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  1. New Spaces Update: Shelving and The Old Store

    March 18, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    We’ve even gotten to assembling the shelves at the new store!  It’s really starting together.  Now to fill those shelves….

    Aleks and Chloe are making swift work of a tedious job!

    Aleks and Chloe are making swift work of a tedious job!

    And don’t forget the other new space!  Yes it’s our old store and it was looking pretty sad I must say.  At least we didn’t have to tear any walls down though!


    For those of you who visited the original Penney & Company this should bring back a few memories!


    There’s lots to do here too.  Lots has already been done including staining and sealing the floors.  A little paint here, a few new shelves there and soon you won’t recognize it!

  2. Penney & Company in April 2014 Chatelaine!

    March 17, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    Be sure to check out the fun and fresh new April 2014 issue of Chatelaine Magazine!  It’s full of beautiful decorating projects, house tours and some special items (and where you can buy them).

    It also includes a little piece by me, photographed here at Penney & Company!  Featuring vintage tea cups and flowers plucked from my own Oshawa garden, its a sweet and simple idea you should try.

    Thanks you to my friends at Chatelaine Magazine!


  3. New Space Update: The Brick is Finished and Cleaned Up!

    March 16, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    After hauling tons of dirt and debris away, we were able to clean up the brick wall a little and have our front desk installed.

    We used kitchen cabinet bases from The Home Depot, some MDF and moulding to create the front desk as well as some storage cupboards behind.  The plan is to have butcher block counters and paint the MDF section white.

    I’m also dreaming of vintage-inspired green glass knobs…report back soon!


  4. Hoping for Spring

    March 13, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    Woke up this morning to another snow storm.

    Another snow storm!

    Thankfully Sara picked up some mini daffodils to brighten up the house and give us all some hope for Spring.  Violet was certainly into it!  And what’s more Spring-y than an adorable little baby?


  5. Vandalism In Downtown Whitby

    March 11, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    Just as we are making progress with perking up downtown Whitby, we are reminded of the darker side of things in our historic district.

    For a long time now late night vandalism has been a growing problem here in Whitby and it seems there isn’t much being done to stop it.  Just before I opened the original Penney & Company on Brock Street two years ago the windows of the shop were smashed through.  Since then I’ve seen many other stores have their windows broken.

    It’s such a problem that landlords and shop owners have even talked about adding metal bars to their windows!  Imagine how that would look!  Imagine the message that would send about our town and spending time on the beautiful historic streets!

    Rawlicious on Brock Street South in Whitby - Vandalized

    Rawlicious on Brock Street South in Whitby – Vandalized

    Another sad example has occurred recently.  The brand new organic cafe, Rawlicious has had it’s large windows completely smashed!  They’re a brand new and exciting addition to our little downtown barely open a month and now this!  I’ve been so pleased to see a steady stream of patrons passing through their doors and filling up their tables.

    What does this vandalism say to these eager new customers?  We will have a hard time turning the tide of our precious downtown if this sort of thing is allowed to continue.

    What would you suggest?  How can we curb this vandalism?  How can we make this a priority to those in power in our town?  How can we be heard?  Happy to hear your thoughts everybody.  Let’s stand up to those who treat our town like garbage and reclaim the streets for our community.

  6. New Store Update

    March 9, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    We’ve certainly been working hard on the new locations this past week.  It’s lights camera action at The Marilyn Denis Show in the morning and construction dust, paint and power tools immediately after.  I apologize to those of you who’ve been looking for me in the shop, but trust me my absence has been worth it.  We’re making great progress!

    One thing our first new location needs is some character.  Despite being a century-old building, it has been stripped of all original charm and covered over with textured dry wall and ho-hum finishes.  I suspected that beneath these lack lustre layers I’d find a beautiful brick wall.


    So I chose a section of the wall for a test patch.

    And got out my hammer.

    And swung away.



    So that worked well!  There’s a layer of dry wall which punctures easily.  But then there’s a harder layer of plaster (?) covered with wallpaper.  Then the brick is beneath.  But it turns out this is no ordinary plaster – it’s basically concrete.

    This next portion took about an hour to complete…



    So this was going to be a long haul.  And be much more work than I thought.  But I was hoping it would look amazing and be worth the effort.  With the help of my Norwegian friend Alex several hammers and eventually a power tool much like a mini jack hammer we spent days chipping away at the wall.



    On and on it went and eventually we got what we were after!



    And a whole lot of mess!  Drywall and wood and cement-plaster and lots and lots of dust!



    Now who’s going to clean up all this mess?!

  7. One-Day-Makeover on Marilyn Denis Show!

    March 7, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    Yesterday I taped another LIVE segment on CTV’s Marilyn Denis Show – this time all about a one-day-makeover I’d completed in Burlington last week.



    Erin, the homeowner wrote into the show to say that she had an open concept space and one long boring wall that needed something.  She didn’t have room for furniture on the long wall in question (wouldn’t leave room to pull out her chairs) so we’d have to get inventive.



    The solution?  Painted stripes!  Creating a graphic pattern would liven up the wall without taking up space plus it would add a certain traditional flair that suited the house.



    The trick was to use one paint colour (Benjamin Moore’s Smokey Green) at full strength and a second can of the same colour mixed at half strength.  This way the stripes have a subtle, classic look and the two colours match perfectly well.



    I also made some DIY art that I demoed live on the show with Marilyn.  Watch the clip for the how to.  The key for me was having it framed nicely and we did this beautifully and inexpensively with the help of Theresa at Frame By Design in downtown Whitby.  Theresa and I chose a gold frame (more of that traditional flair) and an extra wide taupe/grey mat to offset the modern art I’d created.  I really loved the results!



    Hope this segment gives you some good ideas and shows you what a difference you can make in ONE DAY and with plain old inexpensive paint!



  8. Heading Back To The Marilyn Denis Show Tomorrow

    March 6, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    It’s going to be an eaaaaaarly morning tomorrow!

    I’ve been asked to get from Oshawa to Queen and John in Toronto by 7:30 am in rush hour tomorrow.  Yikes!  Fingers crossed my alarm clock works!

    I’ll be heading back to tape another live segment of CTV’s Marilyn Denis Show where you’ll get to see the results (before, middle and after!) of my Burlington one-day-makeover last week.  I’ll also be demo-ing a little DIY so be sure to tune in!

    The show is LIVE on CTV at 10 am tomorrow (Thursday March 5th).


  9. It Can Only Go Up From Here…

    March 5, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    Here’s the interior of one of our new projects.

    Let’s just say it can only go up from here…

    Red, Peach and Beige - oh my!

    Red, Peach and Beige – oh my!

    Let's just say there's lots to do!

    Ok so there’s lots to do!

  10. Busy Week!

    March 1, 2014 by michaelpenneystyle

    Sorry for the lack of posting this week – I’ve been up to my eyeballs!

    Yesterday I spent the whole day in Burlington Ontario doing a ONE DAY MAKEOVER for The Marilyn Denis Show!  We had to paint and transform a space while the homeowners went out!  I felt like I was on an episode of Trading Spaces!!  Watch for that on an upcoming episode of The Marilyn Denis Show.

    So anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to.  Oh plus an Ikea escapade that I won’t soon forget.  Let’s just say I bought more than my little car could handle…ever been there?

    More to come soon!

    I wish I'd had a fleet of cars at Ikea like this...

    I wish I’d had a fleet of cars at Ikea like this…

    Trading Spaces - did this really happen???

    Trading Spaces – did this really happen???