Coastal Inspired Holiday Items

Holiday collage 2014

Mohair throws polaroid

holiday pillow polaroid

winter frost ornaments and peht totes

Abalone shell trees and wreaths

Hope you get a little coastal holiday inspiration with some of our shop finds. Some items will still be great after the holidays. Some will just have to come out year after year. Which would you choose?

Happy Holidays,


DIY Coastal Inspired Holiday Wreath

Coastal Inspired Holiday Wreath

Coastal Inspired Holiday Wreath

Last year I was yearning to create some of our very own Holiday decor for our customers and ourselves. I wanted something a little nostalgic in feeling, but of course it had to have a coastal twist. After looking at Pinterest, I decided I wanted make a few paper wreaths. I don’t remember which pins inspired it at the time, but I did a little experimenting. I loved the idea that old books were being used in a new way, too. (Got my eco-friendly and coastal elements all in one!) I think it’s a really easy project if you want to try it at home. So, I thought I’d share the simple steps with you.

Beginning Steps

Start by cutting a circle out of cardboard. Mine was about 4″ in diameter for the large wreath. Then tear pages from an old book. As an option, you can paint the edges with gold or silver paint for a little sparkle.

Creating the cones

Roll each page into a cone and use hot glue to hold shape by placing a drop on the outside corner of the roll. Create several of these cones which will go around the wreath.

Hot glue cones

Hot glue the cones around the cardboard circle. You can space them closely if you want to do just one layer of cones or space them a little further to add a second round of cones over the first.

adding the ribbon

Once you have completed your layers of cones, you will need to add ribbon to the back. I chose a lovely shade of Sea Green, of course, for a coastal touch. However, you could use any color. I glued down one end. Then, I cut the ribbon to the length I wanted to show above the cones. Then, I glued the other end down. Once the ribbon is attached, cut a circle from one of the books pages and glue over the ribbon, onto the cardboard.

add the shell center

Lastly, find a shell that is an appropriate size for the center and hot glue to the middle to finish of your wreath. Voila, you’ll have a lovely piece to display for many years to come. Below are a few different ways you can display your master piece.

Coastal Inspired Paper Wreath 3 Ways

If you decide to try this project, I’d love to hear how it turns out. Please leave comment and let me know. Or, if you just like the look and just want to buy one, let me know. We have many in the shop.

Happy Holidays!


Annual Holiday Open House: Small Business Saturday

SH Press Holiday Ad 2014

It’s that time of the year again! We’re looking forward to showing our appreciation to the guests who visit and shop in our store, our design clients, the creative spirits who attend our workshops, our family, and our friends. I also thank all of you who visit our blog and website. I hope your holiday season get’s off to a wonderful start.

I hope you’ll get out and shop small wherever you are and support your local businesses. If you’re in our area and would like to attend please let us know. I’ll be demonstrating Amy Howard at Home products. I’ll be showing you inspiration boards on how to get that coastal look for your home three ways. Traditional, Transitional, and Cottage. I hope you’ll be inspired.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Painted walls: grass cloth look

When I started my business almost 15 years ago, I did a lot of faux finishes or decorative paint finishes as they are often called. I mostly limit doing them to my design projects now. I love to add my own very personal touch by actually doing the work myself which is why I now limit my decorative painting work to my own design projects. Although, I love to teach techniques in my workshops and wanted to share with you the process of creating the look of seagrass for your walls.

Start with a base coat

Start with a base coat

Mix your paint or pigment as glaze

Mix your paint or pigment as glaze

Horizontal strie glaze rolled on walls

Roll the glaze horizontally across the wall

Drag your brush horizontally across the wall

Drag your brush horizontally across the wall

The completed wall

The completed wall

These photos were taken when we first moved Sea Green Designs into it’s current location 2 years ago. I used Faux Effects products then. I like them because they are water based and love VOC (volatile organic compounds) which means they do not off gas chemical fumes like oil based paints. Better for, better for the environment! They are formulated to allow you to work with the glaze for an extended period of time so that you can blend the areas as you work. If you try this with latex paint and water it will be blotchy because the paint will dry too quickly. You can get latex glazing liquid from many paint stores though. So, you do not have to use Faux Effects products, but make a test board before you venture into finishing your walls!

I chose an earthy brown color to work with the reclaimed pine floors that were in the space. I also wanted the natural color you would find in grass cloth wallpapers. You can get a lot of different effects by changing the base color of paint that is rolled on like normal wall paint, as well as changing the color of the glaze.

After I mixed my glaze, I rolled it on with a 1/4″ nap roller horizontally in sections. Then I dragged my “weaver brush” which is from Ralph Lauren Paint. I purchased it years ago, so it’s a bit different in the link. For this effect, I went horizontally across the wall. You can get many different effects by doing a vertical strie or even criss-crossing with the brush.

As you can see, the glaze will have a variation, lighter and darker areas, mush like you’d find a woven grass cloth wallpaper.

Here are a few photos of grass cloth walls for you to compare

charles and hudson

Colony Raffia Grass Cloth by Thibaut

Colony Raffia Grass Cloth by Thibaut

Do you like the grass cloth look? It’s a great way to add a coastal, natural texture to your home. The painted version may be a more durable option for some. And, for those who may want to paint over it later, you can certainly do this with ease versus stripping the paper. Just a few things to keep in mind when selecting a wall finish.





Adding a Coastal Touch to the Thanksgiving Table

A touch of turquoise

A touch of turquoise Indeed Decor

Turquoise and Gold

Turquoise and Gold via Camille Styles


DIY Napkin Holder Teal & Green

DIY Napkin Holder Teal & Green Martha Stewart

Gold Pumpkins and Seagreen Accents

Gold Pumpkins and Seagreen Accents via Martha Stewart

Seagreen Plates Cream Pumpkins

Seagreen Plates Cream Pumpkins via 36th Avenue

Seagreen and Cream Pumpkins

Seagreen and Cream Pumpkins 36th Avenue

Starfish and seagreen add a totally coastal touch

Starfish and seagreen add a totally coastal touch via via Sand and Sisal

I’m always looking for inspiration for the Thanksgiving table and Pinterest is full of ideas. These are just a few ideas I found that I love for their coastal vibe and natural accents. Do you add any bits of nature to your table top? Ever think about adding a bit of coastal color to the Thanksgiving table or do you stick to traditional fall color? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

I also want to let you know that our Holiday Annual Open House is taking place on Small Business Saturday. Here is a link with all the details. If you’re in our area, we’d love to say thanks for your support so feel free to stop by for our demonstrations and holiday refreshments.



Motivation Monday

Coopers beach polaroid

Love this quote and thought it suited the photo I took one day at Cooper’s beach. Hope it inspires you on this Monday! It reminds me that we all have everything we need to be a success.

I also created a paint palette for one of my current design projects that is inspired by the photo. The colors are just beginning to be put on the walls. I can’t wait to show you the finished product.


Top left: SW-6225, Top Right: SW-6071, Bottom left: SW-6219, Bottom right: SW-6204

Top left: SW-6225, Top Right: SW-6071, Bottom left: SW-6219, Bottom right: SW-6204

Would you consider these Sherwin- Williams colors in your home? Have you used any of them? I’d love to know. Please comment and tell me your thoughts.



Holiday Project Workshop at Southampton Historical Museum

Unfinished Laurel Wreath Workshop

I am very excited to be teaching another Amy Howard at Home Workshop this week at the Southampton Historical Museum. I will be walking attendees through the steps of using One Step Paint to add some holiday color, as well as, adding some gold leaf accents and finishing the piece with an authentic patina using waxes and Dust of the Ages.

If you can not be in the vicinity of Southampton, NY this Thursday, November 6th, from 6pm-8pm. I hope you’ll stay tuned for some pictures of the workshop and the finished product. If you are near Southampton, NY and are interested in this or any future workshops, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

Be inspired,


High Point International Home Furnishings Market Coastal Finds

I had the chance to get to the October International Home Furnishings Market two weeks ago. This market is held twice a year. Basically, the city of High Point and surrounding towns, which are filled with furniture showrooms, open their doors to retailers, international buyers, and interior designers. I don’t always make to each market, but I was glad to find many items that fit into our coastal style interior designs. Below are just a few great accents you might consider adding for a coastal touch to your home.

Benson Cobb large art

Benson Cobb at Market Square

Benson Cobb vertical art

Another fabulous setting at Benson Cobb


EJ Lawrence Quote books

Brilliant way to upcycle old books at E. Lawrence Ltd. Love the quotes!

A coastal take on the upcycled books with new covers by E. Lawrence.

A coastal take on the upcycled books with new covers by E. Lawrence.

A coastal take on the Trumeau mirror by Karen Robertson

A coastal take on the Trumeau mirror by Karen Robertson

Karen Robertson

Karen Robertson Booth takes coastal accents to another level!

Saltwater Salvage Art

Saltwater Salvage captures the ocean in art

Saltwater Salvage SEA

saltwater Salvage spells it out for us

Saltwater Salvage small art

Fill a wall with vintage prints by Saltwater Salvage. Distressed for a little added texture.

Surya Scion Rug

Surya pairs with Scion a division of Harlequin fabrics. One of my favorites! Love the colors.

So many great things to choose from! Most of the sources above are made in America which is one of my criteria when selected sustainable products for the shop. What would you add to your home? What do you like? Is there something that you don’t like? I’d love to get your feedback. You may see a few of these pieces at Sea Green Designs soon.

Be Inspired,


Amy Howard at Home Workshops at Sea Green Designs

I’ve really been working on spreading the word about our Amy Howard at Home Workshops at Sea Green Designs. Slowly, but surely, we’re getting groups together. Here are a few pics of some workshop fun from this summer. I really enjoy helping people hold onto pieces they own or have found at consignment shops, tag sales, etc. It gives them an opportunity to be creative and keeps the pieces from becoming some of the 10 million pieces of furniture thrown into landfills every year in the US. Let’s call it eco-friendly, creativity.

BYOP collage 1

BYOP collage 2 BYOP collage 3 BYOP collage 4

I held two workshops this summer. the BYOP: Bring Your Own Piece was a lot of fun. We had attendees bring a small piece to finish with One Step Paint.  For our second workshop at Sea Green Designs this summer, I had purchased some vintage 1890’s bread trays from Germany. Since they had no finish on them, they were a great choice for Amy Howard at Home Toscana Powder Paint. This centuries old casein paint made a great finish for the tray. We then added a sheet metal inset finished with Amy Howard at Home Zinc Solution. They were so proud!

Are you interested in learning how to re-purpose some pieces you have? Keep following for tips and inspiration. Have questions? I’d love to hear from you. I hope to have a question and answer post if we get enough interest.

Happy Monday!


Suite Bedroom: Refinished with One Step Paint

It was a busy summer here in Southampton. We were blessed with wonderful weather which meant we had lots of people visiting our seaside town. (Or, maybe it was the presence of the Kardashians in Southampton. We’ll never know…) Since I haven’t shared much on the blog lately, I thought it would be nice to start with one of our summer “rescue, restore, redecorate” projects. I transformed a not so sweet bedroom suite.

Vintage 40's Bedroom Suite

Vintage 40’s Bedroom Suite

This bedroom set belongs to a client who had it as a child. Made by Klinge furniture in upstate New York, the pieces are incredibly well made of solid maple. Unfortunately, the color of the stain was terrible! Our client has a space for them though and had enough vision to know they would be fantastic if painted. So, below is the color scheme.

Voster Color Scheme

I used the Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint. I had to do a little tweaking of the color to get what the client wanted. So, I mixed the colors Linen and Mollie Yellow for the main color. The green accent is mostly Vintage Affliction with some acrylic Hooker Green mixed in. I used the light wax for 100% coverage then the dark wax to add patina. Of course, I love the Amy Howard at Home products for their eco-friendly composition, but they are dream to work with and the colors are great.

Refinished Bedroom Suite Using One Step Paint

Refinished Bedroom Suite Using One Step Paint

The pieces are headed to Palm Beach where I think they’ll fit right in. Sweeeet!

Have any pieces you would like to rescue? Have you rescued any pieces and given them a new life? Email me. I would love to see what you have done. Maybe I’ll share it here.

We also, have some workshops coming up if you’d like to learn how to use the whole range of Amy Howard at Home products. Click Here to see and/ or sign up for one for our workshops.

In my next post I’ll share with you some of the fun we had at our workshops this summer.

‘Til then, I hope you’ll be inspired.


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