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Sisters open Urban Twiggs in Tampa to offer funky furniture

Sisters Tina Russell and Anita Scherer used to play "house" as tots growing up in Indiana. Now they've opened Urban Twiggs, a funky furniture shop with dozens of affordable decorating ideas on display.

Items arrive daily, said Russell, old and new furniture and who-knows-what discovered by Scherer on shopping forays in Georgia and the Carolinas. Co-owner Brian Russell, Tina's husband and resident handyman, enjoys "repurposing" pieces to find new uses for old things.

For example, says Tina, he took two old doors, hinged them together, and made a set of room dividers.

"We do elegant, too," she adds, describing leather couches and handsome bookcases.

"Brian and I used to buy homes, fix up them up, stage them to look homey and flip them,'' said Tina, a former Realtor. "We got hooked on it, plus I always wanted to go into business with my sister."

Urban Twiggs, 3662 S West Shore Blvd., across from Southside CDB's, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is closed Monday and Sunday. Call (813) 837-8944 or visit

Interior design service relocates, expands

Andrea Lauren Elegant Interiors' new showroom combines Priscilla Castellano's residential and commercial interior design service with a high-end consignment furniture boutique.

"We're 80 percent full-service design center and 20 percent very selective consignment,'' she said. "By no means is this a thrift store."

Castellano renovated the former Garden Party shop near the intersection of S MacDill Avenue and Bay to Bay Boulevard, which closed after 22 years in business. In addition to space planning, her designers handle flooring, custom window treatments, lighting and bedding.

"Our clients are mainly in transition," said Castellano, who named her firm for two granddaughters, Andrea, 12, and Lauren, 8, when she opened on Swann Avenue in 1999. She moved from Swann on Aug. 6 to the new location and expanded to include retail.

"Whether they're starting a family or becoming an empty nester, whatever change is happening, we make it as easy as possible." Now that includes helping to sell family heirlooms and furniture.

Andrea Lauren Elegant Interiors, 2832 S MacDill Ave., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Visit andrea or call (813) 839-7557.

Decorator tests ideas in new home boutique

Think of Jennifer Kapper's head as a toaster. Ideas pop up constantly.

"I just try to keep up with my brain,'' said the owner of Forty Three Oh 3 Decor Boutique. Kapper left Ohio eight years ago with a fine arts degree from Bowling Green State University and years of decorating experience.

The home boutique, which opened in September, evolved from scouting specific furniture pieces for clients, and often enough, creating them herself.

"I love to rehab old things,'' she said. "Not just with a coat of paint, but to reutilize something for a whole new purpose."

Kapper took old saw boxes and attached auger drill bits as legs. Wrought-iron fence posts and garden gates turned into buffet lamps and mirrors. A hand-carved screen remnant is a lamp.

Kapper is especially pleased with one recent project, "an old work bench I purchased from an elderly carpenter."

"Instead of sitting in someone's garage or being thrown away, it was repurposed as a kitchen island." Barn roof tin wraps around a shelf added for extra storage. Vintage hammers serve as drawer pulls.

Not everything is vintage here. Silk floral arrangements brighten one corner. Jewelry made to look antique fills another.

Forty Three Oh 3 Decor Boutique, 4303 W El Prado Blvd., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Call (813) 443-0699.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call (813) 226-3332 or e-mail

Sisters open Urban Twiggs in Tampa to offer funky furniture 10/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 4:31am]
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