Adding coastal flair to wardrobe and decor

Recently I spent a night at the Attwater Inn in Newport Rhode Island with my friend Susan Kanoff, along with photographer friend Emily O’Brien. The Inn was designed by Boston’s own Rachel Reider and she did an amazing job. The Inn is fresh, colorful and full of unexpected ocean inspired decor.  I was there to photograph the interior with my iPhone while Emily was photographing both the interior and fashion for Susan’s blog, The Midlife Fashionista. Susan is a fabulous wardrobe stylist who specializes in styling the more mature woman (hence the name of her blog). We often discus how fashion and interiors are so closely related. Susan’s outfits were reflective of our coastal location so I thought it would be fun to do a coastal fashion and decor match up.

“A coastal vacation calls for a comfortable and laid-back look—nothing fussy or stuffy.  Think crisp white with pops of vibrant color…bright and fun! Stripes always fit into the nautical theme and a flowy maxi dress with a poncho or wrap is a stylish and comfortable night-time look.” Susan Kanoff

Based on what Susan was wearing here are three different ways to add some coastal flair to your wardrobe or home.

1.Stripes: what says coastal more than stripes? Incorporate stripes into your interior with paint, pillows, fabric and accessories. Choosing a nautical blue color like in the powder room below adds even more of a coastal feel to the room.  Speaking of stripes, I thought it was funny that we both showed up wearing almost the exact same outfit. Sunglasses, white jeans and a black and white striped top. Hey, you don’t hang with your stylist friend without some of her teachings rubbing off on you!


2. Fringe: Fun, relaxed and casual, fringe is trending in both fashion and interiors and adds a Summery coastal vibe.  Susan added a fringe open cardigan over her striped top for the breezy Summer evening. Denim drapes are given a boarder of fringe for a casual coastal vibe in a beach house.

OB-Fringe inspiration

3. Colorful beach inspired accessoriesShells, sea glass balls, and a sea horse lamp bring lots of coastal flair into the sitting room below. Susan added a vintage inspired straw beach bag and hat to her bright orange dress and denim jacket for her Summery look. Summer is the perfect time to have fun and go “beachy” with accessories.

OB-coastal accessories

See how fashion translates directly to interiors? The same trends and colors are popular and many designers get inspiration from the runway. I hope you enjoyed our match up!

For more style inspiration follow Susan on Instagram and if you are interested in having her help you with your style, you can contact her here.

High Point Market Recap part three

This is it! Today is my final wrap up of my three part trend report from High Point Market. I hope you enjoyed Part One and Part Two. I am finishing up my series today with the final three trends I spotted at Spring Market.

7. Elevated Organics: Nature inspired decor is nothing new, but taking natural elements and elevating it’s importance by using it on furniture and lighting is a growing trend. This console chest from Ambella Home is an especially beautiful example. Brass sculpted cherry blossoms adorn the white oak front.

Ambella Home Linda Holt Photo

Ambella Home Linda Holt Photo

This branch inspired brass base on the ottoman/coffee table is another example from Vanguard. (notice too the blush colored top as I pointed out in my first trend post).

Vanguard:Linda Holt Photo

Vanguard:Linda Holt Photo

This “sapling” cocktail table is also from Amabella Home and another beauty.

Ambella Home:Linda Holt Photo

Ambella Home:Linda Holt Photo

This divided screen from Currey not only uses oyster shells as inspiration but uses the actual shells. Accented with satin brass the shells are “elevated” to a work of art.

Currey:Linda Holt Photo

Currey: Linda Holt Photo

Rock crystals are another huge trend right now, especially for lighting. I visited three different lighting showrooms and they all were showcasing lighting that was designed using rock crystals. This rock crystal chandelier and the two rock crystal sconces are both from Visual Comfort.

Visual Comfort:Linda Holt Photo

Visual Comfort:Linda Holt Photo

Speaking of rock crystals, Kathyrn McCoy has built an entire company around using rock crystals.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I already mentioned in my previous post about the overwhelming amount of gold finishes in lighting. This sconce by Currey is so realistic it looks like ginkgo leaves were dipped in gold and then turned into a sconce.

Ginko Sconce Curry-Linda Holt Photo

Ginkgo Sconce Curry-Linda Holt Photo

This brass “daisy” pendant is a new introduction from Kate Spade for Visual Comfort.

Kate Spade Flower Pendant-Linda Holt Photo

Kate Spade Flower Pendant-Linda Holt Photo

8. Accessories: A continuing trend for accessories is what I call the “specimen” trend. Nine out of ten showrooms used displays of sea shells, drift wood, turtle shells, rocks, animal horns and feathers.

tutle shells

Petrified wood was also very popular (and pricey) this past Market and I saw it in all shapes and sizes.


Coral was spotted in a few showrooms but not as much as I had seen in previous years. Geodes and crystals were much more popular this Spring.

Tritter Feffer

Besides the real deal, accessories that referenced nature were also are very popular. These green topiaries from Global Views were eye catching.

global views

Spiny sea urchin shapes are still popular and I saw them displayed both on the wall and on tables. These from Harp and Finial looked great on the black and white stripped wall and were the only ones I saw that were NOT gold.

Harp and Finial:Linda Holt Photo

Harp and Finial:Linda Holt Photo

Global and ethnic influence is still trending and I loved this vignette from Harp and Finial with the Moroccan inspired mirrors and the elephant table lamps.

harp and finial2

Harp and Finial-Linda Holt Photo

I can’t talk about accessories and not mention Chinoiserie (Chinese influenced design and motifs) which is classic but more popular that ever.

IMG_4577 This chinoiserie mirror from Kenian Home was a new introduction this Spring and a crowd favorite. (notice the gold faux turtle shell on the table below and the large scale botanical wallpaper which is my final trend below).

Kenian Home-Linda Holt Photo

Kenian Home-Linda Holt Photo

9. Fabrics and wallpaper: Birds and flowers are still trending for both wallpaper and fabrics. This wallpaper panel on display at Ambella Home also incorporates several other trends I have already mentioned such as the color pink, and the organic shape of the table base and chinoiserie.

Ambella Home-Linda Holt Photo

Ambella Home-Linda Holt Photo

This bold wallpaper featuring birds is new from Kate Spade for Kravet.

Kate Spade for Kravet

Kate Spade for Kravet

Birds, watercolor cloud wallpaper and bright floral pillows at Eastern Accents.

Eastern Accents-Linda Holt Photo

Eastern Accents-Linda Holt Photo

Another trend in both fabric and wallpaper is a soft watercolor look. This Thibaut wallpaper is a perfect example. The large scale flowers almost seem to bleed into one another as if they were just freshly painted.

Thibaut-Linda Holt Photo

Thibaut-Linda Holt Photo

For those of you old enough to remember Tie Dye back from back in the 70’s… it’s back! I have very fond memories of spending an entire Summer tie dying white Fruit of the Loom t-shirts.  I wish I knew what happened to them because a few were outstanding!

This tie dye fabric chair was one of my favorites from Huntington House Furniture.

huntington House

Huntington House Furniture

This fabric on the chair below from Rowe Furniture reminds me of one of those spin art toys and is another example of the watercolor look that was so popular at Spring Market.


Rowe Furniture

This last one is also from Huntington House and the fabric felt like velvet. All the bloggers sat in it and no one wanted to get up it was so comfortable and soft.

Huntington House Furniture-Linda Holt Photo

Huntington House Furniture-Linda Holt Photo

Well, that wraps it up my friends. I hope you have enjoyed my photographic summary of the Spring High Point Market trends. As a final treat I have one more image that features many of the trends I have highlighted over the past three days.

Emporium Home-Linda Holt Photo

Emporium Home-Linda Holt Photo

How many trends in this one photo can you spot?

If you missed part one or part two and would like to read those, the links are below.

High Point Market Trend Report Part One

High Point Market Trend Report Part Two

The ORC: Family room makeover reveal!!

If you have somehow stumbled upon this blog post for the very first time, this is a very big day. For the past six weeks I have been participating in an online design blog event called The One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. I had six weeks to completely makeover my family room and I finished just under the wire. The photographer rang the door bell just as I was placing the final touch on the coffee table.

Not that long ago, the room was kinda sorta decorated. It all started to fall apart though after an elderly dog made toast of the carpet and then we gave most of the existing furniture to my son when he moved into his new apartment. I had big plans to redo this room but over a year later, I hadn’t done a single thing. It was an ugly mishmash of random furniture that was brought into the room simply for a place to sit when we watched TV.

In all honesty, it took a diagnosis of breast cancer to finally kick me into gear to get this room decorated. Now that it’s done, my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. Then I wouldn’t have spent the majority of the Summer laying on the sofa while recovering from chemo in a depressing, mostly bare, undecorated room.

I know you don’t care about any of this and just want to get to the AFTER photos so here we go.

To refresh your memory, this was the embarrassingly sad state of the room BEFORE.

Family Room BEFORE

Family Room BEFORE


Eric Ross photo

Eric Roth Photo

low rez Linda Holt one room_003

Eric Roth Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

If you have been following my weekly updates you know I found the above campaign chest at the Habitat for Humanity restore for $95.00. It was in rough shape but I had my cabinet maker lacquer it in Sherwin Williams Indigo and I found someone local to refinish the rusted brass hardware.

Linda Holt one room_002 (1)a

Eric Roth Photo

Linda Holt one room_003aThe budget was gone when it came time for art work so I enlarged a few of my own photos and added in some of my favorite plates and glass trays.

The above photo is just to the left of the back wall which is all glass and leads to the deck. The photo below is to the right of the back wall. The antique Korean chest has been in my husband’s family since the early 1900’s and the square ottoman is where I sit to put on my sneakers every morning when I walk the dog.

Eric Ross Photo

Eric Roth Photo

The skirted table below is hiding a secrete which I will reveal in an upcoming post.

Linda Holt one room_004 red

Eric Roth photo

I have had this sea lady head for at least twenty years and I still love her.

Linda Holt one room_004detail
Linda Holt one room_004 (1)detail2

The room is so much more happy now don’t you think? Now we spend all our free time in there and I just love looking at everything. Before, all I could think about was how ugly the room was and how embarrassing it was when anyone came over. Let’s face it, how long could I keep saying to my friends, “I am about to redo this room”. Now it’s done and I couldn’t be happier.

I want to give a huge thank you to all the vendors who came through for me and did fast (in one case 24 hour) turn around times so that everything could make it into my room.

Walls, Ceiling and Trim: Farrow and Ball Satin Slipper

Sofa: Kravet with Kravet fabric

Indonesian chairs: existing. Malabar fabric

Club chair: existing. JF Fabric

Coffee Table: David Francis

Window treatments: Duralee

Carpet: Landry and Arcari

Window Hardware: Window Imaginations

Small green side table: Oomph

Gold side table: West Elm

Bamboo shades: Smith and Noble

Artwork over sofa:Linda Holt

Small art on easel: Pamela Copeman

Birch trees over Korean Chest: Laurie Leavitt

If you are interested in my weekly progress you can read the previous posts.

week 1

week 2

week 3

week 4 

week 5









ORC week 5: The final sprint

AHHHHHH! It is week five of The One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. Now it’s serious crunch time, pedal to the metal and no time for indecision, or last minute second guessing. My photographer comes on Monday so I have just 3 days to completely finish my family room makeover. The good news is that things are arriving and the room is slowly falling into place. My new Kravet sofa and reupholstered chairs are now in the room. I don’t want to give too much away until the reveal but here is a little sneak peak.

I just LOVE the new sofa. It is the Pelham sofa from Kravet covered with a very durable Kravet fabric. I decided on a bench cushion simply for practical reasons. Saturday night is often movie night for my husband and I, along with wine, cheese and crackers. I am tired of continually cleaning out stray crumbs (and dog hair) from between the seat cushions so the single cushion will take care of that.


Kravet Pelham sofa

upholstred chairsI am very happy with how my Indonesian chairs chairs turned out, as well as this super comfy 40 year old club chair that belonged to my mom. For this I chose a J.F. Fabric.upholstered chair2Tomorrow I pick up the drapery and pillows and hopefully my custom drapery hardware will be ready on Friday. The coffee table is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow so what is left is installing the window treatments, accessorizing, hanging art work and styling for Monday’s photo shoot.

Speaking of hanging art work. My prints have not yet arrived for my gallery wall and I knew I was cutting it close when I placed the order. Once they do arrive though I am ready to hang. I made a template for all the frames and plates and after tweaking the placement dozens of times I think I am finally set on this arrangement. I have my fingers crossed you won’t see blank paper taped to the wall next Thursday at my room reveal.

wall art planning

My decorating style is that I prefer a well edited room. I can’t stand random clutter and I believe we should only live with those things that bring us joy, are beautiful or serve a function. When it comes to accessorizing my family room here are a few items that are very special to me as well as beautiful that will also be going into the room.

Pamela Copeman

Pamela Copeman

This painting by Boston designer and artist Pamela Copeman.  Even though Pamela and I are both from the Boston area, we didn’t meet and become friends until we went on BlogTour Vegas with Veronika Miller and Modenus. The subject matter of this painting is the interior of a French Hotel and has a very special meaning to me. I was so touched when she gifted this to me.

A second painting from artist Laurie leavitt. Laurie is one of my oldest and best friends as we lived across the street from one another growing up. I was so thrilled when she offered me this painting of birch trees to use in my room. Not only do the colors work beautifully but the birch tree is my favorite tree.

Laurie Leavitt

Laurie Leavitt

This gorgeous hand made trivet given to me by my good friend Susan Siefer (ironically also an artist). She brought this back for me from her recent trip to Morocco. She so thoughtfully chose the color after she saw a sneak peak of my blue lacquered campaign chest that will be in the room.

Trivet from Morocco

Trivet from Morocco

The talented design duo of Lance Jackson and David Ecton (AKA Parker Kennedy) or as I lovingly call them the PK Boys, surprised me with this spectacular antique canton ware covered dish. They too saw a sneak peak of the campaign chest and also my collection of blue and white china. Spectacular yes? How lucky am I to have such special items that are so beautiful and special. Each item will bring me joy everyday I look at them.

PK boys gift

So, be sure to check back next Thursday and see where I place everything and for the full reveal.

Side note: Now that this challenge is close to the end, I have moments when I feel completely in control and then other moments of anxiety when I think about all that is still left to do. Why I chose to take on this challenge right in the middle of treatment for breast cancer is beyond me. I think I was looking for a diversion from all that my body is going through and If nothing else, worrying about the room getting finished is a lot better than worrying about chemo and radiation…right??

You can catch up on the past four weeks of my six week challenge here:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Also,  follow along with the progress of the other link up participants Here.




ORC week 4: All about the art

Well here it is week four of the One Room Challenge  hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. What had been a ticking clock has now become a booming drum constantly beating in my head. I have less than two weeks to complete my large family room before the photographer arrives on the 9th.

I did make some progress this week as those of you who follow me on Instagram saw. I am super excited about my newly lacquered campaign chest. I purchased it for a song at the Habitat Restore and then had my cabinet maker lacquer it in Sherwin Williams Indigo. It came out spectacular!

Lacquered Campaign chest

Lacquered Campaign chest

I was blown away by how good the refurbished hardware came out. If you saw the hardware “before” in last weeks post you know it was in pretty sad shape.

My cut and bound sea grass rug was also installed this week. I needed something that would wear like iron and handle the wear and tear from our dog.

seagreass rug

As you can see I had it cut out around the fireplace so that it wouldn’t look like a landing strip pad running down the middle of the room. Having a rug that fills the whole room has made such a difference in making the room feel more cohesive as well as cozy. BTW, it’s only curling up on the edge there because I took this photo right after the installer left. It will lay flat within a few days.

Still waiting on my furniture which will arrive hopefully the end of this week into the middle of next week.

So now my thoughts are on to the art for the room. I already own a fabulous oil painting that will be going directly above the campaign chest.

art piece

So the dilemma that had been keeping me up at night was what to do for art on the huge expansive wall above the sofa. It is almost 7′ of wall space! My budget is more than blown so it had to be something very affordable.  I do not like big box store art or what I call “staging art” because I only want to bring things into my home that have meaning or speak to me in some way. I needed to get creative.

My solution? I decided to create a gallery wall that could be ever changing as I find just the right pieces going forward. Since I don’t have the luxury of time, I decided to simply enlarge some of my photography and display some glass trays and blue and white plates that I love.

Here is my initial planning.

Preliminary gallery wall planning

Preliminary gallery wall planning

I purchased about a dozen white frames from Michael’s during a 40% off frame sale and played around with different frame sizes and arrangements on the floor until I found something I liked. I didn’t have much time to decide which images to enlarged as I looked at the lead time for delivery and realized I had about had about ten minutes to make a decision in order for them to arrive on time. I choose some photos from our favorite vacation spot and a few more abstract ones. Just like with the frames I ordered way more images than I need because I want to play around with placement once they arrive.

So all in all, if everything arrives on schedule, I am in fairly good shape. I still have a lot to do but now that I have decided on the art I feel a lot better.

I would love to hear from you. What do you think of my affordable wall art solution?

It has been eye opening following all the other ORC participants as some are doing great, and others have huge challenges to deal with. I feel very fortunate in that I have two friends, Meredith Bohn, and Kelly Rogers also participating in the challenge. When we need a word of encouragement or get stressed we have one another to lean on. This has made such a big difference in my stress level.

Be sure to check out everyone participating here.



ORC Family Room Makeover Week 3

Well week 3 of the One Room Challenge rolled in way too fast and the reality (panic) of this tight timeline is starting to set in. This is what my room looks like as I write this post.

ORC emptyThe room is painted and my husband installed the new ceiling light from Crystorama. I am thrilled that my Jonathan Adler gold bamboo floor lamp (in the right corner) was quick shipped and arrived in 5 days.

The furniture is “expected” to be delivered before the reveal but honestly, it will be very tight. I’ve booked the photographer for the afternoon of the 9th which was his only available date and the coffee table is scheduled to be delivered on the 9th (fingers crossed it’s in the morning).

I am also trying everything to entice the the dog to use to his new Dash and Albert dog bed before the new sofa arrives. He wants no part of it though and keeps wandering around looking for his big dog bed that used to be against the wall where all sat and watched TV. He has now defaulted to his plan B which seems to be our bed.

I am happy you all like my vintage campaign dresser I found at the Habitat Restore. I have big plans for it…hint, lacquer and color! Now my next action item is trying to figure out how to bring these babies back to some kind of glory.

Campaign chest hardware

Campaign chest hardware

They are solid brass and I thought I could clean and polish them myself but no such deal. I spent an entire afternoon researching brass restorers and spoke to multiple companies. Either their price is crazy (as in over a grand to replate them) or their lead time is not going to work (8-10 weeks). I did finally find someone local so fingers crossed they turn out as I envision.

So many of you also said you liked my “plan B” fabric even better than my origional choice and I honestly have to agree. I hadn’t seen this colorway the first time so the back order really was for the best. Here is the fabric for all my upholstered pieces. I know it looks a little boring for someone who LOVES color like myself but I wanted this room to be calming and restful. Fear not though color lovers as I still plan some saturated pops of color in there!

ORC fabrics1

Bottom left: sofa. Top left: small club chair, Middle top: window treatments, Right: Indonesian chairs

So for the time being it is sit and wait for the furniture, window treatments, rug, pillows and my newly upholstered chairs. I also have to decide on and purchase art work, find an ottoman, order drapery hardware and think about accessories. I basically have about two weeks…yikes!!! My room reveal will either be a total win or a complete bust. Let’s hope it’s the former.

To see the progress of all the other link up participants from Calling it Home ORC challenge click here. Also, don’t miss the twenty main bloggers who post on Wednesday’s.

Also, If you want to catch up with the past two weeks the links are below.

ORC week one

ORC week two

Friday’s Photo: Tribal inspired

One of the biggest trends for Fall in both fashion and interiors is tribal inspired. So many of us are traveling or dreaming of traveling to far off exotic places and what better souvenir to bring home than a decorative memory from our trip.

While visiting the Boston Magazine Design Home last week I noticed that the designer had incorporated a few tribal accents into the living room.

Boston Magazine Design Home

Boston Magazine Design Home

The John Robshaw elephant fabric on the chaise and the two African figures brings in just enough tribal reference without it becoming over done.

What do you think? Are you a fan of this trend?

Have a great weekend everyone. I will be working on our family room for the One Room Challenge I am participating in. We are already into week two and I have SO much more to do!

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