kennedy cottage_reviving charm

A Kennedy Carriage House Turned Cottage

It’s amazing how the fascination with the Kennedy’s doesn’t ever seem to die down. The Kennedy name is synonymous with style so it’s no surprise that Architectural Digest recently chose to profile the circa 1904 Hyannis Port carriage house turned cottage belonging to Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy (son of the late Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy) and his wife Amy.

patrick kennedy cottage_Reviving Charm

One of the things I’ve always found interesting about Patrick’s grandparents, Joe and Rose Kennedy, is that as wealthy as they were, they never overly decorated their home on Hyannis Port, or the “Big House” as it was often referred to. Maybe they realized that it wasn’t practical while raising 9 kids? Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that since most of their time on the Cape was actually spent outdoors, they felt that the interiors didn’t need to be overly lavish? Patrick Kennedy confirmed my suspicion by stating in the article that “…it was never about the big house, the ornate architecture. The house was just a location. My grandparents were obviously very, very wealthy, but they never, ironically, invested a lot building out a really fancy house,” he says. “They were never trying to impress anyone. It’s very understated. [Our house] is a very glorified bunkhouse, a crash pad that has very nice architectural aesthetics.”  It seems that Amy and Patrick have carried on the tradition of creating a casual environment when turning their attention to the interiors of their own home on the Compound. They’ve created a welcoming beach house famously situated on one of the most idyllic settings on the bay.

patrick kennedy cottage_Reviving Charm 2

patrick kennedy cottage_Reviving Charm 3a

patrick kennedy cottage_Reviving Charm 1

patrick kennedy cottage_Reviving Charm 5a

patrick kennedy cottage_Reviving Charm 6a

patrick kennedy cottage_Reviving Charm 7a

coastal charm red white blue_reviving charm

Red, White, and Blue

Tomorrow is the 4th of July holiday and today on the blog we are celebrating the spirit of summer with designs inspired by patriotic colors. Although I’m generally partial to neutral colors, I’ve always been drawn to a classic New England look that often incorporates red, white, and blue. Mr. B and I be celebrating by the water (one of my “happy places”) and heading to La Jolla. The fact that the holiday falls in the middle of the week this year is a bit of a bummer but it’s still a good excuse to seize the day and enjoy what summer has to offer, even if only for one day. What are your holiday plans?

I wish you a very Happy 4th of July. Stay safe..stay sane…

All the best, V.

coastal charm_reviving charm

There’s nothing more classic than a good stripe so I created a series of thick stripes executed in watercolor. Most have already sold and very few are still available.

blue stripes watercolor_reviving charm

red white blue bedroom_reviving charm

SOLD. This is another painting I created for a client in Boston. This is one in a series of four different designs but all incorporated the same brighter blue and red tones. The colors seem most appropriate for a New England interior.

sold_red and blue stripes


home of ben carter_Reviving Charm blog

american flag pool_reviving charm

lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog


Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, CA (the land of wealth and beautiful people) had their grand opening in Fall 2016. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump from our seaside ranch home but it wasn’t until this week that Mr. B and I finally paid a visit to one of Newport’s newest coastal shopping destinations. We had great weather with beautiful blue skies on the day we visited. It turned out to be a perfect day to stroll the area and explore the stylish mix of sophisticated shops set in a charming environment positioned right on Newport Bay. The overall design of the village is unique for California because it feels like something you’d find on the East Coast as opposed to Orange County. We all know how fond I am of the East Coast so perhaps that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed my visit so much. Lido Marina Village is home to some great shops such as Warby Parker, Serena & Lily, Le Labo, Alchemy Works, Clare V., Sugar Paper, and more. For more information and a complete list of shops and eateries, be sure to check out their website. If you plan to be in the area, be sure to check out Lido Marina Village for yourself. I know I’ll be back since I’m looking forward to the opening of Malibu Farm restaurant later this year.

lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm 12alido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog 9lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm 5ido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charmlido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm 9lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog 7

lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog 1lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm 6newport harbor_Reviving Charmlido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm 10lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog 4lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog 9blido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm 8lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog 2lido village books_reviving charm blogwarby parker newport beach_reviving charmle labo lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm bloglido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm 11lido marina village newport beach_Reviving Charm blog 3

Another Sneak Peek at the Seaside Guest Bedroom

I previously wrote about the current updates to the room I affectionately call the Seaside Guest Bedroom and provided you with the little teaser picture you see below. The room wasn’t 100% “done” before deciding to redecorate it. Has that ever happened to you? There were aspects of the room that never really felt quite right to me. I realized that it wasn’t a pure reflection of my style and I was trying to force the overall design to work. I felt like I was trying to put a square peg into a round hole. That never works. So…I decided to redecorate and be true to my style of decorating with neutral fabrics, for the most part, and adding texture through furniture and accessories. Luckily, most of what needs to be done involves swapping out accessories. The existing furniture stays although there are two existing pieces that will be painted to better suit the space.


The existing daybed cover and matching bed skirt is ivory in color. I will be making new throw pillows for the bed in the same ivory color to match. The only pop of color on the bed will be a single throw pillow that I’ll be making from the blue/green silk fabric in the picture below. The print is one of six purchased from an antique shop near Boston over ten years ago. When I brought them home I had them framed in the black and gold frames you see here. They once adorned our bedroom at our previous home. They now now get to call the Seaside Guest Bedroom their permanent residence.

reviving charm at home 2

The room will be graced with a pair of chipped paint wood frames that once belonged to Mr. B’s grandmother. We have never used them and they have been stored away for over 25 years. I finally get to dust them off (literally) and incorporate them into this space. I love that we finally get to use them and they will be hung as-is. No restoration will be done. reviving charm at home 8

I will be making two small throw pillows using the black and ivory striped fabrics shown a couple of pictures above. I think they will accentuate the tufted linen covered chair nicely. The wooden legs of the chair are currently a light oak color but will be refinished. Yet, another project on my do-to list. reviving charm at home 5Since the room isn’t large I knew I wanted to incorporate a daybed in order to maximize space. When I stumbled upon this spindle designed daybed at a local garage sale I knew it was perfect for the space. The person that sold it to me said “This would look great once you sand it down and put on a fresh coat of new paint”. I remember telling her that other than the spindle design one of the reasons I liked the bed is because of its very well-worn look. Plus, the paint color matches the room perfectly. As they say, one man’s trash is another’s treasure.
reviving charm at home 4

The Seaside Guest Bedroom would not be complete without incorporating a few books, including this book of poems. I’ll admit to buying it just for the cover. poems of the sea Reviving Charm

The rocks were collected from various beaches we’ve visited while on vacation. They are corraled in a small brass container purchased from one of my favorite thrift shops. seaside guest bedroomThe draperies and drapery rod were used at our previous home and installed on a window of the same size so we decided to bring them with us to our Seaside Ranch Home. They were purchased off the shelf from Restoration Hardware but I decided to customize them by having the black and ivory fabric border added. The border fabric is from the Windsor Smith Collection for Kravet. guest bedroom design

So there you have it…another look inside the Seaside Guest Bedroom. I can’t wait to complete it and share it with you. I sure hope its sooner rather than later because I have plenty of other Spring projects to start. I better get hustling….


Summer brings out bright vivid hues but you can also capture the spirit of the season by pairing up sandy tones with bright white to create a chic summer vibe. I absolutely love the crisp, clean look of white, beiges, and tans blended together to create a bit of summer flair. When neutrals are done right they can provide just as much impact as a dose of color. Stay chic and stay cool this holiday weekend.  —xoxo, V.chic summer vibe interior design via REVIVING CHARM do not use without permission


little beach house malibu soho house malibu reviving charmFounded in London in 1995 as a private members’ club for people in the creative industries, SoHo House has opened clubs across Europe and North America, as well as cinemas and restaurants. Many of the clubs serve as a home away from home offering luxurious amenities of an exclusive hotel. Prospective members must be nominated by two existing members of any House….except The Little Beach House Malibu, which is part of the SoHo House brand. The new Southern California location is so exclusive that even existing SoHo House members have to go through a separate application process to accepted as a member of the Malibu location. Membership to the Malibu location is reported to be only be available to residents, and people who work or have a connection to Malibu or its immediate coastal areas. The Little Beach House officially opened a couple of days ago with a star studded event. Much hasn’t been released about the interiors and pictures weren’t allowed inside the opening day event, but I definitely like the little that I have seen, mostly from Instagram and Twitter. The location captures the quintessential Malibu of what I would call “laid back luxury”. I can’t wait to see more of this location…maybe someday in person.

soho house malibu The hollywood reporter reviving charm

soho house malibu reviving charm

The gallery wall of art and sculpture is spectacular. {image source}


On many occasions I have been aboard the beautiful 62 foot yacht, El Navegante. The yacht is typically docked in Newport Harbor (Southern California) during the fall/winter and each year it is decorated to participate in the annual Newport Beach Boat Parade. Over the years El Navegante has won several decorating awards, including the coveted Sweepstakes prize in last year’s parade. As you can see from the picture below, El Navegante’s 2014 elaborate entry was definitely prize worthy. And in case you are wondering…yes, that is real fire ignited from the dragon’s mouth!

El Navegante’s entry in the 2014 Newport Beach Boat Parade earns the Sweepstakes award.

Tonight marks the first evening of the 2015 boat parade, which runs through Sunday, December 20. The Newport Boat Parade is one of the most celebrated holiday events in the United States with this year marking the 107th year of its existence. It is the nation’s longest running lighted boat parade. There’s definitely something to be said for its longevity!

In addition to the elaborate holiday light display on the exterior of the yacht, I have always been quite fond of the Christmas tree that was set up on the inside. The coastal inspired tree design was a simple pleasure I looked forward to seeing year after year. It was at the heart of a gathering space surrounded by friends and delicious catered cuisine. I have wonderful memories of my time spent aboard El Navegante. Those memories inspired this post and played a huge part in the inspiration for my own coastal inspired theme for one of two Christmas trees set up in my own seaside home. While our main tree is traditional in nature with golds, silver and platinum hues, the secondary tree pays homage to the sand and sea with a festive, kitschy coastal theme.

Handmade ornaments made with genuine pearls grace our Christmas tree this year.

Here are a few close up pictures of my own coastal themed tree. If you look closely at the picture above you can see one of several teardrop shaped ornaments I made using genuine pearls. I hand-strung each of the pearl ornaments specifically for use on this tree. Pearls seem totally appropriate for a coastal inspired tree and I particularly like that it adds an extravagant touch!


waterleaf_interiorsThrough Instagram I came across Waterleaf Interiors, a retail shop and interior design studio located in Manhattan Beach, California.  Given the fact that I don’t live too far from their shop, I’m shocked at the fact that I have never heard of them until recently. I guess, better late than never!

Seeing the gorgeous pictures in their portfolio has definitely made me want to venture out to their shop in the very near future.  And if I am lucky, I will get to meet the owners, Jill Johnson and Suzanne Ascher. Waterleaf Interiors has been featured in several magazines but I especially love Jill’s quote for Coastal Living:

“Our interiors reflect a sophisticated beach feel without spelling it out in shells.”        

In the meantime, I will leave you with a few images of their work.  I fell hard for their dining room design (top left) with its beautiful light colors and because of the fact that they incorporated one of my favorite chairs, which I recently dedicated an entire post to. You can read all about it HERE. 

Check out Waterleaf Interiors HERE or if in California be sure to visit their shop.  If their shop is styled as beautiful as their design work, I am sure it will not disappoint. I can’t wait to find out for myself!