Coastal Cottage Piano Seat {Before & After}

I love furniture that has cottage appeal!

Piano Seat Before pmed

When I found this Eastlake era walnut bench I thought it would look fabulous with a fresh new look.  I didn’t realize it was a piano seat with storage until I brought it home! A nice surprise.

Bench Seat Open Bpmed

The plan was to pair Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan with one of my favorite fabrics from Oliveira Textiles.  This worn velvet fabric will be replaced with….

IMG_6130

Oliveira Textiles colorful Anemone print in Mystic Blue!

Oliveira Anemone Print pmcr

This colorway pairs perfectly with Greek Blue–an exuberant paint color created by Annie Sloan and inspired by the Mediterranean.

GreekBlue_OpenLid

I love the organic and graphic quality of the sophisticated coastal-inspired pattern.  The fabric comes in beautiful colorways and custom colors as well.   Be sure to shop Oliveira Textiles while you are in town or pop over for a virtual visit here.

Bench After Toppmed

Thanks to some handy upholstery by a local artisan, the fabric is artfully carried on inside the bench.

Bench Open Aftpmed

While it is a far cry from its late Victorian origins…

Bench After1pmedI believe everyone deserves a makeover at least once or twice a centennial–even a coastal cottage-inspired one!

 

 

 

 

The British are Coming!

The British are coming— thankfully this time for the British Motor Car Festival! British Motor Car Fest logo

Please save the date for the fun & fabulous British Motor Car Festival is to be held in Bristol, Rhode Island June 12th to 14th, 2015 at Colt State Park! The Motorcar Festival is patterned after the much celebrated British Invasion Car Show held in Stowe, VT for the past 25 years.  What a special treat to have the festivities come to Rhode Island!

Bristol Welcome Sign

Source

This first Bristol spring Motorcar Festival will bring in 300 or more classic British motorcars cars in addition to several thousand attendees. The Festival will kick-off on Friday at Colt State Park featuring a Rally and a Registrant’s Reception.

British Car Competition

Source

On Friday night there will be a street party in downtown Bristol along Independence Park with a live band and reserved parking for British Motorcars.  Saturday will start with the arrival of the “QUEEN” in her Royal Carriage to a Bristol Train of Artillery canon salute.

British Block Partypmed

Source

Saturday will feature the Concours d’Elegance (Judged Competition); the British Classic Motorcar Show (People’s Choice); a British Car Corral; New British Motorcar Display, The British Marketplace; British Music, Food & Beverages; a British Attire Competition for Car Show Registrants, Guests, and the General Public; and of course the Ladies Hat Competition; and more. Sunday will offer a morning drive and more activities.

explorebristolsunset

Source

No doubt Bristolians and visitors alike will be rolling out the red carpet for this Bristish Invasion!  We are already planning out some fun projects to mark this special occasion.  Perhaps another British Flag furniture project?  You will have to stay tuned…..

Union Flag Dresser plarge

To learn more as the plans for the fun festivities unfold, click here.  As always, we invite you to Explore Bristol!

explore bristol logo

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Rx: Matthew Mead Workshop

Fresh off the publication of one of my favorite projects in Cottages & Bungalows magazine, I was looking for a creative escape as a way to rejuvenate or “fill the funnel” as my friend Margo likes to say.

sales_funnel_social

Source: J.T. Designs

She always uses that term to describe the sales process– to seek out new prospects never knowing what will come to fruition.  I think that advice applies to the creative process as well.  We all need different sources of inspiration to keep the creative juices flowing and to allow for possibilities to unfold and develop in their own time—without expectations.

funnel-hi

One thing I know for certain is that when I am in a creative funk, the best medicine is often a hands-on activity or workshop where I can be fully present.  However convenient, losing myself in an ever-cascading rabbit hole of social media will not do the trick.

 

Grey-BG1

Source

Enter my friend Elyse Major, who is always up for a new adventure.  After a brief discussion we decided that only one antidote was in order—-

Elyse_91 copySM

Elyse Major
Photo credit: Marissa Bettencourt Photography

…a road trip to New Hampshire to visit THE Matthew Mead in his studio for one of his winter workshops!

Matthew Mead picture

Matthew Mead
Source

As many of you know, Matthew Mead is an accomplished stylist, writer, author, photographer and lifestyle editor.

Matthew Mead BHG Cover

Source: Cover by Matthew Mead, Better Homes & Gardens, Dec 2014

He was also the style editor for Country Home magazine, one of my all-time favorites.
(Remember the design home they assembled in Grand Central Station? Just epic!)

valentine workshop mm

We quickly registered for the Workshop and before you know it we were in Matthew’s studio working on a fun and creative project, enjoying all the camaraderie while so graciously being hosted by Matthew and his wife Jenny.

The setting, the food, engaging conversation, creative play and just plain ‘ole good cheer made the day so wonderful and memorable.

strawberrybowl pmed

During the workshop, I had the opportunity to create a decoupage plate, something I have wanted to do for eons after seeing a feature on John Derian’s work in a home decor magazine.  We were able to select from several styles of plates and beautiful papers in a variety of motifs.

decoupage papers pmed

I love how they all came out!

decoupage_plates5pmed

While everyone has their own way of re-igniting the creative spark, in my case the Valentine’s Workshop at Matthew Mead studio was just what the Doctor ordered…

creative rx

A feast for the creative soul!

decoupage candy box pmed

Many thanks to Matthew and Jenny Mead, to fun & adventurous Elyse and her indispensible (but sometimes annoying) GPS phone app, and to our fellow workshop attendees.

workshop alums cropmed

Source

Looking forward to more inspiration from Matthew Mead! I’m especially excited for his next publication, Upcycled Style Magazine featuring my friend Danielle Driscoll from the Finding Silver Pennies Blog.

MM Upcycled Mag Release

  Coming soon to a newsstand near you!