Interior Design Insider: Lou Lou’s Decor Nestles Well into Newport


Heads inevitably turn when a new storefront opens on Bellevue Avenue and it’s no wonder. Bellevue has been the toniest place to shop in town since ladies donned corsets, bustles and wide-brim hats. One of the newest shops to open its doors on the famed Casino Block, however, has a longtime following. Lou Lou’s Decor called Tiverton Four Corners and Portsmouth home for a combined 18 years. Now in its newest location, owner and interior designer Stacy Carlson dishes on what’s hot, what’s not, what makes our fair city so exceptional and how to refresh our living spaces to get “the Newport vibe.”

1- What inspired you to open in Newport? Newport is a thriving, busy, energetic city and we are so thrilled to have moved our store from Portsmouth to Newport. We re-located to Newport because we felt that Bellevue Avenue was the perfect location for both our retail and design presence.  Our roots were based in Tiverton where we had opened our first store in 1998 in the Four Corners area. This was a wonderful location and as a recently married couple trying out the retail experience we couldn’t have been luckier than to open in Tiverton. We made many life long friendships with our loyal customers from our store there and although it became too challenging to maintain a year round presence, it will always hold special fondness in our hearts. As a result, many of our clients are from Tiverton, Little Compton (where my husband and I and three kids live) and Westport. We had 12 amazing years in Tiverton Four Corners, 6 great years in Portsmouth with the camaraderie of the other Clock Tower Square stores and we now are thrilled for the many years ahead on Bellevue. The move to Newport was a little easier knowing that our base clientele actually spends more time in Newport than Portsmouth and the majority of those that live on Aquidneck Island easily find their way to the wonderful shops on Bellevue.IMG_4030

2- How would you describe Newport’s “design vibe?” A combination of coastal meets chic– that is the design vibe we are going for at any rate. Not overly dripping in coastal themes but refined and complimenting the beautiful landscape that is Newport. Our clients enjoy simple elegance like that you would envision with a beautiful linen drapery trimmed with a sharp pop of contrasting color, maybe in navy, mango or chocolate. Our clients are looking for a pulled together finished product and that is what we love to deliver. We were so thrilled and grateful to have been welcomed to our new location with a fantastic holiday season. One of our most popular items has been gorgeous room diffusers and candles in a Beach House scent. These are housed in beautiful aqua seeded glass and is a cherished gift.


3-Are there any design trends we should be looking for in the coming year? The Pantone colors for 2016 are very soft pale colors. I think this will translate into other design trends. Quiet, neutral tones are classic ​and easy on the eye.  Keeping these neutral tones as the base in your rooms will allow for a soft palette that you can expand on with subtle pops of color..

4- What advice would you give to someone looking to refresh their interior? Start with de-cluttering.  We all end up with more noise in ​our living space than intended. A simple purge can go a long way.  But there are many other things we can do to give a refreshing look to our interiors:

  • Wallpaper a focal wall in one of your rooms. There are so many amazing wallpapers and adding texture and pattern will really give your room an updated feel.
  • Change out your lamp shades.  Simply updating a tired lampshade can ​go along ways to brightening up your space.
  • Window treatments. Many home owners enjoy a gorgeous view and are afraid to block or interfere with their view with window treatments. However, properly installed they simply frame your view. Window treatments add that finishing detail that really completes your space.
  • Fancy up your powder room. They are wonderful small rooms that you can really have fun with. Many times that are one of the few rooms that your guests really see. An interesting ​chandelier mirror, or paint color can make all the difference.
  • Prioritize. Typically we can’t do all of our rooms at once. Pick which one you really want to focus on and go to town! You will be so thrilled with the transformation that it will spur you to move on to the next room.


Visit Lou Lou’s Decor at 202 Bellevue Avenue, online at or follow them on Facebook.


January 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

How to: The Cotton Candy Bun by Jennie Kay Beauty

jennie kay beauty

Dealing with total tress distress over the holidays, I needed to get my desperate-for-a-trim locks out of my face in a no fuss, no muss style. I started with a simply pony, teased it and created an over-sized messy bun then locked it into place with a few hair pins. It was so convenient! 

So when I came across this Cotton Candy Bun tutorial by Newport’s own Jennie Kay Plumb of Jennie Kay Beauty, I had to share. It’s super easy to follow and as you can see, the ‘do is a fun, whimsical departure from the everyday coif. 

Jennie Kay Hair Tutorial: Cotton Candy Bun from Ella Iannotti on Vimeo.

After watching this I learned a smoothing brush would help eliminate bumps and a quick dousing of hairspray before backcombing will lend more texture and volume. As you can see, Jennie has gorgeous shampoo-commercial-worthy locks. For the follically challenged, a simple inexpensive mesh chignon may help. 

Find more fabulous tutorials like How to Fake a Blowout and how to create a Side Fishtail (braid) by CLICKING HERE.

January 20, 2016 at 12:49 am Leave a comment

Springspiration: Welcome to Resort Season

j mclaughlin resort 2016 b

Just in time for a lightly fallen snow, you’ll start to see the most unlikely of looks: holiday/cruise/resort wear. Yes, as local meteorologists use words like “blustery” and “accumulation,” some shops are being stocked with light linens, perky prints and peep-toe wedges. But not everyone is off to “winter” as a verb in Palm Beach or jetting off with bikinis and beach bags to the BVIs

That being said, resort collections typically are a peek into upcoming spring trends and if J. McLaughlin is any indicator, the outlook is promising. Nautically-inspired separates,  soft shades and preppy polished pieces pepper the collection.



j mclaughlin resort 2016 a

Not quite ready for spring break planning and thinking more about the here and now? J. McL’s fabulous winter sale is on now (online and in stores, including the Newport shop) with styles 40% to 60% off.  

January 13, 2016 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

How to Wear a Blanket Scarf by Bourbon & Boots

I don’t have any conclusive evidence, but I’d venture to say that the blanket scarf may just have been the most popular stocking stuffer this Christmas. (Let’s just say I was standing in a TSA security line over the holidays with more than one outfit twin, right down to the tartan pattern.) Plaid, plush and perfectly positioned to be a fashion accessory and a functional winter warming layer, the blanket scarf isn’t going anywhere soon.

But with all that extra fabric, there’s a few ways to wrap n’ roll this little number. Fortunately, the folks at the style savvy Southern-sassy site Boots & Bourbon breaks it down:

B&B Primary Logo

  1. Basic Loop

Hold the fabric by the corners and fold into a loose triangle. Wrap around your neck, letting the point of the triangle serve as a centerpiece. Tuck in the edges. Adjust front of scarf to lay flat.

Best worn with: The oversized white button-up shirt or a simple tee.

  1. Below the Belt:


Start with a loose triangle fold. Center the shawl on the back of your neck then wrap forward over your shoulders. Hold the edges firmly with one hand, while you slide a thin belt behind you and buckle the scarf into place.

Best worn with: A simple dress or a long top with skinny jeans or leggings.

  1. The Long-Line Look

Loosely roll the scarf up into one long piece. Pop your collar and tuck the scarf underneath. Let it hang low and add long lines to your ensemble.

Best worn with: A collared jacket that falls at the waist or a long peacoat.

  1. Knot Your Regular Tie


Loosely roll the scarf lengthwise. Center it behind your neck, then loosely wrap around once. Bring the ends around to the front of your neck and secure them in a loose knot.

Best worn with: Something dressy-casual like a shirtdress or a skirt and top.

How-to written by Melissa Tucker

You’ll find these super soft accessories around Newport or shop all scarves from Bourbon & Boots by CLICKING HERE. Maybe it’s from my many years spent living below the Mason Dixon (or from being a member of The Bourbon Club at Old Glory in Georgetown which requires experiencing the over 80 varieties on site in one year) but I love this site. They had me at the Thelma & Louise whiskey glasses. 


And things like this:


Have a good one, y’all!

(Content and images that originally appeared on Bourbon & Boots reprinted with permission.)

January 6, 2016 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Watch Out: Daniel Wellington Timepieces


Ever since Jason Carbonneau opened Jason & Co. here in Newport in 2005, he’s introduced new, up and coming, and exclusive jewelry brands to the City by the Sea. When he told me about the Daniel Wellington watch line and how the company was not only featured in GQ but was all the rage across Europe, I took a closer look. GQ wrote:

One of our favorites, Daniel Wellington, makes the list for fusing preppy style withdw-klocka a sleek dress watch silhouette at the right price. The composition of the simple, crisp white dial against the silver or rose gold casements is amped up even further with the addition of striped NATO straps that can be swapped out to suit any mood or outfit. It’s a fresh timepiece that will take you from your holiday this Sunday to work and through any weekend and at this price, it’s one of the smartest solutions to sharp sophistication out there this spring.

Then I saw Daniel Wellington’s 1.7 million Instagram followers and it’s rather clear this is a brand with a loyal following. The watches feature a thin and elegant contemporary clean design; minimalistic. When paired with NATO straps (inspired by the stylings of the British navy) the watch takes on on a preppy persona but when adhered to the Italian leather straps (available in brown and black with a silver or gold plated brace), the watch is polished but stops short of pretentious. 


Each Daniel Wellington watch has interchangeable straps which makes every watch unique. In theory, you can have a different watch for every day of the week.

In this season of shopping (and most importantly, season of giving, love and kindness) and with only a few more days left until Christmas morning, this may be your best Secret Santa buy yet!

Shop Daniel Wellington at Jason & Co., 182 Thames Street in Newport (upstairs). Daniel Wellington watches there for men and women retail from $149 to $299.


December 21, 2015 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

Office Drab to Party Fab: Get Your Cheer on in a Snap

I headed to The Rhode Show this morning with some quick fixes to get you in the zone for office party season! You may be short on time but you can still be big on style. Transform your look with a few key pieces, almost all from local shops. Click on the image below to watch!
photo (3)
On me: Combo Perfect Wrap in Black/Illuminescent Blue dress by Leota,, $160Leota_2490_Lizzie_Jumpsuit_Cheetah_1024x1024
Sweetheart in Navy/Burgundy Dot by Leota, $195
Jumpsuit Painterly Leopard, $109 SALE
Tocca women’s fragrance, Cleopatra, $70
Comme des Garcons Wonderwood men’s cologne
Marvis Jasmin mint toothpaste, $10.50
Co Bigelow Natral Bristle toothbrush $9.50
Daniel Wellington “Dapper St. Mawes” watch, $299 (as seen in GQ)
Bracelet and earrings by Loren Hope (made in Rhode Island) $59.95, each
Silver men’s maritime bracelet, $288
Silver crystal bangles
2931885_fpxShip’s wheel cufflinks
Samantha Wils cuff $299
Madden Girl Demiii Fringe High Heels, $49.99
Statement necklace
Cocktail ring
Tassel necklace
Gold silk scarf

December 11, 2015 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

Winter Skin Saviors: Local Experts Weigh In


Let’s start with the good news: it’s been unseasonably warm up until about now. But let’s face it: December is less than 10 days away. It will be cold soon enough and eventually, your skin will react to the fluctuating outdoor freeze meets fireside swelter. Here are some seasonal skin remedies from local expects to get you through the deep freeze.

1. Image Skincare Vital C Mask from The Apothecary. The team at The Apothecary can barely keep this baby in stock! Using gentle enzymes to exfoliate dead skin cells while adding minerals and essential anti-oxidants to improve your skin’s overall health, you will look like a light has been turned on under your skin and feel super are Escentuals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Creamhydrated after this mask treatment. Use as a manual exfoliator to increase cell turnover rate without any abrasion or leave on as a masque to refresh and revitalize. $32

2. Bare Escentuals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. The Apothecary’s co-owner Jenni Graham personally recommends this product for people with drier skin who like luminous, glowing finishes and a “natural” look. “It makes your skin appear younger. Even if you don’t feel as confident at first because of the light coverage, I promise you will get compliments if applied correctly!” This mineral-based cream combines the best of a BB, a CC, and a tinted moisturizer to provide increased skin hydration after just one week. $29 (9 shades)

The Apothecary is currently running a special and offering deluxe samples of both these products the month of November while supplies last.

3. Whish Body Oil from ArchBeauty. “Not only does this oil leave your skin silky smooth, it also has clinically proven peptides to calm inflamed skin while increasing skin luminance.” Arch beauty founder Sara Ross says she personally slathers this oil on her apres shower then towls off. “This will keep the itchy body skin away,” she says. Three Whishes Body Oil is made in the USA with Earth friendly packaging and ingredients. Paraben free, sulfate free, DEA & TEA free, petrochemical free, phthalate GM Collin Diamond Cream (2)free. Tested on us, not animals–all natural with organic ingredients. Leaping Bunny Certified

4. GM Collin Diamond Cream from ArchBeauty is a luxurious anti-aging cream formulated to help rejuvenate skin’s look with pure and effective ingredients and cutting edge technology. “It’s s dominating our industry right now; its every where in the press. Formulated with a synergy of precious diamond powder, diamond peptides and unique snow algae to help increase the skin’s radiance. “It is made from crush diamonds this will sculpt and hydrate your skin and
BlockIsland_REVITALIZINGNIGHTCREAMCrp (2)protect it from the elements,” explains Ross, who point out this is to be used exclusively as a day cream.

NOTE: ArchBeauty will be moving to 333 Valley Road, Middletown in January! Congrats, ladies!

5. Block Island Organics Night Cream: I’ve been using this cream for about month and I love it! Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C (offers anti-aging benefits) and vitamin E (protects against the effects of sun exposure), this organic and natural cream nourishes skin. Organic ingredients like cocoa butter, rosehip, avocado, aloe vera, jojoba and more nourishes and moisturizes, plus its non-greasy and suitable for all skin types. (Personally, I love that its 100% cruelty-free as this is a vegan formula and never tested on animals.) Also, you won’t find any nasty parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes or artificial fragrances in this fabulous cream. Even better? Here’s a special offer: Use code THANKS30 srating on Thanksgiving through 12/1 to receive 30% off the regular price of $29.99. (Free shipping on al orders over $50).

Are we following each other on Twitter and Instagram? Find me at @newportstyle on both platforms!

November 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

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