Junk Architect ~ My Home Furnishings Store

June 6th, 2011 in blog, member junk     
JunkArchitect Jim Healy, editor
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Here’s a shelf and buffet table I built, painted and distressed. The pillows were created from old Beacon Blankets. This photo was taken within the first month after we opened. 
There are additional photos on my Facebook page (Jim Healy JunkArchitect). Ill add more as I find them.
Newspaper clipping.
I created the trim around the main entrance with a Western / Americana theme. All the signage was built from plywood pulled out of the space during demolition.
I’m not sure where the energy came from but I remember staying up all night to build and paint four signs for the exterior.
I still have all the signs.

The register counter was constructed from old plywood and then covered in bead board. The two doors in the background are fitting rooms I created from shelving ripped out during demolition.
As you can see from this window display we also sold several lines of women’s clothing.
The green flower box is my creation and was one of the best sellers. I must have built fifty in different shapes and colors over the next five years.

I really miss this piece. I built and painted it to look like an old General Store display. It was perfect for showcasing vintage linens, table clothes, etc.
Here’s a photo from a newspaper article.
This hutch was the first piece I built specifically for the store. It sold two days after we opened. I wonder where it is 21+ years later.
I was five when I built my first piece of furniture. Its a small shelf and hangs in my basement. I cant believe the piece was never tossed out.
Tables, shelves, mirrors and a clothes rack that looked like the framework from a tepee. It was years of non-stop building.

I found this old canoe behind an antique shop and bought it for $10. I remember strapping it to the roof of my little Nissan and cleaning it at the car wash before going home. 
I cut it in half with a Sawzall and installed shelves and lighting…sold both halves!

I loved that old brick building.
One of my tables and a lamp constructed from old barn board. Not everything in the store was old. The dishes, glasses and birch bark accessories are new but with a vintage theme. 
In the background is one of my armoires filled with 1950’s tablecloths. 

Here’s a shelf and buffet table I built, painted and distressed. The pillows were created from old Beacon Blankets. This photo was taken within the first month after we opened. 
There are additional photos on my Facebook page (Jim Healy JunkArchitect). Ill add more as I find them.

Here’s a shelf and buffet table I built, painted and distressed. The pillows were created from old Beacon Blankets. This photo was taken within the first month after we opened. 

There are additional photos on my "Facebook" page (Jim Healy JunkArchitect). I'll add more as I find them.

Photo: Jim Healy - Junk Architect (copyright 2011)

Back in 1990 I realized my dream, by opening a home store featuring my junk creations and furniture. I found a great location in West Hartford, Connecticut. With basically no money to invest I took a week off from my day job and started renovating the space. I was working 18-hour days doing demolition, finish construction, fixture building, painting, signage, electrical, lighting and plumbing.

It was one of the craziest, yet one of most enjoyable times of my life. In 1995 my son Dylan was born and it was the same month the lease on the space expired. So with two children it was time to pack it in and be grateful for the amazing experience and all the memories.

I hope you enjoy my little trip back-in-time.

NEW FRONTIER - American Living



Pattern or design used: My Own Design - Jim Healy NEW FRONTIER 1990-1995
posted in: blog, member junk, vintage, cottage, eclectic, furniture, industrial, house wear, farm, fabric, jim healy, 40s, junk architect, 50s, 60s, western, retail store

Comments (25)

suziart writes: I am in love with the old shop!!! I only wish I could have shopped there, I would have been your best customer!!!

You can do it again, I agree with everyone, with all that talent oozing from every pore...you have so much to give and can do!

Posted: 5:13 am on November 18th
oldjunkie writes: Wow Jim - I didn't realize you'd had a store...it was truly amazing. You've got incredible talent and I admire your insite and designs. So cool to love what you do and make a living at it!!

Posted: 11:01 pm on February 3rd
gadgetsponge writes: Keep the dream alive! Hopefully one day you can get back to that place in life. In the meantime, there's always the wee hours of the day we all work in. Haha.

Posted: 6:17 pm on September 7th
cheznous writes: NEVER give up on your dreams and thanks for helping to add to mine!!!!

Posted: 2:49 pm on July 24th
Boni writes: That canoe piece is awesome! What a teriffic idea. Posted: 8:38 am on July 2nd
junkistah writes: wow! this is what i'm dreaming of, a shop filled with memories...
love how you put things together. Posted: 8:14 pm on June 18th
TinTinJunkFan writes: Wonderful pictoral story... amazing creativity and I can just feel the energy! Love your work, past and present! Posted: 2:28 pm on June 14th
Prior writes: Open back up!! I wanna shop! Love it all, Lezlee Posted: 6:20 pm on June 9th
rachelrivniker writes: WOW! a shop like this is my dream. You certainly have the eye for "good junk" and the touch. You should open a new shop just like this. Anyway it was wonderful to look at all the wonderful things in the shop and go through memory lane. Posted: 7:13 am on June 9th
MimiToria writes: I too enjoyed the stroll down memory lane with you. Love the photo with the boots. That would be where I would of ended up, there and at the jewelry counter. lol Looks like it was a really cool shop, and I agree, although your stuff was cool then, it's even better now.
Gretchen Posted: 2:46 pm on June 8th
JunkArchitect writes: Thanks Petiebird! 18-hour work days can't go on too long before something goes horribly wrong. On about the fifth day I drilled a hole through my thumb.
That's the only photo I've found so far of a flower box. If another one turns up I'll scan and post it.
To answer your question...it is on legs.

Posted: 12:32 pm on June 8th
Petiebird writes: oh Jim will you share with us the green flower box?? is it up on feet?? Posted: 11:36 am on June 8th
Petiebird writes: Oh Jim you lived my dream! The look, the touch, the texture, the whole experience. But, what I didn't realize was the time and commintment it took..... 18 hours a day???? wow thats passion. You had (have) spunk. I admire you.
THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing this with all of us wannabees.
Posted: 11:35 am on June 8th
MakinItHappen writes: Ohmygosh, all that gorgeous stuff! I would love to go back in time and be there. I live in the west, but it's unbelievably hard to find a lot of that Adirondack kind of stuff here. Oh that hutch, that canoe, that.... ahhhh Posted: 10:09 am on June 8th
JunkArchitect writes: I'm kinda pushing it by referring to the 90's as vintage but y'all know what I mean. The store was so much fun and I'll never rule out doing something like that again. So Georgia, I might take you up on the offer to run the place. Marie, it's so cool that you're opening a store. I hope it's a HUGE success and post photos as soon as you can.

Thanks everyone...Jim

Posted: 8:05 am on June 8th
oldnews writes: Such a treat to get a peek into your past. Obviously You have always been amazingly talented and it is inspirational to see how your talent has evolved. I am realizing my lifelong dream of having my own store which will open on July 1st. I retired from teaching June 2 and June 3 began painting and renovating our new space! As they say, when one door CLOSES, another one opens! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Posted: 7:09 am on June 8th
VANESSA Posted: 4:30 am on June 8th
Bec4 writes: You have obviously always had amazing talent and a great eye. I hope to have a store...one day, thanks for the inspiration. Posted: 3:20 pm on June 7th
georgiamoon writes: Jimmy, I agree...you do just get better all the time. I also think that you SHOULD do another store, and if you need any help with that... you know where to find me. Great photos and fantastic work!
Georgia Posted: 2:26 pm on June 7th
MossyLady writes: Oh WOW! What a fun store! Do you ever think about doing it again. It looks like a real winner to me.
Posted: 12:53 pm on June 7th
RustyDiva writes: Very nice stroll down memory lane. You are definitely talented and I think it's time you took the plunge again! Thanks for sharing.
Posted: 9:45 am on June 7th
suewhitney writes: Thanks for a look into the past, Jimbo. I love seeing where we have been, what we have done, and how we have evolved. You were great back then...you're even better now. Thanks for sharing your story!

Be Well,
Sue Posted: 7:55 am on June 7th
Heavenly_Treasures writes: JIM,
WOW What a beautiful job you did with that building.Is their anything you can't do?.I appreciate good talent.Looks like a picture out of a magazine.And all of your creations.You don't find very many men that has talent like this.You really need to be commended what you did.GOD BLESS ROBERT. Posted: 7:17 am on June 7th
sandyrae writes: hmmm... I remember the 90's. Rather not go back there unless it was to shop in your Store! I'm with Donna on seeing Wreckage becoming a Hot Spot! Love your past work but totally drool over what you're doing now.

Keep'em coming Jim! You've got fans to entertain!!

Sandy Posted: 5:46 am on June 7th
Funky_Junk_Donna writes: That was one enjoyable browse! I could totally see you doing this again with your current line Wreckage. Mark my words.. you are onto something BIG.

The best new/old distressed finishes in the land.

Donna Posted: 7:48 pm on June 6th
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