NOT A BLOG

My first experience with the power of paint came when I was still very young.  Growing up we were given the opportunity to decorate our bedroom anyway we saw fit.  When my time came to do my bedroom over I chose a burnt orange color for the walls and a wild orange, yellow, green psychedelic patterned fabric for the curtains and bedspread (It was the late 60's after all). I will never forget how cool that room seemed to me and I never forgot that transformation.



Many years later, when I was in high school, I selected a much more sophisticated color scheme. The walls were a khaki green with a cream trim, and the curtains and bedspread were deeper cream open weave fabric - with just a coat of paint I immediately felt all grown up. 

The next 25 years were spent living in white boxes while I moved from apartment to apartment.  Since these were rentals I never wanted to invest in painting as I never really knew how long I would be living in one spot.  It was not until we moved into our house in Southport did I give full vent to painting - It was here that I really understood how powerful a coat of paint is. 


We purchased the house from my Mom in 1999. The interior of the house had not been touched since the early 80's. Understandably, it felt like an older person had lived there,  it was perfectly fine, but not right for two guys in their 30's.

Like anyone buying their first house knows, ambitions and budgets are often at odds.  We did some structural things, opening up some walls and bumping out a window - but the real transformation came from a simple coat of paint. 


The front hall, stairway and upstairs halls were painted a bright red with white trim and doors. The dining room walls were a soft gray brown with wainscotting that went halfway up the walls with high gloss white, and the living room was yellow.  Yellow can be tricky - it can be one of the hardest colors to get right (other than light blue) but we were very lucky and it was the perfect shade of yellow. The room was bright and clear during the day when daylight shone in, and soft and mellow at night when lit with table lamps and candles.  Other than bathrooms and a bedroom all the other rooms waited for a transformation.  We were moving from a 750 square foot Manhattan apartment with little need for the rest of the house. Now, 20 years later we are bursting at the seams. How that happened, I am unsure!


Painting those rooms made the house ours, it looked like us and the house felt like it was ready for its next chapter - and all it took was a coat of paint. 


Four years ago, when we opened Lattice House, we moved into a space that had been a real estate office in a nondescript brick building. The architecture of the building itself was very pretty but it blended into the background. Opening a new store in an invisible building was not a bright prospect -  I knew something needed to be done to wake up the building and have people notice it.  I approached our landlord and explained that the building needed a facelift.  I suggested that we paint the brick white and all the trim black, to my utter shock my landlord said "Yes, that sounds great. Let's do it." 



The transformation of the building was incredible - people would come into the store and say "I never noticed this building before!" Ah, the power of paint!


Inside the store we needed to transform a workday office space into a retail environment.  The space had a drop ceiling and fluorescent lights - great for a business office but terrible for a store like Lattice House.  To make the ceiling "disappear"  we painted the walls and ceiling all the same color with Farrow & Ball's Charleston Grey and the trim in London Clay.  In just a few days the office was transformed into a beautiful retail space - just with a coat of paint. 



Over the course of those four we felt that the walls were becoming tired (or maybe I was tired of looking at them) and thought it was time for a quick facelift.  Because these are such uncertain times and we all have been through so much, we wanted the store to feel bright and optimistic. This time around we have decided to paint the store White Dove. Lattice House will be lighter and fresher and all of the wonderful things we have curated will really stand out! 


Lattice House will be ready for its next chapter on Friday with its new coat of paint. Please swing by and say hello!

This week we celebrated National Dog Day. In our house everyday is National Dog Day - How could it not be?  If you have a dog you know exactly what I mean. 


Dogs have always been a part of my life and they have had a huge impact on what we carry at Lattice House.   Years before I even thought about developing a store like Lattice House - I flirted with the idea of opening a very high end dog boutique called Woffingdale's.  The concept of Woffingdale's was to only sell the world's best dog products. This was years before the internet and the mega pet chains of today.  Back then pet stores smelled like dirty hamsters cages and offered an uninspiring array of products. Alas my 25 year old self was too focused on my advertising career to really do anything about Woffingdale's!

When I was young I had a paper route.  The neighbor's dog Sparky used to come with me almost everyday as I rode my bike from house to house.  This was back when both dogs and children roamed freely during the day.  I never gave Sparky much thought to his safety as he was pretty street smart and when he got bored or tired he headed back home.  

Our first family dog that I remembered was a mutt - a mix of German Shepherd and Beagle that we named Sybil because she was a Shepherd and Cybil Shepherd was the "it" girl of the moment.   She lived outside during the day and slept next to my Dads bed at night.  She was simply a member of the family and was part of everything we did - she was even in our formal family portrait. 

It wasn't until I was out of college and living on my own that I got my own dog.  

Sally, an American Cocker Spaniel, arrived in my life when she was 9 weeks old and stayed with me for 18 years.  Sally was beautiful, spoiled and wore pearl necklaces to dinner parties. Some years later Sam, a very handsome Golden Retriever, joined the family.  Sam was big and goofy and a very dependable friend. These dogs moved around with us as our lives rapidly changed in those years - and were perfectly happy living in a 250 year old house in Newport, RI to a modern high rise on the Upper East Side to our house in Southport.  



Our next pair of dogs Scout and Henry were true Southporters and spent their lives walking all over town with their dog walker  Stephen.  Henry was the classic Golden Retriever - beautiful, sweet, as soft as cashmere and very very mellow.  Scout, well Scout  is another story - she is a Shih Tzu - Poodle mix, she is smart, a perfect mix of tough and sweet and rules our house with an iron paw as only a 22 pound dog can.  



When Henry (pictured upper left) died last September, Scout (pictured upper right) went into an immediate decline. She not only lost a lot of her spark but lost her eyesight as well. Scout still works with me at Lattice House everyday. She gets up at 6am, eats breakfast, takes a nap and waits by the door to go to "her" shop.  She may be slower these days but she still rules the house and our lives.


All of these dogs have had an enormous impact on what we carry at Lattice House.  Sally and Scout would not be caught dead wearing a cheap collar and Sam and Henry needed collars that were good looking but washable. Personally, I'm not a fan of cheap looking dog toys, and I could never find dog bowls that were good looking and didn't say "Woof Woof" on them.  


So I guess a little bit of Woffingdale's did make its way into Lattice House after all.  We carry beautiful Swiss and English style leather collars and leashes, high quality nylon collars that can be washed in the dishwasher, handmade dog bowls, good looking and fun dog toys and other dog related items.

While Lattice House is not Woffingdale's, I think my 25 year old self would have been pleased with what we have to offer.  We are always on the outlook for excellent quality, affordable dog inventory - you never know what's out there!



I invite you to peruse our online shop, and check out all of our new items, and you are always welcome to come visit me and Scout in the shop. She loves visitors!

THE STORE

VISIT

411 Pequot Avenue

Southport, CT 06890

Open Tues-Sat 10am-5pm

Sun 11am-3pm

CONTACT

917-520-0120

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