It doesn't hurt that our incredible hostess is an amazing cook who makes everything by hand and from scratch including her yoghurt, granola, fresh almond milk, hazelnut milk, lavender cookies, polenta lime torte, soups, salads straight from her garden, these farm-to-table meals that you wouldn't believe... the list goes on and on. It's ridiculous how much she spoils us.
SO ... now that I'm feeling quite relaxed and unwound and well-fed, which is a big change from the frenzied pace of the past few months, I wanted to take this chance you catch up with you a bit!
The store has been open for about 3 weeks, but not until this week has it started to look halfway decent to me. I'm still holding out on you for the final reveal because we have a few more big shipments on the way and I really want to have all of our beautiful goodies on display before I photograph it.
The upholstery collection is totally dialed in, with a selection of really beautiful sofas and sectionals on display in the store (you can see our upholstery collection online too at www.cladhome.com.) I'm SO excited to finally have a showroom where people can come to sit and touch and really feel the quality of our upholstery.
We've had a great response so far, with people especially excited about how flexible we are with customization and how low our prices are. Sofas are selling and it seems my little business experiment is working! Bring people high quality, beautiful design at really accessible prices and they will come!
It's taken some time for our collection of homewares and accessories to come in, so for awhile the shelves were looking pretty bare. I was a tiny bit embarrassed to have people coming in to the store knowing that it wasn't looking the way I envisioned it yet, but it's also our design studio where we work with clients, so we sort of had to be open by default. Happy to say that now things are starting to fill in nicely.
Actually speaking of shelves, in the beginning I had a COMPLETE fail with shelving! I commissioned a bunch of custom made metal and wood plank shelving units that I hated once I saw them installed. They just weren't "me" at all. I don't know what I was thinking. (Please don't judge :) The shelves aren't styled here and we didn't even have any inventory yet to put on them!)
What it taught me is that my bar for the store has to be that I love it enough to put in my own house. Period. Anything that doesn't meet that bar will not make me happy to see every day in my store. It was a valuable "aha!" moment because designing this showroom has actually been really tricky for me! It's SO different than designing a home.
Luckily I'd given myself a stern talking to at the very outset of this whole thing and told myself there was bound to be a learning curve with opening my first store and I would make mistakes. This helped me move on from the shelving mistake. I then lucked out big time and found an entire collection of vintage brass etagere shelves on Craigslist from an old gift shop on Balboa Island. They look like something straight out of the Paris flea market. They're old and have a beautiful patina from the salty island air and they are perfect.
Aside from all of the new upholstery and pretty special home accessories we're showcasing (if I do say so myself), there are some amazing vintage and refurbished treasures I'm really excited about. When I'm decorating for myself or for my clients I scour high and low for these one-of-a-kind items that don't come from any big brand name retailers and that I know no one else will have in their homes. These are the treasures that make a room come to life! That's probably one of the best parts of opening this store for me, that I now get to buy up all of these treasures because I have a place to put them and I know that people will go crazy for them like I do.
So I scored a big bucket of bamboo furniture upholstered in grubby, 1970s orange fabric ...
And re-did them in this fabulous palm frond print that couldn't be more perfect for summer ...
This campaign desk was a sight for sore eyes before we gave it a new look with glossy, kelly green lacquer ...
I fell in love with this brass sputnik floor lamp at the flea market and now I love it even more in my window display ...
People are going kind of crazy for these softest, most beautiful vintage African indigo throws that we're making into pillows, wall hangings, and upholstery ... one shopper even wants to make a sofa from them, which I can't wait to see finished!
Can you tell I like them a lot? Remember when I almost named the new store Indigo Home Co? I had you all voting for your favorite name, and I even bought the web domain ... it was a close call! I love our name now, but Indigo will always be my jam.