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Old is new 

Anyone who's ever endured the stress of holiday shopping or gift shopping in general knows that picking the perfect item can be mentally exhausting. But shopping shouldn't be an exercise in self-torture. That's the theory behind The Nest. Hiding just behind the turquoise double doors of the Ah Louis building in San Luis Obispo, The Nest is a sanctuary for shoppers with assaulted senses.

click to enlarge COLLECTORS :  Pam McKiernan (left) and Judy Mora (right) opened their retro houseware and gift shop The Nest in the historic Ah Louis building. Their specialty is "repurposing" vintage items into modern de cor. - PHOTO BY KYLIE MENDONCA
  • PHOTO BY KYLIE MENDONCA
  • COLLECTORS : Pam McKiernan (left) and Judy Mora (right) opened their retro houseware and gift shop The Nest in the historic Ah Louis building. Their specialty is "repurposing" vintage items into modern de cor.

# Simple furniture and gifts in neutral colors set off by clusters of robin's egg blue The Nest is easy on the eyes and easy on the wallet. Owners Pam McKiernan and Judy Mora have an eye for detail, as well as creative ideas for repurposing everyday items. At The Nest, a vintage metal bed frame becomes a perfect window seat, and an old toolbox becomes a centerpiece fit for the most delicate bouquet.

Some call it "shabby chic." McKiernan calls it "perfect recycling" by breathing new life into existing items rather than making new objects from new materials. The Nest offers beautifully crafted used tables, chairs, and armoires, refinished in modern colors.

The shop walks a line between nostalgia and contemporary style. It's filled with vintage suitcases, old mason jars, and picnic baskets stuffed with new towels, quilted cotton blankets, and birds.

Despite the underlying emphasis on times past, the store does carry new gifts, including baby items, lotions, and everything to make a houseguest feel perfectly at home.

"Women are great gift givers," McKiernan explained, "so we put together a variety of affordable gift items that are the best natural products we could find. We have soy candles, French milled egg-shaped soaps, a line of milk hand and body lotions, and Caldrea home care products."

They chose the store's name because they carry all kinds of decorative nests

and bird items, such as a pair of white dove salt-and-pepper shakers or bluebird stationery. Vintage birdcages, old prints, plates, cotton towels, and all kinds of accessories featuring birds adorn the walls and shelves.

Visit The Nest at 800 Palm St. in San Luis Obispo Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 or Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 594-1942.

Kylie Mendonca compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to rmiller@newtimesslo.com.

 

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