Monday, July 21, 2014

Potpourri Post~Don't miss it!

Its been a long time since I have blogged, so I have a lot to share.
 We have been busy little bees in our shops! 
 Justin's shop, Pioneer Goods Co, got the green light from the
 City of Boston so he is up and running now too in Boston's South End
 at 764 Tremont. Its been a long road, but that kind of explains
 why there has been little time for blogging. 
 So this is some of what has been happening:
At Maison Decor in Reading we have been doing a little redecorating around
the shop.  We started by painting our giant paint cupboard.  Gina gave it a paint job
with Old White using Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint.  This just gave it a completely
different look.  The cabinet was painted in a brown color that was not Chalk Paint,
and after being asked a billion times what the color was, I decided it was time to 
make it over using Chalk Paint.  I love how it looks now. 
Very cottage, a little bit Shabby Chic
and altogether, its lighter and brighter. We kept the Antoinette color in the background
where all the shelves are.  Consider using a contrast color or accent color inside
your pieces that have shelves or interiors that are seen.  Its an easy way to make a piece
look a little bit more special and custom.
Here is Gina going at it. It took her about one hour to do the entire cabinet.
One coat pretty much gave total coverage!  I did some light distressing
and clear wax and a touch of dark wax to finish it up.
 We have been doing some custom jobs as well, including this pair
of Victorian chairs.  We are not painting the frames, just the upholstery,
They were chartreuse velvet chairs and the client wanted them in a rich royal blue.
Spritz the fabric with water then start painting. I dip my Annie brush into a cup of water,
then right into the paint can and onto the moistened fabric. We did two coats, painting
with the nap of the velvet.  Don't try to completely cover the colored upholstery in one
coat. Be patient and do it two or three times using watery brush to lighten the weight
of the paint on the fabric.  
 Gina is laughing here, because I asked her to pose for this pic and had
her scrunch down...anyway you must work the paint into any tufted areas
or between any folds.  Annie's paint brush is great for this!
This photo shows the first coat completed on the left.
See how you can still see bits of green coloration coming through the blue?
That is the way you want this process to work.  It takes time, but results are 
no expensive upholstery job required.  After the painting is finished we sand lightly
with 500 grit with the nap, then wax with a 50/50 mix of Annie's clear wax and mineral spirits.
 The resulting feel of the fabric will be like leather.  I will show the waxed chairs next time I post.
In other big news for our little family business, Justin's shop is finally OPEN!!!!
 Here is a shot of his Boston neighborhood shop.  Little iron garden fencing surrounds his store.  Its so cute and quaint looking. Its on the corner of a busy street and has great visibility.  We hosted an event last Friday night, a Tintype Portraiture Event with itinerant traveling photographer Giles Clement, from Oregon.  It was a smashing success!  Follow along with a few pics below as I show off bits of the event.
As I walked in the doors, the place was already a beehive of activity. 
Giles had set up a mini studio in the rear of the store.
At the back end of the store you can see Giles camera and there he is off to the left
pouring this solution over the piece of tin that will eventually hold the image.
Its super fascinating to watch in person.  This couple is about to get their picture taken.
 Here is Colin posing for his portrait.
 This was his portrait! I love how intense these images look on the tintype.  The eyes
seem to be the central focus of the image.  We had a portrait done of me with my sons and dad
too, so it was three generations.  Pretty incredible.  And you only get one shot, its not like digital where it can be redone or fooled around with~Giles was great at capturing your group at the exact moment.
I watched him getting kids and dogs and groups...all with beautiful results!
 The tricky part about groups is that the camera focuses on one plane, so Justin reads a bit darker being in the back. Even my dad looks darker in the front, while Colin and I are lighter.  Very interesting process.  You watch it develop right in a tub of solution before your very eyes.
 This is Justin's portrait.  So handsome and his eyes are just killer in this medium.
We brought Dillon in for the event as we wanted a true family portrait lol! 
He was great!  So laid back but in this pic looks like he was itching to get 
inside to see what the hubbub was all about.
Posing with the dog was a bit of a challenge. We had to put him up on a piano
bench, then Mr. Maison Decor had to scrunch down to be included in the shot. 
 Dillon was busy looking all around, and so it's amazing that Giles captured him looking right at the camera!  I think tintype is why the phrase "capture" was invented for photography.  
 So the party and event at Pioneer Goods was a bit hit! 
Thank you to everyone who came out that night
 and supported Pioneer and Giles Clement.  Small businesses rule!!
 
 We had lots of families bring their little ones, 
and now they will have portraits that will last a lifetime and more.
 Pioneer Goods is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11-5 at
 764 Tremont Street if you would like to visit. 
 Follow along on Instagram at PioneerGoods 
for all the latest information.  
If you did you would know that Pioneer is also an
 Annie Sloan Stockist and we just stocked up on  Chalk Paint supplies.
Justin is also head of our Mora Clock division and he and his team have done an
outstanding job on getting clocks hand finished and shipped out to our clients.
Here is one in a Rhode Island home, photo courtesy of its new owner.
Our Maison Decor Mora Clocks have had such an upsurge in popularity
 and we are excited people are loving them as much as we are!
 This one is waiting to be picked up by its owner.  Its rare that we actually have
one in our shop as we need to send them out as soon as they are finished.
We had fun putting together a garden party dinner table setting in Reading.
Mix your vintage tablewares with modern paper cutlery placemats that we carry.
How fun is this? Its charming without being too granny.
Here are a few pics of a few more displays.
We mix in vintage furnishings like these in newly covered toile seats
with new items, like our Park Hill candle line, 
for a refreshing and fun shopping experience.
There is always a new look in our shop and we cannot tell you
how many times we hear, "it looks so different in here"!
 Our vignettes and accent pieces are ever changing and sometimes sell the day we put them out.
As you may know, I am a HomeGoods Pinterest Designer and this centerpiece was one I put together
using a HomeGoods metal orb with a HomeGoods floral wreath that has tiny little lights woven into the wreath with a battery pack. 
 I put them together on a vintage silver tray for a summery centerpiece.
Imagine changing it out with a twig wreath for the fall and some mini pumpkins tucked inside the orb. And then again at Christmas, refresh with some greenery cut from Balsam.  
So easy to do and not a big expense either.
 We have this great dining room set of 6 chairs and an octagonal table.
 Its five feet in diameter and is getting a lot of interest~
most people love the idea of sitting at a round table.
 We post our furniture online and you will see these pieces with their pricing there.
These are the latest additions to our shop~
watermelon pink velvet chairs. OMG, I LOVE these chairs!!
I don't expect them to last long, but who knows...
maybe its just me that loves them.

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Note: This post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation in their Pinterest Designer board, Happy by Design. Link above. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tintype Portrait Event at Pioneer Goods Co

Check it out!
Look who is coming to our Boston store,
Pioneer Goods next Friday night!
 In the tradition of artists and tradesmen of generations past, portrait photographer Giles Clement is taking his studio on the road. Clement uses the tintype method of photography to create unique silver images on sheets of black metal. Tintyping was popular in the late 1800’s, but was quickly abandoned as less difficult and more reliable methods of portraiture were invented. Clement’s camera equipment is antique – some of it more than 160 years old. In harmony with old methods and equipment, he uses modern lighting and technologies to capture the faces, and often the souls, of a new generation of artists, inventors and pioneers. 
He will be stopping through Boston on July 18th and is being hosted by Pioneer Goods for an evening of tintype portraiture. We invite you to join us from 6-9pm and to have your portrait taken in the way of your great grandparents. Clement will be taking 4x5 inch tintypes for the price of $50. Each plate will be carefully rinsed, scanned into a digital file and then ready for pick up the following day at Pioneer. The plates themselves will last for hundreds of years and are a great way to capture yourself in a timeless and beautiful way.
 Gorgeous!
So head to Pioneer Goods Co at 764 Tremont Street this Friday
July 18 from 6-9 to grab a drink, check out our cool store and 
get your portrait done, old school style!
You will be glad you did!
Mr. Maison Decor and Dillon will be getting their 
portrait done, so if you want your pooch included,
don't leave him at home.
To read more about Giles Clement
visit his website here.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

My dining room and a painted cabinet

Our dining room serves double duty as the place where we pay our bills
as well as where we eat most of our meals and entertain.  Since Mr. Maison Decor
and I both have home businesses in addition to all those household bills, our
paperwork has been difficult to contain.  I came up with the idea of using
a large china cabinet as our home office.  Its the best way I could think of
to keep on top of it all, but not have to constantly hide it or have it scattered
all over the table top.  Its working out fantastic!   I have little labels inside
the upper cabinet on the back wall of each section which lets us know at a 
glance what goes where. You can put your finger on what you need in a flash
now.  I am figuring out if I want to put fabric or decorative paper behind the wire
doors to hide the paperwork, but that will be for another day.  For now,
just getting this beast painted and embellished and waxed was a triumph
for me, as I rarely have time home to focus on these projects.
This is the before photo.  I had a decorative wallpaper on this wall which I 
had to remove once the large cabinet went in place.  Next was to figure out
how I wanted to paint it....I chose Louis Blue Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.
I toned down the blue by dry brushing a mix of the same blue with Pure White.
After that I added some graphics using a transfer method to add a bit of subtle
detail on the bottom of the cabinet.  I chose some French graphics that I found
on Graphics Fairy.com.  
She has free graphics and you can print out what you
want using a laser jet printer, then apply with our Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel
that we sell online and in our shop. Let the image dry onto the piece overnight,
 then remove the white paper with a damp scrubby sponge and the graphics are revealed!
The graphics float on the gel base that you used to "glue" the paper in position.
 Its pretty easy and the results speak for themselves.
 I used some French font for the drawer faces and then a
 decorative image and more font for the center two cabinet fronts. 
 Lightly distressed and soft looking was my goal.
 Highlights of Silver Gilder Paste around the edges add a touch of glimmer.
 This room has a mix of silver and gold and different shades of blue. 
My purple transferware collection is kept in this room 
and some of it adorns the walls. 
 The beaded sconces are new and I just threw them up there, 
but I plan to remove the plate above each sconce and
 raise them as the position now is not ideal.
 Lovely faux florals include the lavender found at HomeGoods.  
I gravitate towards French style florals of course, 
and these are perfect in my home. An antique looking mirror from HomeGoods
 anchors this wall display. The large pillows, also from HomeGoods,
 sit on our antique lidded box/trunk that we use to store
our household recyclables.  Like you, I am sure you need
 to find storage that works, and has both a purpose as well as looking pretty.   


 Annie Sloan has a new Home Fragrance Collection, and I am in love
with Antibes.  If you like the smell of fresh cut grass, this one is for you.
Thank you for reading my blog.  I hope my painted cabinet
inspires you to look at old pieces with a new eye for design and 
how you can make these pieces work for you and your home.
Our French Library Cabinet has made our 
dining room a place of order once again!
Thanks Annie Sloan!!

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Note: This post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation in their Designer program on their Pinterest board, Happy By Design

Friday, June 27, 2014

4TH OF JULY Store Hours and Family Traditions

MAISON DECOR WILL BE CLOSED 
JUNE 29 AND WILL  REOPEN JULY 8.
OUR ONLINE SHOP WILL BE OPEN AND 
ORDERS WILL BE FULFILLED.
In other news.....
PIONEER GOODS CO
Open for business! 
We are happy to announce that the City of Boston
handed us our coveted occupancy permit so we can finally open up the doors
to our shop.  It was a long process of many phone calls and letters and jumping over
hoops, but Justin was all over it and he prevailed in the end!  
So if your style is anything in the neighborhood of Ralph Lauren Lodge, 
or Rustic Americana, or General Custer's last stand, we think you will LOVE this shop.
First day of business will be Saturday June 28th! This shop is located
at 764 Tremont Street and will be open weekends, both Sat and Sunday as well
as during the week.  At this point it looks like Monday and Tuesday we will be closed, 
so even though Maison Decor is closed next week, Pioneer will be open.
Our Reading store will be closed next week so we can 
celebrate the Nation's birthday and spend time with our families.
Our family has always had a lot of fun on this particular holiday.
Take a look at this goofy and hilarious photo of our family after we 
painted our old beach wagon in red white and blue so we could enter
it into the local parade on Martha's Vineyard as a float.  Its a fun little
quaint country style parade where this kind of thing is not unusual.
So dad dressed up like Uncle Sam and the rest of us just wore hats and tried
to color coordinate. It was a memory we won't ever forget. 
Thats me in front by the hood of the car. Justin, Brandon and Colin (not shown)
 were just little boys and they sat in the way back of the wagon 
with their super soaker squirt guns. Super fun! Super goofy!
Hope you have some fun scheduled for this coming week,
I am more than ready to fire up the grill, have a few cookouts,
see some of my family who will be visiting us and work in the garden.
What are your plans?  Our dogs are afraid of fireworks, so that means we 
try to stay away from those kind of festivities.  If you have dogs, you
know what that is like...most of them are afraid of the fireworks.
So have fun, stay safe and lets kick of the summer, shall we?


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