Saturday, December 8, 2012

{theNOOK} Recap and Moving Day!

Thank you to everyone who visited the holiday pop-up shop, {theNOOK}, in downtown Naperville last weekend.  It was fun to see people shopping, mingling and lingering to have conversations with friends and neighbors. We plan to continue this new tradition next year, adding more booths and making minor tweaks to continue to grow the shop and improve the experience.  A huge thank you to Alicia's Photography for allowing us to use her studio space, to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for the truffles and hot chocolate and to Flour Power Cookies and Confections for the delicious cookies Friday evening.

I had planned to post some fun pictures of {theNOOK} in full swing, but the unexpected swim my iPhone took in the toilet Saturday morning threw a wrench in those plans.  It spent the remainder of the weekend nestled in a large bag of rice. In case you're wondering, the rice treatment on wet phones does work. Mostly. My home button doesn't work and my camera light stays on at all times, giving my purse a nice green glow, but I can make calls!

Through this process of setting up the holiday pop-up shop and writing his blog, I've become friends with Mark. I've found that one of the most endearing aspects of his personality is that he truly doesn't want his customers to spend unnecessary money. I often visit Room 363 and make comments about wanting an amazing new piece he's found.  His immediate response is always, "Where are you going to put it?"  If he doesn't like my answer, he won't sell me the item.  This is because he's seen my house and knows what will and won't work.    The piece might be great, but that doesn't mean it's right for my space. He encourages his customers to make thoughtful purchases. I spent a good portion of my time at {theNOOK} going through this "I want that" / "Where you going to put it" routine with him.  Finally, on the last day, he said he'd found something I should buy.  He got as far as saying, "I think you should buy. . . " and I was shouting "Yes! I'll take it".  I had no idea what he was recommending, I was just happy to be walking out of there with something Mark-approved.

So, this is it.  This is my $24 red stool that ended up never making it past my front porch.  

Mark arranged my front porch to be used as backdrop for our family pictures, incorporating the vintage red stool.  My favorite part is the screen door with the wreath hanging from it. It was a great way to bring some height and interest to a blank area of the porch, behind my love seat.

Mark designed the family photo "set" using materials we had decorating the outside of {theNOOK}.  He left me with a wreath to hang on the front door, instructing me to buy a Command brand hook and hang it.  Which I did.  He stopped by the next day to drop off a rug and the first words out of his mouth were, "You hung your wreath upside down."  Seriously?  I get one job and I can't even get that right.  I like it upside down though, so I'm keeping it.

Never one to sit still long, as soon as we closed {theNOOK}, Mark immediately began moving from his townhouse in St. Charles to a home in Naperville.  He sent me these shots of the chaos.  

Now that he's been in the house for a couple days, he sent me a small sneak peek of his favorite cabinet to share.

I promise to get more pictures after he's settled and has had a chance to decorate and paint.

Welcome to Naperville, Mark!



  1. I am sorry I missed that event! Jeanne told me how amazing it was! I am hoping to make it next time.I live a little over an hour away and with my daughters schedule it can be hard.I did make it to the shop in the fall and it was worth the trip!
    Your porch looks beautiful!

  2. Love your porch Maria! It's so true about Mark. He really cares for his customers and considers them immediate friends for life. His thoughtfulness and honesty will be what keeps Room 363 open for years to come. It's fast becoming one of Naperville's #1 shops! It was so great meeting you during the Nook sale and hope we stay in touch. Cheers!

    1. Totally agree! It was such a fun weekend. It didn't feel like work at all. Thanks for helping to make it fun! -Maria

  3. I was eyeing that red stool!! Glad you found it a home--your porch looks beautiful. Now how do I get Mark to come decorate my home...???
    :) Hazel

    1. It's a great stool! Talk to Mark! I know he'd love to help you. :-)

  4. I saw that red stool too, but I had just bought one at the flea market and thought - Do I really need TWO red stools? (Mark would be constantly asking me "Where are you going to put it?" too! LOL!) I really enjoyed shopping at the NOOK sale. I'm so happy it will return for an encore next year.