I’m not sure when my obsession with ceilings began. For as long as I can remember, I’ve noticed them. Brian says I got it from my mom. It even became a joke, how predictable our reactions would be when entering some gorgeous room with tin ceilings, or ones like this cafe in Prague where I exclaimed:
“Look at those ceilings!”
But sometimes I enter a room and have a different reaction, saying in another, more disgusted tone:
“Ugh. Look at those ceilings.”
That was the case when we first walked into 213 N. Kinsley in June of 2017 with an eye to buy. I hated the ceilings. I mean… hated them.
We hoped to find the old patterned-tin consistent with the era behind the panels, but no such luck. Because we knew reinstating the tin would be pricey, we considered other options. We thought about painting them a flat, dark color. Or drywalling over them. Several people said, don’t worry about it. No one will even notice the ceilings (ahem… my mom and I would totally notice).
So I reconciled myself to our different options and even made this statement in my last post:
“I’ve finally let go of the dream of tin ceilings…”
If you follow on social media, you know I had a big reversal. Part of it had to do with the floor situation. Let’s lead into how that came to be. But first…
The Name Change
You may have noticed the change from Palace Emporium to Motor Palace Mercantile. Instead of opening up both of our locations for retail, we combined concepts and will do all business out of 213 and use the Motor Palace for select events. We wanted to link the two though, thus the Motor Palace Mercantile was born. Check out this fantastic hand-lettered logo our friend Megan Salter did for us. Cool, eh?
So what will the Mercantile carry? QUALITY GOODS with an emphasis on Made in USA travel-themed merchandise–think t-shirts with motorcycle and classic car designs, legacy American-made leather jackets, printed items featuring things that go Vroom, along with pre-owned and vintage motorcycle gear, collectibles, clothing… that kind of thing. Plus, we’ll still do the vintage-themed sodas, snacks, and candies. And… maybe even some limited classic motorcycle sales as well.
This brings us back to the floors and—in a roundabout way—to the ceilings.
Since we will be parking motorcycles inside–and kickstands and flooring don’t often get along–we’re going to stick with concrete. No fancy flooring–thus more money for the ceilings.
I’m beyond thrilled with the choice, especially since I’ve had my moments with this building.
For the first year we owned the property, I’d walk in and get depressed. I didn’t think I could ever love the space, but the ceiling completely transformed the room and now I feel pure joy being in there and can’t wait to invite the public in.
How could you not love these ceilings?
About the Tin Ceilings
Once I made the decision, I looked at several options for tin: The reproduction plastic, the styrofoam, and even old salvaged tin from a guy in Showlow.
Ultimately I decided to go with American Tin Ceilings out of Florida for two reasons: I wanted real tin and I love that these are American-made–something important to us and something that will be a big focus in the Mercantile.
First step, I built my dream ceiling using their online visualizer tool. My plan consisted of four different pieces: The main pattern, a filler pattern, flat trim pieces to divide the two, and a crown molding.
Next, I talked to Jonathan Barbee in sales and design. He couldn’t have been more helpful, answering all of my questions, helping me make decisions on the right size trim pieces and layout, offering to talk to Gene Hancock, our contractor, about installation. Ordering the tin made me nervous–what if I got too much? Too little? The wrong pattern?–but I had nothing to fret about. Jonathan nailed it. Everything went perfectly. The crew put up a grid of OSB over the existing ceiling…
Gene nailed up the first tile…
And 336 tiles and a couple thousand brads later…
…we had a beautiful tin ceiling.
Breathtaking, isn’t it?
While the ceilings certainly steal the show, that’s not all we’ve done.
If you’ve walked by lately, you may have noticed the paper-covered windows. We’ve made lots of changes since the Spring Update. Last we spoke, we were getting ready for interior paint to be completed while we were in Prague:
Since that time interior paint has been done in a pale yellow and green…
We built a divider curtain wall to separate the retail space…
Tore out the layers of old flooring…
Changed the door glass to get rid of the old name and phone number…
Etched off the Antiques and Gifts from the windows since that won’t be our focus. We were thrilled that Joe Benham–who’d done the original etching–was able to save the fleur-de-lis!
We had the bent awning rod straightened (thank you Randy Murph!).
Power-washed the exterior (thank you Joe Benham!).
Took the tin off the awning in prep for paint (thank you Joe Benham… again!).
And of course most noticeably, painted the exterior, which was a whole drama in and of itself. Who knew choosing colors would be so hard? More on Nick Cribb’s gorgeous paint in another post, because the exterior transformation deserves a post all its own.
Now it’s down to the little details: Painting and staining the concrete, putting up wainscoting, baseboards, building a door for the dividing wall, plus a window platform. Maybe even a penny-entry.
Oh! And of course, hanging a chandelier because hey… it’s a Palace.
Opening the Doors
We likely won’t have our full merchandise and all the little details done by September’s Standin’ on the Corner Festival and the Just Cruis’n Car Show, but we plan on opening a “pop-up” store for that entire week. Be sure to stop in and say hello and see the spectacular ceilings. Because really, even with all we’ve done…
It’s all about the tin ceilings.
Until next time…
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