Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's in a Name?

I realize this is a bit belated, but I decided to give you all, my readers, a glimpse into who is Tess, how TessHome was born, and a snippet of my life; within this blog. I hope you enjoy it :)

          It all started back in the “olden days”; the 1990’s to be exact, haha. I had stumbled into the Bucks County area and instantly fell in love with it. On my frequent trips to Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA (literally a bridge separates the two towns/states), I discovered clothing that quenched my thirst for the exact style I was looking for, and loved; feminine, romantic, whimsical, and vintage. Once I was home again, I couldn’t find the same style of clothing anywhere near what I had purchased in Lambertville and New Hope.
          It was then, that, I decided to open a clothing store that would carry the clothing that I had come to love, on my road trips! Keep in mind, I had 4 little boys at home, at that time; but the search began! The search for the perfect space, for a shop that “spoke” to me. It wasn’t too long before I came upon a 100+ year old building with exposed brick walls and wooden floors. DONE! It had to be mine, and soon, it was! In January of 1999, the work began: fitting up the shop with furniture displays, painting the walls, picking a name….

          In thinking of a name for my shop, I was sure that I would know what to name it when the time was right, a gut feeling, in a sense. One day, I was off to the library (I didn’t use a computer then, and let’s face it, the library is a wonderful place to be!) and after much searching, I found a name…TESS! (For the not so timid woman) It was short, it was easy to remember, it was easy to say. Tess is the name of a woman with a little bit of all of us, in her. She’s hardworking, passionate, whimsical, friendly, beautiful, intelligent, yet simple and warm, It was perfect!

          So, off to New York City, I went; to do some serious Fashion District shopping.

          After a year of working, displaying, and clothes buying in my “not so good” location, I had the opportunity to re-locate to downtown Manasquan, NJ; to a store that was 4 times the size of my original shop! Within 1 weeks’ time, we fit up the new shop, moved and settled in, and opened 1 year to the day of TessHome’s 1st birthday! After 5 years on Main St. in Manasquan, with business and personal twists and turns along the way, I realized that women’s clothing wasn’t my passion. The hunt for these vintage treasures was all with a story, and begging to be spruced up and re-painted was a knack I never knew I had, and the enjoyment I got out of it was so fulfilling! Slowly, I bowed out of the women’s fashion world, and took to a new stage, cottage furniture and 
vintage finds.

          I decided to regroup and recollect, so I took a space in a Co-Op temporarily and it went well. Though the space was small, I had my own window, and placed my shop’s logo upon it. Still, I was looking (and waiting) for the next great spot to open up, and it did, 4 years later; down the street from the Co-Op and where I currently reside, and where TessHome found a…home! Not just a space, a place where I could finally nest! I’m in the heart of a bustling, cute town; paved with great restaurants and shops.

          Here I am, LOVING my new shop, the amazing customers (new and old), and my friends. I am so fortunate to be working along side an awesome group of women and I feel so blessed :) The journey was and is: fun, exciting, creative, and fulfilling for all of us!

          So in the end, there is no “Tess”, but there IS a TessHome.

Thank you all for being apart of my journey :) Xoxo


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dear Mother Nature,

We Thank You!

We accept that leaving an object out in the elements brings new beauty to it. So, go ahead Mommy N.- rain, snow, blow, and beat up our stuff- we love what you do, and we are going to bring some examples of your great work into our cottages. Using rustic wood elements in a new way will bring on the warmth, add charm, and remind that there is great stuff happening right outside our back doors.

We offer a few ideas from our shop and hope you find inspiration here to add some TessHome style to your casual chic, beach, or cottage décor.

Re-purposed Crusty Old Spindle Art Hanger

Here we used a saw tooth hanger for the back, screwed in two cup hooks to the spindle, slipped a few clips on to the hooks, and clipped on a photo.

 A grouping of photos clipped to our Spindle Hangers

Rusty Old Bedspring Art Hanger

Who would have thought that there would be a good use for an old spring like this one? We would, we would! Hold the spring to the wall in you selected position, and hammer in an electrical wire staple to hold it in place. Think postcards, family photos, mail…etc.

Twiggy Door or Window Cornice

(Hi, Pam!)

This idea was harvested from the bare branches of Harry Lauders Walking Stick Tree. A bunch of cuttings are slipped into metal u-shaped hooks that are typically used for window curtain tie-backs.

Apple Crate Wall Storage

Super simple! Screw in the appropriate wall hangers-use mollies in sheet rock if you intend to fill the apple crate with heavy items, slip the crate over the screws, and there you are! Think about utilizing any old wood box, empty drawers, or tool box for your wall storage. Attach saw tooth hangers to the back of an item that has a solid back.

Found Object Coat Rack

Driving with one eye on the curb of the road can be very rewarding! Sometimes an interesting wood piece of unknown origins is lying in wait. Grab it, clean it up a bit, add some old coat hooks, and add the appropriate hangers to the back.

A pair of Coat Racks With Glass Pulls Used For Hooks

These might have started as old dresser drawer fronts, but the paint colors and the patina added by Mother Nature made them priceless to us. With old glass pulls screwed in to the front, and hangers added to the back, we have re-purposed them as racks to hang the coats, beach towels or maybe even the grill tools.

If you are somewhere around the vicinity of  the Jersey Shore we hope you pop in and say Hi to us, here at TessHome. There are plenty more inspiring ideas on site here at our shop. You can also visit our Etsy store to see more re-purposed items!

Now head outside to your yard or garage, and scrounge around for some interesting stuff, and add some tantalizing textures to your cozy home!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whimsical Decorating Ideas

Our customers not only appreciate the items in our store, they usually let us know how much they love the way everything here is displayed. Pam Thomas, the owner of our Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey based home décor business has an instinctive touch with her stylings, but we think that with a few pointers from her, your home could feel a bit of the TessHome touch.

The stock here in the shop is constantly rotated- just when we get a display pulled together, wouldn’t you know it, some one comes along and buys something! Happily for you, each visit to our shop offers a new visual experience. We gain a lot of experience rotating our accessories and re-assembling them differently.

Since the key to giving your home a fresh look is to be open to change and keeping things fluid, we would like to encourage you to try to re arrange the accessories on one piece of furniture in your home. Be aware that this will lead to an avalanche of re-arrangement-so try to be brave.

Ok here we go-take everything off the top of your dresser- don’t leave the lamp, the business card, the post-its or the hand lotion- strip it down to it’s naked self, give it a good polish and wipe down the mirror. (You might even yank it away from the wall and give the back of the dresser and the floor a vacuum- the not-so-fun-part of our experiment.)

Start with a new lamp. Here Pam starts with a sparkly cut glass bowl lamp.

Now we add a textile. Open your drawers and dig a little- we’re sure there’s a scarf hiding in there somewhere. Pam selected a neutral color…but there is obviously room for a dab of color here.

Is there a bit of sculpture on a corner table or bookcase that needs to be brought in to the light a bit? Using a small sculptural bird vase gives us the added option of reinforcing our color story with a fresh bud…or three. Notice the way it is placed-just to the outside of the lamp, anchoring the scarf.

Adding some books in a stack centered on the mirror gives a touch of texture, and a height variety.

A small colored glass dish is always useful, gives us a bit more color reinforcement and… finito, finished, walk away designers- it’ done.

A few details- a cohesive color story is essential. Even the books were chosen carefully to complement the pink in the flowers and dish.

Follow the rule of grouping by numbers-try to select an odd number of objects. There is a group of five items (not counting the individual books)

There is a variety of textures, but a unity of mood in this case. All the items are feminine in feel, and are a bit dressy.

A variety of heights is also essential. Try to create a pleasing skyline.

Notice the negative space…don’t spread the items across the dresser. Instead group them on one third of the dresser, and leave the rest bare. It gives you room to work, and a more interesting arrangement.

That’s the way we do a dresser here at TessHome. It won’t stay that way very long…some one is sure to come along and want to take an item home, but we’ll deal. We love our stuff, and we love to play with it!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tess Home is back...and so is Summer!

After a slight Spring hiatus, Tess Home is back and we bring Summer with us!

Still going strong with our vingtagey-chic and eclectic home furnishings, we are finding ourselves adoring the industrialism and feminity with every piece we re-touch and create. From vintage hardware organizers and desks, to delicate and detailed vanities and cupboards, Tess Home loves the masculine and feminine fusion among each and every find!

We are more than estatic and antsy with anticipation to share a few of our new peices with you, our readers and followers, so that you may get the feel of our ever-growing inventory and styled hard work that we are so proud of and pleased to show.

"Industrial and Salvaged Finds"

The photo featured above, is the perfect example of industrial/salvaged and feminine pieces contrasting beautifully. Note the perfectly-conditioned hardware organizer be-twixt the spindles and plinth blocks; perfect for creating photograph hangers and decorative wall art. We absolutely love the pumpkin rust color of the organizer, which really pops surrounded by all of the white!
                                                       "Rustic and Primative"

This two-piece gray cupboard is the perfect piece for any "Shabby-Chic" home. It has such a tamed rustic feel to it and it compliments the perfect Summer Shore home!

Tess Home would also love to introduce two gorgeous pieces that are staples for any home looking for that classic touch; whether it be to incorporate a timeless piece in a modern room or to add another ideal piece to an already growing vintage inspired atmosphere, this furniture is perfect for both!

"Pretty in Pink"

This pink dresser with matching mirror is simply amazing! It will bring softness & simplistic beauty to any bed room that needs that little "girly-ness" without being too strong of a color! (One of my favorite pieces!)

"The Cabinet of All Cabinet's"

This fabulous find, which was built during the turn of the century, has a total of 24 drawers. With it's steller re-touched work and original handles, this cabinet is as perfect as the perfect beach day!

We hope that you've loved all of our featured pieces just as much as we do, if not more! Keep visiting Tess Home's blog for more whimsical home furnishings! Until then...


Monday, March 5, 2012

So Much to Fuss About!

We have been working like little worker bees over here at Tesshome. Our workshop has been overflowing with new finds and new projects.

Painting, Sanding, Painting, Sanding, Painting, Sanding! No day is complete without sand in your eyes and paint in your hair. To be honest, we wouldn't have it any other way. Every piece we finish is a complete labor of love.

A little while back we came across a set of beautiful french provincial cabinet doors. We held onto them, and were patiently waiting until they decided, what they wanted to become. What? You didn't know furniture could speak?

Recently they spoke up, and informed us that they wanted to be made into cabinets, and so we did what we were told.

Tall and perky, they are now in the finishing stages and are ready to be accessorized and put out on the store floor. We love how proud they stand and how they create the perfect shabby palate to adorn any room they will reside in. Fill them with books, bits and bobs. We love them to pieces and are thrilled with the end result.

Yet another item that has stolen our heart is this lovely French provincial vanity. Painted with care, we have lovingly restored this little gem back to its full potential. There are so many aspects to his piece that make it special, from her beautifully curved three part mirror, and dainty drawers, to her marble top.

This piece takes us back to the days when we sat at our mother’s vanity and played with all of her make-up and draped every necklace she owned around our necks. ­­We picture this little lady shining in any bedroom, and being used to its full potential and loved for years to come.

With as many pieces of actual furniture that we have coming in on a daily basis, we also find it just as important to have new home accessories for you to drool over from some of our new vendors.

Take a look at this genius idea. It’s a garden… in a bag! Brought to us from the Potting Shed Company, these have been really selling and is it any wonder why? Not only is it adorable, but talk about easy peasy! Simply cut open, water, and watch it grow in the bag itself! We have various different herbs, and flowers a long with a great kid-friendly version, that will make you swoon! It is the absolute perfect gift for any occasion or simply “Just Because.” Earth friendly and affordable and available at TessHome now!

Next up on our accessories tour we have two amazing candle collections from Paddywax. They’re brilliant. Every day we get compliments on how amazing our store smells. Well, these little guys have something to do with that. Our first collection is decked out in scents named after the beautiful cities of Paris, London, Rome and New York; they are the perfect quirky gift for that jet-setting friend you never know what to get, or for yourself!

Our second Paddywax collection, "The Library Collection," will make you melt (Pun-intended). Named after literary greats Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, and Leo Tolstoy, each soy candle smells better than the next. They are all packaged to die for, and are ready to be “oooed and ahhhed” over. Stop in and take your sense of smell on a vacation.

Our last stop on the tour brings us to one of our favorite soap and candle makers, "Dreaming Tree Soapworks." Talk about a trip for your nostrils. Lovingly hand made all natural soaps and hand made candles. The company has even started to make TessHome custom made candles, using their fabulous scents and pouring them into antique tins we've collected from our travels. Completely unique. All of the products from this line are made with only the finest ingredients that nature has to offer. Locally made and locally adored!

With our store evolving and while we are continuously looking and coming across new vendors, we will always try to keep you guys, our customers, in the loop. We want you to have first dibs! We also want to take this time to let you all know that we are always scrounging Estate Sales and flea markets for new finds and are constantly on the look-out for pieces that customers have asked us for. In addition to making sure we find you what you’re looking for, we will happily do custom paint jobs.

So if you have had a piece of furniture in your home, and know it needs some TLC and you don’t have the time in your busy schedule, we would gladly take on the project for you and give it the look that you so crave. Give us a ring, or stop on by, our doors always open. Well, till 5 p.m. that is!

Stop in today and check out all of the worker bees here at TessHome and come see what all of the fuss is about!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Road Tripping for the Soul

Meandering about the small towns on the Delaware is something I will never tire of. The history, the country side, food, shops, and its overall feel, is nourishment my soul needs.

We took off to Bucks County, PA and Hunterdon County over the last few days. We crossed over narrow bridges of architectural wonder and traveled down winding roads. Some of the paths were older, others we newly discovered.

One of my favorite places to stay is The Logan Inn at New Hope. It is located in the center of town. It’s more than affordable, and it houses a restaurant and bar. The Inn was established in 1727, and is the oldest continuously run inn in Bucks County, and one of the five oldest in the United States. Although an intimate luxury inn, The Logan Inn has sixteen spacious guest rooms, each furnished with colonial period pieces and antiques. And if we don’t have the energy to go further after a long day, it’s more than perfect.

We generally always head to Lambertville’s Boat House for drinks. It’s cozy and private. A real vacation for the eyes. It is a place you don’t want to miss. According to French Tower Travel Guide, “The Boat House" is one of the most wonderfully dark, romantic and quirky places you’ll ever find. The Boat House is filled with an odd and eclectic collection of maritime memorabilia, maps, pond boats, model ships, oars, paddles, sailing prints artifacts and artwork unlike any other I have ever seen. There are strange, marvelous and interesting things hanging at odd angles everywhere you look in this place.

Martine’s and Karla’s Bar and Restaurant are also Lambertville favorites of mine. Another MUST see is the Marsha Brown Restaurant, with its gorgeous stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and grand staircase. It was previously a church and it’s has to be over 100 years old.

We will find just about any excuse to head to the Pennsylvania area. Our destination on this trip was the 'Buyers Market of American Craft.'

It is a very well managed fine arts and crafts show.

I wrote a few orders, but found myself rushing a bit. We got there on the very last day with only 3 hours left to the show. I purchased some beautiful items for the store from, Blenko Art Glass and Jaguar Art Glass, a beautiful etched art glass company. I also wrote a few other orders with some new vendors.

Later this week we are bringing in some new vintage picks and there are plenty of pieces in the workshop! So keep in touch, and I will do the same.

Oh! As always my favorite food that I had this trip was...

At “Maria’s Cafe” in Long Valley, NJ. I had the Panini. The main ingredients included, Prosciutto di parma, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, baby spinach, and blood orange balsamic vinegar on Foccacia. YUM !

P.S. The Prosciutto and Foccacia made the entire meal!

Till Next Time,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We Need YOU!

Hey Everyone!

We are very excited here today at TessHome and you, yes you, are the reason. Every single day we get so many wonderful customers come in and share their projects and stories with us. We hear all about the kind of trim you’re putting up in your bathroom, the paint you're using on that end table, or the new fabric you just picked up at a thrift store, that would be amazing on those new chairs! We love it all, and we truly believe we have some of the most inspirational and creative shoppers out there.

We want to try something new. Not so long ago these little beauts found their way into our store, and have charmed their way into our hearts. There is just one main problem- we cannot figure out what to do with them. The instant decision was to cover them in all different kinds of fabric. However, the more we stare, the more we appreciate the slightly dated, but impeccable quality fabric that already occupies residency on them.

This is where you come in. What do you think we should do with these two chairs and why? Cover them? Leave them as is? Do something really crazy and funky? We want to hear every idea!ugh opinions and thought, we will tackle this project head on- letting you, the costumer, decide exactly what we will do! Sounds fun, right? We thought so too.

SO.... give it your best shot, and don’t be too timid! Get those creative juices flowing! Ready…Set…GO!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tess Home Is Overflowing With Jewels

Mark Scherzer of "Scherzer Antiques" has teamed up with Tess to bring us a 'time capsule' of sorts, in the form of vintage and costume jewelry.

Step back into past decades with fixtures oozing with sparkly and whimsical finds. Finds that take you back to your grandmothers vanity, where you ever so carefully, draped her pearls around your neck, spritzed on some of her favorite perfume and clipped on those overly dramatic earrings.

Delicately and lovingly sprawled all over our stores chippy furniture, the setting to showcase these amazing jewels, is ideal.

From chunky bracelets for everyday wear, and vintage cufflinks to ornate necklaces and delicate hair pins.There is a look and a feeling captured in each piece. Leaving something for everyone.

Take a gander....

Take a closer look and stop into Tess Home today.