,
from fabric patterns, magazine images, paint colors etc.
My newest source of inspiration came from a long awaited book
I purchased for both the store and myself.
by Rachel Ashwell, the Shabby Chic maven and legend,
it is her latest book Couture Prairie.
It is a pictorial compilation of the ranch in Texas 
that she purchased and operates as a B&B.
It is a fabulous book filled with gorgeous photos
and a mix of design styles that I am captivated by.
 I have a copy in the shop opened to a page showing a big ranch hall
that has the most wonderful mix.
I posted this photo on my instagram telling my followers that
Rachel's book is now on the shelves at Maison Decor.
And just look who wrote me back....
Rachel left a comment: "Glad to be on your shelves"
It was the second time she left me a personal comment,
the first was on Christmas day when I instagrammed a pic
showing her book in my home and how I had caved in and couldn't
wait for Christmas morning to open the book and start turning the pages.
She wished me a Merry Christmas too.
She has inspired me through the years, not only in her decorating
style but also her being a small independent business woman.
So much fun on Christmas morning to get a message from one of 
my decorating icons! Thank you Rachel!
I look forward to being creative and having more
decorating opportunities in the new year.
More home decorating blogging and doing,
more exciting things for our store and working together
side by side with my sons Colin and Justin as well
as having Justin's fiance, Madison join the team on a regular basis.
All these things are on our horizon as the clock
dial turns and we head into the year 2014!
via Eloquence
Happy New Year to you all!
Inspired to do just that!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Roundup

The table was set for our Christmas Eve dinner.
 Greens were hung from the blue opaline chandelier and sconces!
 A taffeta plaid table cloth made out of a few yards of decorator fabric 
set the festive and joyous mood.  English Crackers are a must 
for the festivities every year! It makes for a fun night of paper crown wearing 
and silly joke telling during dinner.  This year's jokes were particularly funny!
 Sharing a few candids from our family Christmas~mom and dad, these are for you!
As most parties, we started off hanging out in the kitchen....
my boy's dad, Barry, joins us for Christmas Eve with his GF as
does my sister Ellen and her hubby Mike.
Me and Mr. Maison Decor love hosting our family on Christmas Eve!
 Our Christmas tree was looking splendid, here with brother in law, Mike.  Years and years of ornaments adorn this tree.  Many passed down from generations, and a few boxes I purchased from vintage vendors to add to our collection. I love the look of older ornaments on a tree.
Dinner was ready~so I poured some red wine and Colin lit the candles. 
I didn't think I got any photos of us all at the dinner table 
because we were busy eating and laughing and telling jokes 
but Justin got a few on his iPhone while we were eating.
 After dinner, many kept their paper crowns on during kitchen clean up.
My sister and mother in law, to name a few of the party revelers!
Another fun shot of Cracker Crown wearing family members!
The boys love their auntie El.
Cheese cake anyone?
Deserts and a few gifts were in order~
there is my hubby back at the desert table in the background!
Those Swedes love their sweets!
See that blue opaline glass on the table to the right?
Its my special glass that I use only for special occasions.
I am scared I will break it and so I only use it at Christmas and Easter.
I have a set of six that I got when I bought the opaline chandy and sconces.
A delightful little snowman/snowglobe that lights up from Barry made us all smile.
We save most of our gift opening for Christmas morning, 
but we do open some with the family members that come to the 
Christmas Eve dinner and won't be sticking around til morning. 
 Justin looked handsome in his Christmas tie. 
When the boys were young I started giving them ties to wear on Christmas Eve.
 They were coordinated ties, not matching ones. 
This years ties were black, white and red or some variation of the three colors. 
Mr. Maison Decor gets one too.
Tiny little wreaths in green with red bows sit on a black tie. 
I am a big fan of plaid too~so the boys ties were just that.
Before we knew it the night had come to an end and our guests had departed.
Now we would just wait for one more to arrive....
and come he did!!
 Justin was the last to get up and join the gang around the Christmas tree.
 Colin and Dillon
 Dillon gets a bone from his mommy!
Lots of laughs and gifts and that good family stuff....
goofing off and feeling grateful to be together. 
So from our family to yours, we hope you had a joyous Christmas!
 We look forward to bringing in the New Year, 
with more to share on home decorating, and our adventures growing 
our business and all that comes with that.  
Justin and I will be headed to Atlanta in January to the big gift market 
to hunt down things for our store while Colin holds
 down the fort along with Madison,  Justin's fiance. 
She will be getting more involved with our family business 
letting me have some more time to be at home and 
get back to decorating and blogging and all that good stuff! 

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Antique Chandeliers, Moras, Holiday Hours

 Holidays are fast upon us and our brick and mortar shop in Reading Mass 
has been pretty slow.  So that gives us a chance to catch up on other stuff,
like custom work and painting Mora clocks and revamping the shop.
Today we will be getting in a collection of old chandeliers from a Boston home
in the Back Bay.  You might know I have a weakness for old light fixtures,
and really think they can transform a room! This is one of the lovely fixtures
that will soon be in our shop.  I am not sure we will offer these online as they are 
so delicate and shipping can be rough on anything breakable.
We have worked hard these past few months, opening and closing shops
and trying to get our Reading store and our online shop up and running
the way we want it....so with slower sales predicted for the coming week
we will be closing the Reading store and taking a well deserved break. 
Closed December 22-January 2
Online open at www.shopmaisondecor.com
 Our Holiday Hour notice~
we have posted on facebook and twitter and instagram and now, the blog.
Hopefully no one makes the trek out to the shop next week, as we won't be here.  Hoping to spend some quality time together and doing what families do over the holidays. We have had great customers in our new location and know that they are busy putting the finishing touches on their plans as well.
 But we will back in January all fired up and ready to rock and roll! One idea we are hoping to develop is a Curated Vintage Collection.  That means being picky about the vintage and antiques we find that have the qualities we think embody the Maison Decor style.  Like these chandeliers that are simply gorgeous! Colin will be bringing them into the shop today and I can't wait to unpack them and check them out!! Not everyone is a vintage lover, but we think there are enough like minded folks out there who will appreciated us having a well curated vintage collection of home decor items.
Of course the coming year will include more blog posts about
 the how tos of decorative furniture finishes, 
like this example of using Foils for an easy gilded look.
Our Deluxe Mora Clock proved to be more popular than we imagined!
We set a record in the past four weeks and are proud to have gotten 
these wonderful reproduction clocks out to our
 shoppers by their Christmas deadlines.
Julie, this one is for you and you can expect it Christmas Eve!
(Note: Julie wanted her clock with a very light antique glaze, so this is a 
lighter finish than what we usually offer.)
So Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! 
Wishing you all a Happy New Year from 
me and the guys, Justin and Colin. 
(You think I might need to get a more recent pic of us three?!!)

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Gift Guide for Guys

Baby its cold outside! 
Christmas is on its way and it will be here next week.
Our dog Dillon will be getting a new bone, but what do you
get for the man on your list?  Dogs and kids are easy~
men are the toughest to buy for, don't you agree?
Forget the ties, the dress shirts and the new slippers.
Check out these suggestions from our online store
If you order by Wednesday we will have it shipped out and 
on its way to you so you can get it wrapped and put under your
tree before Santa comes!
We just got an order in the shop and hope to close a few sales
before the holiday arrives.  But if you are one of our readers
who lives far away, this post is for you!
 Justin and I just unpacked these great architectural prints.
 They have an antiqued creamy ivory background with a slightly distressed black frame.
 These would give any wall that coveted library look, so appealing to men.
 Just get ready to break out the cigars after you hang them up.
 Miniature antique brass measuring tapes would be fun to add to his stocking....
 Miniature magnifiers in antique brass fold into a covered pouch.
 So easy to carry in his pocket, they'll make it easy on his eyes
when reading that lunch menu with tiny script in the club.
 Twine on a carved wooden spool!  This sits neatly on a desk top
or kitchen countertop and looks as handsome as it is functional.
 Accessories for the family room~
these candle holders definately have a masculine feel.
 Dogs! Men love dogs!! We have three different dog statues in a stone like resin.
Pale grey and charcoal tones.  Bulldog (not shown here), a lab and a great dane.
These dogs make great room accessories too.
 A table clock in black and gold has that "born to the manor" masculine feel.
Long rustic branch hooks are perfect for holding many things including hats.
Have you ever tried to hang a cowboy hat off a short hook?
These are cast iron and heavy hooks with a green wash over dark brown finish.
Get a few and hang a series in a row.  These are very cool!
A tall wooden architectural finial holds a round 
school house style clock from an iron hook.
Back by popular demand, this clock can easily be moved around.
Great on a desk, a foyer table, or as part of 
any tabletop decor, this clock is a winner!
We enjoyed our family Christmas movie last week, and here is 
a quick collage photo of some of our moments.
Take time to make some Christmas memories for you and yours,
and don't let the gift shopping stress you out too much.
And as always, we want to thank you for 
reading and shopping at Maison Decor!

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