Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Vintage Abode

Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
John Updike
The Vintage Abode.  That is the name of my physical shop.

I have mentioned our shop in previous posts, though often I refer to it as a warehouse because it was solely used to store the English transferware and furniture that we import from abroad.  Our space is an old, 4000+ square foot building in downtown Bixby, OK...just a few miles South of Tulsa.    Formerly the building was a T G & Y, a church, an antique mall...and a few other things over the many years past.  

 When we took possession of the building we found it leaked in the front windows during rain, there were holes in the walls, accoustical tiles riddled with mold and mildew, seriously freaky insect infestations and mars and marks galore on the dreary, flat white walls.  It was such a sad, downright u-g-l-y with a capital U, space.   It was gross. 

I have long envisioned this in my mind looking much differently than the day we moved our inventory in, but always having 200 - 400 pieces of furniture and thousands of plates all over the place made it almost impossible to maneuver around.  We usually had furniture stacked on top of furniture to the ceiling.  This past Spring our furniture inventory shriveled to next to nothing and I knew if ever I was going to make this place look anything like I saw it in my mind, this was the time.  

Shawn and I were not really in a position financially to do much.  That's where my pack-rat-ish-ness came into play.  You know I love to hang on to things (to a fault, I admit) and Shawn likes to toss them out (to his credit he admits)... so sometimes it's a good balance between us although I do normally win. ;-)  hehe

We took the space on one room or area at a time.  I knew that I wanted to create several spaces or vignettes that would allow me to show off some of the wallscapes I create for clients, as well as a few dining tables throughout to show some of my tablescapes using the transferware I sell.  

Here are a few before pics so you can get an idea of what the walls looked like.

 Here are some after photos of one room.  The wallpaper, paint, rug and drapes I designed for a previous house  were used in this room...I didn't spend a penny.  Score: Nancy for being a packrat...those drapes are over 10 years old and still look great!   What is really cool is that the drapes are board mounted and I was able to literally place them directly over the light fixture in the first photo, thus concealing it.
Window shopping at night

 More of before 

 and After: 
Again, I used leftover paint from home.  My upstairs game room is this color, Ancient Spice.  I love the rich chocolate brown with an ever so subtle hint of sienna in the right light.
This apple themed tablescape was recently featured on my blog.  This area of the shop is just to the left of the wall shown above with the brown, Ancient Spice colored paint.  I'll soon change it over to something else, perhaps a Christmas tablescape.

 The wall below is now a gold was also from home but actually was my "oops I screwed up and got the wrong shade so I have to buy more" color.  I purchased two gallons and when I began using it on my walls at home it was not the color I wanted.  But, it is great here at the shop.

Another shade I picked for the house...two years ago...but changed my mind about using something this intense is this rusty orange color.  I love it paired with blues and purples.  (see the big Turkey platter?...stay tuned for an upcoming post on nothin' but Turkey transferware!)

I've filled china cabinets, bookcases and hutches in this front room with loads of transferware separated by colors...brown, blue, green, red, black, purple and polychromes.

Shawn and I have have worked feverishly over the past few months to turn this  place into something more reflective of my own personal style and love of English transferware.  It's my little transferware oasis smack dab in the middle of a quaint, all American town named Bixby.  Now all I need is some customers!

I know some of you live in the Tulsa area and have asked about the shop.  I hope you can come by sometime as I would love to meet any of you.  My shop is located at 8 W Dawes.  It is 3 blocks South and 2 blocks East of 151st and Memorial (using Tulsa street names).  We are across from Scott's Hamburgers...a famous local hamburger joint that's been featured in some national publications including Southern Living.  They have yumaliscious chocolate milkshakes too!

Next week I am going to share another room of the shop with you, a funny wallpapering (horror) story...I'm sure anyone who's wallpapered has a story,  and...

two signs in one.  A shop sign and a sign that I am converting Shawn after 25 years into saving things for other projects! yeehaw!

I'm linking to these great blogs...stop by to see all the Etsy shops, before and afters, blues and more!

Flaunt it Friday


  1. Nancy, I've long admired your lovely vignettes that you've shown us in your shop. Hats off to you for all this hard work! I'd love to hop in the car and travel up your way. Just might do that some day. ;-)
    Have a great week. ~ Sarah

  2. Nancy - This is unbelieveable. I can't believe the transformation you've performed AND I think I'm very lucky I DON'T live close by. I'd have no money for food. We've often laughed that we might not have food, but we've got dishes, but with a store like yours nearby, that joke would become a reality. What a wonderful space you've created.
    It was wonderful to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  3. Wow! That was quite the transformation! Your shop is absolutely gorgeous, it's like a work of art! I would so love to come visit!!! Thanks!

  4. What a delight!!! And what eye candy!!! Just beautiful and so well of luck to you, wish I were nearby, no, I'm glad I'm not....would also use up all the grocery money!!! hugs...cleo

  5. Nancy, you have created such a charming abode for all your dishes and your furniture. I jsut love a store packed with such pretty items. I do wish I lived closer. Joni

  6. How outstanding is this!
    I could just move right in to your wonderful store!
    Gorgeous, Gorgeous!

  7. Nancy, you have worked miracles :o) What a fabulous shop, and all from hoarded things! (I thought I could hoard - I'm just a beginner!)
    Sadly, I can't visit - but I can wish you the very best success in your endeavour, you are very knowledgeable with your subject. I'm certain you are going to have a lot of very happy customers :o)
    My very best wishes from 'over the pond'
    Rose H

  8. Nancy your store is amazing! I clicked on each picture so I could see it as close up as I could. Well all your hard work should pay off. I am so excited as I am expecting my purple transferware order to arrive today!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to get my two platters and scalloped plate so I can try to create something as pretty as what you have in your shop. I have my eye on that pretty tureen I saw in your post.

  9. Oh, Nancy! What a beautiful shop you have. If I lived near by and be spending all of Mr. Precious retirement checks! :) What lovely things and I would want all of them.
    I wish you much success with your business.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  10. Nancy,
    This is fabulous!!! You have done a fantastic job with this space. It is timeless, classy, and it would get me in the door for sure! I wish you they very best! This is a dream that you were made for. Just wonderful! Have fun.

  11. I love your display of blue and white plates and platters.

    Happy Blue Monday, Nancy.

  12. Nancy, Your shop is beautiful! I am sharing part of my 100th blog giveaway today so hope you can come by! Blessings Debbie

  13. Thank you for posting this, Nancy. What an inspiration. I am just in love with all your stuff, I wish I lived closer, I would be your #1 customer for sure. Maybe John is happy we don't live too close, lol. I just bought your 2 troughs from your etsy shop. Did you get my email? If you do not accept paypal, please email me an address where I can send a check. Thanks... Christine

  14. Your shop is just gorgeous! I love all of the wonderful transferware. You really did a great job of transforming the place!

  15. I so love those dishes and all the things around ^_^ Thanks for sharing!
    BM-At the store

  16. Since my thing is english transferware I would be near heaven if I lived in your area.You would see me in there like once a week.Please if your going to do a corner in lavender,warn me because I might faint.I think I've mentioned to you before that I adore lavender transferware and have a hard time finding it in antique Malls.My husband gets freaked out(he's 66) over any internet shopping.It's outlawed around here.So if you ever have a catalog or except mailed checks let me know.From #1 lavender

  17. Love your shop. Hope some day I can shop there. It is my kind of place. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Absolutely marvellous! Well done!

  19. You and Shawn should be very proud of the transformation of your shop from ugly to beautiful.

  20. I WISH I lived close to your store! I would be there every day! Transferware heaven! I spy some Johnson Bros. Windsorware Harvest Fruit in one of your cabinets - one of my favorite fall patterns!


  21. How exciting that your store is open now!! Wow, you guys took a mess of a building and turned it into a real gem. It really looks great! You should be really proud of this accomplishment! Hope you get off a a great start with the holiday shoppers!!

  22. Oh my. I can't possibly express how truly excited I am for you! My future of having a physical store front is far, far away. Due to military life, it will be quite some time before we are settled long enough to really build a storefront business. The transformation that you have done in each and every room is amazing! And yes, being a pack rat DOES pay off (can you please tell my husband that?). Oops...I didn't mean to write a blog on your blog!!! Blessings! -diane

  23. I love transferware and plates and antiqueing where is your store? Six kids, wow!! Have a great week ;)

  24. Nancy, if ever i get to Tulsa, I'll be shopping in your store. It's delightful, it's wonderful and it looks soo incredibly good. Great job and I wish you a passel of customers, a cash register that rings all the time and many happy times. Good luck.

  25. What an amazing transformation! Wow! xx LARA

  26. Nancy,

    I find myself agreeing with Shawn on just about ALL matters! He is right and you should listen to him always and learn from his infinite wisdom.

    It's not often you have such a wise and mature person who can tell you to "throw that damn thing out!"



  27. Thanks for this post.....I enjoyed it!

  28. Heaven is in Bixby, Okla.....who knew! I love your shop and your collections.....just lovely. I am becoming a follower, because when I need my transferware'll be there for me! Thank you, Nancy, for introducing yourself!

  29. Oh my Miss Nancy,

    Just soooo much eye candy everywhere...going to have to come see you in Tulsa! Your shop is so wonderful..I can see I could spend a long time in there. Thanks for your sweet note and yes I have been to Robber's Cave but it has been 15 plus years since we stayed in one of the cabins there. My boys were in elementary school and we had a wonderful hike and spent a long weekend there. I love eastern beautiful..and so many more trees than in central Oklahoma..hope you get a chance to go on a drive this weekend! You may not have to go far to see great color, our colors are starting to peak here. Have a wonderful week!

    Miss Bloomers

  30. Nancy,
    What a truly amazing transformation!! Just beautiful! i so wish I lived near by...

    Debbie @ A Debbie-Dabble Christmas

  31. I adore transferware and stumbled across your website as a link from one of your e-fans. Tell me, who makes that to-die-for Ancient Spice paint? I googled it and came up empty.


  32. Hi Tisa

    I have gotten so many compliments on the Ancient Spice color. Believe it or not, it's from Walmart in the KILZ brand. It's thick and pretty much covers in one application. It's even more beautiful in person!



    tell your friend thank you for linking to me!

  33. What a great shop. I wish I lived nearby. You set it up very nicely.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.


  34. I drive thru the area every time I go "home" for a visit. I will have to make an effort to leave early and stop by. It looks great!

  35. Nancy, you are one amazing girl- wife, mother, decorator and creative genius. The shop looks fabulous and I wish you lots of customers. Wish I lived nearby.

  36. Got a good laugh from Shawn's comment!

  37. Oh how I wish I lived close by -- I would HAUNT your shop every day! lol You guys did a great job. It looks wonderful!

  38. Nancy,

    Where is your store located, exactly? I live in Kingfisher, OK and would love to visit your shop!

  39. I came to Bixby to find your store, but never could. Are you still open for business?

    1. Hi Anonymous, I closed my store about a year ago and am selling online only now. Sometime I may reopen another store but probably not for at least another couple of years until my kids are out of school. ~Nancy


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