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Grapevine Interiors reopens after long water-damage ordeal

Grapevine Interiors owner Barbara Dahl at the store’s front entrance after seven months of rehab work on the roof and the entire business area inside. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Chuck Nowlen)

Seven months after it closed due to roof damage and a top-to-bottom water disaster, Grapevine Interiors will reopen this week, just in time for the Sept. 11 “Girls Night Out” celebration downtown.

“We’ve had a face lift. … We’ve got a new ‘do,’” owner Barbara Dahl says in an interview five days before the more-than-welcome big day. “We actually look the best we’ve ever looked, I think.”

Dahl adds: “There was a point where I thought about quitting because it took so much longer than anticipated… It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but once I made the commitment to come back, things started happening. That’s when I let out a big ‘YES!’ and got excited again.”

Now that it’s almost over, Dahl even considers her repair and rehab ordeal a blessing in disguise.

Grapevine Interiors has been providing the full array of products and design services at 519 Second St. in Hudson since October 2000.

“It allowed us to slightly change what direction we thought should be going in,” Dahl explains. “There are a few things we’ll be doing here that are new. It’s like a brand new shop again.”

The store –- officially called Grapevine Interiors “At Home” –- has added a kids’ area to complement its already impressive association with more than 40 home-furnishing vendors, for example.

Two new furniture lines have also been added, including bedroom items, accent pieces, dining rooms and metal work.

What won’t change is the business’s basic stock-in-trade: expert interior design and consultation, furniture, art work, mirrors, lighting, wallpaper, bedding, flooring and area rugs, window treatments, upholstery, countertops, cabinetry, kitchens and bathrooms, and much, much more.

“Everything that goes inside a house –- that’s what I specialize in. I like it all,” Dahl says. “I want to give my customers all of the options I can find so whatever they pick is exactly right for them. … I also try to be the very best with pricing that I can be because I’m a bargain hunter myself.

“I’m not one of those designers who says to the customer, ‘This is what you’ve got.’ I try to provide an unlimited number of options that they can choose from for themselves.”

Now Dahl recites a quote that’s been her business motto all along: “A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul.”

Dahl didn’t know who was responsible for the quote at first, but when she found out later as the business got started, she saw it as a good omen.

“It was written by a man named Phillip Moffitt, which was the last name of one of the original families here in Hudson,” she explains. “When I found that out, I said to myself, ‘Well, that’s a good sign.’”

Ice-dam hell

Dahl wasn’t thinking like that the morning of Feb. 1, when she arrived at work and found water literally everywhere in the back area, where most of the store's design work is done.

“We actually could’ve held an umbrella where it started,” she recalls. “The water was coming through to the point where it went through our floor and into the basement. It damaged the walls. It damaged the samples. It damaged the ceiling. Everything -– and I mean everything –- had to be moved out.”

Dahl tried to do a temporary fix to keep her business running, but it was no use. Nothing could be done until the roof was permanently repaired, which wasn’t possible until all the wet weather finally stopped. That didn’t happen until June.

“The rain was just never-ending this year,” Dahl notes.

Ice dams on the building’s flat roof were the culprit.

“The chunks of ice we took off the roof were taller than I am when they were all in a pile,” Dahl remembers. “The water that came in was brown, so we could see exactly where all the damage was. … Now, we’ve got a REALLY good roof, believe me -– and we’re never going to have to do this again.”

With all of it finally behind her, Dahl is looking forward to the store’s Sept. 11 reopening and the Girls Night Out celebration, where she’ll be able to share the new, improved Grapevine Interiors with her Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau colleagues.

Girls Night Out is an evening of shopping, refreshments and networking that includes all of Hudson’s downtown businesses.

“It’s a fun way to get women out downtown and also to see what we’re all doing and get to know each other better,” Dahl notes. “We’re always looking for a reason to have a good time.”

That will be followed by a special Grapevine Interiors birthday party sometime at the beginning of October to mark the business’s 15th year.

“We’ll probably celebrate for about a week,” Dahl says.

Chuck Nowlen

Chuck Nowlen joined the Star-Observer team as a business, township and general-assignment reporter in April, 2014 after a three-decade career in newspapers and magazines, and as a newsroom-management/business-planning consultant.

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