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De Madera Trading Company

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Photography by MICHELLE JOHNSON

De Madera Trading Company’s new home on Malvern Avenue is the perfect setting for a wide range of eclectic, handcrafted home furnishings.

 

De Madera’s new home on Malvern Avenue is a testament to the strength and beauty of renovated historic structures.

De Madera is Spanish for “of wood,” and a visit to the new showroom of Griff and Jessica Gulley’s family business reveals they chose the perfect name. They also chose the perfect space, undertaking a full-scale renovation and restoration of an impressive circa-1920s building located at 1116 Malvern Avenue. The result of all this hard work is a place that’s a pleasure to explore.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of De Madera’s arrival in Hot Springs, originally based in Temperance Hill Square. The Gulleys’ signature combination of handcrafted wood furniture and décor reflects both a lake-oriented, eclectic lifestyle and a traditional approach. From gleaming rosewood and mahogany tables to rough-hewn or vintage textures, finishes and styles, to natural elements like driftwood, braided sea-grass and banana-leaf, the overall effect conjures nature, family and continuity.

Conceived by Griff and his partners in Lafayette, Louisiana, De Madera grew rapidly. The decision to move to Hot Springs reconnected Griff with family roots—his father’s family founded Standard Business Systems in Little Rock, and Hot Springs was always a vacation destination. Now raising a young son and daughter, Griff and Jessica share a laugh: “We joke about how we came to Hot Springs for a 4th of July family barbecue, and never left,” he says. “We fell in love with Hot Springs and couldn’t imagine a better place to raise children.”

Photography by MICHELLE JOHNSON

BEFORE: The renovation of the circa-1920s building transformed a formerly dark interior into a soaring light-filled expanse while beautifying and updating the exterior.

The Spa City can tally another architectural marvel rescued, thanks to Griff and Jessica. Their complete overhaul of the former DeLee Sheet Metal & Roofing Company, an imposing structure near the Garland County Library, is nothing short of inspiring. “During the makeover, everyone asked, ‘are you tearing it down?’” recalls Jessica. “We said, oh no—it’s a great old building, with really great bones.” The renovation, initially planned to take 3-4 months, stretched into a 9-month ordeal during the hottest summer in years (2013). A level façade replaced topsy-turvy sightlines of a building that was added onto in the 1940s and ‘50s. Now, De Madera’s spare, bold signage and fresh green stucco exterior has become a Malvern Avenue landmark.

Photography by MICHELLE JOHNSON

AFTER: De Madera’s spare, bold signage and fresh green stucco exterior has become a Malvern Avenue landmark

“We get compliments on our doors and windows,” says Jessica of the geometric metalwork and glass entryway. Banks of windows transformed the building’s facade, while a motorized, glass-paned garage door allows convenient delivery and pick-up of larger items. Griff’s Farmer’s Insurance office (the Gulley Agency) anchors the corner space.

Inside, a honeycomb of partitioned office areas was swept clear and the building taken down to its elements: stone, brick, concrete and massive wooden beams. During the process, vintage mural signage was uncovered and allowed to remain as a visual example of the building’s living history. Wall color in bright beach-y blue-green contrasts white trim and dark-stained concrete floors. Intersecting overhead cross-beams are now exposed, drawing the eye upward. Griff notes that even the ductwork was chosen for its vintage industrial design. The 13,500-square foot interior now has a much more open feel, thanks to a who’s who of Hot Springs businesses, builders and craftsmen that restored this grand old building.

De Madera’s new harmonious backdrop showcases groupings of indoor and outdoor furnishings, area rugs, accessories and décor. “We also do some specialty consignment,” adds Jessica, adding that this month marks the launch of a new line of upholstery. Whether it’s a vintage stained-glass shuttered door from India, a classic glass-fronted hutch, or a comfortable leather chair, the Gulleys seek a timeless look of impeccable quality. “We refuse to be run-of-the-mill,” smiles Jessica.

 

Photography by MICHELLE JOHNSON

Natural design elements, vintage decor and unique gifts are just some of the treasures to be found while exploring De Madera’s new digs.

 

 

RESOURCES

 

ARTISTIC CONCRETE

Concrete • 501-318-8451

 

FLOORS UNLIMITED

Tile, Carpet & Stone

501-623-3000 • 501-922-1990

 

GTS, INC.

Hvac • 501-760-3032

 

JADEE CONSTRUCTION

Contractor • 501-282-0169

 

MOR ELECTRIC SUPPLY

Lighting and fixtures • 501-624-5577

 

PETER’S PAINT & FLOORING

Paint • 501-623-1800

 

SANDERS PLUMBING & LIGHTING

Bath Hardware • 501-525-2420

 


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