Live at Home gift, furniture store opens on Winsted’s Main Street

WINSTED — Main Street’s offerings have gotten a little more decorative.

Live at Home, a furniture, gift and decor store, opened at 58 Main St., adjacent to East End Park. The freshly painted space is filled with a collection of restored and repurposed furniture, other furnishings and decor and gifts.

The new home store is owned by Jackie McNamara, who with her husband, Bill, aimed to create a comfortable place to shop and dream up decorating ideas or make an amazing find, she said. McNamara also owns Live.BeYou, a clothing and gift boutique at 396 Main St.

“It’s exciting to be starting something new,” she said, during a recent afternoon in the store. “We had a soft opening on May 7, and I got lots of positive feedback from people. I’m excited about this addition to Main Street. I want it to be warm, calm and inviting.”

Live at Home is located directly across from Dairy Queen and around the corner from Park Place Hardware and McGrane’s. On or around Father’s Day, resident Rebecca Corcoran is opening Cura di Se, a healthful juice bar and wellness shop, two doors down from McNamara. The women said they plan to collaborate once Corcoran opens her business.

“We can do all kinds of things,” Corcoran said. “I plan to have yoga instruction, vision boards … a health and beauty night, and we can work together on those events.” She said she’s looking into giving yoga classes in East End Park this summer.

“We’d like to have outdoor music, once it gets warmer and people are outside more,” McNamara said.

McNamara applied for and received a small business startup grant from Winsted, which provided the funding using American Rescue Plan Act money intended to help municipalities and businesses recover from the pandemic. Winsted approved a number of grants through that startup program, including Corcoran’s store, a plan to renovate the old Redman building on Case Avenue and several new business ventures.

McNamara knew she wanted to be inside 58 Main St. Along with a storefront that brings in plenty of natural light, the ceilings are high and the walls are a neutral color.

“I loved the space — it was kind of a mess, but the landlords, Impetus Properties, put a lot of work into it,” she said. “I can’t say enough about what a great job they did. They are as committed as I am to make this space work.”

For the summer months, McNamara’s inventory of furniture, pillows and decorative items celebrate the fact that Winsted is home to Highland Lake, and the neutral colors and textures of the furniture — an overstuffed couch and love seat — are easy to accessorize.

Hand-painted signs, totes and framed seaglass collections are displayed atop antique dressers that have been restored or repainted. Candles and soaps are tucked into pretty sets of coffee mugs, and there are statuettes, bowls and lanterns for outdoors. A small display features drink mixes, fun glasses and curly drinking straws.

There are handmade herb wreaths and bundles of fragrant lavender, and etched cutting boards the McNamaras are making themselves. “Bill’s making cornhole game sets, furniture and resin tables,” she said. “It’s nice to have him be part of this with me. We have fun, doing it together.”

“Yes, we do,” Bill McNamara said.

The shop also features unusual pieces of furniture and collectibles.

In the front window, balanced on top of an old Singer sewing machine pedal stand, is a vintage wood dough bowl, oblong and hand-carved. “I don’t think it’s for sale, but I just love it,” McNamara said. “It was a perfect thing to bring to the store.”

Repurposed furniture pieces include a sideboard that’s been converted into a blanket chest, with antique drawer pulls and room for linens on top. A saw table, compete with the “Quality” brand label, has been turned into a tray table for cocktails, complete with a built-in ice bucket.

The furniture comes from local makers, McNamara said. “I definitely want to support local craftspeople,” she said.

“This farmhouse-style furniture is made by someone I know in New Hartford. We’re also bringing in local artists to show their work here — Maria Mele is bringing some paintings, and Justine Iskes, who has an art studio in Whiting Mills, is going to show her work. The signs are made by a Torrington artist.”

McNamara also plans to provide decorating consulting services to her customers. “People say they love a certain look, but they don’t know how to put it together,” she said. “That’s what I really enjoy doing. I can help them with designs, colors and styles.”

Live at Home is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. To reach the store, call 860-805-1811 or visit them on Facebook.