RI Home Show Chalk Paint® Challenge!

Sea Rose Cottage is pleased to announce the DESIGNER SHOWCASE CHALK PAINT® CHALLENGE at the 67th Annual Rhode Island Home Show!




The Chalk Paint® Challenge is Sponsored by Sea Rose Cottage and Unfolded and will showcase Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.



Participating designers will be using Chalk Paint® to colorfully transform surfaces and interiors in their 2017 Designer Showcase rooms! The theme for this year’s Showcase is “The Gracious Gardener’s Home.”



We can’t wait to see how the designers work their magic interpreting the theme while bringing the rooms to life with Chalk Paint®!



We hope you will join us at the RI Home, Garden & Flower Show at the RI Convention Center March 30 – April 2, 2017.  Follow our progress on Social Media for an opportunity to win free tickets to the show.



The winning Designer will receive $250 in Annie Sloan products from Sea Rose Cottage.  There will be a corresponding prize for one lucky RIBA Home Show attendee.  Come see us at the Designer Showcase for an entry form and to join in the fun!



Hope to see you there!

66th Annual RI Home Show Highlights

What great fun being a part of the 66th Annual Rhode Island Home Show!  In addition to being invited to participate in the Seminar Series, I also had fun collaborating with Ally Maloney Interiors on the 7 Room Designer Showcase Challenge.


 Photo credit: Rhode Island Home Show

For the Challenge, the RI Home Show put together 7 of the best interior designers in Rhode Island and gave each an empty room to create something special in the theme “Coastal Living.”


Photo credit: Rhode Island Home Show

No surprise it was my favorite part of the show!  I was especially excited to see several designers showcased who also happen to be my customers (and also to see two of the rooms feature products from Sea Rose Cottage).  They did not disappoint.


Designer Michelle Lee’s room theme was “Sanity’s Oasis” a place to escape from everyday life.  It featured bright blue walls and a stunning ocean mural.  The room had strong accents of orange and aqua that worked perfectly with the ocean theme.  She accented one wall with custom art pieces–mixed media paintings with pops of fuschia, blues and oranges that Michelle painted for the show.  For an official tour of her room visit her Instagram Feed at michelleleedesigns.  It is well worth the visit!


Next up is “Charmed by the Sea” by Deborah DeCristofaro of DeCristo Design Interiors.  Deb created a charming seaside retreat by layering colorful woven floral prints and textures with deep blues and whites accentuated with fun punches of lime.


Photo credit: DeCristo Design Interiors

I really like how she used lime accent trim on the tall draperies that flanked the feature window.   She cleverly created a headboard and two wall mounted bedside tables by repurposing several pairs of old shutters.  The headboard was painted in Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint®.  A charming cottage-style chest of drawers was smartly updated by adding striped lime and white knobs.  Pops of blue around the room tied it all together.


Interior Designer Ally Maloney’s room showcased “Palm Beach Chic.”   It was a wonderfully executed tropical theme with beautiful combinations of bright corals and greens and bold mixes of patterns, colors and textures.


The furniture included some of my favorites—rattan, bamboo and Chippendale style furniture as well as a mirror from Sea Rose Cottage that I painted in bright Antibes Green Chalk Paint® for the occasion.


The hi-gloss lacquered coral furniture was accented with square emerald jewel like knobs (from Sea Rose Cottage).  It also featured a beautiful wave-pattern pillow from Oliveira Textiles in Bristol.


A fan favorite was the Rhode Island School of Design or ”RISD Room.” Interior Designer Ainsley Bonham was called upon to create a space  from the work of 9 RISD affiliates.  She was assisted by Elise Fargnoli who shared with us information about the featured artists which included Bristol–based Textile Designer Dawn Oliveira and Miles Endo of  Providence-based Studio Endo (HGTV Ellen’s Design Challenge Star.)

The room achieved a coolness factor with its cutting edge design, pallet floor and wall features by Guy Lemione and a stunning wall-mounted wood surfboard (clear acrylic mount) with a modern retro asthetic by Kevin Cunnigham of Spirare Surfboards (as beautiful as they are functional).

Now, on to the seminar —I presented ”Change Your Space with Chalk Paint®” highlighting the myriad uses of Chalk Paint® and how it can transform spaces from the novice DIY-er to the seasoned Designer.


Photo credit:  Rhode Island Home Show

Luckily my husband Rick and my friend & PR/Communications guru Elyse Major came along to help me out with the seminar. It was great to have their support!  While Rick wrangled the signage, Elyse commandeered a makeshift green room to help me organize all the materials before the presentation while simultaneously taking pictures, tweeting and keeping the mood light.  I barely had time to be nervous when I heard my name announced over the loud speaker.

imagePhoto credit:  Elyse Major

The presentation was well received.  Most of the audience members were new to Chalk Paint® and many were excited about the possibility of transforming their own interiors.


Photo credit: Elyse Major

All attendees received an Annie Sloan Color Card and tip sheet in addition to their new found knowledge of Chalk Paint®. L-annie-colour-card-1

One lucky winner went home with a special Sea Rose Cottage Giveaway—an Annie Sloan Project Pack and her Quick & Easy Paint Transformations book!


After the Q&A we circled back to the showcase so we could spend more time seeing all of the 7 rooms and talking to the designers about their work.  Truly a fun and inspirational show and so happy I could be a small part of it!




Meet Artist Kelley MacDonald April 25th!

We will be kicking off Art Night Bristol Warren 2013 by hosting the talented Kelley Carey MacDonald at Sea Rose Cottage on Thursday, April 25th from 5 – 9pm!

Art Night Bristol Warren celebrates the arts by featuring monthly Gallery & Open Studio Tours from April through November.  Visitors can meet featured artists in their studios or at partner galleries/ businesses for an inside peek at how their work is created.  A free trolley service runs from 5-8 pm between the towns of Bristol and Warren, with stops at the participating locations.  Follow this link to learn more.


We are thrilled to be participating in Art Night Bristol Warren again and so pleased to be hosting Fine Artist Kelley Carey MacDonald for the 2013 inaugural event.

Kelley Carey MacDonald

Kelley has been painting for over 20 years.  While an Art History Major at Wheaton College, Kelley discovered the joy of making art.  She continued her education in different mediums throughout her life.  Studying with the foremost painters she found that each artist had something unique to offer, and led her to a rich and varied toolbox from which she could construct work in her own voice.

Some of her teachers include: Charles Sovek, Valerie Vitali, Ken Auster, Ned Mueller, Karin Jurick, Carol Marine, John Kilroy, as well as others.

Black Pug Profile by Kelley Carey MacDonald

Kelley paints for the joy of it, and because she could not stand to stay away from the easel! She maintains a must-read Daily Painting Blog where she posts a small format painting in oil or acrylic between 4-6 times per week.  Mainly she enjoys painting sweets, martini’s and animals in a contemporary realist style.

Kelley paints on location (plein air), in fabulous places like Mexico, Holland, Canada, Maine, Cape Cod and Sedona and takes workshops with the most accomplished artists in the USA.  She hosts workshops with nationally known artists at her studio in Warren, RI, and teaches her own painting workshops as well.

Please join us at Sea Rose Cottage (21 Constitution Street, Bristol) on this very special night as we joyfully welcome the talented Artist (and Blogger!) Kelley Carey MacDonald.


Come meet artist Kathrine Lovell – Nov. 29th

I am so pleased to announce that Sea Rose Cottage will be participating in Art Night Bristol Warren on Thursday, November 29th from 5 – 9pm!


Art Night Bristol Warren features Gallery & Open Studio Tours where visitors can meet featured artists in their studios for an inside peek at how their work is created.  A free trolley service runs from 5-8 pm between the towns of Bristol and Warren, with stops at the participating locations.  Follow this link to learn more.

I am thrilled to be hosting talented local artist Kathrine Lovell for the November event. Kathrine is a fine artist and a decorative painter.   I first met Kathrine  10 years ago as a student at the Rhode Island School of Design while she was overseeing the Decorative Painting Certificate Program.  I had the pleasure of taking several of her classes and learning from her amazing talent and experience.


 Kathrine Lovell

Kathrine studied at RISD, and received her BFA in painting.  Her decorative painting business is currently in it’s 26th year, that means hundreds of pieces of furniture, dozens of murals, acres of wall treatments and a myriad of floor cloths are gracing homes, businesses and design studios throughout New England. Her fine art work has been on display in many area galleries, and lately reproductions can be found in Target, HomeGoods, Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s department stores, and all around the world online. This year, she has opened a new studio/gallery in The Mill Pond Shops in Tiverton RI.


Mallow by Kathrine Lovell

Lovell’s fine paintings are ethereal layers of paint, pattern, and color, combined with nature forms such as plants, flowers, animals and most often, birds.  Pattern and geometric form are representative of her self-awareness within the natural landscape.  A love of gardening is reflected in her flower paintings that burst with color, and her endless fascination with the world around her can be seen in her recent foray into landscape paintings.

Please join us at Sea Rose Cottage (21 Constitution Street, Bristol) on this very special night as we welcome Kathrine Lovell, a gifted artist, teacher and friend.



Back from Brimfield – Part I

It was a fun but very hot week at the July, 2012 Brimfield Antiques Show.  I must say I prefer the heat to the torrential rain we experienced last Fall!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Brimfield Antiques Festival is really a collection of shows.  I participate in the New England Motel Show.  The field opens at 6 a.m. sharp on Wednesdays of the show weeks scheduled for May, July and September of each year.

I was still pricing and tweeking my space at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning after doing most of the set up on Monday and Tuesday.  After the work was done my space looked like this…

I set up a wall area to display some Annie Sloan product and sample finishes.

For seating, I brought along my restyled wicker chair painted in a mix of Provence and Old White Chalk Paint™.

My friends Robyn and Mohammed from Kingston Krafts are my nearest neighbors in the co-op tent we rent for the show.  They are the sweetest couple who do fabulous painted and restyled vintage and antique furniture.

They have a gorgeous Etsy Shop and a Workshop/Studio space in Providence where they do custom furniture refinishing.  A number of their pieces are finished with Chalk Paint™ so our spaces are very complementary and visitors flow freely between them.

The star of the show was their amazing zinc top table!

Since most of my booth consisted of antique and vintage smalls, and my friends had some large furniture installations, I opted to share part of my space for the July show.

Just shortly after the show opened, my largest piece–a rustic white farm table –found a new home on Martha’s Vineyard along with a folksy hand made boat and a dotty 50′s era glass ice bucket.

This vintage aqua bottle is going to be used to house a sea glass collection — only the very smallest fragments.

One of my gothic cabinet doors (salvaged from a former Newport Mansion) was sold to a sweet couple who are making an old church their new home.

The pre-1940′s carnival wheel will be gracing the walls of a family game room.  The yellow Abington Acanthus art pottery vase (directly below) is now in the home of a collector that was admiring its rich color and near mint condition.

 The Daniel’s Auto Radiator sign was happily carted off by another ‘Daniel’—no doubt!

One of my favorite finds was a pair of vintage green and yellow water skis.  I just love the color and the slightly worn finish.  They were purchased by a sports collector.

I also, love-love-love this sculptural deco watering can!  It came home with me from the show so I get to enjoy it for a little while longer.  The pair of candelabras in the background were purchased by a Connecticut photographer to be used as studio props.

I didn’t get a great picture of the vintage yellow and red Royal Crown Cola cooler, but it had spectacular color and just screamed nostalgia. The couple who bought the cooler were not collectors, they just loved the color too!

As things get sold (or not sold!) the space is rearranged multiple times before packing up and heading home.

By the end of the show, it is hard to even remember the initial set-up as items are re-grouped, moved to a more prominent location or set aside as ‘sold’ to be picked up later.

All in all, it was a fun and successful week.  Thanks to all for coming by to visit!  It was great seeing all my old friends and meeting some new ones, talking antiques and vintage-and of course Chalk Paint™.  Now off to unpack–and then luxuriate in some air conditioning! More to follow…

Off To Brimfield! Shop closed this week…

The shop will be closed this week. I’m heading back to the Brimfield Antiques Show to finish set-up for a Wednesday Show opening. I’m hoping for a quick set-up and some time to shop later this afternoon!


I’ll be at the New England Motel Antiques Show from Wednesday July 11th through Saturday July 14th. The weather forecast is looking good—at least for the first several days. I hope you will come visit if you are at the show. I’m in space 303A&B. It is just past the food court that has the green and yellow umbrellas (if the food court is on your right). It is the second tent on your right when you come through the main (parking) entrance to the New England Motel Show.

Earlier I posted some tips for attending the show—I have one addition. If you are lucky enough to find central parking (New England Motel is a great spot!), you can make several trips to your car to drop off your treasures rather than carting them around all day.

Hope to see you there and happy hunting!

10 Tips for Navigating the Brimfield Show

It is hard to believe it is almost time for the Brimfield Antiques Show again!  I shared an earlier post about how much I love to take my annual trek to the mecca of all things antique and vintage.


For those not familiar, the Brimfield Show is held in Brimfield, Massachusetts three times each year (May, July and September).  Yankee magazine describes it as both the Ultimate Antique Treasure Hunt and a three ring circus.  It has become a rite of passage for many antique lovers in the region and attracts visitors from around the world.  According to  Yankee Magazine, the number of antique dealers (6,000) alone outnumber the town’s population (3,500) which swells to upwards of 130,000 during the show.

I will be one of the dealers at the show in May.  If you’re in the area please come by for a visit! I will be at the New England Motel & Antiques Market  (303A & B) at the center of the action from Wednesday May 9th through Saturday May 12th, 2012.  Look for me on the right just after you come through the main entrance.  The New England Motel Show hours run from 6am to 5pm on opening day (Wednesday) and 8:30am to 5pm for the duration.

As I gear up for the May event, I thought it would be timely to share some of my tips on attending the show.  To learn more, check out this link.

1.  If you see something you love, buy it on the spot.

One lesson it has taken me too long to learn is that if you see something you really love and you can afford—buy it on the spot.  There is so much to see and so much geography to cover that even if you had the time to circle back, it is easy to forget where you found your vintage treasure in the first place! It is also very likely that in the meantime someone else has found it a new home.  If you absolutely have to walk away, it is good to note the name and location of the show and dealer in the event you want to take your chance at a return visit.

2.  Don’t worry if it is too big to carry.

If you buy something, you can get a receipt from the dealer and a business card with the name of the field and the location of the booth.  Before heading home you can drive to most spots or a pick-up zone to load up your car.  Just check to see what times pick-ups are allowed in that particular field.  Also, if you need to come back for your fab find another day, be sure you confirm with the dealer a good day and time to return.  Some shows are open all week, some one day, some have optional days.

3.  Consider getting help with Shipping & Delivery.

Shipping services are available along the Show route and you will see places where they sell rolling shopping carts to carry your wares and even porters to help you collect your purchases.  It is a good idea to check with the services first about shipping large or heavy items and the costs and logistics.  It is great to have options for those larger items that won’t fit in your car.  Last year, I bought an oversized storage cabinet and the dealer offered free delivery since it wouldn’t fit in my van.  Lucky for me the dealer lived in a neighboring town! Some things are just meant to be…

4.    Cash is king.

You will get the best deals if you pay in cash.  While there is a cash machine at the New England Motel Food Court, it is better to come prepared and hit the ground running.

5.     Dress comfortably and bring some baggage

Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you will do a lot of walking.  Layers work best so you can adjust to the changing temperature.  After experiencing the rainiest Brimfield ever last September, I would say ALWAYS bring a rain coat and galoshes just in case.  Not only will they keep you dry, they will allow you to hunt out some better pricing while those fair weather shoppers stay home or go running for cover.  For the smaller and medium purchases that you might carry with you, consider a fold up bag, backpack or rolling cart.

6.     Kids and carriages can slow you down

I’ve had lots of fun and success going to Brimfield with my little ones but our usual 6-8 hour shopping window shrinks considerably.  In general it is easy to navigate Brimfield with strollers.  Be aware that a few fields have gravel and the carriages can be hard to push in those areas. I can vouch for that!  If you are bringing the little ones have realistic expectations of how much of your shopping they can endure!  Sun screen, sun visors for the carriage or hats, layered clothing and a bag full of snacks and beverages.  A stop at the Food Court for a breather may buy you some extra time but try to avoid the Noon rush by opting for an earlier lunch (11am).

7.    Familiarize yourself with the Show Schedule and locations.

Brimfield is not just one antique show but a collection of shows.  Some shows are open for one day, some for the whole week and some opening dates and times are staggered.  Look at the show schedule to help you select the best day or days of the week to visit.

8.  Pick the best day for you.

In general I like going to Brimfield earlier in the week for the best selection.  Of course that depends on the weather forecast and childcare coverage among many other things!   I have friends who always go on Sunday because there are more deals to be had—especially on larger items that have to be packed up and hauled back.  In my book, any day at Brimfield is a good day.  Go when it is convenient for you, but realize the trade-offs.

9.    Arrive early and expect to pay for parking.

If you are driving to Brimfield the day of the show—leave as early as you can stomach.  Set your GPS and grab breakfast on the road.  Early birds will  be rewarded with prime parking spots in central locations and first crack at what the day has to offer.   Expect to pay $5 -$10 for parking per day.  If you get there on the early side park at the New England Motel & Antiques Market.   If you get stuck in lots of traffic, keep an eye out for signs for parking.  You may be better off parking and hoofing it rather than waiting in traffic if things are at a standstill.

10.  Enjoy the hunt!

My very best memories of Brimfield are scouring the fields first with my husband (who takes a vacation day each May to attend Brimfield as my birthday gift), then during my pregnancies (although the frequent trips to the Porta-Potties nearly killed me), and now with my daughters who have developed their own sense of affection for all that is Brimfield.  My youngest came home with a few finds last year including a free vintage basket from a sweet dealer that just liked her spunk.  Not a bad deal for a 4 year old!  We have brought home some great finds from Brimfield but even when I come home empty handed the sheer joy of the hunt is enough to keep me coming back year after year.  It looks like I will be in good company!

If you have some favorite things about Brimfield or tips for the hunt, please share!  Hope to see you there!

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Home Stories A2Z

Brimfield or Bust!

I am so excited!  I will be at one of my favorite places in the world in September - the Brimfield Antiques Show… only this time as a dealer!

I will be at the awesome New England Motel Antiques Market at the Central Pavillion (PA-24) and will  have a selection of hand painted furniture and vintage finds.   Best of all,  I will have 4oz promotional samples of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!!!!

These pre-production samples are exclusive to the Brimfield Show.  With the purchase of 1 quart of  Old White Chalk Paint at the New England Motel Antiques Market, you can purchase promotional samples for $5 each while supplies last.  See my Events page for all the details.

I’ll be up to my elbows with  projects and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint until then!  Hope to share some before and afters in the next few weeks.    In the meantime, here are some pictures from my last Brimfield trip.  I can’t wait!