Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Live in the Sunshine!

This!  Or as my daughter would say, "Yes, girl, YES!" 

Love this piece of art from the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. However, when I looked for it I found a site I recommend you not click on, Kootation. When I clicked, about 10 windows opened! No thanks! Just enjoy it on your computer screen and find the quote from a more reputable source if you don't decide to craft it.  There's a tutorial here or here or even here to make your own wall art from a quote. Personally, I like the creativity of using the vinyl letters on an old picture or map, but I included the wooden sign (last "here") because sometimes rustic simplicity is really the look that gets er done.  

I think this would be a perfectly blissful place to do that. (How can it get any better than pink chairs and umbrellas?) I can close my eyes, feel the soft sand between my toes, taste the salt on my lips, and hear the rolling waves... It's so realistic, I really can hear the rushing water. Isn't imagination grand? ...And then ... 

 the dishwasher cycle ends. Back to reality I go.

Ikea Meets Beach Cottage

If you like the clean, modern lines of Ikea and their budget-friendly pricing, A Beach Cottage in Australia is a wonderful source of inspiration. It's restrained shabby chic.  What really brings it together is the array of textures with the mix of natural and painted woods set on a canvas of white and carried room to room. 

From the tiny kitchen...even smaller than mine...

to the dining room...

to the living area...

It looks a bit like a catalogue or store display, and I mean that in the very best way. Ikea's catalogues and stores showcase design and organization ideas to inspire us to bring more personal style into our homes. It's about a marriage of style and function, and it makes me want to kick my Mission style computer armoire  straight to the curb and start anew. 

But then, I go to my Pinterest board and remember this sweet, little makeover from Centsational Girl
That is the color of my armoire, and aqua would be SO perfect inside.  I'm ready to let go of this color and would love to see the piece in white, black, or maybe entirely in aqua. (That chair has to go.) I love color so much... I don't think I have the restraint to live in the beautiful neutral palate of The Beach Cottage Down Under, but it's a lovely Beach Cottage Dream

But do you see what I see? There's a bit of Ikea peeking out at me! Right over the monitor there's a magnetic strip with round spice holders being used for paper clips, push pins, etc. And that's the brilliance of Ikea: multipurpose function! Now where would I put the rest of my jumbo, 50,000 count pack of paperclips?

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Shell Hooks & Wreaths - 

~Shell wreath with burlap: rustic and beautiful 
~Sea glass still life using large shell as a bowl
~Shells over hooks (DIY by mounting with 3M Command Strips or hotglue)
~Tinted mason jar with sand and beach treasures



All of this loveliness is from the amazing portfolio of stylist Jessica Thomas whom I found via House of Turquoise. Now, I'd be fibbing if I said I recognized her work other than it being circulated on Pinterest, but it's a stunning collection. There's so much to admire artistically and to learn from her that can be applied in my own home and photography. 


Now how about these for some beautiful ocean colors?  Hubby would not put up with any of those grays having served and deployed on a couple of ships, but they make nice neutrals to work with the aquas.

For more on turquoise and gray, take a look at House of Turquoise's post on this color combo. I love the colors in this room, and I think my next sofa is going to need to be gray. We can't have white sofas, because Fridays=pizza and movies in the living room on the sofas. Well, OK, I confess, we don't use our dining table except for special occasions. We're a casual bunch!  

Now here's MY inspiration room (click for a home tour) : the direction I want to take the living room, or I thought it was until I laid eyes on that first room...

And this is much closer to my reality. I have this couch, but it's older; has boring, dark green and brown pillows; and no blue in the room whatsoever. I do, however, have a wall of windows bigger than this room's, so, as my daughter says, I win! Pillows are easier to change than windows.

Speaking of pillows, here are some inspiration pieces. I just can't part with the $70-$100 per pillow, but I can window shop.

 Villagio Pillow 24
Guess I really need to get my sewing machine serviced.  Eh! Who am I kidding?  This is why I'm blogging, because point and click decorating takes much less time, energy, and money. This is about my Beach Cottage Dreams after all, not my reality. My reality is that sewing pillows is about as high on my priority list currently as alphabetizing the contents of my refrigerator. (And we're avoiding turquoise & gray in there unless I get new dishes.) 

Beachy *Bling*

If you can't go to the beach, why not take it with you? This beautiful, beachy charm is inspiring! I just need earrings to with it. It's a perfect blend with the sea glass bead, pearl, starfish, and initial, and best of all it's in gold. (This jewelry artist works in silver, too) Put it on my Christmas list, Santa, because darned if I didn't just miss Mother's Day. Hubby did really well for me on his own, though, I must say.

(Click image to visit Artistic Creations 21, Annie Reh's Etsy site.)

DIY/CRAFT: You can take a shell you've found, and it really helps if nature has made a hole in it for you, and make a simple necklace by running a ribbon or leather cord through it. I painted 2 shells gold and attached them to a necklace to give it something extra. Someday I'll take pictures of the shell jewelry we've crafted. It's not rocket science, but here are detailed instructions if you can't find that shell with a hole or just can't visualize how you'd engineer running a ribbon through a hole.