Archive for Showroom


MSLL Holiday Gift Guide 2014

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MSLL has constructed the ultimate Holiday Gift Guide to make your shopping experience a bit easier this Holiday season. We promise with these amazing gifts there will be no returns or re-gifting if you stick to our guide! The following MSLL Holiday Gift Guide features 12 perfect gifts that are sure to bring happiness and make you the best gift giver ever! Move over Santa, I’m giving the best gifts this year! Oh! Not to mention you will have the best wrapped presents around with our fabulous complementary gift wrap!



Mary Sherwood Lake Living Holiday Gift Guide 2014:

1. Fashion Apparel: This year’s apparel seems to be the best we have ever carried! It’s been hard to keep the racks full. We have wonderful travel wear, bright tunics and palazzo pants that have been super popular this year.  Our travel wear is wrinkle free, perfect for your next getaway!  $38 – $78

2. Don’t forget the Captain! Our Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze and Peach Barbecue Boucan Sauce are a crowd pleaser! These would make perfect gifts for a neighbor or take a bottle  as a hostess gift for your next holiday party your attending. This sauce is delicious! The bottle has a recipe attached for an amazing appetizer dip! Even someone that tailgates would love this for their next sports event! You can’t go wrong here.  $12

3. Magnolia Casual Indoor/Outdoor Swings: I always have people telling me their child would love this in their bedroom or they are planning on hanging one on their boat dock! Which is a perfect idea for these gorgeous swings! All our swings come in a set which includes: The swing constructed in indoor/outdoor fabric, a seat cushion, back pillow and matching carrying bag which is easy to stow.  $189

4. Sweet & Saucy Caramel Sauce: This happens to be our Salted Caramel Sauce which is my favorite! = ) We have: Spicy Mango Madness, Rum Caramel and even a Raspberry Fudge Sauce!  This is a great gift  for anyone! I would pair my jar with an ice cream scoop for the perfect ice cream sundae package! Simple & Easy! You could always add cherries on top!  $11

5. Lake Gaston Picture Frame: Here is another great gift idea! I’m sure mom or grandma would love this in their lake home! Take it step further and actually put a photo in the frame of the family or grand-kids! The picture corners in the frame make it easy to change out the photos each year!  $49

 6. Mary Sherwood Lake Living Gift Card: The perfect gift! Our gift cards do not expire and can be used towards anything in our showroom! You could even give a gift card for $25 or $35 for someone to attend one of Chef Yvonne’s cooking classes held here at MSLL! Absolutely Perfect!  $ – $$$

7. Lake Gaston Christmas Ornaments: We have several different ornaments to choose from this year. Some even have Lake Gaston printed on them! How cool is that? These would be great if you know someone that gets an ornament for their tree each year or for an ornament exchange party.  $18

8. Jewelry: Our Jewelry display has just everything from necklaces, earrings, bangles, brackets, watches, rings and a few necklace/earring sets. Various style to choose from. We even have a handmade line from a young lady in Virginia Beach!  $10 – $148

9. Handbags: We have the look you want but not the price. Our gorgeous bags look similar to a Micheal Kors’ bag but not the ticket price! I love our bags I think they are age appropriate for anyone 20-something to someone 60-something! We have various sizes and style for fit any ladies taste. $14 – $123

10. Scribble Cloths: Have you seen these yet? Scribble Cloths are amazing! Great for parties, children and events! We have runners that can be scribbled on with chalk! We have used these several times for events here at MSLL! We used the large runner for our food display, labeling all our delicious delights! What a great gift! $38 – $50

11. Lake Gaston Coasters: We have several sets of Lake Gaston Coasters! My favorites are the Lake map and Lake Rules! We have sets of two and fours!  Perfect for anyone that loves and lives on the lake! $32 – $57

12. Add-A-Kid Bibs: Don’t forget the little ones! We have an array of items in our children’s area but, these have to be the funniest! These bibs are one of a kind designs for little guys and girls! All bibs have Lake Gaston on them as well! Such a great keep sake too! $13


Just follow our Holiday Gift Guide for the perfect Christmas presents this Holiday season! Need more ideas? Just give us a call (252-586-2437) or ask me! We do our best to meet the needs of our customers. We are always willing to help!  We even suggest gift ideas for no charge! =)  Join us this Holiday season and Shop Small here on Lake Gaston! Don’t forgot the complimentary Gift Wrap!


Merry Christmas! 

-Dixie K

Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston 




2014 Spring Color Trends

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Spring-2014-color-trendsIt’s officially spring, no matter what the weather decides to do.  In honor of the season, we posted this picture last week on Facebook, showing the current color trends.  The colors chosen for spring 2014 range from neutrals, pastels, and bold colors.  So how can you use these in your home design?

Neutral sand wall color bedroom designNeutrals are wonderful to use as wall colors because they really become timeless.  By choosing a color like Sand with Paloma trim, the warm walls will work with many color combinations.  Here you see it paired with fabrics featuring grays and deep blues (close to Dazzling Blue), but Sand could also work well with Violet Tulip,  Radiant Orchid or Cayenne.


Placid Blue Neutral BackdropSome interesting choices in the pastels can actually be treated as neutrals also.  Hemlock or Placid Blue are found in nature, so they both work seamlessly as backdrops for many color palettes.  For example, here is Placid Blue as the wall color in this bedroom, with pops of the more vibrant colors of the season.  Freesia, Celosia Orange, and Cayenne would be lovely and energetic in contrast to this calming shade.

Blue Accent Wall at Mary Sherwood Lake Living


Of course, here at Mary Sherwood Lake Living, we love pops of color!  These cheerful hues of spring are very inspiring for us.  Every year we select a color to feature on the accent wall in our front sun room.  This year we chose a deep, rich blue, close to Dazzling Blue.  Whether you have bright artwork and accessories or more light and neutral pieces, this deep tone creates dramatic contract and interest.





How else could you use these fun colors of spring?  How about your wardrobe and accessories!  We’ve teamed up with Soldsie – a unique shopping experience on Facebook where you have a limited time to purchase items before they hit the showroom floor!  “Tease-Me Tuesday Sales” will be on Tuesdays at 8:30 PM (eastern time) starting April 1st.  We’ll even have a give-away on Monday, March 31st for a coupon.  And it’s so easy to shop – once you’ve registered with Soldsie, all you have to do is write “Sold” in the comments of an item you want to purchase.  So check us out on Facebook for full details and register today!

Soldsie Tease Me Tuesday Sale at Mary Sherwood Lake Living


Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with You to Create Your Lifestyle on Lake Gaston, on Facebook, and Beyond!

With Valentine’s in the air, it is time to fall in love all over again with your home at Lake Gaston or beyond.  I read several other designers’ blogs that suggest working on organization, creating cozy spots and adding fresh paint as ways to rekindle that fire.  I am taking another approach.  Here I selected five things that make me smile and look forward to coming home.

This bulls-eye painted chest just makes me laugh.  How about placing this in the “catch all” space where we drop all our belonging as we come home.  Plenty of space to store the dog leash, keys, purse etc.  The chalk board painted door makes it easy to leave a message (or a little love note) on the way out the door.  Coming home to an organized entrance with storage and a new message would give you something to look forward to.

Bullseye! You just gotta laugh!  Chalk board painted door is perfect for leaving a little "love" message.

Bullseye! You just gotta laugh! Chalk board painted door is perfect for leaving a little “love” message.

What to do with all the gadgets?  With this chest you can have a way to store and charge all the gear – like phones, tablets and lap tops.  This small but functional piece can fit in just about any space. It is perfect for beside your favorite chair.  The doors conceal its incredible function.  The painted finish and nail head trim are a great cover up for all the “stuff”.

Love this new docking station furniture piece for all today gadgets! The  nail head trim and aqua color adds a great decorative touch!

Love this new docking station furniture piece for all today gadgets! The nail head trim and aqua color adds a great decorative touch!


Speaking of gadgets…is this a frog’s version of Google glasses? This frog art is so funny I just couldn’t resist including it as something that may brighten your day, make you happy and love your home.

This isn't Google glasses but could be for a frog! Just had to share this one!

This isn’t Google glasses but could be for a frog! Just had to share this one!


Looking outside on a winter day can make you feel as gloomy as it looks.  Place a colorful piece of yard art outside your favorite window to brighten your day and remind you spring is on its way.  This re-cycled metal heron sculpture would look great in your lake view garden.



Those of you who have four legged friends most often look forward to their greeting.  Don’t forget to take them along for the ride!  This dog art caught my eye because we all would like to hang our head out the window, ears (or hair) flapping in the breeze and being so free!

Brighten your wall ! Man or woman's best friend going a long for the ride!

Brighten your wall!  Man or woman’s best friend going a long for the ride!

Here is a final tip for loving your home.  Find your favorite, comfortable space and target fixing up that one spot with repurposing what you have or by adding one piece of whimsy to make you happy.

A happy home is a home you will love!

Love to all


Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!



Give Thanks to the Host

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It’s getting to be that time of year again for lots of parties and get-togethers with family and friends.  While your Holiday shopping list is probably already a mile long, it’s important not to forget about your gracious host.  Here are a few gift ideas of different sizes and some impressive wrapping ideas that show off your attention to the details, no matter your budget!

A Small Gift with Big Wrapping Impact!

small gift of ginger cookies, pumpkin dip mix, and a decorative ornamentShare this small gift of Anna’s Ginger Thins cookies and pumpkin dip mix.  Top it off with a decorative  ornament for added detail.  It really shows that you’ve given it some thought and care.   The total cost of this gift is only about $12.

small gift cell wrap with tissue

Use cellophane with colorful tissue paper.  If you get a neutral cello, you can pair it with any color tissue for any occasion.  I usually use 3 layers of tissue to conceal what’s inside.  Start pulling it together by bringing up the points.  Then gather it all and secure with wired ribbon.  Wired ribbon holds tight so your hands are free to complete your package.

small gift bow making with ornament

Once secure with the ribbon, now you can make the bow.  Fold ribbon back and forth so that you have 3 loops on each side.  Tie it on the package in the middle.  Here, I’ve slid an ornament on the straight ribbon first, then tie it all in the middle.  Dress it up by weaving the ends in and out of your fingers for a graceful curve.

finished small gift

This classy gift shows you gave a lot of care in this gift, and it’s easy to have a few of these in cue for an unexpected get-together.









A Gift Basket That’s Cute and Fully Functional!

gift basketGift baskets are lovely, but what about using something creative as a vessel for the collection of gifts – like another gift!  If you’re doing a kitchen related gift, try using a mixing bowl.  Here I’m using a fun red colander, featuring gourmet words as the drain holes.  This “basket” will hold a bar cutting board, martini olives, a funny spatula, gourmet salt, dip mix, and cocktail napkins.  Total cost is ~$62.

gift basket in the round

It is important when you arrange the items in a gift basket, make sure you think about how it looks from all sides.

gift basket cello

Cello is helpful for combining oddly shaped items. Here I’ve used only the cello and no tissue to show off every treasure inside.

gift basket cello pull up

Cut the cello so that it’s long enough to cover and give you enough to fluff on top.  The cello isn’t actually wide enough for this, but to solve this use a single piece of tape to hold  the shorter sides.  Then you pull together your long sides and gather them on top.  This camouflages  the shorter pieces.  Secure with ribbon or decorative wire.

gift basket bow making

Here’s a review of the bow we did above, but with a different detail.  Instead of using ribbon to hold it all together, I used a few pieces of decorative wire.  Curl the extra ends around your finger for fun ringlets.

finished gift basket

Ta Da!  Here we have the whole thing pulled together, all compact in one beautiful package.










Lots of People Give Wine, but Don’t Forget About the Extra Glasses!

wine glasses in boxThese are Govino acrylic stemless wine glasses that feature a subtle indention that’s comfortable for your thumb.  They don’t break, they can be washed in the top of the dishwasher, and they are great for use year-round (especially on the boat).  Although in a basic box, I thought it would still be helpful to review how to wrap a box.


boxed gift wrap how to

This may seem basic, but here is a step by step tutorial on wrapping a box.
Plus, it’s only using 3 pieces of tape!
#1) Wrap paper around box and secure on the bottom with your 1st piece of tape.
If there’s a pattern to the paper, try to get the lines to match up.
The exact pattern meeting up is almost impossible, but what do you know – it happened here!
#2) Make sure that the extra paper on the sides goes down further than half, but not further than the height of the box.
#3) Crisply fold each side – crisp clean folds are key.
#4) Bring in the sides to meet in the middle, again making very crisp folds.
#5) Fold up the tip to give you a smooth edge.
#6) Lift up and secure with your 2nd piece of tape. Repeat on the other end using your 3rd piece of tape.



finished box gift wrap

Complete with a funky bow and you are all set to honor your host.


So there are some of the secrets to the phenomenal  gift wrap here at MSLL.  It’s complimentary with purchase, so the next time you are in need of a hostess gift, stop by for a personal demonstration!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!

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From Rustic to Shiny…2013 Market Trends

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Once again, we ventured to High Point, North Carolina to get a taste of the newest trends in home decor. With sensible shoes in tow, we trekked through showroom after showroom eyeing innovative designs with fresh spins on tried and true styles.

We noticed quite a few trends became apparent throughout our three-day journey:

Details, Details, Details – Whether it was contrasting welts, decorative trims, tufting, or nailhead features, designers paid close attention to the details.

details, high point, market, furniture


Grey-0logy – By now, we’ve all heard of the fifty shades of grey, but market illustrated the many shades of grey mixed with pops of color!

grey, color, market, high point, furniture


Flower Power – Although the weather didn’t quite hold up its end of the bargain, Spring had definitely sprung at market.  Their were florals to be seen on bedding, chairs, rugs, and in artwork.

floral, bedding, artwork, market, furniture, high point


Lacquer is Back – The presence of lacquer was evident in numerous showrooms this year!  It’s amazing how a coat of high gloss paint can reinvent a piece of furniture.

lacquer, paint, furniture, high point, market


Old World Rustic – We saw color and shine in many corners of market, but it seemed one of the most predominant trends this Spring was Old World Rustic.  There were muted wood tones on traditional frames combined with neutral linens.

old world, rustic, market, high point


So whether your taste is traditional, contemporary, or even a tad eclectic, do not fear!  There is definitely something in the marketplace to appeal to you!  We can show you what’s new at Mary Sherwood Lake Living!


Mary Sherwood Lake Livingworking with you to create your lifestyle!


Hope Filled Handbags for Fashion

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MSLL Spring Fashion Show and

Hope Filled Handbag Event

Thursday, March 28th, 6-8 PM

Hope filled handbags, women's benefit ideas, women's shelter donation

We had an amazing response to our last event to benefit Hannah’s Place!
Let’s see if we can get even more!

Donation Admission:

“Nearly New” Handbags  and/or Toiletry Items

See the latest styles of casual fashion, shoes and accessories.  Help us support this great cause.  “Nearly New” Handbags will be filled with personal toiletry items and donated to Hannah’s Place, Inc., a non-profit women’s shelter in Roanoke Rapids.  Look below for lists of needed toiletries.

If you cannot attend the event, donations may be dropped off before April 11th, 2013.

Toiletry  needs for Hannah’s Place:

Sanitary napkins
Shower Cap

Cash Donations Also Accepted

Thank you for all your help – there’s no donation too small.

We’d love to hear your comments and questions about this wonderful cause, so leave a message below.

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Showroom, Special Events
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To Market, To Market, To Buy…..

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So the nursery rhyme reads “to market, to market, to buy a fat pig, home again, home again, jiggety-jig”.  Well, we went to market and we’re home again, but there was no fat pig.  There were, however, a multitude of new products in every possible category.

We perused, navigated, and maneuvered as much of the four buildings and seven million square feet of Atlanta Gift Market as we were humanly able.  We were tired, but invigorated at the same time by the many new innovative gift lines, housewares, furniture, and apparel available.  Now we can’t show you everything new that we have coming because that would spoil the surprise,  but we thought a sneak peek would hopefully wet your appetites.


scarf, scarves, belt, purse, apparel, clothing

Bright new color combinations and graphic patterns were predominant in the apparel category.

shoe, purse, handbag, sandal


Leather, grommets, and attention to details led the design trend for shoes and handbags.


jewelry, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, silver, beads

Metallics, classic leathers, and beaded details inspired the direction of jewelry designers.


wall art, art, frame, canvas, silver

Large scale canvases and printed metals saturated the wall art category, while colorful, ceramic and meticulously beaded frames were seen in numerous showrooms.


furniture, company c, chevron, pillows, fabric

Furniture design and decorator pillows were inspired by bold graphics, contemporary color palettes, textured fabrics, and bright new florals.


pot, plant, garden, terrarium, greenery

Self-watering wine bottles, rustic painted ceramic planters, and custom terrariums were highlights of the garden product lines.


holiday, pumpkin, turkey, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, ornament

Fun, whimsical, overscaled decorations helped us make our buying decisions for the holidays!

Since market, we are now renewed, refreshed, and reenergized after a busy holiday season.  We are looking forward to enjoying a successful 2013 with our valued and much loved customers.

Come see what’s new at Mary Sherwood Lake Living!  We’re waiting for you!


Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Design, Showroom, What's New!
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Last night my husband said to me, “you have logged a lot of miles in the last few weeks”.  It made me stop and think about how much had happened in three short weeks.  Here is the timeline:

Dec 20 -28     Roundtrip-Lake Gaston to Santa Monica, CA        5580 miles

Jan 4-6          Roundtrip-Lake Gaston to Baltimore, MD                698 miles

Jan 9-13        Roundtrip-Lake Gaston to Atlanta, GA                   902 miles

The first trip was our holiday trip to visit our son’s home in Santa Monica.  What a wonderful place to spend Christmas.  There is no worry of snow to interfere with travel (except occasionally at a connecting airport).  My daughter-in-law, Elif and I traveled with the top down in her Mini Cooper, named Coco, every outing for groceries and shopping!   I love the casual yet sophisticated lifestyle of Southern California. Here is a picture of some of the highlights of our holiday.  Love, love, love California succulent gardens!



The next trip came oh so quickly after we returned from Cali.  Our good friends, Brenda and Quinn moved into a brand new house just north of Baltimore right before Christmas.  They are still trying to get settled. The workers are still in and out.  We traveled with our trailer full of furniture, accessories and window treatments to help give it the “moved-in” look.  Here are just a few pictures of the fun color pallet Brenda selected.  The colorful Company C furniture fits right in!

Baltimore MD, Company C furniture, decorating with color, Kravet fabric, draperies


We are still recovering from our annual January Atlanta market trip.  The above mileage does not include the miles and miles of market space we walked.  There are about 7 million square feet of showroom space!  It’s no wonder our feet hurt and everything aches after four-12 hour market days!  There are so many things we fell in love with that will be arriving in our store over the next four months.  Here is a picture of just a few of my favorites.

Americasmart, Atlanta, owl accessories, summer 2013, beach cover-ups, handbags, Mary Sherwood Lake Living



We are off to a flying start in 2013.  Jump on board and join us on Facebook, follow our blog and stay tuned for the latest at MSLL!

What would be your favorite adventure of the above three?

Happy 2013!


Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle…

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Shopping for a special gift for that special someone?  Looking for the ideal present for the person who has everything?  Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle.  Allow Mary Sherwood Lake Living to help you compile the perfect gift basket.

Are they a wine enthusiast?  We can combine our E-Z Grip Wine Bottle Opener, Wine-A-Rita Drink Mix, and a package of festive napkins to help them celebrate.


Do they enjoy mixing a cocktail or two?  We can combine our Mini Red Ice Bucket, Mini Red Cocktail Shaker, and a jar of Pickle, Olive, and Pearl Onion Cocktail Stirrers to help them conjure up their concoctions.

Are they the chef in their household?  We can combine our famous Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze, a White Rectangular Baker, and a Knotted Spreader to aid them in preparing Captain Rodney’s Cheese Bake (recipe included).

Do they just deserve to be spoiled?  We can combine our Azalea/Ruby Dot Glittens (glove and mittens combination), Leopard Ballet Cozy Slippers, and a Jeweled Photo Frame to help comfort them.

Still stumped?  Come visit us at Mary Sherwood Lake Living or give us a call at 252.586.2437 to help you with just the right combination for the loved ones on your list.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping from Mary Sherwood Lake Living!


Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Company C Launch Party!

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Mary Sherwood Lake Living is excited about our upcoming Company C Furniture Launch Party on Saturday, September 29th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Started in a garage by Chris and Walter Chapin in 1994, Company C is now a premier design studio and leading producer of exceptional home furnishings.  Company C has established itself as a top manufacturer of distinctive rugs, bedding, furniture, decorative accessories and fabrics.

Company C, sofa, launch, party, furniture

Company C products are well-recognized by their bold color palettes and lyrical patterns and we are pleased to introduce their great new furniture line that coordinates with the colorful Company C rugs.  The line includes custom headboards, bedding, chairs, sofas, and ottomans.

Company C, bedding, headboard, comforter

The launch party will include a visit from our area Company C sales representative, a raffle for a Company C 2’6″ x 8″ runner, and light refreshments.  In addition, we are offering a 15% discount on products from the furniture line through Oct 6.

Please come join the fun and experience the bright, colorful, and unique style of furnishings that Company C and Mary Sherwood Lake Living have to offer!


Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

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The Results Are In…

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The results are in for the Mary Sherwood Lake Living Photo Contest!

Contestants shared photos of those special items they found at Mary Sherwood Lake Living that changed their lives, made them smile when they looked at it, or completed their home, look, or menu.  Then readers voted for their favorite photo beginning September 3rd and ending September 17th.

The winners of the contest, along with their entries, are listed below:

First PlaceWinner – Joanne Yarwood – Uttermost Cows – “My favorite treasures from Mary Sherwood Lake Living – a set of 3 cows by Uttermost, here seen grazing on our favorite area rug, also from Mary!”

photo, contest, cow, winner








Runner-Up 1 – Heidi Blodgett – Fire Extinguisher Wind Chime – “I found this really cool wind chime made out of a fire extinguisher at Mary’s.”

photo, contest, fire, extinguisher, runner-up










Runner-Up 2 – Sandra Shearin – Sandra’s Barstools – “Every morning for at least 10 to 12 years, (and many times through-out the day) I am reminded of Mary Sherwood as I enter my kitchen. Saw them in her shop and knew right away they were exactly what I wanted. These barstools have survived 2 kitchen remodels – countertops, cabinets and backsplashes changed but the stools are still remained. They just seemed like old friends and always seemed to fit with the new. Dinners with friends, conversations while I cook, real estate transactions, – and oh yes, so many great experiences with 3 wonderful grandchildren who always did and still do think they are the “coolest stools to spin around in”! My stools have made my kitchen the central gathering place in my house from daily meals to entertaining – from work projects to fun get togethers. If these stools could talk what a story they could tell! They have served us well and plans are that they probably will become an heirloom right where they are!!”

photo, contest, bar, stool, barstool, runner-up








Runner-Up 3 – Kathy Hayes – “This is my grandaughter’s first visit to the lake. We love the Lake Gaston pillow we bought from Mary 2 years ago!!!!”

photo, contest, cuties, lake gaston, runner-up








Congratulations to all of our winners and a big thank you to all of our contestants!  Please keep watching Mary Sherwood Lake Living posts in the future….more contests are on the way!


Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Loving Tile Dots!

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In our new demonstration kitchen we found a wonderful new accent tile to incorporate in our design. Tile Dots are created by ceramic artist Kim McGinnis of Rocky Mount, NC. This is a truly custom product. There are over 30 colors to choose from. Mix and match the size and colors of the dots. Add an accent shape for a coastal or nature look. We can help you create the perfect tile accent design for your kitchen or bath project. But don’t stop with the kitchen or bath…how about a table top of tile dots or a small accent wall in a niche? Let’s explore the possibilities!

Watch this video as Autumn tells us all about Tile Dots!

How creative can you be?  How would you like to use Tile Dots?

We love your comments!



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Help Us Fill “Hope Filled” Handbags!

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Good day to all our Mary Sherwood Lake Living family!

What a beautiful Labor day weekend!  We hope everyone is begining to recover from the power outages, downed trees, structural damage and spoiled food.  With this in mind we want to do something to help a local agency.  This may not relate to the Hurricane Irene disaster but it does help with an often silent domestic crisis.  Everyday women and children are searching for a way to escape domestic abuse and violence.  Hannah’s Place, a non-profit shelter in Roanoke Rapids, is there to help.

Our event “Hope Filled Handbag Exchange” will benefit Hannah’s Place.  When a woman arrives at the shelter they receive a handbag filled with personal toiletries.  Our goal is to collect and fill 30 or more handbags to donate to Hannah’s Place.

To kick off our efforts please join us for wine and appetizers from 5 to 7 PM, Thursday, September 22.  A representative from Hannah’s House will be present to tell us more about this worthy cause.

To thank you for your “nearly new” handbag donation to Hannah’s Place you will receive a $10 MSLL gift card to use towards a new fall handbag or fashion accessory of your choice.  We will also collect toiletries to stock the handbags.  A list of the needed toiletries is below

Needed Toiletry Items:
Toothbrush                   Toothpaste               Mouthwash
Shampoo                          Soap                Sanitary napkins
Lotion                             Comb                         Brush
Shower Cap                  Deodorant

We hope you will join us on September 22 for some fun and socializing to support a worthy cause.


Click here to check out our video:     MSLL Girls-Out with the Old…In with the New!

handbags, hope, women's shelter, lake gaston, mary sherwood, event, appetizers, wine

Hope and Handbags!

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Slipping and sliding into the New Year!

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Time flies when you are having such a good time!   Just a little over a week ago we were slipping and sliding into Atlanta to attend the January market.

ice, Atlanta market, Atlanta

Slip, sliding away!

We started our first day at market with a “man on the street” interview with Susan Dickenson, retail editor for Home Accents Today magazine.

Home Accent Today magazine, man on the street at Atlanta market, Lake Gaston girls

Autumn, Lu, Traci and Mary at Atlanta market

She grabbed several retailers to get a sense of the retail climate and their market plans. Thanks Susan for including us in your daily market issue. Read our comments and those of other retailers:

At this market we plan our showroom strategy for the New Year.  Color is an important element in our showroom so we always reference the Pantone Color of the Year.  The color for 2011 is Honeysuckle, a bright, saturated pink.

pantone, color for 2011, pantone color of the year, honeysuckle

Love the Pantone Color of the Year for 2011

As we purchase for spring and summer we select items that coordinate with this year’s new color.  This really helps us focus on accessories and gifts that are color forward.  If you are interested in learning more about Pantone’s2011 color forecast check out this link:

color, decorative tabletop, turquoise, pink, red, festive, floral, ceramics

Festival of table top color!

Funny Faces for Summer

Ah, Spring!

Ah, Spring!

Another big purchase category on our list is Holiday.  The January market introduces the new looks for 2011.  We develop a plan for how many trees, what themes and what colors we will use.  Purchasing in January guarantees we will be able to receive our selections by late summer and avoid sold out items. The use of large ornaments and objects on trees with a focus on one prominent color is one new emerging trend.

holiday color 2011, pink, turquoise, large ornaments

Color forward thinking for Holiday 2011!

holiday 2011, whimsy, Christmas accents, new for 2011, large ornaments

Whimsical elves and large ornaments are big for Holiday 2011

This market also is our source for our summer fashion accessories, apparel and shoes.  Here is a sneak peak of some of the new looks!

clutch,purse, rose floral accents, bright colors.

Rose wristlet clutch in bright colors. The "new" accessories for spring 2011.

coverup, flip flops, beach bags

Outfits for fun in the sun!

To cap off our shopping frenzy we taste and select new gourmet food items.  This is good and bad.  Great to find new product but hard to go through the many food displays and be selective with what you sample.

vegetables, canned vegetables. pretty vegetables, gourmet foods, tasty

Yummy, colorful, healthy and pretty...could these veggies be good for you too?

Market is an exhilarating experience!  New products, new colors, new styles always start the design juices flowing.  Tired bodies, tired minds and achy feet must be worth it because we keep going back.

travel, baggage, Atlanta

Glad we didn't have to push this load through market. Four women just don't know how to travel "light"!

You can experience a little of our market experience through our blogs and Facebook posts without the physical and mental strain.

Did you see the “Honeysuckle” color keep poping up in these pictures?

Tell us your favorites of our new products to arrive over the next few months!

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Yesterday we had a crowd of people in and out of our store to take in the “sparkle, excitement, shopping, food and friends” at our annual Christmas Open House.  The “buzz” that circulated the showroom was amazing!  People came for all sorts of reasons. Some came for the chance to learn some quick holiday decorating ideas.  Others came for the tasty food samplings and recipes.  Others were just enjoying an annual “girl’s weekend out”.  And of course there was shopping .  Our customer’s little red shopping baskets were full to the brim.  The hottest item was a silver garland spray with multicolor ball ornaments that we used in the seminar to adorn a wreath and a tablescape.  That item was the first to sell out.  The second popular item was the “water pearls” in both clear and red.  The use of “water pearls” was shown in several glass vessels during the seminar.

Christmas, Open House, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle, mantel decor, twilight display, holiday wreaths, glass balls, shinny silver,candlesticks

Snowy mantel scape with lights that simmer in glass balls and silver candlesticks by Traci

This year, due to popular demand, we brought back the holiday decorating seminar after a five year hiatus… with a few changes.  Limited admissions assured us all would have better opportunity to see the presentation as well as a safer environment.  The seminar included tips on holiday wreaths, mail box swag, mantel scapes, table top ideas and the multiple uses for water pearls. Thanks to those who took the time to listen to our program.  We hope you learned a few new ideas to help you this holiday season.

Christmas, Open House, attendees, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle, smiles

Seminar attendees awed by the the holiday decor presentation

Our food supply dwindled fast.  We may need to increase the quantity for next year. You are a  hungry bunch!  🙂 We are glad you enjoyed the food buffet.

Red Hat Ladies, buffet, Moroccan Meatballs, Christmas, Open House, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle

Red Hat Ladies enjoying the wonderful buffet samplings!

Here is one of the recipes:

Moroccan Road Infused Turkey Meatballs

Make a large batch to have on hand for unexpected holiday guests.  Prepare in advance and freeze extras.
3 lbs ground turkey
3 eggs
1 large white onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup Italian herbed or plain dried bread crumbs
8 tbsp ketchup
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
9 tsp olive oil
3 tsp salt
4 tbsp Moroccan Road Spice Blend
Chop onion & garlic finely, place all ingredients in large bowl, hand mix
Scoop turkey with small stainless steel scoop so they lay flat on pan.
Bake 350 degrees about 20 minutes until brown.  Lift off with metal spatula.
Place extras in Tupperware container and refrigerate or freeze, place back in oven to reheat.
Garnish with half grape tomato and lemon cream cheese secured with toothpick.

Compliments of Mary Sherwood Lake Living  Christmas Open House 2010

Thanks again to everyone involved in such a wonderful day!

Please give us your comments and help us make it even better next year!


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We Showed You Ours…

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We showed you ours…Pumpkin Event!

What a great event at Mary Sherwood Lake Living!  Here are some of the creative ideas we showed for pumpkin decorating.  The ideas ranged in difficulty from Autumn’s intricately carved spider web pumpkin to my very quick and easy wired pumpkin.  Since time seems to be at a premium we tried to show several quick and easy ways to decorate a pumpkin without carving (consequently keeping it fresher longer).

pumpkin decorating, Halloween, skull, flameless candle, spooky

Fabulous pumpkins and more

Carved gourd, chicken with mustard dip, fall colors, fall foods, easy appetizers

Colorful fall appetizers Our guests pondering over the pumpkin ideas!

Our guests pondering over the pumpkin ideas!

pumpkin, pumpkin decorating, vegetables, garden pumpkin

"Mixed Salad Satan"

Carved pumpkin, halloween, the fly, help me, pumpkin decorating

"Help Me" says the fly

pumpkin decorating, painted pumpkin, silver, metallica


White pumpkins, pumpkin decorating, painted pumpkins, pearls, wires

Left to right: "Caught Up in the Web", "Pearl Jam" and "All Wired Up and Nowhere to Connect"

So we showed you our stuff…pumpkin decorating ideas.  Now you have a chance to show us your’s!  Enter our 1st Pumpkin Decorating Contest between now and October 23. Decorate your pumpkin, give it a funny name and bring it by the store to be photographed or submit a photo online.  Online entries must include a small sign in the photo, “MSLL Pumpkin Decorating Contest 2010” to verify authenticity.  NO, you can’t just pull a picture from the internet and claim it as yours!  Bring on the pictures!  Our loyal MSLL fans will vote on their favorite pumpkin design.

At the end of the entry period, we will send out the voting information.  Voting will be blind, so no names or personal information will be shared.

The ballot will contain pictures numbered in the order they were received.

The award categories are as follows:

1st Prize as voted by our customers

will win a $50 MSLL Gift Card

The winners of following categories

will each win a $20 MSLL Gift Card

*Most Creative Use of Materials*



So the challenge has been launched!  Show us your creative stuff!!!

Looking forward to your entries!


Mary Sherwood Lake Living

Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!”

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Written by Lyndsay:

(Before diving into the main part of this blog, I would like to extend a very big ‘thank you’ to Nancy Walker-Reilly, without whom I would not be writing this.  She is the reason I was given the opportunity to work here this summer and I hope she knows how sincerely grateful I am.)

NC State, Lake Gaston, Summer Adventure, work experience,sponge bob, mary sherwood lake living

Lindsay (on left) seated with Autumn (alias "Birdie")

Now, Mary asked me to write about my experiences this summer, both good and bad.  Bad experiences at Mary Sherwood’s, you say?  Is that possible?  Well, folks (did I just say folks?), I must admit that there were a few times this summer when I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”  But, please, do not misunderstand me.  I do not mean to say that I was faced with any really bad experiences, because I wasn’t.  Let’s call them all learning experiences instead.  Every mistake is another opportunity to learn, right?  While I don’t want to bore anyone with details about all of my mishaps (though, in retrospect, some were quite entertaining), I will say that it is always better to ask exactly how to do something before you do it.  Always.

A little birdie told me that Mary isn’t particularly fond of wordiness, so let me try to wrap this up.  It should go without saying that my good experiences this summer definitely outweighed my b-, uh, learning experiences.  Mary and Paul are fantastic people to work for and with.  I can guarantee that when I get old enough to have my own home, I will be hiring Mary to design it.  What an incredible designer-seriously.  She’s a pretty good boss, too. 😉 But really,  if you’re reading this and have never been in to meet her and talk decorating, turn off your computer, get out of your chair, and go–right now!  I promise I would not lead you astray.  And Paul, I swear, that man knows everything…about everything.  There wasn’t a question I asked all summer that he didn’t have the answer to.  There’s a lot to be said for that.  Oh, but I can’t forget to thank him for supplying me with coffee all the time.  The avid caffeine drinker I am, Paul quickly became my friend.  And last, but most certainly not least, Autumn.  That girl has the patience of a rock.  I know there were times this summer when she thought I was a complete idiot.  I mean, how hard is it to hang pictures perfectly straight on a wall? (Harder than you might think, just FYI.) And we got to gossip, well, network during down time, which was really nice.  Girls love to talk, you know?  Plus, she’s the best gift wrapper this side of Indiana. 😉

All in all, I’ve had a wonderful summer working here and I’d like to thank everyone-Mary, Paul, Autumn, Nancy, Lu, and all of our wonderful customers for making it so worthwhile.


PS:  I would like to express my appreciation for all of Lyndsay’s hard work and commitment to this summer job.  It can be a fun and difficult place to work.  To survive you have to be a “quick study”.  She did more than survive!

It has been a pleasure having her as part of our team.

Good luck to you in your senior year at NC State and your future  excellent “adventures”.

Best regards, Mary

Categories : Mary's Raves, Showroom
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Hot ‘lanta…7 Categories-Oh My!

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As of today I think I am back up to normal speed after a whirlwind trip to the summer Atlanta Gift and Accessory Market.  Four days of non-stop shopping for “the next best thing” to bring to you in Lake Gaston.

I have been to this market too many times to count (twice a year equals almost 50 times…yikes!) At the end of this excursion I realized why it has become so much more difficult. (I have aged but I would never admit that is to blame!)

Many years ago we were attending markets to spot new trends, stock a small retail boutique and make purchases for clients.  With our expansions and growth over the years we now shop seven categories at the Atlanta Market Center.  No wonder our list is so long, our feet are worn out and our brains are fried!

These pictures show a few tidbits of the items we purchased in just three of the seven categories.  Let us hear about your favorite piece.



holiday tabletop, bright colors, Christmas, glass platter

Festive Holiday Glass Platter

penquins, salt and pepper shakers, black and white

Cute little penquin salt and pepper shakers to hang out with the snowman dinnerware!

christmas dishes, snowmen, black accents

New contemporary snowmen holiday dinnerware which easily pairs with white dishes

holiday, rug, small, machine wash

Assymetrical whimsy adorns this washable floor mat


Jewelry, fashion accessory, pearls, necklace, earrings, bracelet

Bangles and baubles for holiday attire!

wallet, fall fashion, skins and animal accents, fashion accessories

Wallets with embossed, shiny finishes are hot for fall!


cheese knife, saw, garden trowel, his and hers, serving utensils, cake knife, cake server

"Garden trowel" cake server and "saw" cake knife make a great his and her gift!

solar wind chime, sun, moon, green design,

Sun and moon solar chimes powered by the sun!

picture frames, whimsical, fish cat , dog

Whimsical picture frames for your favorite child or pet!

clock, frog, whimsy, brand new

Funky frog clock catching the dragon fly will make anyone smile!

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Well, today I believe Paul has finally arrived at a level he thought he was unlikely to achieve.  After his bantering and complaining about the lack of respect regarding his gift wrapping skills he has received a glowing testimonial from our customer, Peggy Freeman.  Not only is his competency no longer a secret we now have a video of Peggy’s statement.  Visit our YouTube channel to share in Paul’s glory.    Testimonial of Paul\’s Gift Wrapping Skills (Turn up your speakers, we are still trying to get the hang of this video thing…thanks).

Let’s keep the challenge going by requesting Paul’s gift wrap for your next gift.  Let’s have him prove this newly exposed talent.  He might just develop a new signature wrap for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.

Some days I wonder how far we will go to provide good customer service. 🙂  And it doesn’t get any better than having a husband who will gift wrap.  Just think of the possibilities at Christmas!  We are always looking for a topic for our next special event.  How about Gift Wrapping 101 for Guys by Paul?

Let us hear your comments and stories about the secret skills of gift wrapping and your partner.


Categories : Mary's Raves, Showroom
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We are pleased to announce the winners of our giveaways during our recent After Hours WINOS event, Memorial Day weekend.  Three of the four winners were men.  That is quit a switch from our pool of women dominated shoppers.  So does this tell us something…do we have to serve them wine or beer to get them in the door?  You decide.

We appreciate the MEN and women who took time out of the busy and beautiful holiday weekend to spend some time with us.  We are truly the “winner” because of your continued support of our business.  It is nice to be right there with the following individuals in the “Winner’s Circle”.

Peter Varney from Charlotte, NC  Winner of a Wine Basket Carrier from Acacia Home and Garden

Kevin Byerly from Charlotte, NC  Winner of a Wine Basket Carrier from Acacia Home and Garden

Joann Robertson from Greenville, NC  Winner of W.I.N.O.S. Cook with Wine cookbook

Rob O’Neill from Rocky Mount, NC  Winner of a bottle of Rosemont Winery Kilravock Red Wine

Thanks once again to WINOS Creator Bonnie Jesseph, Acacia Home and Garden WINOS Furniture Marketing Director Diane Christensen,  Rosemont Winery Vintner, Justin Rose for attending the event and all the cast of back- scene individuals who made this a fabulous day!

If you missed this event make sure we have your email address so you can join us next time.

Here are a few pictures of the party:

W.I.N.O.S., aprons, napkins, cookbooks,

W.I.N.O.S. Display in Mary Sherwood Lake Living Showroom, Lake Gaston

Cast, WINOS event, tent display, party preparation, Lindsay Stewart, Autumn Wenger, Peggy Howard

The "Cast" preparing the "set" for the WINOS Event, Lindsay, Autumn and Peggy

WINOS Furniture, colorful outdoor seating, mobile outdoor rolling cart, reclining outdoor chair

Mary Sherwood Lake Living Outdoor WINOS Display

Spring flowers, Hydrangeas, lilies, yarrow

A Spring Bouquet

food, recipes, Capt Rodney's Boucan Glaze, WINOS, cookbook

Our fabulous food, some recipes found in the WINOS cookbooks

buffet, kitchen island, food, recipes, shoppers, multi-generational

Several generations enjoy the food together at Mary Sherwood Lake Living

Bonnie Jesseph, cookbook, book signing, customer,

Bonnie Jesseph, WINOS creator, signing a cookbook for Marcia Nicolai

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The Secret Unwrapped at Lake Gaston

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The time has come for me to speak out!  I have been taking more heat than is fair over gift wrapping!!!!

Now, as you all know, we offer complimentary gift wrap at our store.   Normally, Mary or Autumn handles all of the wrapping (and I will admit they have raised gift-wrapping to an art form) but I too can wrap – and with good results.  Nonetheless, Mary and Autumn usually handle wrapping for a couple of reasons.  One is that I am color blind and don’t really recognize which colors go together.  The other is that I’m basically at the entry level of gift wrap – “if wrapped at all, gifts are perfectly well concealed by left-over newspaper”.  But, since we are in the business of how things look and I have that male perspective, we have all agreed that I will not be wrapping.male gift wrapping, gifts, ribbon, gift wrap, gifts, gift tag

HOWEVER…recent events have caused me to review the acceptability of the continual reminder of my short-comings!   Not too long ago Mary and Autumn were both away at market so…yup you guessed it…I wrapped…successfully!  Now, and this is the part that has me fried…the customer, very pleased with the wrap-job…called Mary to let her know that I do indeed wrap.  As any guy will readily understand – I have carefully guarded the secret of my wrapping skills for many years.  Now, this customer has “un-wrapped” my secret and told Mary what a great job I did.  (As you can tell, this is a secret I can guard…no longer.)  Later on, yet another customer wanted something wrapped and, highly satisfied, offered to send my boss an e-mail extolling my accomplishment :).

Just what am I to do?!?  There is no winning formula here!  If I unveil and let my skills shine – not only will I be required to wrap way more often, I’ll risk showing up the two artists!!!!  (I think a nice long motorcycle ride will help me clear my head!)

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

“Working with you to create your lifestyle!”

Categories : Paul's Rants, Showroom
Comments (1)

Women in Need of Sanity-W.I.N.O.S. at Lake Gaston

Right now, as I write this blog, I feel like “a women in need of sanity”.  It is very early in the morning and I am up before the sun.  I can hear the birds just waking up.  “No”, I am not going to tell you what time it is.  You go figure (it’s way too early to be typing!!!).

How did W.I.N.O.S. and Mary Sherwood Lake Living connect?  Here is the story. I had the pleasure of meeting a fun and talented women, Bonnie Jesseph, about a year ago on one of our many market trips. Autumn and I were immediately drawn to her new W.I.N.O.S. Furniture line because of the fabulous colors and designs. We knew the bright color palette would be perfect for our showroom.  We made the decision to purchase the line prior to the first production of the furniture. When I learned Bonnie was from Blowing Rock, NC I casually invited her to visit our store.  After much planning, Bonnie will be joining us for a special event Saturday, May 29, Memorial Day weekend.

Bonnie and I seemed to have a lot in common.  First, she is very talented business women (I think we have this in common?).  She is creative and has developed her brand to reflect her lifestyle.  She loves to cook, entertain and have fun!  She involves her friends and family in the development of her brand-especially as guinea pigs for her new recipes.  And, she feels it is important to give back to her community through various philanthropic causes.  She is engaged and enthusiastic about life, her business and her lifestyle. The title of her website, ,says it all.

I have been reading the introductions of several of her cookbooks and have found them quite entertaining.  The origin of the company name, alone, is so humorous. She gives credit to her sister, Jan, for the idea, Women in Need of Sanity.  She also writes: “My husband’s idea for the meaning of W.I.N.O.S. is Women in Need of Sex.  Good Lord, do they ever think of anything else?  Oh yeah, I forgot…golf and food! Ha-ha.”wine, winos, red wine, women, sanity, entertaing, cooking with wine

Her brand began as a cookbook with the fun logo of a woman diving into a wine glass.  She expanded her line after being flooded by requests to put the icon on napkins, aprons and T-shirts. She has once again grown her brand to include her own licensed furniture line, W.I.N.O.S. by Acacia Home and Garden

Now, I’ve just read she will be launching a new collection for Patio Living Concepts focusing on color and the use of lighting to create a casual outdoor entertainment environment. Congrats, Bonnie!

It is truly our pleasure to have Bonnie join us for a guest appearance at Mary Sherwood Lake Living on Saturday, May 29th.  Our After Hours Party begins at 4 PM. Listen to Bonnie tell her story and sign cookbooks, taste our local Rosemont Wines and sample food from  W.I.N.O.S. Go Tapas cookbook.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Be safe, have fun and find some sanity at beautiful Lake Gaston!

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Color, color everywhere!  That’s what we saw at the High Point Spring Market.  Here are a few colorful products and display pieces.

Rowe Furniture "Eye Candy" Chair

Painted Glass Vessel from Couleur by Mathews & Co.

Talking Head, Color Pottery, Garden Pot

Colorful "Talking Heads" from Kalalou

Colorful art, Quadtych, mod art, large art

Bright Floral Quadtych from Paragon

Porcelain, shell motif, turquiose

Procelain shell motif accessory from Global Views

Contemporary, outdoor wicker, outdoor furniture with color

Contemporary Woven Outdoor Chair

As you know our style is all about color.  Let’s work together to find the perfect color for your lifestyle!

What is your favorite color and style?  Let’s start a conversation by replying below.

Sign up to receive our future blog posts!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

Visit us at beautiful Lake Gaston!


Sponge Bob is Wild about W.I.N.O.S.

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Sponge Bob, Acacia Furniture, Lake Gaston
Sponge Bob is Wild about W.I.N.O.S.

Sponge Bob enjoys relaxing on the new outdoor collection of W.I.N.O.S. furniture.  He can’t wait to tell all his Nickelodeon friends about this fabulous new furniture he found at Mary Sherwood Lake Living.

This furniture line was designed by North Carolina’s own Bonnie Jesseph and manufactured by Acacia Home and Garden.   The mission of W.I.N.O.S.™ (Women In Need of Sanity) is to inspire women to get together for laughter, friendship, a little wine, great food, storytelling and whatever it takes to bring some “SANITY” to their lives.

Bonnie’s company began as a way for her to find sanity in her own life.  Collaborating with a talented graphic artist she began creating a collection of cookbooks, apparel and accessories to support her company’s mission.  With the use of bright colors and fun sayings she launched a very successful brand.  Her enthusiasm for life, zest for entertaining and incredible creativity has lead to the new W.I.N.O.S. furniture collection.

W.I.N.O.S. Outdoor Furniture, Global Views Accessories, Spring Flowers

W.I.N.O.S. Mobile Bar, Dining Chair and End Table

Take the opportunity to meet Bonnie during Memorial Day weekend in our showroom at Lake Gaston.  The date and details of the event will be announced in the next few weeks.

Just like Sponge Bob, we are wild about W.I.N.O.S. furniture.  The vibrant colors, classic lines and fabulous fabrics are something to rave about.  Come see a selection of both indoor and outdoor pieces at Mary Sherwood Lake Living.

Let us know if you too are wild about W.I.N.O.S.!