Farmhouse Pottery

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farmhouse pottery windrow pie dishAnyone who collects a series of objects becomes lost when those objects are no longer available. That is how my sister, good friend, aunt, and I all felt when our favorite potter disappeared from the Aquidneck Grower’s Market nearly fifteen years ago after we’d slowly begun building our collections of his fabulous work. At the time, James Zilian was making bowls and baking dishes in stunningly gorgeous sea inspired colors. Even back then, in my early twenties, I knew they were must-haves, and today, I still have the pieces on display in my kitchen.

Back then, James had gotten out of the pottery business, and eventually we lost track of him and put our quest for more of his work on the back burner. As much as we hoped there would be more, we weren’t holding our breath. And then, the greatest confluence of social media occurred! Another of my favorite potters, Jill Rosenwald, whom I follow on Instagram, tagged someone named Zoe Zilian in one of her posts. Could it be? Another potter with the last name Zilian? There had to be a connection. And sure enough, I found Farmhouse Pottery in Woodstock, Vermont, owned by Zoe Zilian, wife of James!

While this newer line of pottery is more muted in tone, being available only in stoneware that is dipped in white glaze, the organic shape of the pieces from James that I already have are still prevalent. And they’re the perfect way to make everyday a little more elegant, yet bucolic, in the kitchen. I, of course, couldn’t wait to get it in the store, and am so happy to be able to share it all with you.

Before I share more of my favorite pieces from the line, like the Windrow Pie Dish above (there’s still time to pick one up to serve your Thanksgiving Day pie), I have to add that what also makes this gorgeous handmade stoneware pottery so fabulous is that it is oven, dishwasher, and microwave safe!

farmhouse pottery pantry bowlThe farmhouse pantry bowl comes in two sizes and is a perfect balance of form and function. It has a convenient spout to ease the transfer of your mixture into the pan, and it’s also a lovely piece to keep on display to hold your fresh fruits and vegetables.
farmhouse pottery cheese stoneThe cheese stone is one of my absolute favorites. It can be chilled in the freezer to keep your nibbles cold or placed in the oven to create warm soft cheeses or even a small pizza. This would make a fantastic gift for your favorite hostess with the mostess.

farmhouse pottery dipped baker's rolling pinDon’t let the name Farmhouse Pottery fool you, they also offer other beautifully handcrafted pieces. These dipped baker’s pins are lathe turned from Vermont maple, and should be on every new bride or experienced baker’s wish list.

farmhouse pottery wax canvas snap traysI’m also really loving these Arcadian waxed canvas catchall trays. They fold flat, but the corners easily snap together when needed. I think they’d be a fabulous addition to an entryway for keys, change, sunglasses, and more or they could be used on a bureau for jewelry and watched. They’d also be great used on a countertop to hold fruits and vegetables. Think about how perfect this would be for the stylish guys on your gift list!

farmhouse pottery wax canvas snap trugThe Arcadian waxed canvas is also available as a trug. It’s perfect for harvesting your garden or gathering your veggies at the farmer’s market or your CSA. It also makes for a super-stylish log holder. And all of the waxed canvas can easily be wiped down with a wet cloth or a garden hose.

All of these pieces are available on our web site and in store, but quantities are limited for Christmas delivery so don’t miss the chance to pick up one of these beautiful pieces for your loved ones (or yourself!).

And if you’re up in the Woodstock, VT area, stop by the Farmhouse Pottery studio and store to see the complete line and how it’s made.

Book Review: Elements of Style ~ Designing A Home & A Life

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Elements of Style by Erin GatesFor those of you in my book club, this may come as a shock, but I actually read a book this week, and finished all 315 pages of it in less than 24 hours! My Choate professors would be rolling their eyes right now to hear that this is a rare accomplishment in my life these days. Ok, to be honest, the book had loads and loads of stunning images mixed in with the text, but I even read ALL of the captions to those images (Is it wrong to pat myself on the back for that?). What was the book? Elements of Style: Designing A Home & A Life by Boston-based blogger and designer Erin Gates.

Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging for five years this month (Wait, I just realized that yesterday was my five year blogiversary!!! I’m going to blame not realizing that on my children.), I don’t actually read blogs all that often because life tends to get in the way. When I started this blog in October of 2009, it was a means to get my daily dose of pretty and keep my head in the game after being laid off from my job and spending my days wrangling a three year-old and six month-old at home. At the time, someone suggested I check out Erin’s blog, Elements of Style, and for the past five years, it has been the only blog that I regularly look at.

What draws me to her blog is not only her great style, but the fact that she has built her career as a designer and now, book author, by staying committed to writing blog posts every single week day since she started it back in 2006. For non-bloggers this may seem impressive, but as a blogger, I can tell you that this is beyond amazing. I am so grateful that my blog lead me to a full-time career as a blogger for many years (and when I needed it most), but after pumping out as many as ten blog posts a week when I was writing for TLC’s web sites, plus trying to keep up with my own blog and the other freelance writing I was doing, I can tell you that in the past year since I’ve stepped back a bit from writing to open the shop I’ve realized that I’ve had major blogger burnout. And I’m not the only one. The fabulous folks over at Young House Love have been making headlines after essentially quitting blogging about their home renovations after eight years despite their great success. Erin’s dedication to her blog and what she has built from it are truly inspiring, and I often hop over to her blog when I need a little kick in the pants to get back at it. Her persistence with it has been a huge part of her success.

To be honest, I’m not the type of person who rushed to pre-order the book the second it became available on Amazon, and I hadn’t even really planned on rushing out to buy it when it was released this past Tuesday (as I mentioned above, it’s not often I get through a book these days), but I happened to be running errands in the local Barnes & Noble shopping plaza that day so I decided to pop in and see if they had it. And even though I’d seen pictures of the black and white striped binding with gold lettering and leopard inside covers (three of her trademarks), once I saw them in person, I knew there was no way that the book wasn’t coming home with me to add to my bookshelves.

I know, enough with the back story already! What did I think of the book? I was sure I would like it, but I didn’t realize that it would stand so far apart from all the other design books I’ve read. Well see, that’s a lie, because I don’t really read design books (other than when I was studying at RISD), I only look at the pretty pictures for inspiration.

But this book is not just great design advice. It also reads as a biography of sorts as Erin intertwines personal stories ranging from her days as a child poking through the racks at her family’s clothing store to her struggle with anorexia, the ups and downs of trying to get pregnant, the design mistakes she’s made in the past, and how so many things went wrong on the self-proclaimed perfectionist’s wedding day, and yet it was all so right in the end. She’s also very candid about how things aren’t always as they seem in pictures. A lot goes into styling a room for a photo shoot.

Elements of Style Book Family RoomWhile that all makes it much easier and more intriguing to read than most design books, it also serves as an excellent reference guide for those looking for tried and true design advice. The book goes through a home room by room with beautiful examples of her work, along with a breakdown of how to create a great space whether your style is modern, traditional, glamorous, eclectic, or new country.
Elements of Style Book Creating Different StylesAnd in addition to designing a space, she also offers lots of recommendations on how to stock the spaces, whether it be the kitchen or your closet, with adorably chic and preppy sketches done by Anne Harwell McElhaney. She also includes some favorite recipes from her family, tips on how to set a table, her favorite hostess gifts, how many pillows you really need on each size bed, and her favorite design sources.

Elements of Style Book SketchesAnother thing I love about the book is that Erin is unapologetic about featuring repeats of the same items which reinforces my mantra that great design is great design. In her case, you can never have too much grasscloth, Greek key, tulip tables, or brass accents. I’d have to agree.  And what makes that all the more important is that this book doesn’t feature the latest design trends, but instead  guides you to create a design for your home that will stand the test of time, and that’s really what we should all be doing. Taking this approach allows us to invest in pieces that will last decades and surround ourselves with quality over quantity, but she’s not afraid to throw a great piece from IKEA in there too.

After really not wanting to put the book down until I got all the way through it (and even then, wishing there was more), I have to say that if you only buy one design book that you’re actually going to use to design your space, this should be the one. And if you only buy books to up your shelfie style, this is worth getting for that reason too.

If you happen to live in one of the major metro areas that Erin will be visiting on her book tour which kicked off this week, it’s worth making the effort to try to attend.

And while I’ve never met Erin, I’d like to offer her a huge congratulations on all her success. If you’re ever in Newport, I’d love to meet for a glass of wine.

I don’t have the books in shop yet, but I hope to get them in soon. It would be amazing to try and get Erin down here for a book signing since we’re not too far away so Erin, if you happen to see this, please have your people call my people (oh wait, I don’t have people…yet).

New Product Obsessions from Serena & Lily

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Serena and Lily Malachite Silk Shantung CurtainsI’ve been really slacking on my catalog and magazine reading the last two months, but yesterday I started sorting through them (primarily so that I could toss most of them in the recycling bin and declutter the living room), and the latest Serena & Lily caught my eye. And with only a few flips of the pages I had re-designed my entire living room, or at least my dream living room where children and dogs don’t actually live. To start, these silk shantung drapes in malachite are simply stunning. I would actually have to go with the saffron or navy ones because I have no intention of changing my wall color, but I really love the green.

Serena and Lily Capiz Shell Scalloped ChandelierNext, the Scalloped Capiz Shell Chandelier caught my eye. And then I had to do a double take when I saw that it is only $195. I’ve been looking at chandeliers for a while now, and I’ve found many that I like, but not a whole lot in my budget. I love that this would pick up on the shell curtain rods that I already have in the living room and the gold accents on my lamps. It’s actually a little bigger than the one I already have (20″ vs. 18″) which I also like, but because my living room is so long, I think I need to go even bigger.

Serena and Lily Capiz Shell ChandelierLuckily, they have a very similar Capiz Globe Chandelier that is 28″ that I think will be perfect. I do prefer the scalloping of the first one, but you can’t have everything! Of course this one is also twice the price, but it’s still under $400, and I’m going to watch those Serena & Lily sale emails like a hawk to try and get it for less because despite the fact that my husband thinks this is expensive, it’s still one-third of the other ones that I want.

Serena and Lily Mirabelle RugWhen I first designed my living room, I wanted it to be really clean in terms of color and pattern so I worked with lots of solids in various textures. But solids don’t hold up that well to living with children unless they are slipcovers you can watch. My newest updates are definitely going to involve pattern and darker color for the high traffic areas like the couch and rug so that I don’t feel the need to replace everything every five years….going on eight now. A small stain is much less annoying if it blends into a pattern. As always, I’m drawn to navy as a good grounding, and I love this Mirabelle Rug which reminds of the blue Nankeen fabrics that are so beautiful.

Serena and Lily Scalloped Hide RugHowever, if dirt wasn’t an issue and I was simply only going to look at the room from afar and never let anyone step into it, I would totally love this amazing Scalloped Hide Ride.

There of course many more things that I love, but these are the ones that actually could fill the void of things I’m trying to replace at the moment. Hopefully, I’ll at least be able to show you a new chandelier in the near future!

Chic Picnic Inspiration

chic picnic I am so excited about this Thursday’s screening of Dior and I presented by newportFILM at Doris Duke’s Rough Point mansion. Just one of the amazing things about living here in Newport is that we get watch amazing films while sitting on the lawn of one of the grandest heiresses of all time while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean under the night sky. And to make it an even more fabulous affair, newportFILM is hosting a Chicest Picnic Contest! The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Stoneacre Pantry, two bottles of wine, the book Beyond Chic, and a $50 gift certificate to Chateau & Bungalow. And the word about town is that people are IN IT TO WIN IT! We want everyone in on the action to make this competition fierce so above is a little inspiration of just some of the items we have to offer to get your creative juices flowing, and when you shop for your chic picnic with us, just mention this blog post and save 15% off your picnic gear.

A Surprising Source for Chic Designs

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pbteen a-frame deskI can’t say that I often open up the pages of the PB Teen catalog. Considering I don’t even have any teens in my house yet, I’m not sure why it even comes, but it does, and the most recent cover caught my eye. Could that sleek gold and white lacquer A-Frame Desk really be from PB Teen? Indeed it is, and there were quite a few other pieces that surprisingly had me continuing to turn the pages. There’s no doubt that sometimes turning to kids catalogs will yield the look you want at a much lower price point, but that tends to work better when you are going for shabby chic and not glam. Not in this case! Apparently PB Teen is working with fashion stylists Emily Current and Meritt Elliot to create a new look, and it’s working. Here are a few of my favorites, and while they may not all be appropriate in an adult space, some of them could certainly pull double duty and all would make for a really fabulous girls room.

pb teen maison canopy bedI don’t typically love a canopy bed, but this Maison Canopy Bed is pretty appealing and comes in twin, full, and queen.

pb teen maison bookcaseAnd the Maison Bookcase from the same collection is to die for!

pb teen scallop gold leaf mirrorI’m also really loving the coordinating Scallop Gold Leaf Mirror and the matching Scallop Pin Board would take any office space up a notch.

pb teen nailhead shelvesThe Nailhead Shelves are also fabulous, although putting a sewing machine on top of them doesn’t exactly do them justice.

pb teen emily + merrit brass bunny lampAnd while the Brass Bunny Lamp may be a bit juvenile, I think it’s adorable.  The overhead lighting options are also quite impressive.

pb teen la boheme chandelier pb teen faceted capiz pendant pb teen catalina chandelierI’ve been looking for some very similar pieces for my living room, but unfortunately these ones are too small for my space.

So if you’re in a rut in your search for a stylish piece at a decent price point, consider adding PB Teen to your list of sources!

THE ANNEX at C&B, Best of RI, Boston Globe Press, and Old Beach Journal has Arrived

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TheANNEXThe past month has been nothing short of whirlwind, and in case you missed any of our postings on Facebook and Instagram, I thought I’d do a little recap. First, at the request of some very persuasive friends, I decided to launch THE ANNEX at Chateau & Bungalow. THE ANNEX (which draws its name from my family’s summer house–an annex of the family’s original house that became necessary as more generations came along), is in the back room of the store and features vintage and designer consignment clothing and accessories. If you’re looking for a pair of fabulous shoes (think Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnick, Gucci, Tod’s) or the perfect outfit for everyday or a summer soiree (think DVF, Calvin Klein, CK Bradley, Max Studio, and many more) at amazing prices for women, men, and children, we’ve got them. Just as with our home and gift selection, we also have some great offerings that are new from manufacturers we love, and we’ve had lots of happy customers who have found great pieces at a steal!

Note: We are accepting new consignors. Please contact me at the store for more information.

bestofriJust a few days after launching THE ANNEX, I found out that we won a Best of  Rhode Island award from RI Monthly!!! I don’t know what it is for yet, but we will find out on July 24th when they make the official announcements. I can’t tell you how unexpected this was, but it is so nice and encouraging to know that our little off the beaten path shop is turning heads!

boston globe whale bottle openerNext, we were thrilled to have our whale bottle opener featured in The Boston Globe this past Sunday. I have another shipment of them arriving this week, but they are selling like hot cakes so get yours today if you want one!

Old Beach Journal Summer 2014And lastly, for the past several months, I’ve been working with an awesome group of people, lead by Editor-in-Chief Heidi Brueggeman, to launch Newport’s newest lifestyle magazine, Old Beach Journal, and it is now available in Newport and beyond (including here at the shop)!

Old Beach Journal EditorialAnd you’ll spot some Chateau & Bungalow items inside the pages there too like our antique silver serving pieces featured in the vintage Series Land Rover article…

Old Beach Journal Style…and our Dana Gibson leopard eyeglass holder and a vintage Nantucket Basket in the piece on women’s accessories.

Old Beach Journal AdAnd we’ve got our first full-page ad in the magazine too! For those of you who love style and design (which is why you’re reading this blog, right?), I highly encourage you to pick up a copy.

Well, I think that’s all for now, and I really do have a bunch of blog posts floating around in my head to share with you, but as you can see, I’ve had a lot going on. Stay tuned!

Save Big at Our Pre-Summer Sale

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Chateau & Bungalow Pre-Summer SaleI live in New England not only because this is where most of my loved ones are, but also because I love all four of the seasons. And I try really hard not to complain about any of them, but man, that has been more difficult this year than any other that I can remember. It’s not every May 30th that you’ve just finished a hot bowl of soup for lunch and are wondering how long you can make it until you have to venture out for a cup of coffee in an attempt to stay warm enough to keep the shop door open. Of course, despite the fact that Memorial Day has come and gone, we are still a few weeks away from the official start of summer. But since we’ve all suffered enough this year, I thought we’d try an make those few weeks of spring we have left a little brighter with a Pre-Summer Sale! Save up to 25% off on everything in the store (as well as special orders). It’s a great way to spruce up your home for summer, pick up those graduation, baby shower, and wedding gifts you need to get, or just treat yourself to a little something special for making it through this most dreary winter and spring we’ve had. Details below.

May Sale 2014

Sakonnet Garden 2014 Tour

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Over the weekend, I headed over to the annual Open Days at Sakonnet Garden in Little Compton. There is no doubt that this year’s wretched winter took its toll on this magnificent garden, and things were a little further behind than last year, but nonetheless, it was still spectacular. Here are a few of my favorite things from this year’s tour.

Sakonnet Gardens Red TulipsSakonnet Gardens Antique GateSakonnet Gardens Tulips2Sakonnet Gardens Tulip BedSakonnet Gardens TulipSakonnet Gardens Wood Wall GateSakonnet Gardens Potted TulipsSakonnet Gardens TulipsSakonnet Gardens Stone Wall Watering CanSakonnet Gardens Red ChairsSakonnet Gardens GreensSakonnet Gardens GroundcoverSakonnet Gardens Rhodo WhiteSakonnet Gardens WalkwaySakonnet Gardens BenchSakonnet Gardens FernsSakonnet Gardens ArchwaySakonnet Gardens White TulipsSakonnet Gardens Wood WalkwaySakonnet Gardens MossIf you have any interest in gardening or just love flowers, I cannot encourage you enough to mark your calendar now for next year’s tour, which always coincides with Mother’s Day weekend.

Gorgeous Gifts for Mom

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Motherhood is indisputably the hardest job in the world, so how do you repay the woman who has devoted her life to your well-being? It’s not really possible to truly give mom what she deserves (a year off, a long vacation, a gazillion dollars), but we’ve got quite a few ideas that are sure to at least put a smile on her face and remember why she does all that she does for you. To start, we have yet to find a woman who isn’t smitten with these Dana Gibson chevron cosmetic cases and leopard eyeglass cases or who doesn’t love the smell of these amazing French soaps!

If your mom’s style is a little more classic New England, how about this Nantucket basket. It’s great not only as a purse, but also to set flowers in or as room decor.

Or for the mom who loves to entertain, these antique sterling candelabras would really knock her off her feet!

Unless her style is more modern, in which case she’d love this navy candelabra.

And for the mom who loves fashion, we have this Ferragamo pillow that’s sure to brighten her day! These are just a few of the items in store that we think Mom would love. Browse our online store for more, and use the code MOM to enjoy free shipping through May 10. Or call in (401.619.1966) your order if you don’t see what you’re looking for online. Looking for more ideas? We’re also hosting a Stella & Dot trunk show at the store from 4 to 7 p.m. tonight. Here are a few of our favorites, all of which will arrive in time for Mother’s Day!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stop into the sale or order online. Hope to see you soon!

2014 Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour Featuring Barclay Butera

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There is no doubt that we are a society that loves to ogle over homes and their decor. Our Pinterest pages more than prove that. But what’s better than scrolling through Pinterest for hours or flipping the pages of your favorite home magazines? Getting to go inside those homes and see the details up close, of course! And next Sunday, April 27th you can do just that at the Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour to benefit St. Michael’s Country Day School and the Martin Luther King Junior Center.

This year’s house tour includes seven homes in Newport and Middletown. They are the Commodore William Edgar House, Bellevue House, Ossory House, Hillside, the Isaac Bell House, Wind Shadows, and the newly renovated Paradise Farmhouse at the Norman Bird Sanctuary. The McKim, Mead & White designed Isaac Bell House (above) is architecturally significant and also features one of my favorite ceilings ever. Two words: gold leaf.

And the Peabody and Stearns designed Hillside (above) not only has a beautiful interior, but the grounds also feature more than 100,000 daffodils! However, I have to say that I am most excited to tour Wind Shadows (top). While I typically prefer historic homes, I know from the few pictures I’ve seen of it that this decade old custom home is going to have the balance of farmhouse meets nautical New England shingle style that is going to have me ready to move right in, and I can’t wait to see it in its entirety.

In addition to the homes on this year’s house tour, there will also be a special guest. Famed designer Barclay Butera will be on hand at Paradise Farmhouse from 2 to 5 p.m. for a cocktail reception (cash bar) and book signing of his new book, Getaways and Retreats. Hailing from the other Newport, Newport Beach, CA, Butera’s client list includes celebrities such as Renee Zellweger and Sharon Stone, and his designs are so sought after that he has built an extensive collection of products and partnered with manufactures such as Kravet and Nourison.

The Newport House Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 27th. You can purchase tickets online, or if you prefer to pay cash or check, you can buy them here at Chateau & Bungalow in store. Tickets are $60 each through April 25 ($75 after) or get a group of four friends together to take advantage of the $50 group rate (it’s more fun to do these tours with friends anyway!). Butera’s new book along with his previous book, Living on the Coast, will be available for purchase as well.