Monthly Archives: August 2010

Pick A Pillow

Option A

So many customers come into the store and think we magically know where to put everything. Heck, I go in a store from time to time and think, “how wonderful, they are so smart.” Well, I’m sure more than one retailer will tell you, including this one, we ain’t so smart….just patient and will try numerous options until we get the one we feel tells the story best. Today, I thought I would give you the option to help me decide which pillow is best for the display I created. Tell me…Option A…or Option B…..

Option B



Filed under Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, home decor, Items

Art in Home Decor

Designs by KimC

One thing I love to hear from our friends who visit our store is how we have such a unique selection of products. One reason I think our friends see us this way is because we work hard to find work from local and regional artists to mix with our finds from a more global market.

This week I’m very excited to introduce a collection of pillows I see as art. Kim Chiasson is not only a customer and friend, she is a super talented artist and we love her new collection of pillows using everything from vintage belt buckles, to turquoise to an Indian chief! Picture them on a fabulous leather sofa or across the bed, what a statement they make. Who says art can only hang on the wall? I like to see art all around me, don’t you?

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Filed under Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, home decor, Items, Uncategorized

The Art of Entertaining


There is something about entertaining family and friends that excites some and puts a chill down the backs of others. Coming from the former philosophy where a party, while stressful, is filled with excitement, I find it hard to grasp why others don’t want anything to do with the idea. Is it partly because we just don’t do it much anymore? No setting fancy tables, no linen napkins, no china and crystal…no muss….no fuss? I wonder.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to host a high tea bridal shower for my cousin. It was the most fun to prepare, the most fun to enjoy and the comments would make you want to do it all over again. If I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times, “this was such fun,” “not seen a luncheon like this in years,” “we must do this sort of thing again.” It WAS great fun. It WAS beautiful. And, I WILL do it again.

When I was back in the store this week I was reviewing our cookbooks and noticed how much I love the new cookbooks we have. Not that I NEED another one, but now they are so filled with fabulous photographs to show ways to decorate your table, theme your party, pull it all together. This is what people need to inspire them. We are a visual society now, cookbook authors need to incorporate the whole decorating idea right along with the recipes. And, I’m glad I have so many books here that do just that. I love Julia Child, but her cookbooks are like reading the dictionary. I need Julia mixed with a dash of Charo. Don’t know that Charo cooks, but boy does she sizzle. Maybe if we could all figure how to make a party sizzle we might be willing to stand over that sink hand washing those dishes a bit more often. I know I would…and I also sell darling rubber gloves to make the chore more attractive!!

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Filed under Bridal, Gift shop, Gifts

College Prep 101

This week begins a new chapter in the lives of many families across America. Six years ago I took my baby and dropped her off, with all her toys, at Texas Christian University. I may as well have been delivering a baby kitten to the shelter. The feeling was pretty much the same. The next year I delivered her to her first apartment, still in Fort Worth, still at the TCU campus…but I may as well have been sending her to live inside a McDonald’s. How would she ever figure out how to cook, eat anything besides fast food, eat anything with any nutritional value??? Hence, the Student Cookbook…for the Hungry & the Broke. THAT is my definition of every college student. Unless you are moving in with the kids to fix each meal, THIS is the book to send to school with them so they survive…and thrive.

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Filed under Food, Gifts

When Is Perfume Like A Store?

Shelley Kyle

We all are affected by smells. Some make us feel romantic, some make us feel fresh, some just lighten our mood. It is the same way when you enter a store. Some stores just have that welcoming smell. I think that is one reason (among many) that department stores seem lacking. They just don’t have the right smell. They don’t make you want to take them home with you. It is also why I’m so selective in the fragrances, be it candle or bath and body, that enter our doors. I want our customers to enjoy the waft of aroma. Whether they buy it or not, they remember the scent and the store. I want products that represent the look of our store, a sort of elegant vintage feel. Again, I’m making an impression on another sensory – visual. Shelley Kyle was selected for all those reasons. She has fabulous taste in design, fabulous fragrances and it is as if she created the product for our store. I think her product is a great mix. We hope you will come in soon and enjoy the sights and smells of Silver Barn. We’ll leave a scent on for ya’!

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Filed under Bath & Body, Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, home decor

Lenox Speaks


My job is never done! That is all I can say. Here I am, resting by the cards to make sure they get some attention. I understand they are very funny. People laugh when they read them. I’m assuming they are NOT laughing at me. But, I must admit, this is a great perch to greet visitors, lure them over here and suck ’em into the rest of the store. I realize the store is pretty cool and all, but I think I’m doing an excellent job as official greeter.

And, hey, stop asking about Vegas. There’s a new game in town and I’m it. She refuses to come out in this heat and visit the store, so let her sit back at home perusing catalogs all day. I don’t need no stinkin’ help. Have a nice day!!

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Filed under Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, Pets

Time Marches On


It’s 110 in the shade as they say in Texas, and I’m fretting about Christmas! What is it about being in retail that turns us into a split personality – one leg in the present and the other firmly elsewhere in the future? Anyone can say they live in the future, but those of us in retail can swear it was just Easter. Well, it was, we were just at market buying Easter, came home to a hot summer – threw 4th of July out – organized our holiday offerings and unpacked ghosts, goblins and turkeys all in the same week. Sybil never had anything on a retailer personality.

Now, as the clock ticks down to the end of summer and we gear up for the insanity of the season to come, it is time for all retailers to stop, stand facing east and recite – “I will enjoy the season, I will live in the moment….as soon as I retire!”

To all our friends who are not in the retail biz, we really are delighted to move from season to season on a daily basis, really we are. But, there are days we think it is 55 degrees with Christmas carols, walk out our door to almost die in oven known as summer! It IS a shock to the system. But, if we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t do it season after season. I’m excited to see fall coming, excited to share all the goodies hiding in our warehouse, excited to see if I lived up to your expectations of what Silver Barn is. I look forward to your response…just remind ME that we are in August, THEN September and so on, and so on…as I have no clue what month or day I’m in half the time!

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Filed under Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, Gifts, home decor