Creativity for sale
A ‘picker’s paradise’ offers upcycled pieces.
Margie Beaudry, right, helps a customer choose a product in Beaudry’s store, Home Accents Vintage to Modern.
Paint is Margie Beaudry’s magic wand.
“Paint can fix anything,” says the owner of Home Accents Vintage to Modern, an antique shop at 1537 S. Sheridan Road.
The store boasts everything from Precious Moments figurines to pails converted into light fixtures. Other treasures are furniture, books, quilts and salvaged industrial and architectural materials.
People come into the shop with items to sell, but most of the inventory comes from various local sources. Although most of the items are original, Beaudry likes to upcycle.
“I love the repurposing idea,” she says. “It’s fun to repurpose things because a lot of this stuff was so well made. To just junk it is such a waste.”
A metal shopping cart holds some of Beaudry’s latest creations, including rustic Christmas trees fashioned from scraps of wood trim painted and nailed to posts. A decorative wooden box Beaudry constructed sits on a maple hutch ready to be taken home and used to organize or decorate.
Although her recycling tools are sometimes a sewing machine or saw, Beaudry’s favorite tool is a paintbrush.
“I love taking wood, all kinds, and adding color to it,” she says.
If a wooden item needs a quick refresh or has been sitting in the store awhile, paint to the rescue. Beaudry says her shoppers are drawn to red and teal pieces, so those are her go-to colors.
Beaudry isn’t the only one putting her ingenuity to use in the store. When he isn’t at his full-time job or helping with heavy lifting, Beaudry’s husband, shop co-owner Howard, designs and builds light fixtures.
“He can just look at a piece of metal and come up with a light fixture,” Beaudry says.
Those one-of-a-kind lights hang from the store’s ceiling like mobiles, drawing shoppers’ eyes heavenward. Metal baskets, a wheel, pails and a roof turbine vent serve as shades for various light bulbs.
Many of the shoppers enjoy creating, too. Beaudry has seen hardware turned into jewelry holders and wooden crates made into shelves and ottomans. Corks and old windows also are hot items for crafting.
“Sometimes I’ll ask, if I’m not too busy, ‘What are you going to do with this?’” Beaudry says.
Although she likes hearing about customers’ Pinterest projects and how old items get revitalized, Beaudry also enjoys seeing the way antiques spur reflection.
“For a lot of people, they come into the store and say, ‘Oh, my Grammy used to have that piece in her house,’” Beaudry explains. “They get good memories from seeing some of those pieces.”
The Beaudrys opened the store in December 2012, but they’ve always been creative collectors. Before owning their shop on Sheridan, they managed booths at various stores. The couple has gone to auctions and antique stores all of their lives in search of collectibles.
In 2015, running the shop became Beaudry’s full-time job, something she looked forward to for years.
“Our children are grown up, and now it’s time to do what I like to do,” she says.