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Now Open: the OTHER Cool House on Union

November 5, 2013

Good news for Greater Memphians who love contemporary art and vintage style, whether  in architecture, home goods or fashion.

It turns out that the beloved 19th Century Club building  (for which all Memphis is praying) is not the last of the lovely old houses on Union Avenue. Emma Childers and husband Jack Childers (native Memphian, East High grad and prominent attorney)  have opened The Yellow House on Union, a unique art gallery and vintage shopping experience on the main floor of the property that also houses the Childers Law Firm.

childers law firm

The idea of combining an art gallery featuring local artists with an upscale vintage boutique yellow house logoappealed to  Emma, who collects art and has a flair for fashion  and interior design. A native Houstonian and former St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital executive, Emma recently completed a beautiful transformation of the newlywed couple’s historical Central Gardens home. That 2-year project required right-sizing some of their individual collections of household treasures, a process that eventually triggered the concept for The Yellow House on Union. Jack’s law offices have always been on the second story of the grand old  residence, leaving a capacious first floor for commercial tenants or other purposes.

The Yellow House on Union  (1981 Union at Rembert, across from Chik-fil-A’s distinguished facade of the old Cumberland Presbyterian Church) is pure Memphis on the outside,  pure style and Southern charm on the inside.What is most striking about The Yellow House’s interior is its vintage charm and warmth. Soft colors and gallery-style  track lighting are complemented by traditional furniture and elegant table lamps. Paintings, photography and sculptures by Memphis artists are featured throughout the Conference Room and a spacious central gallery. Here you’ll also find  a treasure-trove of the unexpected, including distinctive antiques, fine household goods and objets d’art. Current wares include Roseville vases, Wedgwood and Limoges china, Asian pottery and jewel boxes, humidors, music boxes, and handmade walking canes; a rare Hull Pottery Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar with accessories, collectible Napier jiggers and  bar ware, and a large crystal sconce that once graced the University Club.

YH gallery

Grandparents and fun-lovers  of all ages will love the  sunny Children’s Room, chock-full of Little Golden Books, vintage board games, lovable dolls and uncommon toys. Readers and music lovers will flock to the Library. Its shelves are stocked with classics old and new, from Steinbeck to Rowling, Maria Callas to Johnny Cash, including rare first editions and coveted vinyl LPs (I found Edwin Hubbard’s 1970’s zeitgeist album, along with the Beatles and Led Zeppelin.)

children's room

Visitors who wind their way to the Vintage Closet will enter the kind of room every woman dreams of, where  custom, built-in shelving displays drop-dead gorgeous ball gowns and designer clothes (small sizes a specialty), high-fashion vintage shoes, belts, jewelry, glamorous evening purses and other must-have accessories.

vintage closet

This is destination shopping, a great new Memphis experience. I predict The Yellow House on Union will become a place where new home owners and decorators look for “that special piece.”  It will be a favorite stop for girlfriends out for a day of Memphis merrymaking,  a frequent haunt for inveterate shoppers, and on the short list of places to take out of town guests for a taste of Southern retail whimsy. It will also become  a trusted resource for last-minute, distinctive gifts for a wedding, anniversary,  special child or sweetheart. Hours are Wednesday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  or by appointment.

"Ansel" - oil on mixed media by Ruth Ann Pike

“Ansel” – oil on mixed media by Ruth Ann Pike

After a “soft” opening in September, The Yellow House on Union will celebrate its grand opening with a public reception on November 14, 2013, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A new exhibit, “Home for the Holidays,” featuring Memphis artists Chantel Barber, Ruth Ann Pike, Dottie Sachritz,  Meg Zachry, and photography by Jack Childers, will run from November 14 through January 10, 2014. After Thanksgiving, The Yellow House will be specially decorated for falala-ing with mohair teddy bears, Christmas books, creches, and other holiday collectibles for gifting. St. Nicholas will visit on November 29th from 10:00-11:30 a.m. For more information contact Emma Childers at 901.272.9222. The website, not quite finished at this writing, is www.theyellowhouseonunion.com.

"Berries in the Snow" by Jack A. Childers

“Berries in the Snow” by Jack A. Childers

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