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


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



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.

Pretty Painted Easter Eggs



I’ve always had fond memories of decorating Easter eggs as a kid, but I fear my own kids’ memories won’t be quite as pleasant. Decorating eggs with kids is a bit of an issue for control freaks like me that usually ends up in frustration on both sides. This year I tried a slightly different approach. I boiled three dozen eggs, and I took half for me and split the other 18 amongst the three kids I was decorating with. (Does that make me sound like an egg hoarded? I wasn’t trying to be stingy, but I knew I wanted to use mine for store display!) I had planned on dying all of them, but in the midst of searching for vinegar in the basement (which I never found) for the dye, I came across a set of Martha Stewart pearl paint and an oil based gold paint Sharpie and decided I’d let the kids do the dying and I’d take a different approach. I figured this would also be helpful with my control issues since I wouldn’t have to worry about the kids mixing the dyes with their dirty spoons which was bound to happen and did.

And better yet, this approach allowed me to do mine on my own time instead of when I had the dye all mixed up for them. I simply used a flat edge brush to paint the eggs. I only used one color on each egg and opted not to cover the entire egg but go for a color block effect instead. After painting each one, I let it dry on a wire cooling rack. Once the eggs were dry, I took the Sharpie and drew a band along the painted edge to make it a bit more refined and add a touch of gold to it.

It’s pretty impossible to get an effect that doesn’t show some of the brush strokes, but I’m pleased with how they came out, and considering I was able to create them from simply what I found in my craft corner of the basement, I’m even more pleased. Oh, and the kids’ eggs came out well too. The dropped on the floor, marker over dye and topped with stickers look just wasn’t what I was going for myself!

What unique approach have you taken to decorating your eggs this year? Share in the comments!

DIY Chalk Paint Workshop



Chalk paint has really taken the DIY decorating world by storm over the past few years. One of the major benefits of it is that there is very little prep work required before you can apply it to a piece of furniture that needs a makeover. Many boutique shops like mine carry it, and I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t considered bringing it into the store myself, but I’ve always held back because I wish there were more of a color selection in most of the lines. The leading brands carry only between 20 and 30 colors, and while that’s not horrible, it doesn’t give you much of a range. As we know, there are more than three shades of gray in the world. As someone who loves color, I also know that getting the exact shade right can make or break a refinishing project.

So when Lisa Cadan at Cadan Chairs told me that she’s been making all the chalk paint she uses on the furniture that you all have been snatching up, and that she’d be willing to share her recipe with us, I jumped at the chance! This Sunday, March 23rd at 2 pm, Lisa will be here to show us how to make your own chalk paint (in ANY color your heart desires!). Participants will go home with the recipe, a can of paint, a small finished project, and all the tips and tricks (including using wax finishes) Lisa has learned in her extensive work with making and using this paint on her refurbished furniture pieces. Not only does that mean that your future in chalk paint possibilities are endless, but you can also save a bundle on making only as much as you need for each of your projects and not be stuck with lots of half-used cans of paint.

We still have spaces left so if you love to use chalk paint or you always have wanted to give it a try, call 619-1966 and sign up for this class (pre-registration is required). The class is $50 (about the cost of one can of paint from those other manufacturers), plus $15 for materials, and the knowledge is priceless!

Moulding Maintenance 101: How to Repair Those Dings and Scratches


I don’t feature a lot of guest posts here, but when Home Depot contacted me about doing one on how to repair damaged molding yourself, I thought that many of you would be interested in learning these tips. From door frames to baseboards, there is no doubt that the moldings and trim in our homes take a beating, and sprucing them up can make a whole room go from tired and worn to looking like new. However, it’s the kind of project that always has me nervous to try it myself, but it also doesn’t seem big enough to hire a contractor to fix. But after this post I think I can now tackle it on my own!

Photo: Shutterstock

From dogs’ teeth to cats’ claws to energetic little feet, the wood molding in your home is likely to endure its fair share of abuse over the years. Generally made from softer wood, baseboards and trim need a bit of love now and again. Fortunately, this does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming endeavor. With the proper tools and a little know-how, fixing damaged molding is often easier than it seems – and can save you big bucks in the end.

Before tackling any such project, always use your best judgment. If you can pinpoint the damage, chances are that you can get away with some minor repairs rather than replacing a whole section. Know what to look for, evaluate your options, and decide if you are indeed up for the task. If so, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind.

Get familiar with your tools

The tools needed for minor molding repairs are surprisingly simple and inexpensive. A trip to the garage might even be all you need!

  • Wood putty/filler – for small dents and scratches, wood putty will work just fine. For larger or heavier damaged sections, you might want to go with epoxy filler.
  • Putty knife – this flat, metal scraper is great for spreading putty into holes. It can also be used to scrape away paint dripping or bits of damaged wood.
  • Sandpaper – be sure to go with medium or fine-grained sandpaper that won’t damage the wood.
  • Caulk – this hardening putty is great for sealing gaps.
  • Wet sponge – a trip to the sink should suffice!
  • Paint – be sure to use paint that matches the existing surface.

Fixing dings and dents

Mending damaged molding yourself – as opposed to replacing entire sections – can end up saving you a bundle! Start by sanding down the damaged area to get rid of excess wood bits. Using a putty knife, smear a generous heap of wood putty into any gaps or holes. It’s better to use too much than too little – wood putty tends to shrink as it dries. You can always sand it down afterwards.

After the putty dries (be sure to read the instructions – some brands take up to 24 hours to dry out) simply sand it down and paint over it. Voila!

Filling gaps and cracks

Sometimes there will be sections of trim that have cracked or come disconnected from the wall. If this is the case, caulking will seal these up just fine. Use a caulking gun to patch the gaps, making sure to get in there deep. Sliding a wet finger across the area will get rid of any extra caulk and even out the surface. Caulk will dry pretty quickly, and can be painted over quite easily.

Tips for painting

When painting over a recently repaired section, make sure your new paint matches what is already there. Outline the area with masking tape to avoid splatters and uneven brush strokes.

Paint is bound to splatter now and again. For paint splotches that have already dried, denatured alcohol works wonders. Dip a thin rag in the alcohol and wrap the rag around a putty knife. Gently scraping the area should get it right out!

General maintenance

Moisture can be molding’s worst enemy. Always keep baseboards and trim – or any wood surfaces for that matter – clean and dry. Using a damp sponge to wipe down molding works great, but be sure to dry the area immediately. Also, consider a dehumidifier for keeping moisture at bay. This will keep your trim in tip-top shape (not to mention your floors and furniture)!

House repairs can often be intimidating. Fortunately, fixing up baseboards and trim isn’t always a job for the professionals – a few simple tools and do-it-yourself attitude can go a long way! Do know your limits, though. Some jobs are, after all, best left to a specialist. Evaluate your damage, consider these tips, and decide if you are equipped to take on the job. You might just surprise yourself.

Angelo DiGangi is a Home Depot on-the-floor sales associate in the Chicago suburbs and a frequent contributor on DIY door topics for Home Depot’s website. You can view Home Depot’s molding page here.