Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
You have about thirty seconds to get a potential clients attention as they walk down Jobs Lane in Southampton - so the display window is very important. I have to admit that I am sure other stores plan windows months in advance but that is not how it works for me. I need to be inspired and then I work very quickly to put it together. During my daily blog reading over at Willow Decor/ http://www.willowdecor.blogspot.com/ - I discover the beautiful grain sack pillows from 3 Fine Grains/ http://www.3finegrains.com/ - I contact Kymberley and before I know it we are doing a trunk show together at the shop! This window shows her unique pillows. Of course I put my favorite stork pillow on the chair. Another favorite piece is the vintage English zinc top garden table shown with her large rectangular pillow resting on top of it. Kymberley uses wonderful pillow stuffers in each of her pillows - they are full and soft. Remember to click on any photo to see the details. Any advice on how to shoot through glass would be much appreciated!
Quickly I put the next window together after the trunk show is over using the same basic layout switching and adding a few pieces literally in about twenty minutes. English florals are not my current favorite, however this window brought many people into the store. Having said that, I do love that Bennison print on the pillow on the chair which is backed with another Bennison soft taupe large scale damask. I like this as an accent in a room full of cream linen. Pure elegance....
This was the favorite window of the summer. Although blue and white is a favorite color combination out here in the Hamptons, I wanted to make a display that used these colors but in a different way other than the classic nautical. Those beautiful large urns sold the first day in the window as well as the pillows. Isn't the backdrop fabric drop dead dramatic? This fabric started the window display.
And this is my favorite window. The background colors appeal to me. I love everything displayed here! I bought that beautiful antique angel wing knowing that I might be the only one to appreciate it and therefore own it! Joni over at Cote de Texas/ http://www.cotedetexas.blogspot.com/ - provoked a lively discussion awhile back about tableskirts - but I think it is very elegant made in a greige colored linen with a pure linen bullion fringe. Wouldn't the fabric shown on the back board look fabulous as simple curtains in a room full of linen covered furniture and stone accessories? Which is your favorite display window?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Things are shaping up! Hound Hill has a proper sign. This is something I was never able to get for my former store location due to a whole host of reasons - so I made sure this time there was no question about getting legal signage. Here my friend is putting on the final coat of paint in my favorite grey/taupe color. The sun is out and everything has turned green. So different from the first time I saw the shop in March!
Remember to click on any photo to enlarge....
We start bringing in the larger furniture. At the warehouse my movers look worried looking at the large sofa. They let me know that they don't think the sofa will fit through the front door of the shop. I let them know that is not an option - it MUST fit - and thankfully it does! In this instance one of my worst traits of not listening to anyone pays off!
We place the furniture in the front display window just to see exactly how much is going to fit. Lots of experimenting here as it is the first window!
I decide to also decorate the back office. Since much of my time is spent here I thought I should make it nice enough for clients to come way in to the back and for me to enjoy my surroundings. This is going to take a bit of work here! I am thinking sort of Anglo-Raj/Caribbean: grasscloth on the walls, sisal for the floor, billowing (!) white linen sheer curtain over the door, white fabric and framed shells. Don't you think having beautiful things around you is constantly inspiring?
You see - look how messy it is already! This is the fabric area in the back of the store and you can see all the favorite colors used in the Hamptons being stacked up: blue, beige, cream, and all shades of white.
Here is the first window display backboard ready to be hung up with the Designers Guild wallpaper. I think it is quite eye catching and very fresh looking.
Starting to work on the dining room vignette. Of course you would never put all these chairs together - but in a small store you must display as much as possible.
And here is the first display window. The night before opening my good friend Victoria quickly made this curtain panel so that we could take down the paper from the windows and open up the store! A little skimpy with no lining or interlining but fine for display. Click on the photo to see the pretty details in the window: crackled green garden stool, pale blue pillow with white embroidery,and the gorgeous tassel . I learn from this first window that in the strong sunlight these beautiful soft serene colors disappear. Moving forward the display fabrics are bolder and more vibrant. That pale aqua proved to be a very popular color for summer 2009. The store has opened for the Hamptons season!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Oh yes, this is so much better! Alien markings on the floor have now been painted over with my favorite soft grey color. I start bringing in merchandise slowly from the warehouse. This building is very old - you can see how the floor slants down to the right! The store looks so fresh and clean - it will never look like this again. The chaos of a retail store sets in very quickly.... Changing light bulbs - look how my friend is standing on that ladder - oh my God - he makes me soooo nervous. He politely tells me it would be better if I leave! Here the fun beginsfor me. I have been getting impatient - I want to start bringing the good stuff in and start decorating! I take out of the warehouse all my favorites first.... I know.... you are not supposed to fall in love with your merchandise - well that is not how it works for me! Now we start dividing up the space for the vignettes. I am happy to find out the store is not so small after all - look at the size of the dining table! I start thinking about the layout for the first display window. The first display was the most difficult - mainly because I couldn't see what it looked like from the outside because the windows still have paper on them.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The plan begins to take shape. The guys are starting to build the front window display platform. Now I am beginning to be able to see the space even though some of the former tenants furniture is still there. The platform is built so that it can be removed at any time in case I have a tall piece to be displayed. The plan is to hang a back board for display even though I have not figured that part out yet - John and I are still thinking about how that is going to work. The floor is sort of interesting and rustic and I am contemplating keeping it. In the far back of the shop where the custom interior design/ fabric area will be, we move in a large console to see exactly how to lay the space out and how far up to build the display shelves. Already it looks much better than the first day I signed the lease! The display platform and back board are completed. John has made the back board from light weight pine so that I will be able to lift it out with another girl to change the display. The size of the board is made to display a two yard, 54" wide cut of fabric or wallpaper. Much to my dismay there are not always wonderful men with muscles around to help! The window displays have to be changed very often during the Hamptons summer season (I did six this season) so it has to be quick and easy for me to do it by myself in the evenings. The guys are busy dismantling the back shell pink office (yuck!) This space is tucked behind the fabric area. In my old shop there was no hidden office space - so I am really happy to be able to conceal all the office equipment, binders, and source books back here. Cannot wait to get rid of all traces of the awful dirty dingy pink walls! The guys finish up the construction and clean up. It is only now that I see these strange alien like markings on the floor! Those definately have to go! The walls, display platform, and shelving have been painted - so now the windows get covered up until the store opens. Notice stuff from the old tenant is still sitting in the middle of the room!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Well, here I go again - a new shop location for Hound Hill Design. In previous posts you can see the first shop which was located directly on Route 27 - which is the main road running through the Hamptons and this new location is right in the middle of Southampton village on Jobs Lane. On the bleakest March day, despondent about the prospects of a new shop, through another kind shop owner I find out this building is for rent. The store on the left has the rent sign posted but I think the right side is a much better location. I meet with the landlord and he tells me that I can have the building on the right if I prefer. Being a New Yorker I waste no time - I sign the lease that day and begin work shortly thereafter! The day ends very well and I am thrilled about the new shop location.
The store is strewn with stuff and I have a very hard time visualizing the space and imagining anything great can come of it. To me it looks small - but has two great display windows visible from Jobs Lane. I am hoping with a lot of paint it is possible to make it very charming. On my way home I am already plotting and planning! In my head the space is divided up into "rooms" - and the next step is to ask my trusted and wonderful builder, John Herger and his crew if he could possibly fit me into his schedule. We have to do it in the late afternoon and evenings, but the answer is yes. Lucky me.
There are many things to think about, but most important are the display windows. It so happens the rep from Designers Guild comes by to show the new line and I fall in love with one of their new tassels. This is exactly what I always encourage my clients to do when they have no idea where to start with their room design: focus on one thing that you like and the rest will fall into place. The color combination is so beautiful - and against white it will really stand out. Designers Guild wallpaper, fabrics, and tassel are used and Cowtan & Tout on the pillow. This is a simple, fresh and current look. However, after the display window was up I did learn my first lesson about the new shop. The sun is very strong most of the day and soft palette schemes do not show well from Jobs Lane looking into the courtyard. From here on out the window displays are more vibrant.
The guys are in full swing now. They have started building the platform for the front display window and I am deciding how to split the store up to best utilize the space. I decide that I am able to get four areas for display and the front window. The far back wall will be the fabric / interior design area which I am going to divide off from the store with built-in display shelving. The biggest eye sore is the ceiling - but I decide this is not the year to rip it down - so it stays - much to my dismay. Totally out of character I listen to others advice and leave it alone. With a big push I did manage to get the store opened for the Hamptons summer season as planned.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
A very dear friend of mine has suffered a great loss this week. It reminds me that we should try to appreciate every minute of every day and to embrace the beauty that surrounds us and not to take anything for granted.
I think that all of us in our small blogging world understand this as is shown daily in your posts. Some may say what we do is frivolous - and I strongly disagree and believe we are all fortunate to have this passion that allows us to see the beauty around us, hopefully even in our darkest moments.
This is what I see today as the Hamptons rests in its winter serenity. I hope my friend is able to see this soon also.