If a new look for your home is among your New Year’s resolutions this year, you’ll want to visit Bungalow 47, a shop snuggled in the heart of downtown Williamston. Co-owners Jill Rinner and Chantelle Deimling not only sell vintage home furnishings, but also offer their customers the tools to craft and customize their own creations. Since opening in 2011, business at Bungalow 47 has been “better than we ever imagined,” they said. It’s easy to see why. Contrasted with a chilly cold and wintry day, the shop is cozy, comfortable and colorful, and scented with fragrant candles. The walls at the front are the building’s original brick, the floor is made from wooden boards salvaged from a friend’s torn down barn. These features “add texture and color,” Rinner explained. The furnishings are eclectic, many items washed with brightly colored paint. The paint is one of two brands sold at Bungalow 47 – American Paint Company and Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. They’re easy to work with. They can be applied on any surface, even over old paint. They’re ecofriendly, fast drying and because they don’t contain harsh chemicals, they can be applied indoor without regard to ventilation. Bungalow 47 – or B 47 for short – also offers classes on the technique. Painting a piece of furniture is a simple and affordable way to make something old, new again, Deimling explained. Not only will it change the look of the piece but it will also change the look of the entire room. Upholstery can also have a dramatic effect, and you’ll find custom upholstery at the shop, too. B 47 represents the owners’ unique taste and style that combines Deimling’s eye for vintage furniture and Rinner’s passion for interior design, and much more. Their motto is “It’s hip to be humble,” Rinner explained meaning that you can transform any piece of furniture from worn and used to new and fresh, without spending a fortune. From baby boomers to millennials, vintage is a current popular trend, Deimling said. “Re-purpose, re-use, re-vamp, re-work, make it your own, the idea is to create a one-of-a-kind look that’s unique in your home.” The shop was conceived when the longtime friends and recent empty nesters met for lunch in April 2011 to share some ideas. They left the table several hours later with a complete business plan. Soon after, they found and renovated the building where the shop is located, and in August of that same year, opened B 47 for business. They named the shop “bungalow” because it’s synonymous with the word “home” and “47” after the date – April 7 – of that fateful lunch. Although the business sprung up quickly, it was the result of many years’ experience in retail for each woman. The entrepreneurs have worked in retail their entire careers. Deimling worked for such retailers as Expressions and Becky Beauchine Kulka. Most recently, Rinner owned Your Favorite Things scrapbooking store in Okemos. They combine their experience with their mutual interests, talents and passion for home décor, and supply the store with merchandise they find at estate sales, auctions and dealers they visit throughout the United States. If customers have furniture of their own that they’d like to redesign, they are available for on-site consultation or customers can bring the furniture into the shop. With a full staff of 10 women, B 47 has been well received. “We’re delighted that the business has sustained itself,” Deimling said. “It’s exciting to know that people like our style, that someone fell in love with what we’ve created,” Rinner agreed. “The business has grown through a lot of word of mouth. Customers come in looking for a style that’s fresh and different, that B 47 look.” So if you want a new look in the New Year for your home that’s affordable, make Bungalow 47 your destination. Bungalow 47 141 West Grand River Avenue Williamston, MI 48895 (517) 655-4700
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.