People ask me all the time how I choose what to buy for my store. There are always
certain pieces that sell well for me: cupboards, tables, daybeds and interesting
accessories. But why this old wooden industrial drum?
I like things to be in order. Dramatic is good, chaotic is not. This counter is symmetrical:
drawers, doors, drawers. On top are display cases, one, two, three. Behind are factory
molds, all in a row and just the width of the counter. Nice!
A row of French baskets on a bench…
The new year is always an exciting time and, for me, 2014 will bring a new name, two new
stores and so much fun that I can hardly keep still. After four very happy years at the Hudson
Supermarket, I will be moving on to a new adventure in Hudson: The Hudson Mercantile. We
will have two fantastic stores, one located in a huge old warehouse, seen below in a “before”
picture. The warehouse will be ready to open in April-May, 2014.
The other, a traditional shopfront at 318 Warren Street, opened January 1, 2014.
Both Hudson Mercantile locations will be home to a wonderful mix of dealers, all
dedicated to offering the coolest furnishings around. We all hope that you will love
the new stores as much as we do.
It is no surprise that I am crazy about German grain sacks. And even though
I no longer import them in the huge quantities of a few years ago, I sometimes
can’t resist making a purchase. The hand-drawn reindeer on the grain sack
(below) is a recent acquisition that is so special that I have named a room after
him! Alfred’s Room.
He belonged to, and was named by, my dear friend, Karin, a German antique
dealer who lives in France and writes the most charming blog, found here:
I have this little room in the old 1790s part of my house that never quite got to
be anything but a dumping ground for all the things that had nowhere else
to go. When Karin agreed to sell me Alfred, this treasured sack from her
homeland, I knew that it required a place worthy of such kindness and I got
busy making a room ready for his arrival.
I brought in other reindeer.
Including a favorite painting by my great friend, Jennifer Lanne
Made some grain sack curtains, all sporting reindeer, natch!
I looked out the window one snowy day and realized that the lovely bare winter branches
looked like antlers! Even nature was cooperating in creating a warm welcome for Alfred.
For now Alfred is draped over my little fireside bench.
The bench is upholstered with a Swedish drop cloth from the
1800s and is full of the most beautiful old hand-worked repairs.
My coffee table is a Swedish sailor’s trunk. It is wood, covered
in grey canvas. There is a wonderful brass label on the top…
But, best of all, is the hand-written inventory label on the inside. While I have been
assured that Swedish is easy to learn, I am content, for now, to just imagine what
this pretty thing says.
Whenever I am doing a new room, I run around the house gathering
favorite things. This Victorian pillow is perfect for a reindeer’s room.
This one had to come, too.
A southwestern corner shelf, Vischy baskets, more animals and,
of course, books.
Who’s to say why some things please us so? Colors, shapes, words or maybe just
some long-forgotten memories trigger our senses.
The group below includes a tole box (on the left) that my mother painted
back in the 1970s. During that same period of time, my parents gave me the
oval lunch box on the top of the pile of document boxes. It was my first piece
in old paint and I still love it…and old paint, as much as I did then.
My oldest grain sack. Sigh.
I have had this chair for a million years. It is surprisingly comfortable
and, along with my bench, allows me to entertain a friend in my
new room. I hope someday that friend will be Karin!
There are all kinds of things I could do with my new reindeer
grain sack. A jacket, a bed cover, anything would be fun.
But for now, I am happy, whiling away some time in Alfred’s
room, looking at his funny little face, thinking of Germany and
wondering what treasures Karin is out there finding right now!
For things like these, please visit us at The Hudson Mercantile.
I could have more chickens!
But, best of all, paintings by my friend and the greatest living artist,
Jennifer Lanne (JenniferLanne.com). This 6 foot x 6 foot depiction
of country life is the way we would all like it to be. As much as I would
like to keep it for myself, I have it on 1st Dibs for all the world to see.
(1stdibs.com > click “Hudson” in the “Cities” column on the right >
type “Stephanie Lloyd” in “keyword search” on left.
But, what is going on here? Where are these barnyard friends going by the light of the
moon? Are they off to a seaside vacation? A night on the town? They say every picture
tells a story but this one, delightfully, leaves me with many questions left unanswered.