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A House is in the House

I want to tell you about our most recent endeavor. It’s been a year in the making. Like all great ideas, it started out as just an idea, a notion really. This idea evolved next into the stage of talking an idea to death–which, as you can imagine, is a stage which we excel at. The talking, which lasted no less than 8 months, consisted of many, many conversations. Did I say many? And then we googled and researched. Oh, and there were drawings, and more drawings. We pondered proportions and scale. We bickered and debated and probably ate a lot of snacks. All of this rigamarole was followed by a search for the materials. And finally the construction.

I know. You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? I was trying to build up some drama.

So the project was/is building a house/schoolhouse/chapel in the middle of our store. Yes, we have built a building in the middle of our building. Inside. A building inside a building! C’mon, this is cool. This is art.

Here’s what we were going for – Think abandoned house in the middle of a grassy field. Think country chapel. Think Little House on the Prairie meets the Dust Bowl meets…. something happier than the Dust Bowl. Classic America, flags, fresh grown tomatoes and apple pies, “amber waves of grain”. Okay, do you have that image? That’s what we wanted. Something like this….but not this:

IMG_4854 - Version 3

It was our good friend Jamie made this idea a reality. He took our sad little drawing of Americana scribbled on a napkin and knocked it out of the park. If you’ve ever been in our store, you have touched his work…or rather, walked on his work. He laid down our old floors and then built the new ones that fill more than half the store (actually he was responsible for a lot of the new store). Anyway, obviously this guy is good. And he has the patience of a saint, which, I assure you, is required to work with us. He found the materials, interpreted the piles of napkins that our plans were drawn on and proceeded to build this thing in his yard. And then a few weeks later a house rolled up to our store on a trailer–can you imagine passing that on the highway?


The snapping together of this building was not a snap; it was sort of an ordeal… especially getting it through the back door.


We were very excited to see the first wall up. To see an idea take life is a feeling like no other, especially when it meets, no, exceeds your expectations. This feeling kept Van Gogh painting despite making no income and Dr Frankenstein stitching even though his monster was, well, becoming a monster. Okay, maybe that’s a bad example. I’m just saying, making stuff is fun.


Wanna see the whole process? Well, we are here to entertain you. Once again, we had a perfect opportunity to play with the time lapse feature on the phone. So, here’s the result–a pretty cool video of the idea that finally became a reality.

You know that feeling you have when something turns out to be exactly as wonderful as you hoped for? We are swimming in that. Come see it in person.


25 Comments Post a comment
  1. Patty #

    Absolutely so cool….Love it.

    July 22, 2015
  2. Jackie Maul #

    OMG Jim! This is art! And what an incredible idea! I’m dying to know if it will be furnished – lol.

    You, and Simple Things, are always an inspiration to our industry. You never let us down in design or product or quality or service:-).

    Jackie Maul
    Restoration Hardware

    July 22, 2015
    • Thanks for your thoughtful words. A great compliment coming from you. I promise I will post a few interior shots on Facebook and Instagram. We’ve had a great time filling it up. Thanks again!

      July 22, 2015
  3. LOVE the house! I’ve visited it several times. Thanks for sharing the story on it!

    July 22, 2015
    • Great to hear! Thanks! We love to get feedback from our friends.

      July 22, 2015
  4. You guys are amazing. Keep it coming. Looking forward to seeing it soon

    July 22, 2015
    • Aw, thanks. It’s definitely worth a visit. We look forward to seeing you.

      July 22, 2015
  5. margy black #

    y’all just keep getting better and better, sorry i’m so far away! looking forward to my next visit!

    July 22, 2015
  6. Judy Cross #

    First thing I noticed when Melinda and I walked into the store! It is FAB (I guess literally, too). I could live in it. Have you seen that little stucco structure across the street from Old Home Supply? Every time I walk through it, I imagine it as my little home. I just love crusty and faded.

    P.S.: Coming to your store is always TOPS on their list when Melinda and Alan come to visit from West Hollywood.

    July 22, 2015
    • Yes, i know exactly the building you are talking about at OHS – it’s beautiful. So glad to hear we are on Melinda and Alan’s list. And thanks for your kind words.

      July 22, 2015
  7. Cindy #

    Who doesn’t love this! A house in a house beautifully done , enjoyed the video !

    July 22, 2015
    • Thanks! The time lapse videos are so fun to make – maybe not a necessary addition to the blog, but they are so cool!

      July 22, 2015
  8. cheryl morris #

    Pretty Stellar, I’d say…! Can’t wait to experience it in person!

    July 22, 2015
  9. Ana #

    Wow!!! Everytime I walk into the store I think, “this store cannot get any cuter!”
    And then, you blow me AWAY!!! You could put a price tag on a Post It Note and I’d want one!! That’s how awesome your team is!
    Thank you for making every shopping experience an experience!

    July 22, 2015
    • Thanks so much, Ana! A great compliment. Come see us soon! Call first and I’ll put out some post it notes:)

      July 22, 2015
  10. Kristin Karper #

    You guys are sooooo stinkin’ creative!!!! Just more proof of why I love, love, love this store!!!
    Kristin K., Graham, TX

    July 22, 2015
    • Thanks! We are a ragtag group of crazy people, but you can call it creative if you want:)

      July 22, 2015
  11. Betsy Thompson #

    I came today and saw the little house/chapel/school house! Loved it! It brought back memories of the small building that stood in my grandparents yard for years! I’ve since wished I had that building in my yard now but my Dad said it would never withstand the move! Thanks for the memory! So many fun things y’all can do with that!! Enjoy!

    July 22, 2015
    • Thanks so much for sharing that! My favorite comment of the day!

      July 23, 2015
  12. Karen #

    OMG!!! Love it and can’t wait to see!

    July 22, 2015
  13. Beth Averhoff #

    Simple Things
    My “Happy Place”

    July 23, 2015
    • It’s kinda my happy place too. And when you come to see us it’s even happier 🙂

      July 23, 2015

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