Fall decorating ideas | This season’s must-have colors.

Fall decorating blue pumpkinsEvery fall we’re bursting with excitement to begin seasonal-inspired design and decorating. This year we’re changing things up and playing with a less traditional, vibrant color in our decor. Design industry trends for fall 2014 are moving away from muted reds, oranges and browns and onto jewel-toned colors, particularly shades of blue–cobalt, royal blue, sky blue and deep teal.

Close your eyes and picture a crisp, blue autumn sky and see how it makes the the perfect backdrop for bright red, orange, and yellow fall foliage. Blue is the complimentary color of orange and sets off warm, classic fall colors beautifully. You can also make a stunning visual impact staying within a blue palette by mixing an array of inky dark blues, light blues, and vibrant teals. Recently, we custom painted pumpkins in Greek blue, Louis blue and old white Chalk® Paint Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan to go with our client’s mixed blue decor.

Blue painted dresser with fall decorations

Adding a pop of color stamps major personality in your space. 

We’ve come up with creative options to help you tie these saturated colors into your fall home decor.

Blue fabrics for fall decorating

  1. An easy, low-commitment way to add on-trend fall color is with richly-colored fabric on a pillow or chair.
  2. Or try painting a blue accent wall and contrast it with eye-catching teal colored furniture or accessories. We found a statement making blue paint–Bosporus–in the Fall 2014 Sherwin Williams for West Elm collection.
  3. Bright color blocking is also popular among designers this year. You can get super creative by mixing colorful, complimentary patterns of blue with orange or red, red with camel or grey. Let your creativity flow and take on a furniture painting project with our Chalk Paint® by Annie SloanBlue painted furniture color blocking

We carry a variety of beautiful blue paints in our store and can help with your design questions. We’d love to hear about your fall color inspired projects in the comments below!

Tales of this shopkeeper – Custom Furniture Painting

Recently we’ve had lots of requests for doing custom painting. Our last job took a couple of months. This rocking chair is one of seventeen pieces we painted and waxed for a very sweet family, along with this desk, we did a chair and bookcase in cream Chalk Paint®.
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2014-04-14 06.52.30As we finished each piece, we moved them into one area of the shop for the wax to begin curing–it takes up to four weeks for the wax to cure to it’s hardest state. Thanks to Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan the finish was beautiful and durable!

Tales of this Shopkeeper – A How to on Subway Art or Typography

I first became familiar with subway art on furniture by looking at Pinterest.  There were several great examples on the fronts of dressers and vintage pieces that added such interesting details and made a personal statement that I was excited to try it myself.  Here is one we did with New York locations but we have done several custom pieces with addresses that were meaningful to the customer…..

welcomePicLike this one…..

2014-01-17 03.25.36Let’s talk about the process here…..Many use stencils and that is fine but I tend to like the finished look better with vinyl letters and numbers….

2014-01-22 00.32.11These can be purchased at crafts stores or art supply stores…having a mix of fonts will make your finished piece more interesting…after deciding on your layout begin by placing your first word or numbers….in this case I want the blue to show through so I painted my base coat in greek blue Chalk Paint(R) by Annie Sloan

2014-01-22 00.33.41Next….I painted my top coat color over the whole piece including the vinyl letters….

2014-01-22 00.35.10Let this dry but not too long so that the letters are easy to remove …..once dry…carefully peel off the letter…2014-01-22 00.45.10See how the first color shows through?  Continue laying out your letters, using different fonts and creating a story on your piece….the skies the limit…

2014-01-22 00.45.30Let your imagine take you away….use different theme words…places, book titles, emotions, etc.

2013-10-17 09.00.40As always, once your piece is painted you will want to wax it with clear soft wax and buff…..enjoy!

Do you have an idea for a theme on your piece of furniture? Share it with us,please:)


Tales of This Shopkeeper – Snowy Day Projects

It’s 2:13 in the afternoon on a very snowy January day…..not a soul on the street.  I love the fresh white that is coming down but dislike the absence of customers.  After all, we are a retail shop!

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Time to get busy with some projects that have been hanging around waiting to be finished……We have had some “misfits” in the back that needed VERY special attention and they weren’t a priority for awhile but today was a good day to focus on them and give them a new life to shine….

2014-01-17 03.24.51My husband does a lot of the fixing and painting for our business and usually I’m the one that decides how it’s going to look ie. paint color, stenciling, etc…..BUT this time he asked me if he could have carte blanche on this piece….he had a vision and I love that he enjoys what he’s doing…..so this is it above!  Old violet on the cabinet AND the glass…..

This was a custom order that we modified for a customer and she chose Primer red to give it a very rich look….that is done and being delivered this week…weather permitting…

2014-01-17 03.25.26We double checked this next piece as it is special to the customer….it is done in “subway art” style and they sent us the addresses of where they have lived over the years to put on this cabinet and use for their flat screen….

2014-01-17 03.25.36And to round out the day…..I decided to do a mix of Antibes and old white and came up with this really nice mint green, very springy….it’s going on a dresser that I may dry brush or stencil….not quite sure yet

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Lots going on even on the slow days….a few people in to talk about their kitchen re-do’s and some looking for specific items…at one point I knocked over an open bottle of gilding size which landed, thankfully, on the floor and not on merchandise….a sticky mess but cleans up with water….:)

Did I forget anything? Oh, yes, the snow has stopped…..looking for some sunshine soon!

Tales of this shopkeeper…..Sauerkraut, anyone?

Each year in the fall on the second weekend of October, the village of Waynesville where we own our business, hosts some 350,000 Sauerkraut lovin’ souls who come to eat anything made with sauerkraut and shop the almost 500 vendors and over 60 shops.

It is a great weekend for all involved and the group of men and women who organize it work tirelessly to create this special event run it like a well oiled machine.

How many different ways can sauerkraut be made? Well, here’s a few things that seem to be favorites and are sold on the street aaaaallllll weekend long……sauerkraut sundaes, sauerkraut donuts, sauerkraut pizza, sauerkraut “dogs”, sauerkraut fudge….you get the picture?  Many say they come for the food but others come just this once a year to be a part of the whole experience.

On the Monday morning after this event, if you would happen to roll into town, you would never know that anything even close to what took place on the weekend had well, taken place.  Streets are right back to the way they were and porta potties are nowhere to be found.  It’s amazing!!  Just one more reason why we love having our business in the village of Waynesville, Ohio…….


Meet….Bliss and Tell Branding Company

This is the first in a series of interviews with small business owners that have touched our business in some way…….let’s chat with Reni from Bliss and Tell Branding Company…..She is the talent behind out new logo and website design!

1.  Tell us about Bliss and Tell
I started BLISS AND TELL BRANDING COMPANY over 3 years ago after years in the design, retail and event industry.  I found there was need for creative small boutique-like businesses to have good design, branding and marketing materials.  I tailor my design & branding services to work with creative companies like florists, photographers, catering & event businesses, retail shop owners, paint designers etc.

2.  How did you get started?  B&T started out of my love for fresh ideas and the excitement (and inspiration) that came about with different projects and each new client.

3.  What is your favorite part of owning your own business?  there are so many cool things about working for yourself. making your business schedule work within your personal (family) schedule is awesome, and the best part (what i totally appreciate) is the opportunity to  pick and choose the projects i want to be a part of…and the client I want to work with.
4.  What is the biggest misconception about the type of work that you do? often times I have clients that believe I’m creating a design & brand for themselves personally.  when in fact I’m conceptualizing a design & brand based on the products and services my clients offer…and a “look & feel” that will appeal to their client niche-market.  
5. What advice would you give to someone going into business for themselves? one of the suggestions I tell all my clients is to think about their goals for the business.  3 years out, 2 years out…6 months out etc. and then…work backwards to figure out their “to do” list for today.  it’s better to be a step ahead…then always playing catch-up.
6.  How do you balance being a wife, mom and business owner? it’s taken me years to figure this out …how to ‘balance’ it all.   in fact, it’s still a work in progress.  I’ve realized that ‘work’ will always be there, but my son will not always be 9 years old and . no matter how many nights i work late, or weekends i spend designing…there will always be stuff to do, and there is no such thing as being “caught up.”  I pride myself on giving my best (and most) at all times, whether business or personal…and somehow that seems to work for me……..
Thanks, Reni, for letting us get to know you and your company a little better!  We love our new logo and website thanks to you and your company!  For those of you interested in seeing more of Bliss and Tell go to:  http://www.blissandtellbrandingcompany.com

Tales of this Shopkeeper – Retail Teamwork

gingham chair covers

gingham chair covers

It’s 7:00 on a Wednesday night and we are on our way up to the shop.  It’s been a long day for both of us and we’re tired.  As we drive the eight miles from our home to our business we discuss what projects need to get done before the weekend.

We pull up front and I feel a sense of contentment.  This business; this thing that takes up so much of our time and energy is something we’re passionate about.  It’s still, after four years labor intensive but so enjoyable!  We have learned so much and experienced so much……together.  Key word….together!

We are a team:)  Many times thinking along the same lines about a certain way of painting a piece or pricing something or even getting rid of something.  This works for us…..not always perfectly but it works and there is a healthy respect on both sides.

Kim waxing

Kim waxing

It’s now 9:20….I am done cutting out slipcovers for six chairs and know that it’s getting a bit late for my husband to continue much longer. He has an early morning coming up. “Want to call it a night?” I ask. “Sure, if you do” he answers.  We look over what’s been accomplished and discuss how we can finish a few things later……I get the lights, he locks the door.

And in my heart I am grateful we are in this together…




Tales of This Shopkeeper – Good Business

It’s 10:00 a.m. and my sign “come on in” is turned to welcome customers. My first customer of the day walks in and after greeting her I ask if she is looking for something special.

She has a very specific request and something that I don’t carry in the shop……now this is where I ask you….do you remember the old movie “Miracle on 34th Street?”

Miracle Pillow

Miracle Pillow

Do you remember how Macy’s referred customers to Gimbels?…. another large department store that some would consider the competition?  Remember how people responded?  They were so appreciative and amazed that they told their friends and relatives and there was more than enough business to go around for both of them.

And that is how we operate here in our little corner of the world……I pick up the phone and call another shop in town to see if they have this item.  They do, so I walk the customer out the door and point in the direction she needs to go.  She is very appreciative……another satisfied customer!  Did I make a sale? No…but I made a customer.   She’ll be back.

This is not unique to just our business.  There are many in our little town that do the same because…..their customers are important to them.  That customer will remember that her request was fulfilled by the goodwill of that shop and return because that shop put her needs above all else……and that’s what we call “the Macy effect”….one of the best policies in retail.


grain sack chair

grain sack chair

Since we opened the shop almost four years ago, we’ve been using the term “restyled.” What do we mean by that? Well, “Bing” dictionary defines it as “redesigning something” or “renaming something.”

And that is just what we do!  Sometimes it’s very subtle with just a little twist.  Maybe a fresh coat of paint and it’s transformed into a whole new look….take this chair, for instance.  Nothing really special about it except good bones(which is very important when it comes to chairs) BUT let’s give it the feel of an old grain sack:) How about it?  First, I have to sand…..NO, WAIT!!!! We don’t have to sand because we are using the one and only paint

by Annie Sloan!!!!! Wouldn’t use anything else…no sanding, no priming, no kidding!! So…..I just start painting.  In less than no time I have the first coat of old white on and in half an hour it’s dry and I am ready for the second coat.  Second coat is on.   Now, I did a mixture of French linen and old ochre to paint the seat and give it that grain sack color….well, close to it.  Two coats of that and now the fun part!  Find the center of the chair seat, mark it and then use painter’s tape to run two pieces down the middle about 2″ apart.  This is your center stripe.  Next measure 1/2″ from either side, mark it and run two pieces of tape on either side.

Make sure the tape edges are secure so there is no chance of paint “bleeding” under the tape.  I run my finger along each side and press down as I go.  I am ready to apply one of my all time favorite colors! Emperor’s Silk……ooooo, love it!  I am a red fan and this color is so fabulous…..a true red!  I pour a little in a paint tray and use a small foam roller.  It doesn’t take much to fill in the spaces between the tape and soon I am anxiously waiting for it to dry so I can see how this looks!

I am giddy with excitement!!  Looking great!  Once I have applied a coat of clear wax, I do a bit of distressing with 220 grit sandpaper.  I especially want that red stripe to look a bit worn…..oh so nice:)

We did this with a small table and four chairs….two that matched and two others that matched to give it an eclectic but uniform look…..so fun we thought we’d  try it again!:)  A whole new look for these tired pieces…..“restyled!”

Grain sack table/chairs

Grain sack table/chairs