White Dog Home has finally found its home.
After bouncing around to a few different locations around the Gainesville square, the shop has settled in midtown in what seems like the perfect spot.
“It just fits White Dog so well,” owner Malinda O’Brien said.
The showroom at 808 Main St. was already outfitted the way O’Brien would have wanted it — rustic tin on the vaulted ceiling, shiplap walls, barn doors, a fireplace, Edison light bulbs hanging from big wooden beams suspended from the ceiling and even a chandelier made from deer antlers. It was perfect, so she jumped on it.
Midtown’s growth helped make the decision a little easier.
“There’s a lot going on and it’s been very difficult to find the right building with the right recipe,” O’Brien said. “And I hadn’t thought about over here, on this side.”
White Dog Home, which offers staging, decorating and redesign services, had been inside Main Street Market back when it first opened in 2017, then moved to Washington Street beside Purchase Effect and then to Bradford Street beside Martin Furniture.
“Every other place we went always had something that didn’t feel quite right,” said Phil O’Brien, Malinda’s husband. “This really gives you everything. We couldn’t ask for a nicer space.”
Now, with their best spot to date, White Dog Home will have a grand opening celebration 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 2. They’ll have wine and cheese throughout the day as well as a few raffle prizes.
White Dog Home used to have a much larger shop in Alpharetta. But after moving to the area, traveling that far didn’t make sense.
“This is about half of what I started with, but about double what I’ve had since I moved up here,” Malinda said. “We moved up to Lake Lanier a few years ago and I just want my business to be a part of the community where I live.”
She still has a small store in Milton, which will serve solely as a design center since she’s already built a clientele there.
“To me, I think what we offer is just by being the owners, there’s a personalized service,” Phil said. “I look at stuff and say, ‘Why wouldn’t you want to buy from us?’”
White Dog Home has all sorts of items that could be given as gifts. Malinda keeps things stocked with candles, linens, lamps, pillows, coasters, charcuterie boards and much more. The store also has some bigger items like tables, chairs, beds, couches and rugs — most of which can be customized in the design center at the shop.
“This is just a fraction of what’s going to be in here,” Malinda said while standing in the showroom Thursday, Dec. 26. “I’m just going to stack it up. There’s going to be a lot of stuff. ... I’m used to having a space that has a lot of stuff, where people can ramble through it, which is what I think people like.”
White Dog specializes in interior decorating and redecorating as well as home staging. Malinda said she’s passionate about staging — decorating homes to be sold — because it’s a little bit of a challenge and she gets to work with a team to accomplish a goal.
“We have a passion for staging because we know it works and it helps people sell their houses,” Malinda said.
Apart from that, Malinda wants to offer a place that’s a little different from the run-of-the-mill furniture store or gift shop. She wants to be the one-stop-shop for anything you need for your home, saving you a trip to another city.
“The hope and dream is to offer the Gainesville community some more shopping choices so they can shop local and find what they need,” O’Brien said.
She said the style at White Dog Home is casual and comfortable, but that doesn’t mean Malinda takes it easy or relaxes much. With a place that finally feels like home, she’s prepared for even more work. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I stay busy and I’m kind of addicted to it,” Malinda said, laughing. “I enjoy it. It’s not work to me. It’s not work at all.”