Blessings and Growth...

Wow! It's hard to believe that this first year since opening Grace "A Place of Restoration" is almost over!! So many visitors, customers, conversations, creative ideas, yummy desserts and coffees..... such blessings that God has provided to me as well as all who have experienced a visit to our store in Rocheport.
As I reflect upon this past year, I am so thankful for having the opportunity to use my passion for design and creativity by creating such a beautiful place. My inspiration for doing so is my continued amazement at the magic of restoration, finding salvaged items, unique one-of-a-kind treasures, things that others might render "useless" and "taking them in for a make-over, a redo, a transformation of sorts.
My prayers and wishes for all of our customers and visitors for 2011 is that you may experience tiny transformations this coming year, recognize them, embrace them and see the beauty of all things possible.

Our Fall Offerings!

Our store has been transformed for the fall season! The beauty of oranges and blacks with green and cream colored accents lend themselves well to create bright displays! My current favorite treasure is the antique 7 foot mantle from southern missouri! I've added lots of new items under 30.00 as well as new architectural salvage creations.
Be sure to stop by and delight your "child within" as with a merchandise purchase.... you have the opportunity to choose from the great grab bag basket!!
Lots more to unpack... yesterday proved to be a great treasure hunting day!!!

Creating "Alternative" Window Treatments

For many years while working with my interior decorating clients, one of the most frequently asked questions has been - “Do I have to have drapes to “dress” my windows”? My answer has always been and continues to be simply…. No. In most of our grandparent’s generation, the notion of not adding a decorative and utilitarian draping on windows was certainly out of the question! “Undressed” windows were quite simply… taboo.
Today, we often are opting to uncover these heavily draped windows in order to allow the window and the room to “breath”. Have you ever worked with a dark room and discovered in the process that when you take off a heavy drape from the window…. the transformation is somehow magical? The art of uncovering and recovering a window is one that can be mastered by simply “thinking outside the box”.
In order to consider a few options when looking for alternatives to standard fabric drapes, it’s important first to understand the two functions of a window treatment. The “under-treatment” is the part that is utilitarian in nature (i.e. to block out light and temperature as well as to provide privacy). Secondly, there is the decorative over-treatment (i.e. to add beauty, color and give the window a finished look).
Under-treatments are fairly straightforward in nature. The traditional blinds, fabric drapes, shutters and shades all provide varying levels of privacy and light control and come in a wide assortment of colors, materials and textures. Consider the fact, however, that with drapes and shades- you have two options for adjustment- down or up… open or closed. The versatility of blinds and shutters allow the ability to not only be open or closed, but give the customer the ability to adjust the angle and amount of light filtering that they want/require.
Decorative over-treatments truly act as the icing on the cake! Consider that any type of item can be used to add color, texture and interest to windows in order to create a focal point! As a designer/decorator… it is our talent of “thinking outside of the box” that makes a room truly unique!
Some of the most unique rooms are those that use for example, plate racks built as a cornice at the top of a window in order to display colorful, patterned plates which can be interchanged depending on the seasons. Shutters turned horizontally can act as a cornice or valance to pull the eye “upward” and thereby given an illusion of additional height in a room. Valances of twigs, curly willow, greenery and floral can be made by creating a sort of arrangement that is placed horizontally to span the width of the window.
I’ve combined the shutter and floral element together in creating these awesome mossy, “New Orleans” style awning effect. We’ve taken small shutters, attached iron brackets and finished them off with moss and dried berries. The result is outstanding. By bringing a bit of the “outdoors” in, we add a unique texture with a delightful surprise of indoor “awnings”!
It’s our job as decorating professionals to offer creativity and endless possibilities to our clients. Peruse and study design displays to create your own little “bag of tricks” that you can pull from when deciding on a unique accent to your windows.

"Ribbons of Color"

As an interior decorator for more than 25 years and passionate lover of all things vintage and salvaged…… I know that there is a simple yet universal element in decorating that transcends all time periods and styles….. Color!

Color offers one of the easiest and most exciting ways to add interest to a room. When we talk about using color in our homes, our ultimate goal is to create an “invisible ribbon of color” that comfortably moves throughout our room in order to create a cohesive environment.

Our “ribbon of color” is our personal stamp of taste, our tool by which our color choices express our own style. Best of all, color is a design element that doesn’t necessarily cost us an arm and a leg! It’s as simple or elaborate as we want it to be.

Introducing color into our room(s) can be considered an “art”. Balancing color in a room is paramount to creating a pleasing environment! When we introduce color(s) it is important to pull our color throughout the room at 3 levels…eye, mid and floor levels.

Eye-level color offers most likely, our largest opportunity to make a statement. The color of our walls, ceiling, artwork and window treatments are some of the first things that we see when we enter a room. Consider, therefore, choosing a color that you want to be your dominant color in your room and place it on your walls in order to set the tone of the room!

Mid-level color can be introduced with furniture, pillows, table lamps and accessories. Making sure that we introduce a secondary color into our room with these pieces sets the structure of our color scheme.

Finally, floor-level color is often “the forgotten level”. Although we have some type of flooring in our rooms, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity to add color from our color scheme to the floor level as well. Area rugs, greenery and accessories such as large statuaries and urns are an excellent way to introduce color to that forgotten level!

I have instructed clients over the years that balancing color at every level in a room is the key to a “decorator” look! Take a look at your room very closely….. what color(s) are you using, where are you using it and where is color lacking? With a few simple additions where there are color “voids”- you’ll be on your way to creating the room of your dreams.

Welcome to our New "Loft" area!

Welcome to our "Loft"! After many months of searching and finding unique treasures for our customers, I'm excited about bringing to my customers our new "Loft area" in Grace "A Place of Restoration! Grace's Loft will offer unique treasures for $20.00 or less!!! We're in the process of designing and filling the area now.... just in time for fall "traffic". Send us your ideas of small items that you've love to see!!

Wow! The beauty of Europe!!

Well, I'm writing to you all from Marbella , Spain! The continent of AFrica is in the distance and a more beautiful sight is hard to find!
The treasures that I have seen this past week in Canne France, Florence/Rome Italy, and Barcelona/Malaga/Marbella Spain are exceptional. The architecture is amazing and the definition of "old" and "antique" takes on new meaning here!!
I'l be posting beautiful pics upon my return and am excited to come back with new ideas to share with all of you.

What a great Mother's Day Weekend

Mother's Day Weekend was fabulous in Rocheport. We had over 150 visitors to our beautiful store and the comments were tremendous!

Wanted to share a few new pictures of our new "look" for this month. As promised, my commitment to my customers is to offer new and unique treasures in new and unique ways each and every time they visit Grace!!!

I've just completed a "whirlwind" of discovering new treasures! New items are arriving daily with a new shipment of treasures from Virginia just today!!
As I unwrap these items which I so carefully have chosen to bring to "Grace" and to my customers...... I'm reminded of just how much I love what I do!!!

My personal favorites are the french maiden and gentleman concrete statues from France. These pieces have tubing from underneath as they were fountaines! Truly gorgeous antique pieces that are exemplary of my commitment to only bring "true" concrete garden statues to my Grace Customers- not the new polyresin which you find today!

Another personal favorite is the rare antique windmill that would be a perfect accompaniment to any room or garden! It was handmade and is truly a conversation piece!
Be sure to join us Saturday, May 8th as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Katy Trail here in Rocheport! Join the fun as we bring our "Blues and Cruise" event featuring Jazz bands and Vintage Cars in the streets of Rocheport!

Our Entryways.... the "Heart" of your Home

After many years of decorating roooms, I still find the Entryway to be one of the most challenging of all spaces to decorate and design.

Many times, the space is small, narrow and minimal on wall space- it is more important than ever to carefully make our choices in decor in order to get "the biggest bang for your buck"!

The entyway picture above , originally created by Shannon Bowers of Dallas, offers color, contrast and simplicity to a narrow space.

Many times, we find pictures in magazine and other decorating publications that give us the inspiration to begin decorating and designing our rooms, only to find that our alotted "budget" is not compatable with the elements shown in the beautiful magazine picture.

Fear not.... there is a way to "get this look for less". Consider the addition of some similar pieces that perhaps provide the same sense of balance, texture and weight to a space- yet are not as much as an investment as some of the more "pricey" designer items.

The green cabinet on the right side of the entryway photo, could easily be replaced with the wonderful shabby chic shutter screen which brings in the white and green which are dominant to this color scheme. If the space is a narrow one- screens are a perfect way to fill a corner, and change the line and angle of a room- getting rid of the "bowling alley" look.
How about the addition of florals and greenery- a must for every room. This gorgeous dried hydrangea wreath with lemon leaves and berries would add just the right texture and 3 dimensional detailing needed to finish off an otherwise very "flat" area.
Finally, the addition of the salvaged Wood Candlesticks would create warmth by offering the opportunity to light candles upon the arrival of your guests. Nothing says "welcome" more than warm light and a lovely aroma as you enter a home!

It's Spring.... and GREEN is in!!!

Nothing says Spring better than the color Green! As a traditional "Irish girl", green has always been a personal favorite of mine!

While working with my Decorating Clients over the years, I stressed the importance of adding Green to every room. Bringing "the outdoors in", is essential in giving your room a fresh and completed look. In fact..... I want to share with you my secret for a custom finished room- the decorating BAGG.

In order to give a room a decorator's touch , it's important to add a BAGG to every room.

Black- adding a bit of black to your room gives it the depth and drama it needs. Perhaps it's a small bit of black in a picture frame, candlestick, lamp shade or even a larger piece such as an upholstered sofa in a beautiful print fabric which accents the color black.

Artwork and Accessories- These two elements are truly the "icing on the cake" when expressing your own personal style in your rooms. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder. How about using a fun and whimsical piece of art in your formal dining room? The juxtaposition of these two styles creates a "surprise" element that your friends will remember!
Accessories are such a great investment! When you move- you take them with you and they are easily changed throughout each room. Mix it up.... move them around from room to room to get a completely fresh and different look.

Glass- The beautiful, light and reflective elegance of glass is a perfect balance to the heavier elements of a room. Add a bit of glass with candlesticks, picture frames, lamps, etc.... to illuminate your room.

Greenery- Bring the outdoor in!!! I can't stress enough the importance of adding greenery to every room. Have a "brown thumb"? No problem! I recommend to clients that they invest in good quality artificial greenery to give a natural look and fill in that empty corner, tabletop, or shelf. I am particularly fond of Palms..... not the Miami with coconuts Palms..... rather the elegance of Areca or Arelia palms.

Exciting News and Updates from Grace....

Well, our new website is up and running! Visitors will be able to visit our online store, obtain upcoming workshop information as well as make workshop reservations!
Be sure to check it out.....

I've been busy creating, creating, creating..... lots of new treasures. I've attached a picture of a few of my favorites- I absolutely LOVE the vintage suitcase table and chicken coop coffee table that we've created!!

I'm off to the deep blue sea as of friday...... a wonderful Caribbean Cruise awaits my daughter and I compliments of my fabulous big sis! Although I will be absent from the store until March 9th..... Grace will still be open and ready for your visits!!

I'd love to hear from you all regarding your thoughts and/or suggestions for our new website.

Be sure to reserve your space in my next workshop...
Saturday,March 13th
2:00 - 3:00 pm
"The Magic of Color in Design"

I'll be focusing on using color in creative ways to add interest and personality to your rooms! Space is limited Reservations and Registration can be made via phone/email.

Just a glimpse of my home

I've been asked by many customers, "where do you live"? I go on to explain that I have a historic home in Boonville, Mo. in that was built @ 1840. What a gem! The home was owned by the family who owned The Stein House in Boonville on Main Street for many years. Just 2 bedrooms..... and they raised 5 children in the home! My back yard is full of perenialls and it truly has a rustic/cottage feel.

I've attached a picture of one of my sitting rooms- I love the use of cream, yellow and the clean addition of green- truly the "new" neutral.

Notice the use of an area rug over the wood floors. Area rugs are such a great way to "anchor" a room. Truly, the floor level of color in our rooms is often the forgotten level of color.

Decorating Tip: Be sure to anchor your rooms with color. Area rugs create a wonderful focal point to finish off a room.

Feature Article in Inside Columbia

Well, God is good! Thanks to the "grace" of Sandy Selby.... the awesome Editor in Chief of Inside Columbia Magazine.... I was featured in an article titled "The Transformers" in their January edition.
Here's a link I wanted to share with you all in order for you to view the article!
Many thanks to Sandy for the exposure as we try to build awareness of our new shop.

This link will take you to the Inside Columbia January Edition, our actual feature is on page 110 and 111.

Grace Products available on new online store!

We're excited to share that we've established an online store with and have listed our link for you to access it easily. The website specializes in antiques, creative art pieces and we felt gave our customers an excellent way to preview some of my favorite offerings and purchase via online.
Be sure to visit it!

New Beginnings in 2010!

Well, the 2009 Holiday Season is officially over and with that.... comes a new year which promises to bring beautiful things to Grace "A Place of Restoration".
After opening the second week in October, I have been welcomed so warmly by my fellow merchants in Rocheport, Missouri and have definitely planted my "roots" in this beautiful town.

The store is full of such fantastic finds! I travel, hunting high and low for just the right pieces to bring to you in order to put your personal "stamp" on your rooms. Currently, my favorite pieces include a white wood carved victorian easel, an antique sandstone horse statue, beautiful 6 feet tall stained glass windows and more doors than you could ever begin to open!

We'll be hosting our first "Event" Weekend January 8-10th starting at 9am. Come early for the best selection- all merchandise is first come, first served. I'll be hosting an Event Weekend the second weekend of every month. Shopping is friday and saturday 9am -6pm and Sunday 10-5pm.
Saturday, January 9th, will include an opportunity to take part in a decorating workshop in which I'll discuss color, design and using accessories to enhance your interiors. Reservations are required and tickets are prepaid, non-refundable. Space is limited, so be sure to visit our website to obtain information about workshop reservations and payment.
Inside Columbia's January Issue features an article entitled "The Transformers". How fortunate I am that my business is featured in this article!
May your 2010 bring abundance in your life- love, beauty and thankfulness.
Karla Winchester
Grace "A Place of Restoration"