MADE is a paid partnership with Little Lake County.
Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. This month we have gotten to know Juliet Abeille. Juliet is the Owner of Loverly Cottage. Today we are going to learn more about Loverly Cottage, a Lake Bluff boutique specializing in hand painted, French cottage inspired furniture, homegoods and gifts.
Stepping into Loverly Cottage in Lake Bluff, you soon realize it is not your average furniture, homegoods or gifts store. The shop is a delightful, creative haven housing one-of-a-kind home furnishings including hand-picked vintage homegoods, cottage style furniture, and farmhouse treasures. Even the name of the store (inspired by the song “Wouldn’t it be Loverly,” written for the 1956 Broadway play My Fair Lady) inspires a certain calmness.
Proprietor Juliet Abeille prides herself in the ability to find new purpose and create appealing modern uses for good furniture and other household goods that might otherwise be discarded or end up in a landfill. She also has a knack for curating a marvelous selection of irresistible decorating items and seasonal gifts. According to Juliet,
Quality, solid wood furniture was made to stand the test of time. I love when people bring me things from their family — things that have sentimental value that can be repurposed and continue to be handed down to future generations. And paint covers a multitude of sins!
Whether you bring your own piece of furniture to the shop, or find something that Juliet has discovered on one of her own market hauls, it’s a win-win situation for all involved — especially the environment. Even the refinishing processes used at Loverly Cottage are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that breathing new life into furniture doesn’t have to result in toxic fumes. Juliet features Fusion Mineral Paint in her shop, which is eco-friendly and very durable. The paint is zero VOC (meaning it has no volatile organic compounds, or solvents, that get released into the air). Even the top coats are mineral-based and are environmentally friendly. The array of colors is plentiful, and the painted products turn out magnificent.
Furniture is painted on-site, in the workshop area adjacent to the boutique. While Juliet herself has been painting furniture for more than 20 years, she also employs three women at Loverly Cottage, which she refers to as “goddesses with paint brushes.” Together they work to turn sideboards and victrolas into dry bars, and repurpose quality pieces of furniture and other items into relevant functional items for the next generation. As dining and bedroom sets take on new finishes, family connections and fond memories remain intact.
If you are interested in making something yourself, but need a little help you can attend a do-it-yourself workshop at Loverly Cottage. Workshops teach basic painting techniques, decorating skills and how to make simple home decorations. Private workshops can also be arranged, and one-on-one furniture painting instruction is also available. Past workshops topics include:
- picket fence garden signs;
- tassel garlands;
- seasonal decor;
- crate painting;
- milk paint chalkboards; and
- personalized stenciled serving trays.
The back of the store opens up to a deck and splendid patio area that is used for special events, such as tea and garden parties in addition to workshops. The space is beautiful and can be reserved for private events such as bridal showers, baby showers and birthday parties. Juliet plans to host events with live music as the weather becomes warmer, and is cultivating a native garden in the outdoor space. And if tea is served, plan on using a fancy vintage cup, of course. Juliet adds,
Use the good stuff. Life is short. And as my daughter says, everything always tastes better in a fancy cup.
Don’t wait to experience the wonderful assortment of unique and hand-chosen repurposed furniture items, home goods and gifts at Loverly Cottage.
Disclosure: Loverly Cottage is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series please contact the sales team.