It didn't take long for Catherine Newman, owner of Essential Home Decor, to fix up the former CooCooU location on Hertel (see back story
). In a relatively short period of time, Cat stripped and buffed the floors, cleared out what was remaining in the showroom, and prepared the space for her own merchandise. What is truly amazing is what happened with the formerly congested space when Cat got her hands on it. I'm not sure if anyone in Buffalo knew that there were wood floors in the storefront. Cat relayed to me that when they were first uncovered, she was told that the floors were too far gone to reuse and that she should look for carpeting. Undeterred, Cat asked that the floors remain, and conceded that if there were some signs of damage then she would chalk that up to showroom"character". Today the floors look dynamite and play off of the look of the salvaged tin ceilings.
The large size of the showroom has allowed Cat to created vintage vignettes throughout, in order to create a flow from the front of the shop to the back. When it comes to antiques and retro furniture and accessories, Cat is a whiz. Somehow all of her pieces work well together, without looking cluttered and overly eclectic. If you find a table that you like, chances are that you will find a lamp and a chair that match. That is hard to do in many cases, but she's got a trained eye for mixing and matching, and "she doesn't take any crap" either. Being a lover of Danish modern furniture and retro contemporary design, I find Essential Home Decor to be robust and refreshing. Thankfully now that the transformation is complete, it is easy to see that Hertel has landed yet another great business.
Cat is also featuring original artwork in her space, and plans on showcasing "live" art in the display windows on Saturdays.
1478 Hertel Avenue