Business Design Interiors Renovations

Before and After: Vintage Retail Design Renovation

Around this same time last winter, I had just signed a one-year lease on what would be my first ever retail store. I was given this huge task of renovating an old computer repair shop, in exchange for a few months of free rent. In a matter of months, we had gutted, repaired, and refreshed what is now known as The Kindred Cottage – a cozy home goods store in northern Wisconsin.

I was nervous, scared, and excited for checking yet another goal off of my bucket list: to be a store-owner! Unfortunately, there was an outdated drop ceiling, layers of carpet and linoleum, and faded blue walls standing in my way.

This old computer repair shop had large windows that caught my eye – perfect for merchandising all the pretty things!

We started renovations with knocking down the inner office walls, before tackling the labor-intensive job of removing the floor. To my suprise, the original hardwood floor was still intact, and in perfect condition! We just had to dig through 5 layers to find it.

The smoke-stained drop ceiling was the next to come down. Would you believe it if I told you the original tin ceiling from 100+ years ago was hidden behind it? Oh, yes!! There was a little cosmetic damage, but nothing a little paint couldn’t fix up.

Last but not least, we had the floors sanded and sealed, fresh paint added to the walls and ceiling, and updated the lighting with these affordable pendant style lights from Amazon. I love how bright and cheery the place is and it’s come so far from the original computer repair shop days.

I knew I wanted to take advantage of the large storefront windows, so we set out to build a window shelf. We framed it out with a bunch of 2x4s and topped it off with a painted piece of plywood.

Of course, every proper store needs a cute and functional cash wrap area. My rustic cashwrap cost less than $100 and was made from scratch using a couple of 2x4s, beadboard, and a tabletop.

I converted this empty space into a pillow party by adding built-in shelving for less than $50 and built a few more rustic display shelves to match. All that was left was to fill the store up and the rest is history!

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