Upstairs Downstairs Home: Keeping It Local with Artist Reception

By: Mary Jo Rufo

On Saturday, Sept. 25, Upstairs Downstairs Home hosted a gala event featuring the amazing artwork of 14 talented local artists who have been part of the Upstairs Downstairs family for years.

While celebrating their local artists, the event also served as a formal “Grand Opening” and ribbon cutting for the store’s new home at 69 Charles St., which offers new and old art, antiques, and home decor.

“Since our move to #69 in January we were so busy and due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to celebrate with our local friends, customers and neighbors,” said owner, Laura Cousineau. “This event is also to show our appreciation and gratitude to all who make our work so enjoyable.”

Additionally, Cousineau said, “Our staff takes immense pride in living and working in the neighborhood, myself included, so we thought it would be nice to keep everything local by highlighting and presenting the new and exciting work of the many local Massachusetts-based artists that we represent. They have graced us the past 11 years and now in our large and new location we can feature their work in a fresh and airy, sun-filled environment where their work shines in a unique way.”

Laura’s history in interior design and textiles with her knowledge of the history of antiques and all manners of home furnishings and decor made her the perfect fit to purchase Upstairs Downstairs Antiques 11 years ago. After studying interior and textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, she also studied architecture in Florence, Italy,, and spent time in France, which all adds to her “European Flare.”

Laura and her team make it a priority to add unique design elements and curated displays, while using Laura’s signature style of mixing old and new. This has made Laura and her shop the go-to for TV interviews and the printed press.

Carrying artwork came about in an amazing way when Laura met famous artist Robert Douglas Hunter and his wife during a service at our local Advent Church…and the rest, they say, is history.

Laura makes it a priority to continue to keep Upstairs Downstairs eminently affordable. Artwork ranges from $25 per piece to upwards of $15,000. There is truly a piece here for every price range and style at Upstairs Downstairs Home.

The Artist’s Reception was a visual tour de force in subject matter, imagination and technical skill that expressed beauty, contemplation, and artistry alongside their antiques and home accessories. Each artist brings new skills and unique pieces to the store, making it exceptionally interesting to view them together.

Featured artists included Cate Hunter Kashem, Andrea Guay, Niki Farrell, John Young, Marcia Corey, William Cloutman, Sitka, Eleanor Score, Nancy O’Hearn Marti Foley, Debbie Hearle, Caroline Walker, Judy Blotnick, and Robert Douglas Hunter.

Upstairs Downstairs has bios for each artist on display for you to read at their new home 69 Charles St.

If you missed the event, do not worry: the artwork will remain on display in their store through Oct. 15, and you can see highlights on their Instagram page @UpstairsDownstairsAntiques.

The event featured beautiful refreshments scattered throughout the store. This included gold-rimmed glasses of refreshments, delicious cheese served on vintage silver plate trays, and homemade cookies. In the spirit of keeping it local, Upstairs Downstairs got their refreshments and finishing touches from local vendors.

 They would like to thank the following businesses for being great neighbors and for their contributions to the event: Flowers from Rouvalis, cheese plates from Diana at Savenor’s Market, cookies from Marcus at 75 Chestnut, ice from Charles Street Liquors and refreshments from Blanchard’s.

In preparation for their move, owner Laura installed Carrier UV lights in their air system as soon as they moved to 69 Charles St .in January of this year. This was to keep staff and customers as safe and comfortable as possible.

To enter the event, masks were mandatory, and guests socially distanced as much as possible.

Laura would like to say a special thanks to her team, Mary the “Social Media Diva,” Mark the “Creative Mastermind,” Joan the “Decorating Diva,” Robin our “Sunday Sunshine,” Jen the “Organizing Guru,” and Lachlan the photographer ,who all helped the event run smoothly. The Upstairs Downstairs team would also like to thank everyone, especially their loyal customers, for a successful and safe first event in their new home.

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