Sunday, April 27, 2014

Opening a new store in Boston! But with a twist~

 Boston's South End is getting a new store!
For my newer followers of the blog, Maison Decor used to have
a shop on Harrison Ave in the city's South End, but we decided not to 
renew the lease and wait for a better location.  My son Justin ran the Boston
store and has been on the lookout ever since we closed last September. 
It was a tough decision because we loved being in the city, but knew
the right thing to do was get a better spot. And a better spot I think he found!
Check out the beautiful brownstone and the corner shop with the green door.
That is going to be our new store! 
 He found it on a Saturday on Craiglist and went right in to take a look.
The next day I went back with him to check it out and I agreed~!
It looked perfect!! The broker took our photo as we stood outside the door.
It has these neat iron gates with tiny garden spaces along both sides of the shop
and then there are two large picture windows with display space for creating
a buzz for the foot traffic and the neighborhood.
This time, however, there would be a twist in our retail plan.
This was going to be a brand new concept and it would be all Justin's.
I have been his sounding board and do some consulting 
and its been so exciting and a bit strange to not have 
design control over this store.  Its like watching your kid learn to 
ride a bike, or climb a tree.  You don't put him on the bike until
you are pretty sure he can pedal off without crashing!!
And he is ready to peddle~he has been going full speed ahead
since we signed the lease about ten days ago. 
 So it was in September 2012, that I found our first Boston location. 
 It was a funky little space in an artsy district of Boston. 
I was super excited and Justin was going to run this store. 
 The more we got into the day to day operations,
 the more it morphed into something that was his own.
 We shined this shabby little store up and became a cool little shop.
 On weekends we did particularly well as there was a 
lot of foot traffic linked to the popular vintage market down the street,
 called SOWA Vintage Market.  But during the week, this street
was pretty quiet.  We felt if we could have everyday passers by find us,
 they would see what all the buzz was about that 
the vintage market goers experienced in our Harrison Ave shop.  
We had write ups in local and national design mags, 
and mentions on Racked Boston and other publications.
Lesson learned that pedestrian and car traffic is an important factor.
Justin used to live in the South End for years and has local connections.
He fits right in, and we are excited to be opening a store again in the South End
on a busy street, with more space, and that has big windows and is right on street level
instead of a walk up space like our old shop was.
The former W salon used to be in this space.  The logos have
been removed on the windows and there will be new signage coming!
However it won't be another Maison Decor.  Nope! 
Justin has a new name for his store, 
and Maison Decor is the parent company for his new shop.
I love the name,  its pretty cool!! 
I am loving every move he has made so far.  I won't be
deluded to think we will always be on the same page, but so far so good.
 I bet you would love to see a few inside pics too, right?
 This is the raw space, a large rectangular room
 with white walls and ceilings
and a kind of front and back area due to the
 division of the space with a partial wall. 
Its about 1000 square feet, more than double our old space.
 Justin got straight to work and had the ceilings painted out black
as the first step.  We loved having the ceilings painted black when we did the 
Reading store.  It makes the space feel more cozy and yet expansive.
His next move was a Billiards Green for the walls and trim.
And thats where this story ends.  I will be giving updates
on the store as it develops.  Its thrilling to watch and see the pics come
in over my phone via text or instagram. 
You can follow along on instagram
@PioneerGoods, and the Reading shop @shopmaisondecor 
or my instagram @amymaisondecor.
If you are a visual person, you might really like Instagram.
Pioneer Goods Co will sell Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan of course.
But it will be a whole lot more than stay tuned!!
We will be closing our Malden Warehouse and running a blowout
furniture clearance sale on Sunday May 4th! So if you are around, 
you won't want to miss it!
We will be bidding a sad adieu to our Malden location.
Sniff, sniff. 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dreams Come True: Create a French Bed with Efex

Sleeping Beauty
 Stunning antique French bed!   
Well....its really a vintage bed that has been recreated by
 Victoria bought this shapely vintage bed that had some 
of the carved details she craved, but she wanted more...much more! 
 Victoria has created some amazing things for her home using her 
imagination and when I found her blog I was excited 
to sponsor her in recreating her bed.
She designed her ideal French bed by visiting my online shop
for Efex latex moldings and planned out what she needed.
We shipped it off to her, and this is what it looked like when
she pulled it out of the box. Not very impressive in baggies, right?
But just you wait!
Victoria painted her moldings first using Paris Grey Chalk Paint
 After that she applied them with painters tape on the bed frame
 to see what position she wanted.  Looks pretty amazing at this point!
Then she applied the contact cement to both the furniture and the 
back of the moldings and waited 20 minutes.  
After the timer went off, she simply pressed them 
into place and painted any areas of exposed glue.  
You can also apply them all first, then paint~its your choice.
Sweet dreams from a fancy French bed! 
One last look at this sleeping beauty.  
Visit Victoria's blog, Trois Petites Filles for this and other 
beautiful and inspiring projects.  
And don't think you need an elaborate project to use Efex appliques!
Before, a rustic barn red color with no embellishments....
After~ still rustic but done in a pretty antiqued pale blue with a 
french accent from our Efex line makes for a very easy DIY project.
 You might remember that I just did a makeover on my mantel using Efex.  
Apparently HomeGoods liked it too! 

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter and Shopping my Shop for a bit of Rococo Glam

Note: New Shop Days/Hours effective 4/19/14
Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Open Tues-Fri 10-4, Sat 11-4
 Its not that often that I buy things at auction or at market
 with my own house in mind. However the past month
 I have had some luck picking up a few things that I just fell in love with. 
 I found a set of beautiful vintage crystal wine glasses 
with gilt embossed rims in almost perfect condition.
I also am a sucker for old beautiful mirrors and
 this one first went to our shop for a couple of weeks.....
and then after I got the gilt wine glasses one thing
 led to another and yesterday I asked Justin to
 put it in the back of my car so I could try it out.
So off the shop wall it came~sometimes I have things in my shop
 that I wonder why they don't sell the second I hang them up! 
And this mirror was one of them.  Isn't it fabulous? 
 I guess I am glad no one bought it, because I think it is going
 to stay on my dining room wall.  Every once in a while 
its nice to replace something in your home for a lift or
 a bit of a style update.  Last week had me hanging artwork 
from our shop for a customer's living room.  
 Anna's home is monochromatic and bit transitional in style.
  These historical artworks from Uttermost at our shop
 have antique silver leaf frames
 and are incredibly sophisticated and beautiful, 
changing with the natural light as the day progresses.  
 I paired her artwork with some accents from HomeGoods, 
like these frames that are reminiscent of vintage Florentine pieces.
 A big mercury glass lamp repeats the
 subtle shimmer and shine in this vignette.  
 Anna's living room has warm and cool tones mixed 
together with transitional style patterns in pillows and carpeting.
The day after I was at Anna's home, I prepared a private workshop for a very
special blog friend who was making a trip to visit our Reading shop!
She has been so supportive and is one of the most kind and generous bloggers
and ladies out there.  Tina, from The Enchanted Home blog was my VIP guest, and 
we had a ball creating some beautiful finishes using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.
 It was the first time Tina used Chalk Paint® and as we painted 
we chatted about our blogs and our businesses and 
being moms and all that good stuff.  
Our samples were simply beautiful, 
much akin to the Habersham cabinetry rustic luxe look. 
Then Tina was off~and another day in Maison Decor land had passed.
With Easter headed my way, I drifted back in thoughts to my own home decor.
 The mirror was one change I wanted to try,
 and after hanging it up I loved it!!
It brings out the gold metal in the antique blue opaline fixtures. 
I have other things I am working on too...
but those will have to wait to be shared.
 Do you find it hard to see something in a store and 
visualize it in your home?  I know
a lot of people do, and to be honest, I had kind of stopped decorating 
my own house for the past two years since I opened my shop. 
 But now I am bit by the bug again and have all these ideas for 
my own home decorating, which I will be sharing right here of course.
Ever since I got the gilt wine glasses I have been treating myself.  
There is something very luxurious about sipping wine
 from these thin crystal glasses. 
 Enjoying the little things in life is kind of nice. 
 Hope you all have a nice Easter or had a nice Passover.  
Justin and Madison are making an Easter Brunch for our family~
so we are looking forward to that! 
Big news is on the horizon, 
and I will be back next week with that and more!

Note: Parts of this blog is sponsored by HomeGoods as part of our Pinterest Happy by Design board, however all opinions are my own. Have you checked out the board? Incredible tips and decorating ideas using items from HomeGoods by 14 national designers, including me!
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Auction treasures: Pretty French and Swedish items!

 I love pretty decorating. I always have~since I was a young girl I favored 
this style of decor and adored my french provincial bedroom set as a young teen.
French and Swedish styles are my favorite now that I am all grown up,
and currently at auction houses these kinds of chairs will go for a song, 
mostly because the decorating rave is all mid century modern right now.
Above is a wonderful french provincial tufted back chair with some elaborate
details.  The fabric is old and worn but has silver threads woven in an ivory 
background and faded aqua can be seen here and there.  I love it!
It is not in the best shape as far as the upholstery goes, so that may need
to be addressed, but for now its a nice looking piece of French sculpture.
 Another fun french provincial chair I got was this one in purple velvet!
 This was the big thing I was hoping to get at the auction! Can you tell what it is? The rounded head.....its a mora clock case with a Boston clock works inside. The yellow stickers show that there were left bids, and one was a phone bidder too. So I knew there would be stiff competition for this clock.  It was a miniature mora clock standing about 4 feet tall, and it had everyone oohing and ahhing all over it! There aren't too many times at auction that I am determined to get something regardless of price, and this was one of those times. You all know I have an obsession with mora clocks and that we sell mora clock reproductions at our shop, Maison Decor.  I had never seen a mora clock like this one, its quite rare I believe.  There was interest from a reputable Boston auction house on this piece as well as all the left bids.  Would I be able to get my mora?  How much would I have to pay? Would someone push me out of the bidding? 
 Find out by watching the actual video of me bidding on the clock!
 There were a pair of Waterford crystal lamps 
with their original price stickers on the bottom
priced at $455! How much would they get at auction?
 This wedding cake chandelier was another item 
I really wanted as this style is one I love.
I don't see good vintage chandeliers very often, 
so this one was on my wish list in addition 
to the clock and the fun french tufted chairs.
 Well you can see I prevailed at auction! 
My mini mora clock was headed to its forever home.
Upon close inspection I could tell that the original paint 
had been stripped. I could see remnants of white paint 
and aqua paint on the edges of the backside.  
I am pretty sure I will be painting this clock, 
but for now was just over the moon about having this wonderful little clock.
 Mr. Maison Decor offered to get the clock running.  
Mora clocks have simple mechanisms inside and 
with a bit of thinking you can usually figure them out.  
I will post more on this part later.
 I was victorious on the wedding cake chandy too! 
 It was filthy rotten dirty, as my nana used to say 
when looking at us kids after we played in the yard all day. 
 Each crystal was taken off its tiered mount
 and bathed in white vinegar and hot water.
 What a splendid looking chandelier!  
It is going to be installed for me 
by Mr. Maison Decor when we have a chance~
perhaps on our anniversary next weekend!  
 This was another item I brought home from auction.  
I have always wanted a fainting couch and this one 
is in rough shape, so it could be my initial attempt at reupholstering.  
Then it might get loaded into Mr. Maison Decor's truck and 
brought to a professional.  But first I want to see if I can figure it out.
  Maybe my friend Betsy Speert will give me a few pointers, 
as she has taken classes and knows how to do 
a lot of this kind of stuff!!! (heheh hi Betsy)
 I rounded out my Sunday reading some of my new magazines.  
What a treat~I never get much time to do this kind of 
thing anymore as I am always in the shop. 
 Or playing catch up at the house.  But I am just excited to see 
Pretty Decor coming back into favor. 
 Check out the French and Swedish influences on this cover. 
 I think its fabulous!
Oh...and that Waterford crystal lamp came home with me too.  
At one tenth the MSRP sticker.  Now that's a good deal.

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