New home decor store opens near Ninth and Illinois streets

There’s a new home decor store in Lawrence, and its owner already is teaching me something. I’ve learned the industrial look is in style, which is great news. My office has been stylish for years because nothing says industrial like piles of rubble.

Yes, there is probably a reason I’m not in the home decor business. Donna Madel, on the other hand, is in the business because friends would see her house and then talk her into giving them decor advice.

“It started out as something I just did for free, and then it kind of got out of control,” Madel said.

The result is Nestings Home Decor & Gifts Co., at 846 Illinois St. If you are having a hard time picturing the location, it is where the White Chocolate skateboarding shop used to be, or alternatively, a couple of doors down from Rick’s Place bar. (Should I stop getting my home decor advice from that establishment?)

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Posted by Nestings Home Decor & Gifts Co. on Friday, September 1, 2017

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Madel said her shop sells everything from pictures, lamps, trays, crocks, pillows and larger items such as benches, tables and many refurbished pieces of furniture that are given that vintage look.

“The industrial look is big right now, and the farmhouse look is big too,” Madel said.

In case you are confused about what an industrial look may entail, Madel offered up an example. The store keeps its eyes open for unique tools or devices that could be used as decoration. For example, old wooden pulleys are being used as wall art or are used to hang plants or other such items. (Now that makes sense. Have a pulley on the wall and then you don’t have to rent one at Thanksgiving to move the bowl of mashed potatoes.)

The farmhouse look should be more familiar as it is splashed on all sorts of magazines and television shows. Lots of barn items, shiplap siding, weathered wood and other such decor. Some of the items in Madel’s shop, though, come with the extra style points of being handmade by local artisans. For example, the store has handcrafted ladders made by an area craftsman.

By early next year, the store expects one of its callings cards to be as a supply store for people who like to do some of their own work when it comes to refurbishing furniture. The store has reached a deal to become a dealer for the original Chalk Paint brand of paint. If you are not familiar with chalked paint, it is a type of paint that allows you to paint over furniture with very minimal prep work — no sanding, no primer, and that sort of stuff.

If getting out your paintbrushes isn’t high on your to-do list, Madel does that type of work and offers such pieces for sale in the shop. She said she is always keeping an eye open for either genuine vintage furniture or furniture that can be made to look vintage.

“I just love it,” Madel said of the business. “I love the process of putting something together and making it look beautiful.”