The owners of Lori’s Sweet Sinsations love salvage, so we gave them a sophisticated and fun salvage makeover for this episode of ‘Save My Bakery’ on Food Network.
Lori’s design mojo is make-do-with-what-you-can-find. She thrift shops, scours sidewalks, and dumpster dives for tables, chairs, and everything else she can use in the bakery. When I first spoke to her, Lori announced: “I don’t like things to match.”
Hmpfh. Now that provides an interesting direction for my design compass, especially when there are more than a dozen tables with chairs to makeover.
Lori’s passion for salvage and thrift also means that they have to find at least 5 new tables and chair sets each year, because her thrifty finds don’t last very long in the bakery. And beyond pure function, the random assortment of items she gathers could have a more cohesive look without matching.
I decided that I wanted to celebrate the passion for salvage but polish the style with sophistication. I was thinking, let’s transform Lori’s Sweet Sinsations from a place that looks like a saloon on the outside and a cafeteria on the inside into a style that exudes the Lori-ness of Lori’s. Let’s transform the bakery into a fresh summer, country day.
Exterior makeover. The exterior makeover was extremely important. The vinyl sign that was impossible to read from the road and the facade that looked more saloon than tea room were visual obstacles from Lori’s success. I started with creating a new sign — with new branding — that extends 20 feet over the porch roof.
Then I wanted to update the facade to make it more feminine. I chose column wraps from Fypon and a soft yellow and mint green to update the facade color and door colors. I also wanted to bring some character and dimension to the long front porch entrance, so we distressed wood and made a series of planter boxes. And since Lori says she works late into the night sometimes, I included exterior sconces that are motion-sensored.
Interior makeover. The challenges for the interior space included: no visual delineation between dining and the bakery, the bakery cases are not highlighted upon entering the shop, and there is not enough space for the staff to prep and work. (For every bakery that I design, I make sure to watch the staff work. I look for their walking paths, how they enter each space, where do the customers naturally stand, and all of the movements during a typical workday. I only have so many hours, but this is an hour well-spent.)
The first step to the interior makeover was changing the orientation of the bakery cases so they are facing the entrance, and move the waiting area to a corner of the bakery.
With the general idea in place, I chose a softer color palette that is more on-trend, lime and soft yellow with grey and wood tones. Our friend Laurie at Customized Walls created a custom-colored wallpaper based on the colors for the bakery and a pattern that I loved. We used the wallpaper as diamond shapes inside the bakery area, and then as accents to create drama, fun and texture throughout the rest of the space.
To create a more quaint intimacy in the dining area, I wanted to change the levels in flooring and ceiling heights. We raised an area and created a platform for seating on the far wall, to differentiate dining areas. With white-washed picket fencing and flooring to divide the area—both made with Southern Pine and Eastern White Pine softwood lumber—the raised area has reclaimed wood as wall art intermingled with sconces to create the balance of sophistication with the salvage.
We also hung rolling barn doors to divide the front of the bakery with the prep area with CS Hardware rolling door hardware. Then we added a ‘cowboy’ door to the other entrance to the prep area from the waitress station.
As soon as I starting on the path of the distressed wood look, I asked our friend Pauline Henderson if she could quickly create reclaimed wall art for this bakery. Her style was a perfect match for the design concept of the space.
When I first walked into the space, I was inspired by a few pieces in the space: Lori’s antique furniture and salvage finds. But I was also dismayed by the lack of space available for the servers to prep for customers. So, I asked Mark and the guys if we could add a divider wall to create a larger defined space for prep, and then went on a hunt to a local architectural salvage yard to find wood shutters. I wanted to create a shutter wall to add texture, color, and dimension to the dining area. And while I was hunting, I was able to find diamond windows. We used stained glass paint to create window art instead of traditional window treatments. The colored glass helps to filter the light and add a touch of charm.
In addition to the Stirling Castle sconces in the dining area, I added a chandelier over the bakery counter area. I absolutely feel in the love with it: Quorum Salento Parisian White Pendant Light from LampsPlus.com.
I think the makeover of this ‘Save My Bakery‘ showcases the charming spirit and fun-loving nature of the owner, Lori.