Wednesday, May 6, 2015

French Style Home Office


 A place to take care of the day to day things, as well as a space
I can run my online business and other endeavors, that was my goal.
Our house had this one small office we created ten years ago, but over
time it just got filled up with stuff we never used.  Basically we would
go in here to use the printer and that was it.  So when I closed up shop 
I had a bunch of office stuff, paper work and some supplies that I wanted
to use in a dedicated space.  So the small useless office is now getting 
overhauled.  Originally painted green, the color could go hand in hand with 
a pair of architectural garden prints of the Palace of Versailles.  I probably 
would prefer to have it be painted in an off white or bone color, but this would work.
Time was of the essence and painting would just delay what I needed to do.
I filled the built in cupboards with baskets to hold various supplies, and on
the desk top I set up shop with assorted garden themed containers to hold
pens and pencils, paper clips and the like.  A pair washed wooden lamps with  
natural linen shades would flank the prints and an urn I have had forever would do nicely 
and stand in the center with a faux myrtle topiary, a gift from my friend and 
Annie Sloan trainer, Patty Seaman.  She gave me this when I trained
with her three years ago in New Jersey when I became a stockist.  
For now a dining room chair with the green plaid will do as my desk chair. 
 I had a pair of vintage Waverly Toile draperies on sale at the 
shop that found no takers, so I hung up curtain rods under the countertop/desk
 and they conceal my sewing machines and other bulky supplies.
 Decorating with a garden theme is one I like very much.  I love to garden,
and I feel like while I have to be stuck inside, its nice to have reminders of
being outside with just a glance about the room.  This shot was taken about two
minutes after I hung up the prints.  Sometimes all it takes is the first "right" thing
hung on the wall to make you know that you are on the right path, decorating wise.
After I hung these up I hunted around and found better containers for my things.
The first photo has the wooden boxes with garden follies on them and other
little things I found and pulled out and added to my desktop.
So this room is getting more French Garden touches and I will share it all when I am
finished.  While I am working on this room I am killing two birds with one stone.
Don't forget it has only been a week or so since I have closed shop.
On the last day we had a not so glamorous situation at Maison Decor.
Piles of things were being sorted out...some for my house, some for 
my son's Boston shop.  After we closed up the shop, my house became 
a disaster zone! It has been kind of overwhelming to get it all put away,
or thrown away or recycled etc.  So the bright spot was having this 
nice little office come to life as I brought things upstairs.  
See what I mean?  My living room and dining room were filled with 
baskets and boxes and tubs with tools and supplies and all kinds of stuff.
Just a real drag! Today I will get it all put away!!! It is my goal.
Next week I have some exciting things coming my way, including
a trip to Brimfield as well as a luncheon with someone very important
that could signal something exciting in my future.
But for now, its cleanup time and French Office time.
I forgot how fun it is to decorate your own home.
After I am finished here I can get back outside and do some gardening 
and create that outdoor space I have been pining for.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The old french settee

 Sometimes you just fall in love with a piece of furniture.  
The old french settee was one of those pieces for me.  I saw it and wanted it.  That doesn't happen to me that often anymore.  After having a shop where I had to buy lots and lots of things, I lost the need to possess.  Buying and selling, buying and selling....it took away the thrill of acquisition and possession of furnishings. But then I saw a photo on my friend and Florida Annie Sloan Stockist, Lisa Ard's facebook page.  She was summering in Rockport, Massachusetts last year and she went to visit a vintage outdoor market event hosted by Matthew Mead.  I was too busy running my shop or hosting a workshop or something...and I missed it.
Lisa posted a photo on her Facebook page with a comment like she wished she could have fit this settee into her jeep for the long ride back to Florida, but she had no room.  So I asked her about it and one thing led to another, with Matthew Mead messaging me that if I was interested in it, he still had it.  Oh boy! Yes I would love to get it! It took some back and forth but finally we were able to get a time where my husband ran up to pick it up for me, as I was "too busy with the store" (see how that shopkeeper thing was getting in the way of me living my life...!!?!"
 I tried it here and there and finally I found the spot for it.
 It sits right along this wall that bridges the gap from the kitchen to the dining room.
This is the photo that made it into the DECORATING magazine by
Matthew Mead.  He took this shot and I love it. 
All the pillows I picked up from HomeGoods. HomeGoods is my
go to for pillows!  Any color or style you need or can imagine is usually
found in their huge pillow department at great prices.
 By the way, this magazine is on the news stands 
for another month or so if you haven't seen it yet.


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Note: this post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation
 in  Pinterest Happy by Design board.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My special guy

Words of Affirmation
Happy Anniversary to us.
Today we celebrate us, Amy and David Chalmers. 
We often say the best thing we ever did was marry each other.
 I'll follow him anywhere...this guy.
 To any corner of the world he will follow me.  
Its a mutual thing you know. 
So glad we found each other. 
So glad we have each other.
Happy Anniversary David.
You are the best of the best. 
Our family is what is is because of you.
A loving husband, father and step-father and son who is the center of our lives.
I love you.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Turning the page...au revoir Maison Decor

 The last day at the shop finally came and I went out doing what I loved,
teaching an Annie Sloan Intro Workshop.  Its a four hour class and I loved 
every minute.  I had a special guest attend my class, the newest Annie Sloan Stockist, Danielle
from Concord Mass. Her shop is the Blue Butterfly.  She not only took my class, she will be taking my sales girl, Julia!  I am happy that it worked out this way for them both.  
All the while I was teaching the shop was getting picked clean
by shoppers who had also come to bid us goodbye.  
 The day was a bit of a blur I can say....I was immersed with these cool ladies and Julia was handling all the sales.  She never got a minute to sit down or eat lunch.  It was hoppin' and boppin' the entire day.  We had ladies in the shop an hour after closing getting the final steals and deals we had left.  Fathers and sons, and longtime customers were told to pull their vans and trucks in after 3 to load up the last pieces of furniture.  We measured, lifted and lugged things out to their vehicles.
Remember this pretty yellow vintage patio set?  
 Linda, one of our longtime customers was taking it home...
but would it fit in her jeep?  I have moved so much stuff over my lifetime 
but I wasn't sure we could get the entire thing in her car.  
Measuring it up, yes I thought we could do it. 
 And do it we did! Thanks for everything Linda.
And then that father and son that were sent down by the woman of the house
 who just had to have that Drexel Heritage china cabinet.  
I lent a big helping hand, lol.  
Customers were still all over the store, so back inside I went.
 The pictures off the wall were the next to go, but not before I asked the lady who bought them if she would be so kind as to take a photo of Julia and me on our last day.  We never had been in a photo together!  We were exhausted and hadn't had a minute to reflect on what was going on all day, this last day at Maison Decor.  And with the last ringing of the register, we called it a wrap.
 Turned off the lights and headed down the street for a well deserved dinner to reflect and relax.  It was time to transition and while I was excited for what was to come, I tried to absorb the fact that I no longer had to turn a key before 10 am in the morning in a place that had become like a second home.  So much time was spent in those four walls, building it up as good as I could, and now it was to be no longer.  It felt very strange.  Julia and I spent a nice time talking about the day and the past months, the highs and the lows of our experiences.  I was lucky to have her by my side.  It was finally time to go home and resume my former life, the store was now in my rear view mirror (almost).
Yesterday Mr. Maison Decor and I took a ride over and put the last 
few remaining items out front with a hand scrawled sign, that read "FREE, Have a nice day".  
It felt a bit melancholy for sure.  I am looking forward to what remains of spring 
and the summer ahead.  My head is brimming with ideas for what I will do next. 
 I want to thank the beautiful customers that came out of their way to see me before I shut down.  Their lovely words still sound in my ears. I am a lucky girl.

To visit Danielle and Julia head to 89 Main Street, Concord, MA
or visit  her website at www.BlueButterfly.com

To buy Chalk Paint® you can visit my son Justin
at Pioneer Goods Co at 764 Tremont Street, Boston
or purchase online at www.pioneergoodsco.com

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Last Two Days in the Store: SALE

 The 48 hour countdown has begun at Maison Decor.
We will be closed at the end of business day Saturday April 25, 2015.
Stop in today to see our steals and deals.
 All of our gilded chalkboards have been removed and sent to our Boston
store.  Justin will be doing something amazing with them I am sure.
Below is just a sampling of some items left in Reading, MA.
 50% off these Pagoda prints, now $40 each.
Whimsical table painted in the MacKenzie Childs style is on
clearance for only $40 too!  This is made by Shnadig Company. 
 Many compliments over the past two years were given to this china cabinet in the 
workshop area that we used to hold our supplies for workshops.
 Its a Drexel Heritage cabinet and now it has hit the floor, looking for it's forever home.
Its a steal of a deal at only $199!!  
The ornate tufted French Provincial chair with original upholstery is $75.
 Getting the cabinet out onto the floor took a little doing.  
We asked one of our customers to help move it, lol.  
Julia is high fiving Laurie after a successful move. Thanks Laurie!
 A clock that needs to be finished is only $50 and an assortment 
of mirrors are all marked down too.  The decoupage chairs are no longer available.  
 Last night we raided our supply of vintage linens and filled the cabinet on the floor. 
Every piece of linen in this cabinet is being sold at $5 each!! 
Tablecloths, bedding, dust ruffles etc!! 
Old lace adorns many of the pieces~come grab some while they last. 
 Our complete stencil selection has sold, BUT all the stencils
 we have used in the course of doing shop business for the past two years are on sale for at least 50% off!! So come check out our pre-used stencil selection and get some smokin' deals!!
One last sip of coffee and I will be headed to the shop.
I will be teaching my last Chalk Paint® Introductory Workshop tomorrow.
We will still be selling many things online including our lovely Maison Decor Mora Clocks.
To purchase our lovely clocks CLICK HERE

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This 'n that. House photos, store sale and more.

Hi there everybody.
I have been adding new photos to the MY HOME 
section on my blog.  Its basically my house tour
with photos taken by both stellar photographer 
Matthew Mead and myself. 
You will see lots more pics than they were able to put
in the recent magazine covering my home.
My master bathroom and my bedroom and 
lots of pics of my dining room and living room and kitchen.
A rare shot of my bedroom~look no painted furniture!
See more of this room on the tour.
 Some sadness came to us last week as we had to send Tobey to 
doggy heaven.  He was no longer able to stand on his own, and would just sit in one spot
for the entire day.  He was a rugged little guy who no doubt was in pain, 
so it was finally time to let him go.
I grabbed my camera and took these pics of Tobey and Dillon
on his last morning at home and I thought he looked so cute.
 RIP my little pal. We buried Tobey in New Hampshire in our friend's lovely yard. 
A country stone wall and trees shade his spot where he rests, 
next to our other dogs that have passed before him, Angus and Buster.
 The sun and warmer weather have finally shown up in New England! Its been 
so wonderful having lovely days after that brutal winter we lived through.  It seemed
to arrive just as I entertained Matthew Mead and crew for the magazine party.
Or perhaps my fellow stockist and friend, Janet Metzger brought the good weather up
when she arrived from Virginia. She helped me tremendously with the party and the following
days we spent our time doing some antiquing in Boston and Concord Mass.
 I got this very over the top lamp.  Its Old Lady Italian Style I guess...seems I am drawn to 
these kind of things.  The trick is you can't have too much of this OLIS (Old Lady Italian Style)
or your house becomes very theatrical looking.  But I adore this thing...and when I have time I 
will clean up the crystals and add some bulbs and perhaps pink silk shades.
 Janet and I really enjoyed our time in Concord. What a cute little downtown they have over there. Since it was Monday and our shop was closed, I even called up my shop girl Julia
 and told her where we were if she wanted to meet us, as this place was so adorable.
Lots of little antique shops, and other sweet looking places. 
 We walked into Thoreauly Antiques and didn't get out for  two hours. We had
blown our whole time frame in just ONE shop!!
 Here I am checking out with more than a few bags.  It was pretty funny because 
one of the women featured in the Matthew Mead Decorating magazine, Cary Goodrich,
 is an antiques dealer and she has an area for her things in this shop, Thoreauly Antiques.  So that
is why we ended up in this particular shop, and boy was it great! The funny part was that
the sales lady, Judi, was talking to Janet about Cary being in the magazine. Then she started
talking about how beautiful Amy Chalmers' home was.  She didn't realize that she was 
talking about me! It made me feel a bit like a celeb, which was kind of surreal.  Anyway you must 
visit Concord Massachusetts if you are in the Boston area.
 You can see things like the childhood home of Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women.
This home is a museum and you can take a tour.  Janet and I stopped by to snap a few pics.
 Of course the biggest thing going on right now is closing my shop. This is the last week
we will be open.  People have been coming in and getting steals and deals on things. I have a Saturday Chalk Paint Workshop but we will be open for business and selling off everything.
 Some things for sale are our knobs, at 50% off.  
 The Annie Sloan line is NOT for sale however. 
We are fully stocked if you want to get 
your last minute supplies before we vanish.
You can continue to buy Chalk Paint® at our sister
store Pioneer Goods with a direct link from my blog above and HERE.
Justin will remain as a stockist and take good care of you.
 How about a smokin' deal on this china cabinet? 
 $200 bucks and you can take it away. Come see what else we have!
I will be here, at least for the week. 
I wish Janet was here to help. 

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