Being born and raised in the Flathead Valley has shaped my perspective of the world, as it would for anyone who has roots. However, fervent desires to visit faraway places have never been lost on me. Watching the musical “Sound of Music” as a child was the biggest contributor to perceptions that shaped my view of Europe. I vowed to go to Austria and sing at the top of my lungs,”The hills are alive with the sound of music”. Well, I did get that opportunity while living abroad for seven years in Germany and the Netherlands. Although we might share quite a few commonalities with these countries, there were also things that I appreciated and enjoyed as a small town girl from Montana.
The daily ritual of walking to your local baker would include a view of terra-cotta shingled houses of stucco or brick. Immaculately kept walkways of brick or concrete were weed free and swept clean. Rolling hills of open farmland bordered by stone walls or hedges divided pastures. Regularly cleaned windows, were graced with overflowing flower boxes. No matter the age of the home or business it always looked clean and minimalist. In the Netherlands, impeccable gardens were tended to in the traditional wooden clogs. Window “scapes” were created in typical Dutch homes. Phalaenopsis or orchids garnished window frames. Glass vases with botanicals or modern sculptures were prominent as well. At night when lights came on you could regard the whole interior of a neighbor’s living room. Curtains were rarely drawn in large front windows as if to say, “Come look at my décor, behold my great taste!” I wasn’t just looking, I felt I was basking in European style!
Square footage of living quarters in Europe were considerably smaller than what we are used to in the United States. Therefore, the decorating was very direct in its approach. It was simple, uncluttered, orderly, and refined. Décor trends in these countries were leaning towards sleek and modern. If I needed a nice piece of handcrafted furniture, I would check the corner by my house or go to a second hand store. Residents of these countries were converting heavy, hand carved wood pieces into lighter feeling pieces. Linear lines combined with smooth surfaces and minimal hardware distractions seemed to be the desired look. Bright bold colors incorporated into large pieces became focal points in a room.
Another prominent type of décor in these two countries was French country. Soft accents of beautiful textiles and provincial patterns are the key signature of French country. Neutrals of various textures and tone-on-tone patterns brought wonderful visual interest to a room among more neutral color tones. Old world style of wood inlay or wood working paired well with architectural details of exposed wood beams, curved archways and rustic stone accents. Natural elements of woven baskets, wool or jute rugs were as common as stone fireplaces. Antiques were an important component of country French decor. Vintage pieces enhanced the European character of the spaces.
Even though I miss Europe I can still enjoy it here at home in Montana. Station 8 is unique in that we cover a range of tastes and styles. We carry industrial, mid-century modern, rustic, French country and shabby chic just to name a few. We take pride in knowing that if you are looking to add some “Europe” to your home that we can accommodate. The current dollar/euro exchange rate is excellent, but a trip to Station 8 is faster and a lot more affordable!
On behalf of Team 8,
What woman doesn’t like to accessorize? All of us girls here at Station 8 love it! So this month I would like to share with all of you our top 8 accessories for your home. Whether your style is classic Montana rustic, Victorian, modern, or edgy and industrial, I feel all of these are versatile options for your home.
- Vintage cameras: These black beauties work nicely in any room. Displayed on a shelf below a collection of fabulous Montana scenes, in with a collection of black and white antique family photos, or used as book ends for your favorite reads.
- Fly fishing creels: Typically seen in very Montana-esque homes hung on the wall next to grandpa’s fly rod, these aren’t just for the fishaholics anymore! They bring a natural element into even the most modern of homes.
- Old ladders: We’ve seen them used as quilt racks, hanging pot racks, and in a bathroom as a towel rack. These versatile vintage finds are a must have for any home.
- Glass cloches: One of my favorite things to play with in the shop! They are a beautiful way to protect and highlight one special item in your home, use wire led lights to light them up for a more industrial look, or put a plant under it for a quick terrarium.
- Metal letters: Whether they are from an old neon sign, or shiny new and galvanized we can’t keep them in right now! Perfect for an addition to your family photo wall, a kid’s room, even on the outside of your house. Spell out a meaningful word, or just a great way to celebrate your name! They also make great wedding gifts for a happy new couple!
- Wood crates: I don’t have enough space to fully explain all the awesome ways to utilize a fabulous wood crate! Some of my favorites are…Hung on the wall to store books, pictures or other awesome finds. Of course they are wonderful storage for under your bed, in a kid’s room for toys, or in your living room to contain throw blankets, or magazines. We love stacking them in the shop for height in our displays.
- Leather books: Old books in general are an amazing look in any home, but there is just something about the rich caramel color of vintage leather books that bring warmth and comfort to any home. Displayed on a shelf, or used as risers to display any collection. In my opinion you can never have too many leather books!
- Something Salvaged: Corbels, pillars, reclaimed hardware, shutters, doors, and windows, to name a few. My mind is full of ways you can incorporate these into your home! Our favorite “go to” salvage pieces are vintage shutters. We love the versatility of them: hung and used as a message board; add legs and a glass on top for a fantastic coffee table; or hung as “quotation marks” for a group of prints on your wall.
So many wonderful accessories out there and so little time to list them all! I hope you have enjoyed reading about our favorites. How many of them do you have in your home? What’s your favorite? Share a picture of one of these, or one of your favorite accessories in your home on our Facebook page this month for a chance to win a gift certificate to purchase a new accessory!
Until next time!
On behalf of Team 8
I remember fondly the first time I walked into the shop. I believe my exact words to Colette were, “You have done exactly what I would have done with this building, and you have my car!” (I was referring to her 1959 Corvette.) Who knew that in less than a year I would be back begging her for a job, and my amazing adventure with Station 8 would begin!
When I think back on those first few months and what the shop was like (very shabby chic), I am amazed at how it has changed! Although we still love the Shabby Chic look, and the beautiful pastel colors that come along with it, we have become so much more! Who would have guessed that in a few short years we would go from all things floral, to covering everything in burlap, to this new wonderful zig-zag pattern called chevron! We have pulled old fabric off of settee’s to achieve a “deconstructed” look, and have embraced all things industrial. I can’t begin to describe how my heart flutters every time I come across a rusty metal old work bench, or a locker unit on wheels…sigh
Those aren’t the only transitions we have made at the shop. We have gone from many vendors to a few core vendors that share our vision, and goals for the shop, and who love vintage as much as we do! We also went from sourcing all of our merchandise locally to going on these amazing adventures called “buying trips”! It all started with me saying something like “hey wouldn’t it be fun to get out of town and go on a buying trip”; less than a month later we were hitting the road! Since then we have been on more than 20 buying trips, ranging from New York to California, and many points in-between. As a matter of fact, Colette is on one now! She has never been afraid to dream big, and make things happen! It is part of what makes Station 8 so wonderful, and my job such a blast!
Part of following our dreams is always keeping current with the markets trends. Our shop is always transitioning from one look to another (one of the things our customers always comment on, and love about the shop). We devour any new design books we can get our hands on, looking for new inspiration! I’m always surprised where inspiration can come from. Some of our inspiration comes from fashion trends, and we all know how often they change! Currently we have a set of beautiful dining chairs that have an amazing cheetah print back on them! Like they say “every woman should have some animal print in their wardrobe”, so why not in your home as well! I personally am inspired by color, coming from a family of house painters; it comes somewhat naturally for me. At the shop we anxiously await the Pantone Color of the Year to be disclosed, and then scour the store looking for items we might have in that color! Then we find ways to incorporate the color into our current vignettes, and of course encourage our customers to freshen their homes, or wardrobes, with this color. This year’s color is Marsala, a very rich wine color. I can picture this color being used in a Boho/gypsy like room, where there is a lot of jewel tones and texture, like velvet throws, or in a more traditional home with Victorian influence. The options are endless!
How will your home transition this year? Will you add a touch of Marsala to your décor? How about your wardrobe? Here at Station 8 our journey to become a better version of ourselves is always ongoing! Looking for some inspiration? Come in and see what’s new!
On behalf of Team 8,
Rachel Kelly, Shop Manager
The Shops at Station 8
When was the last time you attended a wedding celebration? Isn’t the creativity and personalization incredible! There are no rules to follow which means couples can have limitless creativity in telling their story and making a memorable experience for their guests.
There are no rules but the trend today is all about telling the couple’s personal story by weaving together a setting that describes who they are as a couple. The trend is to incorporate vintage pieces that have special meaning to the couple which tells their unique story. Blending glamour and sophistication with rusticity is popular and you see this in table settings. The contrast of the intricacy of a lace tablecloth covering the raw surface of a rustic table makes an unforgettable statement. Silver and crystal add elegance and touches of nature with branches, birds’ nests and birch chargers all add contrasting accents. A burlap runner on an elegant table communicates a relaxed vibe while silver and crystal additions tell a story of refined luxury.
Chalkboards, banners, and vintage letters all help tell their story, as does the use of any type of typography. Architectural elements like columns, shutters, ladders and antique windows and picture frames bring a sense of old world sophistication to the setting. Chandeliers hanging in a barn or from tree branches add glamour to the mood of a rustic setting. Using tufted velvet and silk brocade chairs and sofas in a rustic or outdoor setting is pure glamour. Stacks of old crates filled with flowers and black and white photos of the couple at the entry to the party welcomes guests and gives a sense of nostalgia, and evokes a sense of charm, simplicity and a timeless style that today’s wedding celebrations strive to create.
My team at Station 8 loves to work with brides and event planners in helping to gather these antique and vintage elements that will make the celebration unique. I am always on the hunt for one- of- a- kind pieces to add to the shop and have available pieces that will bring their story together.
Team 8 offers styling services, as well as renting out special pieces just for the event. Creating vignettes, setting up and staging the visuals for a photography session or decorating for the wedding day is all part of the services we offer. We specialize in styling for themed events and are delighted to share our passion for decorating!
We look forward to a year of celebrations and beautiful events and hope that you will have much to celebrate this year!
All the best,
Owner, the Shops at Station 8
Rejuvenations in life often come from the most unlikely of places. When it comes to rejuvenating your current cool weather wardrobe, the same rule applies. Although it seems somewhat ironic that pieces from the past would serve as the most effective update to your winter wardrobe, vintage pieces are a valuable tool with which to renovate your closet. While my interest in vintage clothing is relatively new, my experiences thus far have made clear that pieces with the character and craftsmanship found in clothing from past decades can make even the unassuming outfit extraordinary.
Perhaps the easiest way to add vibrant color and interest to your existing winter wardrobe is to add a few vintage silk scarves to your arsenal. These accessories are fairly east to come by, and can be found in a wide array of hues and patterns. Many of my best loved scarves have been picked up at local antique shops for very little cost. I love to pair one with a black sweater and my favorite jeans as an easy way to bring color and life to an otherwise dull outfit. Vintage scarves can also be tied around the handle or shoulder strap of your handbag as a sophisticated detail. Your winter jacket can be just as easily brightened, simply by popping a vibrant scarf from yesteryear around your collar.
Another easy and accessible way to update the more basic pieces in your existing winter wardrobe is vintage costume jewelry. I scour garage sales, secondhand stores, and antique shops for funky mid century baubles in bold colors and interesting arrangements. On days when I don’t have the time to put a great deal of thought into my outfit (or, if we’re being honest here, when I don’t have the motivation), vintage brooches and bangles serve to add a touch of elegance to even a simple tee shirt.
Equally as valuable in updating your winter wardrobe is a great vintage wool jacket (or two… or three…). One of my all-time favorite articles of clothing is a gorgeous cropped jacket from the 1960’s, made in taupe and black hounds tooth wool. I typically wear this pieces with a black dress and black boots. Paired with such basic pieces, the jacket is allowed to speak for itself. When I am in the “I have nothing to wear rut”, I reach fro my staple dress and my vintage wool jacket. While vintage outerwear can be found anywhere from an online retailer to your grandmother’s closet, I would urge you all to shop locally in your quest for the perfect jacket or swing coat.
In the coming months, as the inevitable winter doldrums set in and your begin to feel as if your wardrobe has adopted the blandness of the weather, I would encourage you to look toward vintage pieces to provide the update you’re searching for. Not only will you be adding a touch of spark to your favorite closet classics, but you’ll be wearing a bit of history.
By Meridith Stolte,
The Shops at Station 8
Is your home dressed to “kilt” for the holidays? Traditional plaid is a great way to decorate for the holidays. The word “plaid” comes from the Gaelic language meaning “blanket”. Also known as Tartan, this classic and distinctive cloth is arguably the best known cloth in the world. Tartan is generally defined as a fabric woven in bands of colored yarn that repeat in sequence, not only across the width, but along the length of the cloth. Tartans can be found in many cultures across the globe, but in Scotland and Ireland, their specific colors and patterns represent clans, sects, families, and institutions. As it turns out, this print style goes back as far as 100 BC, created by ancient Celtic populations. For modern looks, incorporate these traditional patterns of color into curtains, pillows and tablecloths. Big pieces, such as chairs, rugs and couches containing plaid can make a big statement. Station 8 has many options if you choose to decorate in plaid, on a large or small scale.
Not sure you want to use plaid? Well, where do you start? Categorize decor into size, textures, colors, metal, and woods. I like to mix as many of these as I can to achieve the desired look. The Christmas tree will definitely add texture and color to a room. Do you desire glass ornaments and garland or would you prefer cloth? Do you tend to lean towards a country feel as found in Country Living or is your style traditional modern like Restoration Hardware? Do you appreciate small detail? Add tiny lights to inconspicuous places. Bring the outdoors inside with fresh cut pine boughs. Fill various sized glass vases with glass ball ornaments or with peppermint candies. Fresh flowers or evergreens look beautiful in a glass vase full of cranberries. Color, texture and size are achieved!
Evergreen plants, like holly, ivy and mistletoe have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up the long dark winter. Greenery reminded people that spring would come and that winter would not last forever. In many parts of Europe during the middle ages, plays were performed, often on Christmas Eve. They told Bible stories to people who could not read. In these plays the “Paradise Tree” in the Garden of Eden was normally a pine tree with red apples tied to it. They represented the fall of Adam. Red is also the color of holly berries, which is said to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross. Of course, there is no set rule saying to use traditional colors. Add touches of sparkle with gold and silver.
Children are an integral part of Christmas. The wide-eyed countenance of their sweet little faces can be enjoyed here at Station 8. A great tradition to start with your children or grandchildren is our Children’s Christmas Market. This is something that I have enjoyed with my children. We section off a special area where just the children can shop for family or friends. Get your children into the holiday spirit of giving to others. Regardless of how you choose to decorate, remember what the true meaning of Christmas is. Pace yourself and take time to enjoy the little things. Don’t get caught up in the non essentials of life. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ.
On behalf of Team 8,
Inspiration influences our hobbies, careers, and actions. I’m an interior designer who works at The Shops at Station 8, and thankfully my hobby is my career. I can’t say what inspires me in design without saying what inspires me in life. Design is my blood and its interwoven through my daily life. It was only natural for me to get my degree in Interior Design. My mom has a very good eye for placement. Growing up, our house was always pleasing to the eye and comfortable to the soul. I remember at a very early age wanting to be able to arrange my own room, and thankfully, she let me. I loved rearranging my furniture. I continually looked for opportunities to change things up. I still do! It’s like food for the body. I need to create.
There isn’t a project I do, big or small, where I don’t pray over it. Whether I am working with a client or doing a floor set at the shop, I ask God to give me creativity and direction. This doesn’t mean it comes without trial, but I can trust that it will all work together for good – sometimes even a life lesson. Many times He just pulls things together in a way that I couldn’t have, just as in life. He is the ultimate creator.
I love mixing new with old. I enjoy the clean and fresh lines of modern design, but my favorite pieces are those that are sentimental to me. I know the story behind them; pieces that my relatives once used in their daily lives and are now in mine, or items that I remember as a child. I have some of these in every room of my house. These pieces add warmth, depth and character that can’t be duplicated. Combining the uniqueness of vintage pieces with the crispness of modern design is my favorite way of decorating. That’s part of what makes working at Station 8 so exciting. Every piece that comes through that door has its own story.
God’s country. The Last Best Place. I’ve been blessed enough to call it home for over 6 years now although even as a child my heart called it home. There’s something about Montana that satisfies that soul, and gives root to creativity. Being surrounded by God’s creation and splendor is inspiring. Some of my preferred elements to incorporate into a space are wood, glass and stone. It’s like brining the outdoors in. This quote by William Hiortsberg says it perfectly, “Of all the memorable views, the best have been framed by Montana windows”.
I started working at The Shops at Station 8 just over a year ago. I realized quickly that Colette, the owner, had a wealth of knowledge that I wanted to tap into. She is encouraging, inspiring, inventive and incredibly savvy. I’ve never been more challenged and I love it! We need other career women that spur us on to greatness, women that inspire us in our field. I’m thankful to have found that in the leadership at The Shops at Station 8.
I’m blessed to call Montana home and to be able to draw inspiration from my faith, family and surroundings. Stop in and see me at the shop and share with me what inspires you!
On behalf of Team 8,
Jennifer Goff – The Shops at Station 8
There’s just something about autumn that makes me desire change! It’s a time to be adaptable. The trees are changing color and getting ready for their long winter naps! If you’re a gardener you have to get your garden ready for winter. If you’re a mom you’re getting used to your kids being back in school, just starting school, or maybe even going off to college. The weather gets cooler, and just about everyone is transitioning from their summer wardrobes and getting ready to layer up. Out come our wool sweaters and boots. I start thinking about brining out my favorite down comforter, and wool throws out of my closet, and again gracing my bed and sofa with them. I love change! Whether it’s changing hairstyles, homes, towns, or even something as simple as changing the pillows on my sofa–I love it all!
I think that is why autumn is my favorite time of year, well that and I love the fall colors, and of course Halloween! They call me “quirky” for a reason! I appreciate things just a little different: spooky, colorful, or just plain random. I use a lot of curiously curated items in my own home. Some things just call my name, and I have to have them! Like a funky old radio shaped like a knights helmet, a copper statue of Lady Liberty that is a combination lamp/clock from the 40’s, or vintage bowling trophies. And, yes, I do own a jar of old denture molds that I bring out at Halloween to add some spooky! For me it’s all about my own personal style. It doesn’t have to be about, “Is it practical?” it’s more about, “Is it me and do I love it?” That’s why one of my very favorite things about working in the shop is helping people find their own personal style. Yes you can have an old metal cubby next to a fine antique you inherited. Your home should be a collection of things from your past, things you’ve inherited or picked up on road trips, all blended with things you love now. It should paint a picture of who you are and how you became that person, so that when friends walk into your home they feel like they’ve been hugged by you! And like you, your home should always be evolving and changing!
As a buyer for the shop I also like to pick out selective quirky items for our looks in the store. Right now, it’s combining fun industrial accents, like old black telephones as bookends, or rusty old pulleys that can be a statement piece on a bookshelf or buffet and serve no other purpose than just being a fun conversation piece!
I love how the shop is always changing and always adapting to the newest trends and mixing them in with vintage and antique items to make it purely Station 8! Have fun creating in your home and come in and say hi to me; I look forward to seeing you!
On behalf of Team 8,
Rachel Kelly, Shop Manager-The Shops at Station 8
Integrating this principle of design into visual presentations has become second nature to me. Through a background in Fashion Merchandising, I was taught the two forms of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. The latter immediately intrigued me; the idea of using contrasting fabrics, such as linen vs. leather, to create a unified product made so much sense. To me, symmetry seemed banal, even easy. So why not create an asymmetrical visual presentation, using creativity to achieve the same sense of balance? Through the years, I have translated this concept from apparel to interiors: filling a pristine, rounded vase with colorful, vintage crayons is perfection to me. The contrast between the clear, structured glass and the childish crayons brings a sense of harmony. My concept of balance is less about the number of items used in a visual presentation, and more about the attributes of the items and how they will accentuate one another. This has become my approach to apparel design as well as displays within Station 8.
Within the concept of balance, there are six contributing elements; color, texture, size, shape, quantity and space. Simply listing these isn’t enough for me, however visualizing them creates imagery and something I can make tangible. Imagine a barn wood picture frame, with it’s perfectly worn wood, hanging on a wall over a piece of soft, warm, caramel colored suede. The contrasting of patina’d wood and supple leather, compliment and add intrigue to the display. This is my ideal example of asymmetrical balance using texture. It is less about the item’s similarities; more about the item’s contrast, which showcase their beautiful characteristics. When creating a vignette in The Shop, I must consider each of these factors and how they play-off the others. A deep lilac, crushed velvet couch as a centerpiece can be balanced by a mustard-yellow, mid-century coffee table. The two may have contrasting attributes but by using these complimentary colors, the display is tied together, creating visual harmony.
For me, the worlds of fashion and interior design are based upon the same principles. These six foundational elements that I use daily for my vignettes, are prominent in my wardrobe and apparel constructing. For work today, I paired a fitted, black chiffon blouse with torn, boyfriend jeans and a pair of Adidas tennis shoes. The dissimilarity of the fabrics and fit of these items creates a well balanced overall look. My apparel designs use the same principle of contrast, integrating vintage fashion with modern trends. Each item is hand altered, pairing contrasting fabrics, such as tweed and silk, to create my own unique balanced garments.
This concept of balance I have embodied transcends design and is incorporated into my daily life. I believe it is important to find beauty and contrasts in everything you do. Every mistake must be looked at as an opportunity for improvement and learning. A long day of work must be followed by an evening of play. Enjoy the contrasts in life; they are what ultimately create an overall sense of balance.
On Behalf of Team 8,
Elise Davis, Assistant Manager
The Shops at Station 8
The creative process is, by its very nature, a highly individual affair. To create is to provide the world with an unflinchingly-honest illustration of not only our talents but our tastes, which are as unique as we are, because they are shaped by the unique stories and contexts which define us. As a lover of history, and a shameless stalker of antiques, I find it difficult to overstate the tremendous importance of story to our everyday lives, as context provides a sense of identity. As a decorator, I find it even more difficult to overstate the importance of story to the creative design experience. Our tastes are different because the stories behind them are. Our individual stories play an undeniable role in shaping our tastes, in determining what speaks to us and the manner in which it speaks.
On top of the variance of our individual sensibilities, our highly singular contexts also decide how we assign value, whether we are dealing with an antique in a shop or piece we uncovered in a relative’s home. The story attached to the piece, and the memories it brings back to us, can make even the most (seemingly) unremarkable item a treasure beyond even monetary value. This concept of beauty by association brings to mind an experience I had here at the shops, as I was folding an old and well-loved quilt. It had been stitched together by hand in the mid-1930’s, using remnants of flour sacks. A literal assessment of the quilt’s worth would likely focus around details such as the slightly faded prints, or the obvious wear at the edges, leading to the conclusion that the piece has little real value. As I turned it over in my hands, however, I realized that an assessment of the story of the piece made it priceless. I imagine it was stitched in love, that a mother saved scraps of material for months in an effort to create a blanket of security to keep a child warm amidst the turmoil and uncertainty of the Great Depression. While not the work of a master quilter, it is, in its own right, a masterpiece.
I like to believe that, when we are creating our spaces, our own stories and the stories of the pieces we use can liberate our decorative sense. Rather than attempting to force a room to fit a theme, and rather than attempting to shop to a highly-specific theme, decorate by instinct – use the pieces that you love, the pieces that perfectly suit your unique tastes. Your own story, the tale that guides your likes and dislikes, will not lead you astray. In using the items that truly speak to your unique context, you become the “theme”, if you will, the unifying factor that ultimately allows you to create a warm and distinct living space.
I encourage each of you to reconnect with your story, and consider how it has molded your tastes.
On behalf of the entire Station 8 Team,