Rusted Chandelier: Where Classic Meets Edgy

Patti Porter likes her designs to be 10 degrees off-center

Patti Porter, the owner of Rusted Chandelier, located in downtown Kirkwood, describes the philosophy that guides her creative design. “I always like to say you want to be 10 degrees off.  Not so standard in the box.”  Patti prefers sofa tables and coffee tables to be interesting, but she keeps those pieces neutral to allow the accessories, like art and pillows, to be funkier.  

Setting Up Shop

My family championed for me to open a store. During a family road trip, our whole conversation was about the idea of starting a business and wondering what to call it. One of the kids noted that I like old, rusted things. I agreed, but I also said I loved pretty chandeliers. The kids came up with the name Rusted Chandelier. I thought, “That’s got a ring to it.” After that trip, I talked with Carol Temple, owner of Pizazz 2 Interiors, about working together in a retail space. Before long, Diane Bosworth, owner of DB Creative, joined us. Then, I signed the lease, got a Visa machine and cash registers, and there was no stopping me. I was like a racehorse at the gate just waiting to get out. I haven’t stopped. I try each year to make it better and better; to find those wonderful, unique, and different items that you don’t see anywhere else. 

Creating a Happy Place

The best thing I can hear, the thing that makes it all worthwhile is when customers say, “I just had to come to my happy place today.” That’s what this is all about. I love spending time with customers searching and digging for unique items they wouldn’t find in any other store, things that make them happy. I have a special place in my heart for using monkeys as unique accessories, so we have plenty of monkeys around that make people smile. Right now, I love decorating with prayer beads. Recently, I found a vendor that reproduces dough bowls that I’m really excited about. Original dough bowls are very costly. These reproductions look great and are affordable. They can be used in many different ways, as a floral container or placed with silver or china. I’m in my happy place when I’m showing customers how to take an ordinary item and turn it into something extraordinary. I feel so blessed and so lucky to be able to do that. 

Finding Florals that Fit

Florals give any room warmth and texture to break up hard surfaces and soften the edges. People come in looking for traditional arrangements, but typically they leave with something upbeat and creative. I have been doing a lot of orchids. The fresh touch peonies and roses feel so real, and the colors are gorgeous. Florals are the easiest way to change a room. It’s as simple as bringing in measurements of the space to be filled. If it’s a dining room table, bring the measurement from the table to the bottom of the chandelier. Or, take a picture of the space. Customers can bring in their container, and we can rework it, or add new florals. I encourage people to invest in a container and then give it a new life with different looks throughout the year. If customers don’t have something to start with, they are likely to discover something delightfully surprising.

Curating Art

I usually know immediately. If I look at a piece and it makes me smile, it ends up in the shop.  Of course, I’m drawn to color — bright, happy colors. But I do like a tone-on-tone that feels good. I buy the image first. Then I pick the frames and or the matting. Many pieces come on paper, canvas, and have hand strokes added to it for texture. I spend time determining if it is going to be matted, behind glass, not behind glass, or on canvas. 

I am actively looking for a local artist to feature in my shop. I would love to be able to sell originals. 

Trending for 2020 

I’ve seen a lot of natural elements, like wood. And cream furniture covers. But, then there are major brights coming out as well. I thrilled with the variety of trends. Customers trust me to bring creative, new ideas to their homes. Currently, I like this idea of having things go organic and natural in plants. For people that can’t keep up with the care of real plants, artificials come in wonderful varieties. We just got in this new fiddle leaf fig, which people love but struggle with growing because it requires bright, consistent sunlight. The leaves of these new artificials are so realistic. Something else that I’m excited to bring people in 2020 is a custom furniture line from Norwalk. This brand has a great price point and delivers quickly. I try to find pieces that are neutral so that customers can get add funky accessories that are a little… 10 degrees off. 

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