Mondays at The Whistling Elk

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!

Lampe Berger
Casual Elegance at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ

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!

The Whistling Elk 2017 Another Year Another Fresh Start!

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!!

Here’s a little preview:

chester nj shopping
Leather Chairs and an ottoman! Really handsome!
shopping in chester nj
Just plain pretty Mirrors…we have about 4 different styles…all beautifully finished and distressed!
lollia at the whistling elk
Lollia for your sweetheart…some new scents too!
the whistling elk, chester nj
Beautiful spring flowers – just in case you get spring fever!

Those Pretty New Things Are Arriving!

Shopping for the store is a lot of fun but I have to admit it is even more fun when the merchandise actually starts to flow in and you open everything up and feel like you are getting presents!

This week a bunch of cute little chandeliers arrived!  They are small so are good for powder rooms or as pendants over a table or island….all sparkly and pretty!

chandeliers
Just a little bling statement!

A lot of vintage pieces showed up last week….I love the soft colors!

chester nj
Pretty Mirrored Chest

There is so much more!  You have to come visit…and of course there is more coming!

The Whistling Elk

25th Anniversary Sale at The Whistling Elk

May 1st marks the day

we first started in business way back in 1990.

We plan on celebrating a lot this year and that includes you too!

The first Anniversary Event is a sale on Furniture….

50% off on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 & 26 ONLY

Chester NJ furniture
Home Accessories at The Whistling Elk

So come and browse and find a deal…there will be some special selected furniture items that are 75% off….

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Oh, and don’t forget we have a Mother’s Day Special going on with Lampe Berger Lampes….

from now ’til Mother’s Day

Buy a Lampe and get a 500ml fragrance for free (a $20 value)

Lampe Berger at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ
Lampe Berger at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ

 

25th Anniversary – A Walk Down Memory Lane with The Whistling Elk

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.

The Whistling Elk
A Customer and I standing in the front room of the shop at 9 Main Street, Chester NJ in the early 90s.

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.

Chester NJ
Looking out toward Main Street in the first Whistling Elk location at 9 Main Street
Chester NJ
The Whistling Elk 25 years ago

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!

The Whistling Elk
Showhouse in Clinton – Pair of Adirondack Chairs Painted for the Pool Area

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.

The Whistling Elk
We rolled out the red carpet for the 2009 Charity Event
The Whistling Elk
our mantel at 44 main street decorated for Christmas 2009

 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*

Showhouse Chester NJ
A Showhouse on Main Street in Chester….I remember this was a garden room with a lovely fireplace…it was cozy and very pretty.

Here are some shots of some of the beautiful merchandise that flowed through the shop over the last 25 years….

sofas and upholstery at The Whistling Elk
JM Paquet Sofa and Ottoman 2005 – Sadly this company went out of business in 2008…I carried them for many years and they made the most beautiful sofas!
elegant home furnishings and accessories
This was another JMPaquet sofa….used in a styling photo for advertising the Elk…We still carry many of the merchandise lines shown in this photo from the year 2000.
The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
This was one of several Showhouses that we have participated in over the last 25 years! This room was titled “My Sister’s Bedroom and the showhouse was in Lafayette, NJ.
The Whistling Elk Chester NJ
Vanity in “My Sister’s Bedroom” at the Lafayette Showhouse….one of several showhouses we participated in over the years.
The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
This is the bedroom at 44 Main Street…the walls were the most beautiful shade of purple called “Bonne Nuit” or Good Night….we always had gorgeous bedding at the shop and still do!

and by contrast here is the bedroom at 50 Main Street Today!

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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.

Custom Cabinetry at The Whistling Elk
Hancock & Moore Sofa and in the background our custom built in bookcase over cabinets. We have built  many custom pieces for customers over the years.

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.

Textillery Weavers at The Whistling Elk
Another gorgeous, made in America, sofa by hancock & moore…and a gorgeous Textillery throw…still carried today.
The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
A beautiful Habersham buffet and the carpet is Loloi….gorgeous.

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…

Imported Photos 00022 Imported Photos 00078

The Whistling Elk
Early 19th Century Bronze Sconce – I brought back a pair of these from the Paris Flea Market

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!

Home decor and furnishings
The Whistliing Elk Chester NJ

You will still find lots and lots of amazing home accessories at the 50 Main Street shop!

The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
A shot of 50 Main Street around Jan. 2013…

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!

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Chester NJ furniture
Home Accessories at The Whistling Elk
The Whistling Elk
Jan 2013 – Just moved into 50 Main Street…
Artwork at The Whistling Elk
Lady in Red
La Vie Parisienne Jewelry
Spring flowers, Jewelry, Lovely Art
Artwork, Mirrors & Clocks
Artwork, Mirrors & Clocks

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!

chester nj
The Whistling
Elk Home Furnishings stocks beautiful throws
Lampe Berger at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ
Lampe Berger at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ
The Whistling Elk
Mark Roberts Peace on Earth Fairy – I think he is my all time favorite!

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!

Paint workshops
Paint Couture Products at The Whistling Elk in Chester NJ

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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.”

Expect More of the Same Going Forward

and

Thank You So Much for 25 Wonderful Years!

Everyone Wants a Beautiful, Cozy Home – Don’t They?

Find beautiful home accessories at The Whistling Elk…

Chester NJ furniture
Home Accessories at The Whistling Elk

 It takes many bits and pieces collected over time to make your statement.  Create your beautiful, cozy home…start here! 

Li’l Painted Wine Cabinet

Sweet Li’l  Wine Cabinet…its so cute…it could only be better if it were filled with an amazing and delicious array of wines…

The Whistling Elk, Chester NJ
Wine Cabinet finished with Paint Couture!™
Painted Wine Cabinet
Paint Couture Painted Furniture

Love the rich color which is a blue glazed with Glaze Couture!™ VERDE and some distressed gold accents.

Chester NJ painted furniture
Paint Couture!™ at The Whistling Elk

A little inside Surprise!

Join one of our Paint Workshops at The Whistling Elk and learn how to paint something devine!

Aidan Gray at The Whistling Elk

The Whistling Elk
Aidan Gray Home Furnishings

We are adding Aidan Gray Home Furnishings to our mix at The Whistling Elk…look for new shipments in the coming months!!!

We are very excited to share this beautiful line with You!

We’ve got lots of great surprises in store this season…having just returned from the Atlanta Market – shipments will start rolling in soon!

Contemporary Console goes Traditional….via Custom Painting

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!

Paint Couture at The Whistling Elk in Chester nj
Contemporary console custom painted to change the “look”

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.

Custom Furniture Painting at The Whistling Elk
Top of hand painted console

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!

It’s so much fun and very rewarding!

Once a blogger always a blogger!

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.

the whistling elk decorative accessories
stack of decoupaged books and bling bling birdie

Imagination and Home Accents at The Whistling Elk

the whistling elk lighting, home accents, art
the whistling elk home accessories

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!

Paint Couture Gives a Foyer Table New Life at The Whistling Elk

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…

Paint Couture Baltic Black painted foyer table
Furniture Painting at The Whistling Elk

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!!!!

Paint Couture at The Whistling Elk
Foyer Table Painted with Paint Couture Baltic Black
furniture painting at The Whistling Elk
Paint Couture Baltic Black with Gold Accents painted at The Whistling Elk

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!

Paint Couture! at The Whistling Elk

Paint Couture Furniture and Cabinet Paint, Glaze & Finish
Paint Couture! at The Whistling Elk
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!!

Desk ? Vanity ? Identity Crisis makes for elegant, sleek design

This amazing piece of furniture arrived on Friday. 

desk with french leg
Note to Self Desk...or Vanity

It came along with the sofa that i recently blogged about…you know the one i waited all day for…that was so late in arriving…

I was so excited about the sofa that I didn’t unpack the desk right away. 

 Yesterday we brought it up to the shop floor of  The Whistling Elk  and put it together.  It’s gorgeous. 

Desk with french leg
Vanity or Desk elegant and sleek

Top down…its a beautiful desk…

Raise the top and voila its an amazing vanity with a beveled mirror!

No real identity crisis here – just imaginative design. 

The legs are metal with a silver finish that looks fabulous – sleek and elegant satin finish French legs.  OOh la la!

The entire top is ivory with a patterned art finish in a soft gray which resembles wallpaper.

Gray patterned vanity or desk
Vanity / Desk with slide out shelves on sides

 Originally I was thinking this piece would be placed somewhere in  Little Paris as it looks very French and very sophisticated

but it’s going to look amazing anywhere in the shop or in your home for that matter! 

When  I purchased this piece of furniture I must have been in  a hurry or something because i didn’t realize that the middle section of the top was hinged

 and raised upward to reveal a beveled mirror…creating a vanity.  I must be slipping…I did order it from a catalog picture — something that i RARELY do. 

 But all’s well when its a happy  and beautiful surprise.

Desk
Desk top seen from the back

The name of this desk/vanity is Note to Self….how appropriate!

Patterned Desk Top
Wallpaper Pattern on top of vanity

What a beautiful and clever design which will elevate the décor in any room.

Accessories on Desk Top
Note to Self Desk Vanity