Amanda Book opened Madhouse in late October. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling
Amanda Book opened Madhouse in late October. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

For months, a small logo painted on the side of a brick building in downtown New Albany heralded the fall opening of something called Madhouse.

Up until recently, little information was available about what type of store it was or when it would open.

“I’ve been keeping this kind of a secret,” said owner Amanda Book. “I wanted this to be a surprise for the neighborhood.”

Just more than a week ago, Madhouse, a home decor and gift shop, quietly opened at 151 E. Spring St.

“I came up with the name Madhouse because,” Book said, “any time someone calls me, I’m always like ‘Ah, it’s a madhouse’ because I am always running around.”

Incidentally, the logo painted on the side of the building was a test for a larger version that is now painted on the brick wall. The logo and branding for Madhouse was completed by Louisville company Allegra Marketing Services.

Book is a residential remodeler who does surface remodeling projects for people who want to make changes to their homes. Her company is AB Construction and Design.

Book said she wanted a storefront where her customers could come find decor to spruce up spaces in their homes, but she also wanted to make sure anyone could shop there.

Prices range from $2.99 to $500 and higher for furniture.

“I want any customer to be able to shop here,” Book said.

Customers also can talk to Book about their needs for their home, and she will try to find something that fits.

She described the feel of the shop and its products as “nature-inspired.” The shop as a whole features mostly subtle nature tones with many pale tones, greens and multiple wooden pieces.

Madhouse features "nature-inspired" pieces. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling
Madhouse features “nature-inspired” pieces. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

The shop will rotate products on a regular basis. “Once I sell something, most likely the same thing is not going to replace it,” Book said.

Originally from Lanesville, Ind., Book moved to New Albany recently and said she wanted to open the store there because of the resurgence its downtown has seen. And she wanted to live close to her business.

“New Albany is hipper than it’s ever been,” she said. “It’s fun to be right here because I am a workaholic.”

She has two part-time employees in addition to herself.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

But “if I’m down here, my doors are always open,” Book said. “I never want to miss someone.”

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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