At Encore 118 Custom Furnishings & Boutique, you can learn how to turn that old piece of furniture into something that matches the decor of your home.
Paints and painting workshops are among the many offerings at Tom and Cathy Bateman’s shop in downtown Howell.
After owning a similar store in Holly for five years, the couple moved their operation last fall to the Heart of Howell complex at 118 W. Grand River Ave.
Besides paints and furniture, Encore 118 customers can find a variety of home decor and gift items, from clothing and accessories to jewelry and soaps, much of it made in Michigan.
The Batemans are also proud to carry Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit brand of merchandise.
Cathy Bateman wants to make one thing clear: She and Kid Rock are not an item.
“We had people come into our store in Holly who thought I knew him,” she said. “One couple came in and said they heard that his girlfriend owned this store. I said that’s the best one yet; I haven’t even met the guy.”
The Batemans said the move from Holly to Howell has been a blessing, citing all of the support they’ve received from the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce and other downtown businesses.
“Ever since the first day we came here, every single person we’ve met in this town has been absolutely wonderful,” Tom Bateman said. “The people in Howell love Howell. It’s like no other town I’ve ever been to in my entire life.”
Encore 118’s painting workshops are held three days a week in the back of the shop. Attendees can learn how to use the Caromal Colours and Paint Couture brands of paints to breathe new life into old furniture or treasures.
Tom Bateman said he’s already had at least 250 people take the classes.
“I absolutely love teaching the workshops,” he said. “Especially when someone will come in and say, ‘I’ve had my grandmother’s dining room set in my garage for years. I’ll never sell it. I don’t know what to do.’ Seeing the look on somebody’s face after they see what we can do … just the excitement of that is a thrill for me.”
A great thing about the paints Encore 118 sells is they are easy to use.
“There’s no sanding, stripping or priming,” Cathy Bateman said.
Several examples of newly painted furniture can be seen in the store’s showroom, including a piano. Many of the pieces the Batemans repurpose and sell in the store were found at garage sales or estate sales or on Craigslist.
“We are repurposing this great American-made furniture, and it’s way better quality than anything you can buy today,” Tom Bateman said.
Coming soon to Encore 118 are farm tables and cabinets that Tom creates in his home wood shop. The cabinets are built around repurposed eight-pane windows that serve as the door.
“I’ve been in the trades my whole life; I’ve been a framer, a trim carpenter. It’s going to be quality furniture. I’m really excited about it,” he said.
Encore 118 is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from noon to 3 p.m. Sundays. Painting workshops are typically held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
To learn more, call 517-618-7188 or check out Encore 118’s Facebook page
Business has been good since the store opened Oct. 1, Cathy Bateman said.
“My favorite thing is when somebody walks in here and you hear them going, ‘Oh, this is so beautiful. This is my new favorite store,’ ” she said.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Mike Lammi at 517-552-2854 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikeLammi.
•Address: 118 W. Grand River Ave. in downtown Howell
•Online: Check out Encore 118’s Facebook page for updates and photos.