Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Interview with a white washed, shabby chic, blonde haired otherwords an Interview with Lisa of My Back Shed in Oakville

A few days ago when I started the blog - I had decided to interview some people who have been involved in my life - not only at a retail level but also on a personal level...Lisa of My Back Shed and I are currently involved in the new business venture with Patrick and Sharyl ( Partners in Time) with the store Pied a is located just one block east of Flik and is doing quite well....Lisa is also a good friend of mine and has been involved with our family....She is a remarkable woman with great talents and is lucky also to have a great bunch of women who work with her at her store in Oakville....

What gave you the inspiration to open your own store?
Victoria magazine was a huge inspiration for me. I used to love the August issue which showcased beautiful shops owned by women. I longed to be one of those women and lucky for me it became a reality.

Describe the aesthetic of your store
I would describe my shop as very pretty. For me it's all about the furniture , I can't resist a piece of furniture with beautiful lines or lots of ornate detail. As I am buying the furniture I am already envisioning whether the piece is going to be a creamy white or done in an elegant black. It's amazing how a couple coats of paint can transform a piece.

If there was one piece of furniture you ever regret selling....what was it and why?
When my daughter turned 14 she decided she no longer wanted the french country look I had decorated her room in. To my "horror" she decided she wanted to replace all of her beautiful antique pieces with pieces from Ikea. We compromised and got rid of some things but I insisted she keep others. One of the pieces I did replace was a gorgeous desk. It had a bow front, 7 drawers and lovely detail all around, in hindsight I think I made a huge mistake letting that one go

What are the new ventures that you are involved in and where is 2010 going to take you?
In August of 2009 I teamed up with Flik and Company as well as Partners in Time. We combined forces and opened a new shop on Queen street called "Pied A' Terre". The mixture of all of our different styles has resulted in a very ecclectic mix of furniture and accessories. So far the response to the new store has been very positive. In only a few short months we already have a very regular client base which seems to keep growing every month. Other ventures "My Back Shed" will be involved in in 2010 is the February Home Show, Kimberley Seldon's Designer Flea Market and we are hoping the Style at Home show will return this fall. All of these shows provide great exposure for the store and it's an opportunity meet other shop keepers from all over Ontario

If you were to describe your own style - what is it and does it reflect in your store?
I don't think my style has a name. I like so much of what's out there now. I really like the sleekness and sparkle of contemporary design , but I also love the detail and curvy lines of traditional style. Figuring out how to make them work together is the tricky part. Our store definately leans more towards the traditional , but I do try to bring in some more contemporary accessories to try and make it a bit more modern.

What is the one colour you love personally but do not use in your store.....and why not?
Mauve is a colour I really do like and I wear it alot in my clothing, but it's not too often I will use it in the store. I know it's very popular right now for decorating but I do feel it's quite trendy ,so I tend to stick to colours that are more like neutrals so people won't tire of them. It also makes it much easier to merchandise the store, I like it to have a very cohesive look.

Visit Lisa at My Back Shed in Oakville or see her items at Pied a terre in Toronto

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Art of Wallpapering

Since I have a little bit of time off....Mario and I  decided to take the wallpaper that was intended for our bedroom  out of the wrap- wallpaper that we bought almost 6 months ago....wallpaper that...well...I can honestly say that the last time I did this was years ago in our old farmhouse with my mother in her bedroom...the wallpaper then was self pasting ( I think that was what it was called) and a lovely floral with big cabbage roses...that in this time of my life I would hate.

The paper we bought was from Graham and Brown from England and something that was supposed to compliment our Louis XVI mirrored bed. I won the choice of the colour and style - Mario wanted us to move ahead with an apple blossom on a pale blue background that I thought was too feminine....I guess we will never know..
Anyway - it was simple enough to install....there was a quart of a paste that would allow the paper to adhere and then all the basics - a sponge, scraper, knife etc...
The first piece was hung and it looked and somewhat felt like I was hanging a heavy duty wrapping paper - I started to feel not too convinced that I would like it....but for any of you that know me - especially my husband I would not admit it ....yet.

I continued for the next 2 hours or so.....went downstairs once or twice to check on the kids and let Mario smooth out some of the air bubbles....
Coming to an end and specifically a corner that did not want to cooperate with me the paper was up - I would let it sit until tomorrow and do the cuts at the ceiling and the baseboard...hoping that the bubbles that were still somewhat there would dissapear....
Cleaning up was simple...the quart of the paste was finished for the wall - it is roughly 10 x10 and it took the quart to hang the 6 panels I put up.
Now the is dark outside and we both Hate it....Mario claims it looks like a grandmas room - I dont think that, but I do think the wallpaper does not go with the lamps we have currently - We will look to see the Kartell Bourgie Lamps that look 3 dimensional candles - we saw them in Paris a couple years back and loved them then and despite the fact that they are somewhat more available....they really are not
so........I will take a picture of the room in the daylight tomorrow and see.....we will give it a chance - there is a moosehead made of papermache from an Artist in South Africa that we have in the center above the too looks a little odd.....I have a pic of the bedroom wall prior to wallpaper which I will add tomorrow with a before and after - maybe we should have waited another 6 months....
well tomorrow is another day and hopefully after sleeping on it for a night - it will look all brighter in the morning..

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Welcome to our Blog.....this is going to give me a chance to share not only facts and information from my store, but also information about our clients, relationships, design needs and quirks.....I have been thinking about this for some time and decided I can take the time to share information about the retail trade and what we as "retailers" go through on a day to day basis.....
Join me over the next couple of days while I start preparing to Blog....and join the new age of Blogging....