Monday, September 3, 2012

A Visit to Nell Hill's

Hello friends! How was your Labor Day? I had a four-day weekend, and my mother-in-law and I again made the trek to the Sparks Flea Market. It was so strange, after May's haul, the fall show didn't seem nearly as good. I didn't end up buying much, which is a shame considering we drove four hours and stayed overnight. But it was still a fun trip! We stayed in St. Jo, Missouri, and also did some antiquing there. On our way home on Saturday, we stopped in Atchison to visit Nell Hill's

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Nell Hill's name/shop and the work of owner Mary Carol Garrity. She has two shops in Atchison which people drive for miles and miles to see, as well as a shop in Kansas City. She has also authored several books and has her own paint line. She's like a midwest Martha Stewart, or the predecessor to the likes of Miss Mustard Seed.

She is know for her classic style, incredible displays and eye for detail. Going to Nell Hill's is like stepping into a wonderland...and it's easy to see why people make a stop in the tiny town of Atchison just to see it.

My mother-in-law had never been to Nell's, so I couldn't wait for her to see everything. I had only been once, and it was in the spring, so I was excited to see it decked out for fall and Christmas.

Everything was as breathtaking as I remembered. The displays are truly works of art, and her prices are so great you can't resist bringing a few treasures home.

I didn't get any shots of the Christmas rooms, but you can see from the shots of the rest of the store it's amazing. You could spend hours there just exploring every little detail.

I did get several pieces of the plentiful mercury glass, which would be lovely any time but I'm saving mine especially for Christmas.

This display of old windows layered with botanicals up the stairs was amazing. Such a cool idea!

These next photos are from Mary Carol's other store a few doors down, Garrity's. It was decked out for fall and everything was so lovely and inspiring.

Fall pumpkins in urns greeted you as you went up the stairs to the shop. It is housed in the town's old Mason building, so the detailing and architecture are completely incredible.

Fall everywhere!

I have a thing for busts and laurel wreaths, so this combo was my fave!

I was thinking a lot about the merchandising/retailing side of things while we were there, since I'm part of a shop now. You can tell Mary Carol finds very special and unique items and orders in BULK. There were bins and piles of these pumpkins in every shape and size, as well as the mercury glass pumpkins...probably thousands of each. She had hundreds of urns, and a selection of floral stems/garlands that would put Hobby Lobby to shame. I'd love to be able to talk with her about her purchasing philosophy.

There's a reason she is known for her displays...isn't it gorgeous??

This was one of the Halloween rooms. Nothing she does is tacky, just elegant, even with witches and goblins everywhere!

These pumpkins were ubiquitous...I brought some home : )

I love this shot. You can see the amount of product in just one room. Again, I can't say enough about the displays.

I don't know about you, but I think a stop at Nell Hill's/Garrity's is completely worth getting off the beaten path a little. It was so much fun and we both left so inspired! I went right home and tore my living room apart and redecorated for fall, using finds from Nell's of course! 

What would you have picked out to take home?

{live beautifully}


  1. i've never been to Nell Hill's...can't wait to make the trek one day. Better start saving now! I love the layers of the stair wall gallery!

    1. have to go! You should save up, but really her prices are extremely reasonable. I bought several good sized accessories (2 urns, 5 pumpkins, three large mercury glass objects) and spent around $100...really not bad at all! It is SO worth it to go!!

  2. I need to visit both those places! David's brother and our SIL live in St. Joe and my aunt and uncle live in Atchison, so I can't believe I haven't been to either yet!

    1. I can't believe you haven't been there either!! You HAVE to go! It is seriously so amazing!

  3. Anonymous9/03/2012

    Love Nell Hill's! I just got back from visiting the new store in KC with my mom just yesterday! We had a lovely girls weekend for her birthday. I also loved all the mercury glass items and enjoyed the beautiful displays. I brought home a beautiful floral cake plate and a few cement birds as well as one small hook to hold bracelets on my jewelry wall display in my bedroom. My mom brought home a very pretty silver tiered dessert stand. Of course, we would love to get almost everything! The fabrics on her pillows and bedding are sooo pretty and elegant, too. It's so fun, right?!

    1. So fun! I bet your birds and cake plates are just beautiful! One thing about the Atchison store I was disappointed in was that there really wasn't any bedding/textiles there. Or maybe I was just too distracted by all the mercury glass to notice : ) It was still amazing tho! Glad you got to make a visit to her KC store!


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