Wishing you a Happy New Year!…and reminding you that The Whistling Elk is
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK…for your shopping convenience.
Mondays from 10:00 am til 4 pm
Tuesday thru Sunday from 10:00 am til 5:30 pm
Mondays are especially good days to shop us – you can beat the weekend crowd and jazz up a dreary Monday by coming in for casually elegant home furnishings and accessories!
At the Whistling Elk you will find all the finishing touches that make a house Your Home at affordable prices…accent furniture, lighting, artwork and mirrors!
You will also find thoughtful gifts! In addition to Lampe Berger Paris there is Bedford Cottage Throws, exquisite French Jewelry, Sloane Fine Teas and much more! And don’t forget we sell Paint Couture…a fantastic choice for creating amazing furniture and cabinet finishes.
I have just returned from shopping for 2018…
There are lots of great new gift items, accent furniture, artwork, rugs and more! It was so much fun finding great pieces for you!
So if you love a European style that is casually elegant you will love the shop.
So come by any day….and don’t forget MONDAYS! Start your week off right with a visit to THE WHISTLING ELK.
We are in our 28th Year in Chester of bringing your style, beauty and affordability!
Wow, I guess moving really did affect me! I just realized that I have not posted to the blog in over 5 months! Oh My! But life at The Whistling Elk continues…
The Fall and Christmas season has passed…I made my annual January trip to Atlanta to buy goods for 2017…and have already received several shipments from those orders placed in January…
As always it is so exciting to receive new goods. Always a fresh start and a new perspective! And this year will not disappoint. So, come and visit The Whistling Elk soon because we are already showing new pretty stuff!!
It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago just about this time I was collecting merchandise in my garage in preparation to taking possession of my first shop location in Chester on May 1st, 1990. It has been a wonderful 25 years and I have hundreds of photos taken of the shop over the years. So take a walk with me down M.E.M.O.R.Y. L.A.N.E…
The first home of The Whistling Elk was at 9 Main Street, Chester. I hung a lace ceiling in this shop…it had a really ugly ceiling and the lace really improved it but I still had to cut holes in the lace for the air conditioning vent… It was a small shop just three rooms in 800 square feet. In those early days I remember that we sold a huge amount of silk flowers and vines.
Sadly, I don’t have a lot of pictures of the 9 Main Street Shop – this was before cell phone cameras…gosh I didn’t even have a computer then!! This location had two entire walls of windows…no where to hang anything…hmmm that must have been tough for me!
Here’s a few more shots of The Whistling Elk at 9 Main Street.
Below is a shot taken at a Showhouse that we were invited to participate in – early 90’s. We painted Adirondack chairs for the pool area which was surrounded by a beautiful garden of rhododedrons…the chairs were painted a light blue to reflect the blue of the pool and had beautiful purple rhododendrons painted across the backs. It was a pretty effect!
Two years after I opened The Whistling Elk 44 Main Street became available and I was able to secure that wonderful location. 44 Main Street was about double the size of the 9 Main Street shop. This move entailed moving about 60 feet from the end of Main Street closer to the center of town.
I remember selling an iron canopy bed because someone drove by as we were walking the headboard down the street to the new shop. We were selling a tremendous number of beautiful hand wrought iron beds at the time. The iron beds were probably among the first larger pieces of furniture sold at The Whistling Elk.
Here’s a shot of the front of the 44 Main Street shop. On this particular evening in 2009 we were hosting our Charity Evening.
I remained at 44 Main Street for 21 years – it changed sizes a couple of times over that period going from 1800 to 3000 square feet. During that time we sold oh-so-many furniture lines along with accessories, artwork and mirrors and lighting. Many lines we still sell today. Sadly, some important vendors were lost due to the recession over the last 6 years. We are always adding new lines though so things are never dull at The Whistling Elk!
We have participated in many showhouses over the years…here’s a Showhouse photo taken sometime in the 90’s at a showhouse in Chester. The room was a garden room..I think it was called “Holiday in Paradise”…as I recall the event was in December.
I used a mop and a bucket of watered down green paint to swab the walls of this room…I was going for a watered silk look. The walls had cracks all over and I didn’t want to repair them so I used a feather to enhance and make them look like cracked marble. This was my second showhouse but it was the first time I did a whole room.
I regret that I have no pictures of the beautiful showhouse that I did with Patty Fastook a few years later called Brookwood…in Montclair. It was a spectacular room but somehow I lost the disk that housed the photos…*sigh*
Here are some shots of some of the beautiful merchandise that flowed through the shop over the last 25 years….
and by contrast here is the bedroom at 50 Main Street Today!
Below…our custom cabinetry model….a beautiful bookcase over cabinets with slider to hide the TV…we moved this piece from 44 Main Street and had it re-built into the 50 Main Street shop.
We had a lot of room at the 44 Main Street location so we had up to 9 sofas on the shop floor all the time…this is a beautiful Hancock and Moore sofa…and it looks beautiful in front the model of our custom cabinetry. We still carry Hancock and Moore and Caracole sofas today although it is definitely harder to display them! We are still creating beautiful custom bookcases and furniture for our customers today also.
Ah! and PARIS…who could forget our fabulous shopping trip to Paris and Les Puces de St. Ouen….we brought back so many beautiful pieces for the shop!
I still dream about all the beautiful items we had to leave behind at the Paris Flea Markets because there just wasn’t a container large enough (or a wallet for that matter) to bring them all back to the shop…
Then a little more than 2 years ago we moved again! This time the move was about 20 feet into the building right next to our old location at 44 Main Street.
I feel very blessed that I still see customers today at the 50 Main Street location who started shopping The Whistling Elk at the 9 Main Street store 25 years ago!!
Wow, that amazes me and I am so appreciative for the support of the community and also the whole state…and beyond! Customers come from all over New Jersey as well as from New York, Pennsylvania and as far as California & Europe! It even seems when people move they don’t forget you – they stop by and shop when they are back visiting…even when they have left the country!
Here are some shots of the 50 Main Street Location of The Whistling Elk…and I am not moving again!
You will still find lots and lots of amazing home accessories at the 50 Main Street shop!
We still carry sofas….the Caracole line is one of our favorites with great quality and fair prices – although we don’t always have room on the shop floor for one. This was one that we did squeeze in!
Over the years many merchandise lines have come and gone. There are some some products that we have carried for a very long time. Like Kennebunk Weavers (our famous throw blankets) – 25 years! and Mark Roberts Fairies – 20 years and Lampe Berger – 17 years! We still love them today!
Our Paint Couture!™ line of furniture and cabinet paints and glazes is new for us…and have been a wonderful addition to The Whistling Elk along with our Paint Workshops. Painted furniture though is something that has always graced the shop floor at The Whistling Elk…we were painting back in the 90’s when we opened!
I am also humbled by the 2007 Award the shop received – “one of 50 Stellar Stores – Nationwide from Home Accents Today Magazine. That was an honor I never saw coming but it was sweet. Here’s the link 50 Stellar Stores Nationwide in 2007 – Here’s a little bit about that from the press release at the time…
“CHESTER SHOP NAMED ONE OF TOP 50 RETAIL STORES
Chester, New Jersey – The Whistling Elk has been named one of Home Accents Today’s “50 Retail Stars” by editors of the premier trade magazine for the home accents industry. The Retail Stars List recognizes enterprising home accents retailers who are experiencing success in their respective markets with innovative strategies and creative merchandising while maintaining a strong presence in their communities.”
Very cool for The Whistling Elk!! One of my prouder moments!!
One thing is for sure…you will always find casual elegance at The Whistling Elk – It is interesting to me that in all this time I have never really changed my focus which was to provide “…distinctively different home furnishings and accessories…with an elegant European flair.”
I am working in a dining room in which we are effecting a transition from very contemporary to a more traditional room. We decided to paint the contemporary console to make it feel more traditional….
It is finished but there is a piece of glass that lays across the top and rests on the two higher ends of the piece. We’re going to let this piece cure for a couple of days before we put the glass and accessories back on top!
The console was an extremely high gloss black/cherry finish much like that you would find on a piano. First we cleaned it really well with TSP, then painted a first coat of Paint Couture Baltic Black. A couple of days later it got its 2nd coat of the black and then a couple of days after that the piece was stenciled then distressed by sanding off all the edges and flat surface so some of the cherry color came thru in places.
You will note that every time I work on this piece I let it sit a couple of days. This isn’t necessary as you need only wait 24 hours between coats of product….however as I am painting this piece in the client’s home (its very heavy) I had to schedule myself for this time away from my shop. I also figured since the original finish was soooo high gloss that a little extra cure time would only be an asset.
After the 2nd coat of black the piece was stenciled and distressed.
It was glazed with Paint Couture Black Walnut and then finished with a Paint Couture Satin Topcoat.
I plan to go visit it in a couple of days to see how it is doing and then we will finish up the details in the room!
At The Whistling Elk we offer classes so that you too can paint your furniture….we use Paint Couture products which are wonderful. There are so many paint and glaze colors to choose from and the topcoats are fabulous. I also used Paint Couture pale and rich gold to give my stencil dimension. Call for class schedules and details and to register!
I have been neglecting my blog mostly because I started a new blog for the town that my shop is located in – the new blog is called chesterstreettalk and the blog is about everything that goes on here in this little town of Chester NJ…
Its a lot of fun to work on this but of course it is another thing that eats into my time! So today I am back on my own territory blogging about my shop – hurray! Once a blogger always a blogger….I feel like I will always keep coming back!
I have been painting as I have a couple of custom furniture paint projects right now and running workshops with Paint Couture and getting my shop ready for the fall … holiday season which is now upon us!
Currently I am painting in a customer’s home hard at work making a very contemporary piece look as uncontemporary as possible…It’s a challenge but I think it will be very pretty when complete. My other project is a piece that the customer dropped off at the shop for painting. Curiously enough both pieces are being painted black with gold accents! The piece in the shop is a drop leaf table and I am going to stencil a beautiful gold design on top! Cant wait for that part.
When I am not painting I am starting to organize the shop for the season…lots of pretty little ornaments and bling-bling is starting to appear everywhere in the shop.
Even a little inconsequential corner at The Whistling Elk can be turned into a pretty niche with some art, lighting and home accessories! You can do the same in your home with the right home accents and some imagination!
Here is a “before” picture of a table I have been working on in a customer’s home for the last week. It seems I almost always forget to take the before picture until I am almost done painting the first coat…
It was just easier to paint on her foyer table there than to transport it back and forth to the shop. It’s a beautiful old square table with nice architecture that was originally painted white and then antiqued. After a move across country the color didn’t work in the new home so I suggested painting it with Paint Couture Baltic Black and then adding gold accents and a Paint Couture Satin Finish.
It was perfect…I went and painted the first coat of paint on Monday – then returned on Wednesday to paint the second coat. This gave the paint ample time to dry and set up in this really humid weather. Then on Friday I went and put the gold accents on the table and applied the Satin finish coat. Today I went and applied a 2nd coat of satin finish to the top and voila I am finis!
I think you will agree that it is amazing. The black made it more formal which is in keeping with the foyer that is its new home. And the lovely puppy in the picture did not get one hair into the paint!!!!
The gold just dazzles. I applied the gold a little unevenly and used two different golds to contribute to the worn look of the edge…and I love the Satin finish as it gives a slightly transitional feeling to the piece. What a great sheen it produced!
This is a great example of how reinvent a piece of furniture when you move and have to redo your home design with the furniture you already own! Paint Couture is the star here!
The Whistling Elk is a distributor of Paint Couture! a fabulous new line of paints, glazes and finishes. Woohoo!
I just picked up my new sign last night…it’s very elegant! It’s all very exciting! This is a great paint – its a low VOC, water-based paint, available in 32 colors. Paint Couture! is a self priming, décor, furniture and cabinet paint. It has a great adhesion capability to existing painted or varnished surfaces. With Paint Couture! there is usually no sanding and no priming (though there are exceptions). It lays on very flat with little to no brush marks. The dry finish look is a matt finish. A Glaze, Finish Topcoat, or Wax is recommended after the paint has cured – and the glazes in this line are spectacular!! Not kidding here i am in love with the Champagne and the new Verdi.
We will be painting with some of the Paint Couture! paints and glazes tonight at the DIY Paint Workshop at The Whistling Elk. If you like painted furniture you will love this paint for your home decor projects!!