Category: Guest Posts

Before & After Annie Sloan Transformations

October 13, 2011


Today I have a great guest post from the lovely and talented Nancy Chace, owner and operator of Sea Rose Cottage in Bristol, RI.

Kelly thanks for this opportunity to guest blog! I enjoyed your posts about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and your own restyling project you did in Annie’s new French Linen color. Love it!


Hi there, my name is Nancy. I am the owner of Sea Rose Cottage in Bristol, Rhode Island. We are the first New England Stockist of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Sea Rose Cottage is a combination workshop and retail space where we carry the full line of Annie Sloan paints, waxes and related products. You can learn more here.


When I first heard about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint I thought it was made especially for me –no need to prime or prepare! With an old house full of projects, I’ve had my fill of prep work! I got my hands on some paint and loved the product so much that I became Stockist in May. It has been a whirlwind since then. I’ve opened my workshop to the public carving out some retail space and launched an online shop in August. I also have a Facebook Page where people can share their work and pass the creative spark.

One recent highlight for me was meeting Annie Sloan at the International Decorative Artisans League Expo (IDAL) and seeing her beautifully transform a piece of furniture first hand.


 While I was watching so attentively, I forgot to snap a “before” picture of the vanity, but here are the “after” photos.



Annie is unbelievably talented and a wonderful inspiration. I love her work! What a great place to start talking about working with her paint.

Kelly, you covered so much great information about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and the wax in an earlier post– I think you hit on all the basics! The product is so easy to use and the versatility of the paint allows you to be creative with all the combinations of colors and finishes. For those who want to take the plunge, a good place to start is with Annie’s Quick & Easy Paint Transformations Book. It includes 50 step-by-step projects using the paint and the wax.


If you have the opportunity, visit an Annie Sloan Retailer near you so you can see the colors firsthand. For a full list of Stockists go to . Most Stockists offer fun workshops and also carry Annie’s book and related products. If you don’t live near one, no worries –you can purchase the paint and a hand painted color card online.

October is a great month to discover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. If you are anything like me you have some old furniture lurking down the basement or in the garage just waiting to be given new life! Fall is a great time to unearth those long forgotten projects!

Thanks to Annie Sloan Chalk paint, my dusty old sideboard has finally seen the light of day!

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I found some color inspiration here and decided to use my favorite color – Provence with a coat of clear and dark wax.

First I cleaned the sideboard and then I started painting. After two coats, I was tempted to change my original plan and just use the clear wax…..


Like Kelly, I just could not resist using the dark wax—I love the depth and antiqued effect that the dark wax lends to the finished piece.




I also restyled an old brass chandelier with ASCP in Paris Grey with a bit of Rub ‘n Buff for some gold highlights.


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Now I’m scouting out some vintage prisms to dress her up a bit!

This thrift shop mirror is sporting a new look with a wash of Provence mixed with some Old White.


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I might need to keep this one!

Kelly, thanks again for this great opportunity to share with your readers. I for one am always in the restyling mode and love to use your blog as a resource! I would love to answer any questions your readers have and encourage those who are interested in trying the Chalk Paint to reach out to a Stockist near you. Happy painting!

Thank you so much Nancy!! Amazing transformations. Thanks for sharing. I hope you convinced even more people to try the Annie Sloan Chalk paint! Be sure to check out the photos where Nancy found her inspiration above. Love it!

If you need help updating your home and furniture, contact me today!


Pops of Bold Color

August 16, 2011

We have a terrific guest post today from the Arcadian Lighting Company. They are a great online resource for lighting and accessories and they wanted to share this article about pops of color in your home. Enjoy!

In a room with a neutral or all-white colored theme, pops of color can be a fun way to add a surprising accent.  Add little pops of color with an area rug, a side chair, an accent lighting fixture, or –a personal favorite—throw pillows.

Dabbing little pops of color is also great for those who want to experiment with color, but don’t quite know what colors and what accents would work best for their space.  Take a look at how these designs incorporate pops of color for a bit of inspiration to get you started!


Victoria Dreste Designs via Marie Claire Maison

Bright red tiles add chic pops of color in this spa-like bathroom above.  Replicate the look by lining the area around your tub or shower with red tiles, paints or wallpapers.


Apartment Therapy

Grey and white is the main color combo in this grown-up pad above.  But orange pillows, a throw and a rug add lovely pops of color.  Love how the pendant light adds an ambient light to the space, while the lamps in the windows create more of a warm glow.


Elle Décor

Yellow need not be mellow.  In fact, in this Florida home, the designer painted the walls in a warm beige color (think lightly toasted bread), upholstered the furniture in pale yellow fabric and added a dashing pop of primary yellow curtains.  The effect is a warm, airy and open space.


Elle Décor

This dining room is eclectic, to say the least.  With its mix of dining room chairs, art and unique ceiling fixtures, there’s nothing boring about it.  The color combinations, however, are still on the neutral side, and it’s the verdant green dining chairs that add pops of color.


Décor Pad

The bright, clean whites of this patio are accented with pure blue pops of color for a chic, Mediterranean feel.


Apartment Therapy

The deep, inky blue of this indigo Ikat print adds a sophisticated touch in this low-key living room.  Experiment with patterns and prints in different colors and remember that a pop of color need not be bright.  When they are deeper in tone, the result is sophisticated and chic.


La Petite Maison via Domino Magazine

Feeling really bold?  Try an accent wall!  Above, violet accents an otherwise neutral living room.  The curtains, the chandelier, furniture and textiles are all the same tone of grayish white.  But a violet pop of color is bold and beautiful in this traditional dining room.

Adding pops of color in your home can be an easy way to experiment with color or change the look of your home.

I hope you enjoyed the article and pictures as much as I did!

Content provided by Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in top quality light fixtures  at extremely affordable prices. Come visit us today!

Arcadian Lighting is the best source for lighting fixtures and accessories at discount prices. Arcadian Lighting has been in the lighting industry for over 15 years selling decorative home lighting fixtures and lamps online, and has become one of the top Internet retailers for home lighting products.


If you need help adding bold pops of color to your space, contact me today.

Related Topics:

Which Color to Instantly Update a Room?

Using the 60 – 30 –10 Color Rule

My Interview with Maria Killam

January 10, 2011

What do you think you know about Maria Killam?

      EMAIL ME                                                                                                                                                                 

My Photo  Maria Killam, top interior designer and the creative mind behind the popular blog ‘ Colour Me Happy,’ agreed to sit down and answer a few questions inquiring minds want to know!  She has a passion for colour and she is known for creating happy, warm, comfortable and inspired spaces for her clients.


What is your favorite thing to do when you are not blogging (or thinking about blogging, or looking for pictures, or shopping for blogging, etc.) ? : ) 

My PhotoThat is such a good question.  I was having a conversation with a new friend the other day and she asked me if I’d seen 2 of the latest movies and I said no. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to the show. What I like to do when I’m not blogging is spend time with my family and see my nephews.

Colour me Happy

What was your most challenging design project?

My PhotoAs a new designer I found the most challenging spaces to be the ones where there was no inspiration whatsoever and the client was not clear about what they wanted either. Now that I have a ‘look’ that I’m hired for, I find it much easier to pull a space together from scratch, based on the clients likes and preferences of course.

What was the best thing you’ve ever bought/done for a customer?

My PhotoThe best thing is when the accessories and lamps arrive and the house suddenly becomes cozy and filled with atmosphere. 

Dining room wong
Maria Killam Design

What was your favorite job ever?

My PhotoOkay this might sound cheesy but I love each house I get to decorate from the beginning so I can’t say one is better than the other.  The space that is the most ‘my look’ were the last two homes that I decorated.  The loft in Yaletown and the large home in White Rock.

Maria Killam Design

Now that we know how to determine the undertones of beige, because of all your great posts teaching us, what color would you suggest to paint the walls if you wanted to downplay the pinky beige in a carpet?

My PhotoThe only colours you are left with (besides pink) is green, blue, purple, or grays with those undertones.  Most people aren’t going to paint the main areas of their house purple or blue so then you are left with green which makes the carpet look even more pink.  So to downplay the pinky beige you need gray tones (still with green or even pink undertones but grayed down) like Natural Linen, Manchester Tan, Smoky Taupe, Revere Pewter or the other option would be to paint the walls a dark and dramatic colour (anything except yellow would work) and then because there is so much contrast the carpet starts to look neutral.

How do you help others see the difference between a pinky beige and a greenish beige?

My PhotoBy comparing one to another.  The minute I show a client (or anyone), they see it immediately.

What’s the number one piece of advice that you would give couples who are just starting to decorate on their own?

My PhotoThat is a tough one.  Working with $5,000,  I would suggest to them to find a designer that will be able to help them make IKEA furnishings look beautiful and fun.

What design project are you most proud of and why?

My PhotoI loved the loft I did in Yaletown. It has such a great fresh look to it and the drapes really make the room (it was a rental so she didn’t want to paint the whole thing, which is why we just did the green accent wall). It also made the cover of the September 2009 Issue of BC Home.  I still have 20 copies of that magazine around here somewhere.

Maria Killam Design

Would you like to share your goals with us for ‘Colour Me Happy’ in 2011?

My PhotoMy goals this year are many but a big one is to publish an ebook. The title is a secret.


Maria Killam Design
Maria Killam Design

Thank you so much Maria. It was fun and interesting speaking with you about blogging, decorating and everything in between!  I hope  you all enjoyed the interview as much as I enjoyed having her here!

Comments?   Other questions you would like to ask Maria?

If you would like to make your home warm and comfortable, call me today for a home or on-line consultation!