17 October 2009

OLIVINE: A New Rice Village Neighbor

 

olivine 019

If you are like me and Olivine is one of your favorite Houston haunts you might have been wondering just where they disappeared to.  Have no fear, Olivine’s proprietor Helen has moved her charming shop from Uptown to the Rice Village – YEAH!!!!  Finally, Olivine is in my stomping grounds.    Their former location wasn’t that far away,   but with this move to Rice  Boulevard, Olivine is practically in my back yard and I plan on being a fixture in the shop.

And why not?  They carry just about everything you could want for your house:  one of their most popular lines is the gorgeous Bella Notte for the bedroom.    They also carry Aidan Gray lamps and chandeliers and Dash and Albert Rugs.  For the body and nose, Helen tries to stock Oprah’s Favorites – like  the Kai and Lollia brands.  There is als0 the wonderful Les Indiennes fabric line and French Laundry Home brings along a feedbag and burlap vibe.   One particular company provides a lot of the store’s atmosphere - I think Helen bought the entire Vagabond Vintage catalogue for the shop.  I love that company and I think Olivine and  Vagabond Vintage are a great visual match.      In the back of the shop, she has a huge assortment of all things baby – perfect for the Rice Village where I swear almost every family in West University has a toddler or two or three!

The new Rice Village location has been open for only a short time – in fact the former tenant Back Be Nimble’s sign is still out front (soon to be replaced!)   But everything else from the former back store is long gone – Helen spent all of September getting the new shop ready – and if you ever wanted to check out wall to wall seagrass, this is your chance – I think she bought out all the rolls of it available in town.   There’s a very laid-back, warm and friendly vibe to the store – either Helen is working (she drives in from the hour-away Woodlands where she lives) or her trusty Aussie assistant Kathy is manning the shop – as she has been doing since the very beginning.   Between the two of them, they know their merchandise.   There always a shop dog or two laying around, both woman are major animal lovers and heaven knows how many dogs Helen ever has at the moment – the last time I asked it was five.  No wonder her house is done all in white slipcovers.   Which brings me to the point of it all – for the next two weeks, if you write a $25 check to the HSPCA,  Olivine is offering a store wide (including special orders) 20 percent discount.   Helen was spurred on by the recent rescue of over 1,000 animals from one hoarder – which has put a huge strain on the HSPCA.  So, if you want to help out with the animal rescue, but aren’t in the market for a new dog – drop by Olivine and go shopping, your  $25 check will be a great help, and the 20 percent savings will be your thank you gift from Olivine.     The store is located at 2405 Rice Blvd – just look for the Back Be Nimble sign !   Act quickly though – the HSPCA benefit lasts only until November 1st.   

 

olivine 022

The exterior is almost as cute as the interior.  Olivine put in a brick porch and a new French door – along with a black trimmed paint job – completely changing the facade.    Rice Village is one of Houston’s oldest shopping destinations.    The narrow streets with door-t0-door shops encourages walking outside, a rarity in Houston shopping.  The Village is filled with mom & pop stores and specialty shops. Only a small number of chains have invaded this area, so the charming, old-town atmosphere still prevails.

 

olivine 035Outside the front door,  Olivine set up this darling vignette to let shoppers know they are now open for business.  I spy lots of painted gray merchandise in the window that instantly appeals!

 

olivine 030 In the other window – a reproduction Santos holds court.   I couldn’t resist and had to buy a similar one for Elisabeth’s room! The zinc cherub is too adorable.

 

 

olivine 033 The sign says it all.

 

 

olivine 040 I have never been in Olivine and not been greeted by one or two dogs!  But if you are afraid of them, Helen will quickly put them in the back room.  Check out the seagrass – freshly laid, it smells soooo good!

 

 

 

olivine 054

This daybed from Vagabond Vintage is one of my favorite things in the store.  I love its tufted mattress – it’s a wonderful piece, especially for the price.

 

olivine 048

Upholstered and slipcovered headboards are hugely popular here.  All the beds are made up with the cutest linens.  Custom orders available too.

 

 

olivine 059

Mercury glass and zinc – how can you go wrong for Christmas gifts? 

 

 

 

olivine 065 I could spend days looking at all the body products and scented candles. 

 

 

image The styling is really great – here black and raw wood mixes with white and cream linens.  Notice the charming set of faux books on the night table!!!

 

 

 

olivine 075 The back of the store is dedicated to the baby and toddler.   Stacks of bedding line the walls.

 

 

olivine 068 The cutest clothes in the world – awwww, I wish I had a baby or a grandbaby to dress!!   Helen certainly knows babies – she had five of her own.  Yes, you heard me correctly.

 

 

olivine 073The hottest thing going – the Market Sling for babies – Helen confessed to me she put her new puppy in one.   You have to understand – her “human” babies have flown the coop and she must be missing them.

 

 

olivine 074 Baby nighties.  Everything is displayed so cute – in charming vintage chests or on old shelves with baskets. 

 

 

 

image Theses angels come large or small and are so beautiful – they were hard to resist. 

 

 

olivine 079 An antique armoire holds bedding, while a French chair hosts the wonderful Les Indiennes fabric samples. 

 

 

image There was a lot of trendy burlap – bags and rugs and wall hangings. 

 

 

 image

This chair from French Laundry Home is on order and will be in the shop shortly.   Love, love, love it!!!!!!

 

 

olivine 057 A view towards the front window.  This Italian chandelier by Aidan Gray is hard to find – the company can’t keep them in stock.    Olivine has a nice selection of wooden chandeliers and light fixtures and tons of great lamps too. 

 

 

If you are out and about in Houston, be sure to stop by the Rice Village and pop in to welcome Olivine to the “hood.”   And don’t forget, for a $25 donation to the Houston Humane  Society – the store is all 20 percent off – including any special orders!!