Shop Local This Valentine’s Day for The Perfect Catch



Valentines_Day_Gifts_Newport_RII don’t usually get so excited over Valentine’s Day, but the store is chock full of wonderful gifts for all of your loved ones that we hope you’ll come check out what we have to offer. While we have tons of options, we have to admit that our favorite gift of the season is The Perfect Catch Cuff!

the perfect catch cuff

This brass bracelet is formed using the tool that lobstermen use to determine whether or not a lobster is a keeper or not, and we think it’s the perfect gift for your perfect catch!

valentine's gift wrapAnd don’t forget, we always gift wrap for free! We’re open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Valentine’s Day!

Our First Annual Warehouse Sale is Here!



WarehouseSaleWe’re making the winter a little brighter with our first annual warehouse sale! I’ve had my pen out all week and have been slashing prices on some of our most fabulous pieces to make room for new inventory! Take this chance to stock up on your entertaining needs at below cost prices or finally grab that amazing statement piece for your decor. Here’s a sneak peek at just a few of the items that you’ll find in the sale!

tablelinens_salepaper goodsbeddingsalesaleholiday_salebook_salecandle_saleshoe_salePlus, we’ve also slashed prices in THE ANNEX where you’ll find amazing deals on your favorite brands (Manolo Blahnik, Kate Spade, Prada, Patagonia, and Lilly Pulitzer are just a few!) of clothing, shoes, and accessories.

Want to save more? Share our sale on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag us to save an extra 5% off when you checkout!

See you this weekend!

Sip & Shop All Week Long



The holiday season is officially upon us, and we’re kicking off the first week of December with tons of shopping events! Whether you’re looking to shop in the evenings or want your holiday shopping to help support your favorite local cause, we encourage you to come and enjoy some holiday cheer and check out our fully stocked store this week at one of the following events (or anytime during regular business hours), starting with a Sip & Shop to benefit Ballard Park that coincides with the Washington Square Tree Lighting on Monday night.

Ballard Park Sip & Shop smcds_haarstick_sip_shop

green-drinks-CnBWe’re also really excited to be taking our shop on the road for a night of fitness, fun, and shopping at Trident Training Center on Sunday, December 7th. This is the only event where we do ask for an RSVP, and it’s also the only one where you get to burn some of those holiday party calories too!

Fit_Fun_Shopping NightWe hope to see you this week!

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



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!