Monday, April 25, 2011

Something Fresh

Online only: the new TradHome Magazine.

I've been struggling with something lately, ever since I got back from the Round Top, Texas antique show. I think my taste is changing and I am ready to move on to a different design sense. Not surprising. It's just good to do every few years and try to stay somewhat current with the times. I hope all of us change it up now and then from hairdo's to furniture to fashion.

I emailed a friend while in Texas and said, "OK, I think I am done. I think I am done with the shabby-chippy-burlap-ironstone thing." Just how much of it can we all have anyway? I found myself not drawn to it much anymore. Tacking a piece of burlap on a chair is a cheap and quick fix but we all know it doesn't feel so good. Stenciling letters on a burlap pillow can be equally appealing but again, do you really want to lay your head on such a thing? And once you are over 40, do we really want all our furniture to wobble with drawers that are hard to open? I am ready for user friendly and well built. But don't get me wrong, I am still in love with antiques, chipped paint and worn linens but I am ready to use these items in a new way and mix them up with some unexpected elements.

I pondered hooking up the camper and heading to a new antique show a few weeks ago but decided against it. Once I saw the pictures online of the show I was glad I did not make the trip. There it was again; images of rusty wire things, burlap covered whatever, chippy drawers or badly painted white something (or bright pink or turquoise!). I do hope dealers are selling these things because these shows are so much work but I want to shout to the universe of antique dealers out there and say "DO SOMETHING ELSE!"

What really prompted this blog post was the discovery of the new TradHome online mag. From the makers of LonnyMag comes a fresh look at the old Traditional Home magazine. Heck, this is so new looking, traces of Traditional Home are nowhere to be found! I was stopped in my tracks by these images from what they call the New Traditionalists designers. Enjoy.

Above, this fabulous mix of color, texture, shape and pattern.
A bit retro, a bit bohemian and fresh!

A lot of yellow but it works! I especially love how all the vintage items have been
reupholstered, cleaned and polished to look brand new.

And yes, I am still a lover of white. Mixed with black and pattern
and stone it gets an immediate 2011 update.

The blue painted cabinets turn this kitchen on its ear!
It looks designed but not untouchable.

Above; from the home of my friend and customer,
Hallmark stylist Andy Newcom. I love how he added the large
oval window making the vintage sink
and ironstone seem more regal.

Also in Andy's house, modern lighting used above an
older French table and antique accessories.

Friday, April 08, 2011

An Update

I am going to honest with you all, I am having a hard time blogging these days. I know it is because the store is closed and those hurried, everyday shop operations are what kept this blog going for so long. I'll also be honest with you and tell you 90% of my former blog posts were to keep you current on shop news but especially to show you what had just been added to the store so you would come in and buy something. When sales were down, I could blog and voila!- business would pick up for awhile.

Yes I am selling online and when I focus on it and add new merchandise I am thrilled with the response. I have met with my tech and discussed changes I want to make: a JUST IN category and a SALE category. I am also going to add a PROVISIONS category because I find so many great garlands, wires, trims and baubles and I know that crafting has now gone to a whole new level. I found I have a lot of artistic customers out there that need unusual hardware for their creations. I also love scavenging for these items. Changing the website from an idea to fruition is one thing because website work takes forever to implement! I knew this going in and thought I would have all the time in the world to work on it, but not so. I have a stash of great items from my trip to Texas and I will post those as soon as my current project is completed.

White Silicon Watch, perfect for Spring!

Closing down the store is still not over believe it or not. Some vendors are still sending merchandise to the Prairie Village store, some customers still do not know (those that might have visited KC once or twice a year) and there are still little 'business' issues here and there.

I knew I wanted to rest up after the shop closed and because of the lousy winter weather, I certainly did, but I guess not enough for my taste! The Better Homes & Gardens shoot will happen soon and I have really been hammering down on that. I hunted for my camper so I could head to Texas and now that I am back, I just want to crash. The BHG Halloween shoot is happening next week and I am really happy with the all the props, wardrobe and food that have been found. The editor even added another day due to all the wonderful items we need to shoot.

I wasn't sure what life would hold once the store was closed or how I would make a living (and I'm still not!). I knew I had plenty of customers and friends who needed help with this and that. Some business owner/friends are overwhelmed and need help; some friends need my advice who are in the midst of remodeling their homes; I have some personal projects I can certainly cash in on if I choose to. Getting in the groove of a freelance life again is kind of strange. I watched Eat, Pray, Love again last night and I would love to take a year off and do whatever I pleased without any 'have to's' in the way. (who wouldn't!)

My best friend from grade school (yes, 40 years) lives in New York now and has been in and out of town all year due to the illness of her parents. Her mother passed away last Wednesday and because of all the strange circumstances she has asked me to clean out, redecorate and stage their home to sell. And believe it or not, I am in the mood to do my own home. Because the store is closed my home (and garage and basement and porch) have become the holding ground for all things and it is making me a little nuts. Are you like me? Once every few years I just have to get rid of everything and see empty shelves and life without piles of stuff.

I am on a list at our local antique mall to get a large booth. I decided I really want to do this to please the local customers I left behind. I also find so many great, larger items I cannot sell online and I want to offer them to Curious Sofa fans. So far, nothing is available and I just can't understand why they won't kick someone out!!! Ha. I am hoping they have a vacancy by late summer so I can do the popular Halloween and Christmas display in there.

I hope to shoot some behind the scene images of the BHG shoot. I can't give too much away as they would not like that much but it will still be fun to give you a tease. Stand by for that. In the meantime, I hope all of you are supporting your local retailers, taking a day trip to an antique show and getting ready for Spring. Open those windows and let your home breathe!