Beth Delligatti’s passion is making old things new again.
“Nothing makes me happier than taking, say, an old china cabinet someone’s is selling because they think it’s ugly and transforming it into something that’s beautiful and unique,” the Townsend artisan said. “Honestly, I’ve never met a piece of furniture I didn’t want to paint.”
Delligatti has applied that same desire to the first floor of her home at 500 Main St., where last weekend she officially opened The Paint-It Lady, a retail boutique for her collection of restored vintage treasures.
“I spent the last two years scoping out the best place to do this and looked everywhere from New Castle to Smyrna,” she said. “Finally, I realized that the best location was literally right under my nose and I began restoring this place into what you see today.”
The space, which previously housed the Lurty General Store and later a pool hall, is now a cozy, 420-square-foot showroom chock full of repainted furniture, found antiques, restored trunks, handmaid aprons, country curtains and valances, tea towels, pillows, slipcovers and other items that have caught Delligatti’s eye.
“Some of the items, like the aprons and curtains, are created by friends and fellow craftswomen I’ve met along the way,” she said. “But most of the items are pieces that my team of treasure hunters and I have found and I’ve re-envisioned or re-inspired.”
Unlike other custom and antique furniture boutiques, Delligatti said the Paint-It Lady merchandise is affordably priced with some found items marked under $5.
“I want this to be the kind of store where people can find things that are actually attainable,” she said. “For the most part, all of my furniture will be more affordable than what you might find at a Bassett Furniture or Raymour & Flanigan that’s mass produced and from China or Indonesia.”
A Bucks County, Pa.-native who relocated to Townsend in 1998, Delligatti began her professional life in retail sales and management before moving on to real estate.
Eventually, however, her love of interior design and decoration led to the launch her first entrepreneurial endeavor, Shabby Chic Painting and Decors, in 2005.
Delligatti first gained local prominence through Shabby Chic’s design and decorative work on such high-profile commercial projects as The Everett Theatre in Middletown, the Vinoteca Wine Bar and Bistro in downtown Wilmington, Orly Diamonds in the Independence Mall on Concord Pike and her longstanding involvement with Middletown Main Street’s annual Designer Show House fundraiser.
Page 2 of 2 - “I had so much fun working on old homes with some really wonderful clients, but I found that the more I did, the more I was collecting these things that I was inspired by,” she said. “That’s why I decided I needed a showroom where people could come in and see these things, and maybe incorporate the Shabby Chic aesthetic into their homes, a few items at a time.”
Delligatti said she intends to continue operating Shabby Chic out of her new Paint-It Lady shop, which is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, with tea, cookies and special sales from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
“The shop also will be open other times by appointment or by chance,” she said. “When we’re closed, it’s generally because I’m doing color and decorating consultations or because I need time to shop for treasures, but if you see the flag outside, I’m here and anyone can stop in.”
Delligatti said she hopes to eventually begin offering small do-it-yourself workshops and classes.
“I’d really like to help foster the creativity of women like myself,” she said. “I don’t want this to be just a store where you buy things, but somewhere you want to spend time while developing your own style.”