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.
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.