Renovating an Old Store

Back in 1999, my wife and I opened up a business in Alton – a resale shop for baby/children’s clothing, cribs, swings, etc. To save a little money in startup costs, I rented a storefront in horrible condition and got a discount on the monthly rent by agreeing to fix it up myself. Before we rented it, it was a liquor store. After that it was vacant for about a year. The shopping center and it’s location was actually pretty nice – on one side of us was a beauty salon and on the other side was a kids dance studio and a video store/tanning salon. Our space was the only one in bad condition. This was a pretty fun project for me because it was my first time ever renovating a large space like this. Here’s some pictures of how it all turned out.

One of the corners in the front of the store. For some reason it was in horrible condition. Kind of hard to see with the toy shelf in front of it, but it looks much better now.
Here’s the walls while we were painting them. The yellow-green-white color scheme just didn’t work for us. And here it is all finished, complete with some of those creepy Anne Gedes baby pictures.
Here’s the front of the store, taken from the back of the store. The same view taken less than a year later.
Above is the bathroom. It was falling apart, there were tiles stacked up on the floor, the sink was falling off the wall and the room was filled with trash. This is the new bathroom.
The front counter was decorated with football wallpaper and the top was covered in paint. Stripping the paper off the front revealed a nice wooden finish.
This is the back hallway while I was still building the back room. It’s still pretty messy in this picture but it’s done.
I’ve got part of a wall up for the back room. Ripped the carpet up and have done most of the painting. Here it is pretty much finished.

Here’s the outside of the store. I did the window painting myself by printing out a slide projector sized image on transparent paper and shining it onto the window. I traced the image with crayons and then painted it on with window paints.
Here’s my son Payton, just a few months old and testing out the baby carriers for us.
A friend painted a huge section of wall with this cartoon drawing. I couldn’t find a picture of it completely finished but here’s half of it at least.


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