The ultimate compliment

I have been in my new location for just about 2 months.  

I have loved every. single. minute.

Even though these last few weeks of August have been a bit SLOW I continue to meet new shoppers and marvel at the constant energy surrounding downtown Fairfield.

This morning I had a couple browsing and after a few minutes the husband stepped outside and the wife continued shopping.  She wandered and poked and asked a few questions but she was clearly in her own world so I left her alone.

When she walked over to the check out counter she said, "I need to come back when I am not with my husband so I can really look".  She followed up with "I love your store, it reminds me of Anthropologie".

WOW....in my book that is the ultimate compliment!

But wait, it happened again a few hours later.  A group of 20-somethings (2 guys and 2 girls) came in and were browsing around when one of them looked up and said to me, "we love your store its like a mini version of Anthropologie but better".

Double WOW!  My day...no wait my month has been made with these two compliments today.


The Bathroom That Almost is

Do you ever have one of those projects?  

The one that you are SO excited about....the one that makes you plot, plan and research and keeps you up at night?

Well our little 3rd floor bathroom under the eaves was this kind of project for me until very recently.

Right now it looks like this...

Yes, that is a mirror sitting in the tub and that is green sheet rock.  

A few months ago it was all gangbusters.  

New walls, new floor, a painted claw foot tub, new electrical outlet and over head lights all went up.  But then our plumber ended up in the hospital and that put a delay on the water getting hooked back up and the claw foot tub getting put back into its place.  So I did what any renovation-crazy lady does, I paid the handyman extra to install the toilet because who wants to wait? 

And then the plumber got better and we booked a time but that turned into 2 weeks of "I will be there today" and further delays.  

So, you can see where this is going.  

Slowly, very slowly I lost my love for this project.  And it didn't help that my youngest, who moved his bedroom up to the 3rd floor a few months back wasn't using the new toilet at ALL.  Still not really sure why.

But the real snafu came when the plumber finally arrived and informed me that new fixtures I ordered for the claw foot tub were wall mount, not tub mount.  And that darn Amazon Prime....I was past the point of returning them.  So said plumber said look for parts to adapt them.  Eventually I found them after many unpleasant calls.  Oh, but guess what?  They are back ordered until end of August.  Can you hear the brakes screeching to a halt AGAIN???

As you can see from the picture above the little bathroom under the eaves is in need of paint but neither my husband or I want to sand the sheetrock and paint (summer, 3rd floor, hot) and the tub is patiently waiting to be finished.  

What started out as an exciting, small project has turned into a sad, slow project.

I am hopeful that cooler weather and a parts delivery will put a kick in my step and as I write this my fingers are crossed. ;)


Did you know No. 299 offers in-home design service?

A customer recently asked me where it was now that I had moved downtown.  When I looked at her with a blank stare she said, "I told you when you moved that you needed to let people know about your design services.  Where is the sign?"

She is right and I did have a sign in the window for a short time.  Until a customer wanted to buy the chalk board.  My design services message got wiped off and the chalk board found a new home.

So, its back to the drawing board (or chalk board) to share my message.

It wasn't my intention to help people in their homes but after a handful of inquires I gave it a whirl.   Friends would say to me would you ever come over to my house and help me figure my living room out?  I would happily dole out advice on what would make a space feel brighter, or cozier or how the furniture might be rearranged to suit the room better.   Eventually I realized I had something of value to offer and worked out a rate for my time.  

Over the past 2 years I have done a variety of projects.  Many are simply a one hour consult.  During that time I offer ideas or advice on colors to paint a space or two.  I offer ideas on how to lay out the furniture, I share my thoughts or vision on what would make the space great or give tips on how to style the space with small decor pieces.

Some have become ongoing relationships where we tackle one room at a time.  And a few have been larger scale projects where I spend time weekly with a client helping them make decisions with lighting, tile, hardware, flooring, etc as they work their way through a renovation.  I have even sat in on meetings with the architect and contributed ideas on space and layout.

So if you have a project that could use another opinion or a fresh look let me know.  I can be reached at the store or by email.


Home Sweet Home

It's been a whirlwind these past few weeks.  

I said goodbye to 318 Villa Avenue where No. 299 spent two years and moved the store to our local downtown area.  While I loved being on Villa and close to my own home, this new space has a CRAZY amount of positive energy!

The new location is next to a yoga studio and a local coffee shop so there is constant foot traffic and just in front of my 2 front store windows are a couple of town benches that get used quite a bit and on the other side of me is a restaurant with an outdoor patio seating area.  This place is hopin'!

I am SO excited to be a part of it all and get to work!

Please come visit me and say hello.  The new address is 11 Unquowa Road, just off the corner of the Post Road in downtown Fairfield, CT.

Here are some pics of the process.  There was a bit of demo needed and a LOT of paint needed...

Luckily I had my own Chip Gaines on hand for the demo.  

And some of my daughter's friends on hand to paint.

And WOW, what a difference paint can make!  I chose to paint a feature wall Ben Moore Old Navy and the rest of the space got Ben Moore Pale Oak.  I wanted a neutral background for all my goods but wanted a hint of color to be able to show contrast against the white tin ceiling.

Next I started working on my outdoor signs.  When I found these 2 crate tops in the closet I took the home and got to work.

As soon as I knew this place was a go I set my sights on these vintage inspired pendants.  I have them for sale at the store and was dying to see them in use.  Patrick stopped by last week and up they went.  I love how the galvanized metal looks with the white ceiling.

My next find was more like a SCORE!  
A customer's Mom had this old, vintage store counter for sale.  She had used it for years in her store and now needed to get it out of her basement.

And I LOVE it!

Father's Day, otherwise known as MOVING DAY in our house brought us a beautiful day.  And like many things to do with No. 299 it was a family affair.  Upon arrival at U-Haul my husband was told he got a free upgrade.  When they tell you this at Hertz its a good thing but not so much at U-Haul.  Have you ever tried driving a 26' truck?

Thankfully our 16 year old son asked 3 friends to help out and they were life savers!  But by the end of the day it was just too overwhelming to begin sorting through it all.  So we packed it up but not before Mike made 2 trips to Home Depot for the missing screw needed to put a table back together and hung my 2 new signs out front.

Yesterday was a new day and thank goodness Kelly was there to help me because no sooner than we had unlocked the door to tackle the mess a pallet of goods was delivered.  

Two days into unpacking and I can only show you a handful of pics.
Lovin' the navy feature wall and the new shelving mannequin that was in the new goods shipment.

Kelly hard at work at the French laboratory table I scored at Brimfield.

A couple of the pillows from the new vendor 
The Salty Cottage.  

They are so well made and perfect for our town's coastal vibe.

We open our doors Wednesday June 22nd but please bear with us as we continue to get everything in it's place.


Third floor bath redo

So last time I wrote about the third floor project I was on deadline to get bathroom finishes picked out. 

Last week our guy arrived and got to work.  Did I mentioned before that this 3rd floor bath under the eaves is SUPER tiny!  

After our guy demo-ed for a day I needed to get the electrician and plumber in to work their magic while the walls were bare and the pipes in the floor were exposed.  

I walked thru the electrical list with Patrick.  Of course there are a few other things outside of the bathroom.  I try to lump things together, its much more economical and most electricians don't want a job that is only one small thing.

A year later there are still wires poking out of the built in desk area in the bunk room (also up on the 3rd floor), these needed to be turned into an electrical outlet.  I have a new light fixture for the the little guys room, that needs to swap out with the cheap ceiling fixture we put in 8 years ago.  And his bedroom needs another outlet.  You should see his power strip...it's chalk full!  

In the tiny bathroom I want an outlet added, there was none.  And the light fixture was getting moved from the side wall to over the mirror and sink plus I asked for a ceiling mount fixture to be centered in the narrow strip of space.  I found this cool industrial/vintage vibe light.  This one below will go over the sink and a ceiling mount version of it will be a short pendant installed on the ceiling.

Jimmy our plumber arrived and on a VERY hot day worked up in the tiny bath with no air and disconnected the toilet, sink and claw foot tub.  He even dragged the tub out of the bath into the other room...no idea how as I cannot even budge that thing.  

He is a good sport!  

We talked about what I needed for the tub.  The hot and cold pipes come out of the floor and I would love to have those pipes replaced with this set below.  With the floor open now is the time to do it!  

As a working mom I have become addicted to Amazon Prime.  If you haven't tried it yet do yourself a favor and get a one-month trial...pretty sure its free!

Light fixtures, Toto toilet, pedestal sink, new tub faucet and pipes all ordered from Amazon Prime and delivered right to my door.  It's ridiculous!

I found the long, ceramic tile planks that mimic distressed wood at Home Depot.  I considered 2 finishes and ultimately went with the lighter.  I love how the wood grain pops.

 I also found that Rust-oleum, the spray paint that works on metal now makes Chalk Paint for metal. 

Rust-Oleum Specialty 30 oz. Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint, Charcoal (Case of 2)

 I chose the charcoal and have almost finished painting the bottom of the claw foot tub.  I think the dark color will really pop on the lighter tile.  And boy am I happy that the inside of the tub is in great shape.

I chose a pedestal sink and one that has a very small profile...remember VERY small bathroom.  There is a small deck area for a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste for little guy.  And I found a smaller scaled toilet.  

I am hopeful that these two, smaller replacements pieces side by side will make the space feel bigger.  
Every inch counts in a small space.

Here is what things looked like this morning when I left...

The cut out used to be a small door to access the space in the eaves but I wanted to copy my talented friend (and neighbor) and create a remove-able, built in shelf which will replace the door.

those are the claw foot tub pipes sticking up
that is the hole for the ceiling light fixture

one of the 2 doors is cut to fit under the eave

And when I got home from work this is what made my day.

Tile was down along with a new marble saddle and I LOVE how the painted navy blue floor in the bedroom looks butted up against the new wood-looking ceramic planks.  LOVE, LOVE!

Stay tuned for more progress.


No. 299's version of #demoday

In case you haven't heard yet No. 299 is moving to a new space in the downtown area.  

11 Unquowa Road...

If you could see me while I am writing this post you would see the giant smile on my face, feel my  (2 parts excited 1 part nervous) energy as I type but you can't so you will just have to trust me when I say... 


We (as in my family minus oldest daughter who was away for the weekend) spent some time this past weekend at the new space working on our TO-DO list.  

I kept looking around for the cameras because it sure felt like DEMO DAY, Chip Gaines favorite day on the HGTV show Fixer Upper!  

Except there was no Chip and Jo,  just Mike and Jackie and our 2 boys.  A girl can dream, can't she?!

Most of you see all the pretty parts of No. 299 and that is a good thing!  

What you don't see is the behind the scenes bits that 90% of the time involve my hubby.  

He is a good egg. 

And while you don't see my family at the store they are very involved in my little growing business.  I like that they see first hand how hard and constant owning your own business can be and I like them to be involved when possible.

So Sunday and Monday involved tearing down a few partitions or walls.  It kinda depends on if you were the one doing the work because then you would say walls.  But when you see these pictures below you will think partitions.

Room #1 had dressing room walls, 2 of the 3 had to come down

And room #2 had just one wall, 
the unpainted sheet rock you see below.

Why is it that Chip makes DEMO DAY look so fun and so easy.  It's NOT!

 And here they are with the walls down.  Can you believe my luck with the wall color in here.  I pray 2 coats will do it but with colors like these it may be 3.  UGH!

I decided to keep that one partition/wall.  Let's hope I still feel that way once we move everything into the space.

Hard to believe 2 of the 3 workers are still smiling!?

The space is divided into what used to be two separate store fronts.  And they are connected by that doorway that is on the right side of the picture above with the silver handle. 

So in my mind I am working out the layout and where things will go so it all makes sense.  I am VERY visual so it may just have to happen once the moving truck arrives.  And like Joanna, I will direct my strong movers were to place things and I most likely will change my mind a few times.  This is why its important to pay your family (for some of the jobs) when they help you!  My boys have been busy negotiating their rates.

In the meantime painting is next up!  Originally I was thinking white walls to let the goodies shine but this old space has a beautiful white-painted tin ceiling and so I may switch gears and use a pale grey.  I considered Ben Moore Classic Gray, Gray Owl and Pale Oak but Pale Oak won out today.  And in the green room I am considering doing the far wall, the one you would see when you walk from room #1 into room #2, navy or charcoal.  Today I picked navy and I took a risk because I am a bit burned out with my old stand by...Hale Navy and so I chose Old Navy.  Some bloggers spoke highly of it and when I read the words classic and crisp I was sold.  

Our town has the sweetest, old fashioned Memorial Day parade every year and so I (with hubby of course) hustled down Saturday morning at 7:30 to style the 2 window fronts.  I must give him credit for this idea.   It would be a busy weekend for town and a great opportunity to tell people what was coming.

My Brimfield find...the vintage lady...and a handful of other goodies made their way to #11. 

I went with the red, white and blue theme.  The light was doing funny things that morning so I don't have a full window pic to share but here are some of the things that went into the vision.  

Before oldest left for the long weekend she created this fun chalk board for the window.

Another Brimfield find...the union jack burlap ottoman, a lantern, reclaimed wood planter topped with a vintage glass fishing buoy and signage...

the vintage lady got a festive skirt...

and a navy (BM Hale Navy) painted side board topped with brass orbs and vintage glass Pepsi bottles for a pop of red fit into the far right corner...

more signage to tell people how to find me...

and the cutest patriotic pin wheels that I found at Home Goods were hung in the window.

And over the course of the weekend I got a handful of really nice texts and comments on Insta from friends who strolled by and saw the window.

I can feel the love and as I said earlier I am EXCITED!


Exciting news

I am bursting with excitement and FINALLY I can talk about it out loud! 

I will be moving my store to a new location.  

I have loved my little spot here on Villa Avenue.  It has been an amazing opportunity for me to spread my wings and test out the whole retail thing. 


And I could never have created this much success without the amazing support of the local community and all my wonderful customers who travel to Villa to experience the 299 vibe.  I am thankful for all the "likes" and "comments" on social media, for all the word of mouth recommendations and for all the incredibly nice things customers say to me when they are here in the shop.

While my new chapter is exciting it's also a bit scary.  But my gut tells me it's time for increased exposure and growth and the heart of downtown Fairfield feels right.

I have been looking and researching a move for some time now and many of you have probably talked with me at some time or another about the ideal place for No. 299.  What I have learned is that there is no perfect place.  All spaces, like my building on Villa, have pros and cons.

But the idea of being in the thick of it downtown next door to the Community Theatre and on one of the busiest corners of Fairfield has my heart all a flutter.

This building is old.  

We are talking old fashioned iron radiators, tin ceilings and old wood floors.  It's a dream interior for No. 299 and I can't wait to get in there and add my special touch.

The inside needs some TLC as you can see.  It should be a great before and after reveal. 

But the view out the 2 front windows is bright and busy.

I'll take that!  

And each of the 2 front windows has a window seat that I can't wait to trick out with a gorgeous No. 299 window display.

I will need to create new signage for out front but that will be fun too!

I will remain at my Villa Avenue space until June 17th, the last day of school.

My goal is to open up at 11 Unquowa Road towards the end of June.

I hope you will stop by my new digs and say hello.