A pair of sisters-in-law and best friends have taken their combined talent — part expertise, part art and part decorator sense — to create a business that offers rescued furniture done up in style.
Annette “Nettie” Grimm and Susan “Suze” Jones have opened NettieSuze Home Décor at 113 W. St. Louis St. It offers a sampling of handpainted buffets, china cabinets, dining sets and sideboards.
The setting for these one-of-a-kind pieces is the former John Heger building with its exposed brick arches.
Except for one mahogany china cabinet, with carved crown and claw feet, that was found on Craig’s List, the pieces were all bought at garage sales or resale shops, and all needed a re-do.
The owners say they look at the shape and condition of the outer surface, give it a shake to see if it wobbles and if it’s savable, they buy it.
“Last October, we started accumulating the stuff in my garage,” Grimm said. “That’s where we did the painting.”
Husbands John Grimm, who works at Heitkamp Masonry, and Bob Jones, an engineer with Parker Hannifin, had confidence in the project. The two couples formed a partnership and bought the building from John Heger.
“They were supportive,” Grimm said, of their husbands. “They liked the idea.”
The partners stripped the old furniture down to bare wood, primed, painted and finished each piece with a style that can only be described as ageless. The result is affordable individual pieces that are elegant and artistic.
The paint patterns are unique to these two close friends whose hobby is poring over decorator magazines and how-to books. In their spare time they visit yard sales, antique shops and junk stores looking for pieces of solid wood furniture that have been cast off.
Doing all the work themselves, the friends rework the rescued pieces with a neutral theme that will fit many styles of décor. The pieces are unique, no two alike. The only thing common to the painted pieces is the soft hand-rubbed touch of the surface.
“Any décor style can accommodate one painted piece,” Grimm said. “You can’t overdo it, but one is good anywhere.”
The collection is inspired by a combination of personal taste and “lots of researching painted furniture,” Grimm added.
“We’re self-taught,” she said.
When asked if she was always creative, a woman standing next to her nodded vigorously.
“That’s my mom,” Grimm said.
“She was always creative and always changing things,” her mother said.
In order to achieve the signature look, the painters use several intricate steps culminating in a rich flat finish that makes the pieces look new, but touchable.
One customer pointed out that most of the former buffets, now painted treasures, would fit today’s lifestyle as stands for flat screen TVs.
All the accessories in the shop are new, including a line of white porcelain candleholders of varying sizes.
For more information contact NettieSuze at 636-257-3300.