Ava’s Attic – Upcycling Creates a Treasure Trove of Eclectic Finds
Susan Henry and her daughter Courtney Hood have built a thriving business from their own and other people’s castoffs. “We started out doing interior decorating work for rental property owners in and around Destin,” says Susan. “I’m just a salvage person at heart,” she declares. “I have created a garden shed with old windows, old doors, old beams. One of the salvaged windows is a beautiful stained glass panel of a peacock in fabulous blues and greens. I have indoor and outdoor furniture that has been refinished, repurposed, or reinvented. It’s a very healthy way to live; it’s green in the best sense. Every single thing we reuse or resell or breathe new life into is something that stays out of the landfill and serves a new purpose.”
Susan has always been a collector with storage units chock-full of furniture and accessories just waiting for new life. Both women have an eye for uncovering hidden treasures, and they began amassing all sorts of pieces with potential. “We rented a little shop, and we began refurbishing and repurposing our own things and taking other people’s things on consignment,” she says. “We both enjoy the creative side of unearthing unused and underappreciated pieces and giving them a new life and a new home. We are always on the lookout for pieces with potential.”
The two women have grown the business to a 13,000 square foot retail store. They specialize in giving old furniture a new look and a new life, some pieces with just a paint job in coastal colors, others with the addition of driftwood, glass, tin, and other metals. “We have three full-time painters, and we actually mix our own paint,” says Susan. “We start with Benjamin Moore and customize it by adding Country Chic chalk paints to achieve the colors and finishes we want. We offer classes to teach customers how to do their own painting and distressing so they can have satisfaction in creating their own unique finishes. We also offer custom painting services – we pick up your piece, paint it to your specifications, and deliver it back to you.”
Outdoor furniture, yard and garden art, and accessories provide another niche for Ava’s Attic. “We come across some great pieces, like the outdoor table crafted of two enormous slices of a tree. This unique table is full of contrasts – it’s rough and smooth, rustic and elegant, it makes an artistic statement, and it fills a practical need.” Susan and Courtney’s vision allows old farm implements and machine parts find new life and new uses on their clients’ porches, patios, and decks as upcycled light fixtures, birdhouses, and wine racks.
Ava’s Attic is a treasure trove of furniture, and it also carries home décor including original local art, art prints, rugs, lamps, and accessories. Artwork, in particular, follows a beachy theme and color scheme like the imposing crab painting that currently hangs in Susan’s home and the driftwood fish that graces her covered deck. They might advise reframing a picture, or painting, or embellishing the existing frame. “When people are furnishing and decorating beach places, whether for themselves or the rental market, they focus on a beach color palette – colors that mirror the tones of the sand and water, the sky and the clouds,” says Susan. “We can show them how to take Grandma’s old brown furniture – like the hutch I have in my own home – and transform it into a modern, chic farmhouse- style piece that provides great storage and is a focal point in any room.”
12889 EMERALD COAST PARKWAY
MIRAMAR BEACH FL 32550