Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Art for the Boutique, part 3

The weekend of July 15th we were down in Matlacha with our friends Wendy and Davis Varner and Rich and Lesa.  Wendy and Davis will be selling their professional photography in our boutique.  They wanted to see the property and gallery/boutique as well as take some local pictures.  Here are some of my favorites from the weekend.  I hope to have some of these framed in the boutique asap! 

Some florals/botanicals to start:

Some beautiful silhouettes at sunrise:

Some birds

Some of the property

One of the colorful buildings in "downtown" Matlacha

And last but not least, the greatest picture of all :)

(All photos copyright Wendy and Davis Varner)

Art for the Boutique, part 2

A few weeks ago I posted here about the decor in the boutique and the first pottery artist, Mary.  Well this week I met with our 2nd artist, Jen.  I think Jen's whimsical and colorful clay sealife will definitely be a hit in Matlacha.  Here are some pictures of her pieces.  She has a mixture of hanging and sitting pieces that she makes from her studios in Palm Harbor and Safety Harbor.  We will have most, but not all, of these for sale in the boutique (at least one of these sold before I swooped in and grabbed the rest).

How freakin' cute are those fish?  They totally make me smile.  She told me she is working on some octupus's (octupi?) in a similar style.  I can't wait to see those!  Look for more to come. 

Her fish will be for sale between $30 and $60, which is a bargain for a handmade, one of a kind, functional or decorative piece for your home (functional since the sitting pieces can hold things: business cards, or a sponge or bar of soap, etc).

We are very much looking forward to working with Mary and Jen!  More artists to up, PHOTOGRAPHY!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Those are what we had this past weekend.

The appraisal for our house came back $15k lower than our contract and the buyer's agent asked if we would lower to that number.  He shared with us the appraisal and we looked it over pretty carefully.  And promptly said "No way."

Quite the ballsy move given the state of Florida's real estate market, and given the fact that it took us more than 4 months to get any offer at all.  But here's why:

1.  Two of the comps they used were short sales in a neighborhood that ALWAYS has values lower than ours.
2.  The two most relative comps they used, one in our neighborhood and one in a comparable neighborhood just north of us, once adjusted for differences were +/- about $3k of our contract price.
3.  The comp in our neighborhood, when it sold, was not updated at all and it sold for $191 sq/ft.  The price they were asking us to lower to would have brought us to the same PPSF.  Unacceptable, given our updates.
4.  The appraisal included current listings.  The house 2 down from ours, with one less bedroom and no boat lift, is listed at $125k more than our contract price.  The one at the end of our street is more than double our contract price.  Granted they are not going to get those prices, but it shows that some people still think our homes have this value, or will be there again soon. 
5.  We knew the buyers didn't need the appraisal to meet the contract price since they are putting down almost 50% in cash.
6.  After looking at the appraisal, I actually felt like we should INCREASE our price!

So we emailed the buyer's agent and gave him these facts, and he called back within a half hour to tell us the buyers were still a go. 

Seriously....nothing about this process is easy!  On to the next dilemma....

Monday, July 25, 2011

My newest love...

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG....I am so in love with our newly painted dresser. 

Remember this? 

Of the hidden bonus panties?

Well now it looks like this!!

I am LOVING it!  Here it is along with a redone dining room chair that will be in the same room.

That chair used to look like this

I sprayed so much turquoise paint on Friday that when I blew my nose it came out turquoise (probably not so healthy on that....need to grab some masks next time) and my arm/hand was sore the rest of the weekend.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moving right along

We spent this past weekend in Matlacha - another meeting with the bank to talk about financing and to open a business account, and another meeting at our accountants to get some training on using Quickbooks.  Tiki was welcome at both meetings.  I may start taking this dog friendly stuff for granted - god forbid I wind up in the ER or something, I'll be all "and why CAN'T my dog be here?  what kind of place IS this????"

We stayed at the Bridgewater (not view) Inn, which was nice and close for all the back and forth we did with the new property.  We took our photographer friends, Wendy and Davis, around to show them the property, meet the owners, see Pine Island, etc.  They loved it and we're all super excited for them to display and sell their photos.  Rich and Lesa joined us as well for Saturday day/night.

The owners had a bunch of furniture they wanted to leave if we could use it.  They also have decades worth of tools bought specifically for the property.  Between the two lots, we should have everything we'll ever need.  Included in the furniture lot is a ton of restaurant stuff.  Will make it easier to jump into that when we're ready.

Also took some detailed measurements so that I can start figuring out the store floorplan and what racks and displays we'll need to buy and arrange.  One of the detailed measurements was of the master bedroom in the owners cottage to see if our king sized bed will will leave about 18 inches on each side of the room.
I think we're desperate enough for our large bed that we'll live w/ the tight space!

I made a list of all of the furniture things I need to finish and it's painfully overwhelming.  I thought I got such a head start on it, but once the frigging garage filled up, I couldn't really do anything (using spray paint anyway), so it came to a standstill.  I was planning to continue to procrastinate last night but felt the need to get something, anything, I sprayed and covered the seat on this chair (it was already primed).  Baby steps :)  This pic is before I put the final coat of turquoise on. 

as a reminder; here is the before picture:

Also of note; the buyer for our home came by last night to learn all the details of the pool/dock/house maintenance.  He even brought me a bottle of wine!  These buyers couldn't be nicer and more excited about our home.  I am so thrilled.  Today is the inspection so pending that; we're golden!  Still looking at an August 15th closing date.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Narrowing down decor plans - Boutique edition

Again....after months of thinking and planning, here's what has been narrowed down for the boutique.  We won't be able to paint until the owners move all the way out, but the weekend of August 5th it will be full steam ahead.

I've been really loving the striped paint look - not w/ 2 different colors, but with the tone on tone using different finishes.  I plan to do a matte light yellow with glossy yellow stripes.  Like this

but with a color like this

One of the things I've always envisioned since we started these plans was to have a seating area for husbands, tired friends, etc.  Since the Ikea chairs are small, comfortable enough (but not so comfortable people will want to sit there all day, haha), and have washable covers, these will fit the bill. 
with this as the coffee table/ottoman
and, if it fits, I may use this rug underneath, if not,then maybe just a plain seagrass type.
Not certain what we're using for shelves yet.  I have 5 bookcases in our house now that might work, or we will consider these type of units from Ikea.
We may also need to consider some sort of shelving units for some of the art.  Last night I met with one of my artists and she has some beautiful platters that will best be displayed on a shallow shelf with an edge to secure them against the wall.  Plan to look into that.  Also just realized I could probably add a piece of moulding to the top of this unit; that might work too.
Speaking of the artist, her name is Mary and here's a sneak peek at some of her pieces I'll have for sale!

As for boutique decor, the photography we'll have will take up some wall space, but I plan to put some of these things up. 

I love how the globes look like bubbles.  I don't plan to put them in a circle but maybe in more of a random pattern throughout.

And finally, I've been waiting to share some of the clothing inventory.  I still don't have pictures, but here is a list of brands we'll be carrying.  Sizes will be 0-18, XS through XXL.  Some brands will only be a piece or two, but many brands will be prominent throughout the sizes.
  • Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft
  • Banana Republic
  • J Crew
  • Gap
  • Old Navy
  • Forever 21
  • NY & Co
  • Bebe
  • Abercrombie and Fitch
  • American Eagle
  • Talbots
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Lucky
  • Paige Premium Denim
  • Limited
  • INC
  • Liz Claiborne
  • Michael Kors
  • Calvin Klein
  • White House Black Market
  • Express
  • Caite
  • XOXO
  • DKNY
And adding more each week!