Wednesday, February 24, 2010


One of the great things about being a writer and photographing homes for a magazine article or book is that you make new friends.

Years later you continue to share photos of new decorating schemes, news of family milestones and word of new businesses.

I first met Roberta Laprade when I photographed her shop, Enchanted Treasures in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, for one of the magazines I was editing. Roberta and her best friend and partner Martha LeCompte were pioneers in defining Romantic Style and I was delighted to meet them.

Roberta invited us back to her home overlooking the water . It was a captivating combination of romantic and coastal elements styled in Roberta's trademark way.

Several years later Dan and I photographed her cozy cottage for our book Waterside Cottages.

After the shoot, I went back to the shop and bought several treasures for my home that still make me smile when I look at them each day.

Enchanted Treasures was a tremendous success but recently, Roberta felt it was time for a change and opened a staging and re-design company, Coastal Styling (

I asked her to share the secret of a good makeover.

"Honestly assessing your home's architectural and circumstantial features is crucial," explains Roberta.

"You need to figure out which elements should be showcased (such as a cozy nook or stunning ocean view) and which minimized (for example, oddly placed windows or worn surfaces). Colors are also an important way to quickly give your home a fresh new outlook.

Roberta's magic touch is evident in this seaside makeover.

First she removed the commercial style carpeting and refinished the wood plank floor. Next, she treated the walls to a serene pale aqua paint job.

Roberta established a simple aqua and white color scheme with slipcovers and a few new tables. Last but not least, she added accents in appropriate natural materials.

"Wicker and sea grass feel right at home by the beach and give a room a breezy outdoor feel," she says.

It's a sea change!

(Top photo by Dan Mayers)


Roberta said...

Hey Barbara, Those visits from you, Dan and the crew were so much fun!! Thanks for the reminder here. Gotta say, my first love is still seaside decorating. Thanks so much for featuring me on Waterside Wednesday! xo Roberta

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Hi Barbara, I just adore Roberta and love looking at her seaside cottage! Thanks for sharing your photos! xoxo Julie Marie

Blondie's Journal said...

What an amazing makeover, Barbara. The pink room really needed help and I love what Roberta did. Perfectly coastal looking!! I am working on my lakehouse and this room was truly inspirational.


Erin said...

Roberta's home is just as lovely as she is! Love the aqua walls behind that white slipcovered sofa. What a beautiful beachy room!

Cottage In The Sun said...

Wow! I love the difference!!

NeereAnDear said...

Oh wow Barbara,

What a stunning room!! The colors ... the styling ... absolutely a place I would love to come home to...

Her website is filled with gorgeous do overs!!! LOVE IT!!


Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

She does a beautiful job!


Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Barbara
Well I just love Roberta and her blog to pieces.. but had realised she had set up the styling company and site [will be over there to look soon]

Doesn't that makeover bring light into the room!! You'd almost think the windows had been lowered it makes such a difference...

Ok .. off to say hello to Roberta and see her other site.. Thanks for sharing this!! xx Julie

Jane said...

What a beautiful makeover! Roberta certainly has "the eye".
Jane (artfully graced)

Alison Gibbs said...

What ana amazing differnce Robertas makeover has made to that room. Love it - so fresh

Bethany said...

I LOVE Before & After pics. This one is incredible.

Julie said...

Great sea-side colors!!!

I started a new blog where stories will be published about the farm and the animals if you enjoy reading!


black eyed susans kitchen said...

The blue of the walls reminds me of sea glass...beautiful!
♥, Susan

Sandi Wickersham said...

Good job Roberta. I have to agree, every place looks better when you Go Coastal (not Go Postal)! A white slipcovered sofa & pale blue walls, a simple lamp, yum!

Elyse said...

hi barbara,

i am definitely a fan of roberta's style. i discovered her shop in fairhaven just months before she pulled out. in fact i just happened to be there for her side of the shop's closing and bought some real treasures at 50% off.

the section of your book featuring roberta is among my top faves.

gush gush gush!


Ruth Welter said...

Lovely post Barbara, I especially enjoyed that beautiful blue paint in the livingroom, reminds me of the nicer weather....I need that today after all the snow we had here in NY the last couple of days. Hope you are doing well.


Jeannie said...

it's lovely!

and I recognize my old vanity, there, in the before picture! said...

What a summery room it is. So cheerful and happy. Great transformation:)
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens

Queen B. said...

love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!