Walk into La Grange's newest boutique, Painted Rubbish, and you'll know immediately that it's not the average consignment shop.
That's because the owner, Hinsdale resident Gina De La Mora, wants the store to be a place where the community can gather. Not just browse the collection of furniture that's been repurposed, but also sit on it, enjoy some coffee and free WiFi, and take part in the various classes that will be offered.
She's been conducting estate sales for a while now and visits them all the time. De La Mora has another business in Westmont, but she hopes the fresh paint on the furniture will give the La Grange boutique a unique feel, whether it's the bright red china cabinet or the multicolored dresser.
"No more doilies and teacups," she said. "Everything has a vintage, industrial feel."
Painted Rubbish, located just off La Grange Road at 20 W. Harris St. in La Grange, opened last Monday, March 4.
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Besides furniture, there's a lot offered: flasks, pocket knives, watches, jewelry and much more. The items De La Mora finds are intriguing enough, but what could keep people coming back is the artsy atmosphere she's trying to create.
"We want this to be a place people can come and hang out," she said.
Coffee and WiFi certainly help that cause, and there's meeting space available; for example, a local book club already reached out to ask about meeting there. But there will also be open mic nights on the weekends, and classes starting in April will feature local residents teaching a wide range of topics, including guitar lessons, knitting, Photoshop, drawing and furniture painting.
It's got the chance to become a hub for the arts in La Grange. Her son, Gabriel De La Mora, has his artwork showcased in the store, and three other artists from La Grange also have their work hanging in the business.
As for the furniture, that's a work of art, too. De La Mora has an interior architecture degree. She said she's been painting furniture since she was 9 years old.
"That was my first spanking, the first time I got in trouble," said De La Mora, who re-paints everything herself. "It's just whatever I'm feeling at that moment."
And she's got a lot to work with: De La Mora runs estate sales through her business, but she is also attending them any chance she gets so she can find new items to feature.
"I went to an estate sale on the way into work today," she said. "I'm somewhat of a junkie."