If you ever wondered what walking into a Pinterest board would feel like, all you have to do is take a trip to House Candy. The shabby chic home décor boutique in Tampa is a collection of crafty and pretty concoctions for the home, all with a handmade charm and functional twist.
"A little French, a little industrial and a little shabby chic," is how Angela DiLeonardo, the owner and DIYer behind the store, describes the style of House Candy, which used to be just her own home decor style. After years of hearing her friends' complements on her projects and their requests for replicas, she decided to put her inner Martha Stewart to the test and see if she could draw the same reaction from strangers. The response was immediate and what started as an online Etsy shop opened its brick and mortar doors in November.
DiLeonardo makes most of the items in her home but keeps a series of projects in the back room to work on throughout the day. A glass-covered table made of an antique door ($350) or a chandelier of wine bottles ($249) are some of the bigger pieces that have been refurbished. A rake with a severed handle that can now be used as a rustic hanger ($20), a lamp covered in the pages of Robert Frost poems ($34.99) that literally brings the poet's words to light and an old birdcage made into a planter are some of her smaller projects.
Some of them come from estate sales, others from online auctions and there are even the occasional projects built completely from scratch, like an upholstered pin board. It certainly comes in handy that DiLeonardo's husband, Vinnie, is a mechanical and electrical engineer. While she beautifies, he cuts, structures and wires pieces to make them fully functional.
Natalia Galbetti is a freelance writer and director of sales and marketing at k.hendrix in St. Petersburg. Follow her on Twitter at @NatiGalbetti.