Seven years ago, Holland resident Judy Plaggmars started to build her Holland Furniture business. She used a comfortable mix of new and upscale resale looks. At the time, a trend called shabby chic was making headlines and Plaggmars liked it. She still does.
“Shabby chic fits with the lakeshore aspect of living in West Michigan,” Plaggmars said. “The look is comfortable and child-friendly.”
Her store’s 12,000-square-foot showroom is nearly wrapped in windows. The sun-filled selling floor includes room settings for the home, furnishings for outdoor entertaining, accessories and exclusive, made-in-the-USA Englander mattresses.
Plaggmars and Eve Shetterly, who manages the store, shop for inventory at key industry markets.
Some are as close as Shipshewana, Indiana, for Amish-made furniture. To discover what’s trending, they give a nod to the furniture and furnishings marts in Las Vegas or High Point, North Carolina, and Atlanta.
When setting up a floor display, Plaggmars said she and her four-member team approach it as if they were dressing for an event. “We pick out the outfit (couch or table), then use the floor as a huge closet to finish it.” They often include a chalk-painted piece.
Chalk painting is a relatively new darling in home decorating.
“Chalk painting has given shabby chic a new audience,” Plaggmars said. Holland Furniture is the official U.S. distributor for environmentally friendly and mineral-based Frenchic Furniture Paint and products. Frenchic is made in the United Kingdom. It is EN: 71-3 certified, too – meaning it is labeled as safe to paint, even nursery furniture.
“It is the largest selling brand of chalk paint in the UK,” she said. The company’s environmental commitment plus its selection of 45 colors captured her attention.
Customers can join a chalk painting class at the store. “We will paint a purchase for them or they can join us and paint along with instruction,” Shetterly said.
“Painting an accent piece in a complimentary color will brighten an entire room.”