Last month’s cover of Philadelphia magazine left me grinning. The editors read my mind. It has essentially been my goal to get everyone I know from Philly to become my neighbor here, “down the shore”, even if just seasonally.
In the past year, we’ve successfully converted two couples. As you know, we’re working on my parents weekend cottage but you probably didn’t know that our friends, Marsha & Steven, also purchased a home here. I originally met Marsha when we were neighbors at multiple Clover Markets. Since then, they’ve become real neighbors!
They spent last fall and winter turning the fixer upper into an inviting retreat where they can relax and pursue their crafts. It is no surprise that they were able to transform this house into a home so quickly. Marsha had a successful career as an interior decorator for over twenty years.
Since retiring, she paints, gardens and makes mixed-media jewelry that she sells on Etsy and at local markets. Their beach house is complete with a studio brimming with vintage materials for her jewelry line.
The home has been updated from floor to ceiling with fresh paint, new flooring and carpet. Collections of shells and sea glass hued bottles line the shelves as if they were always there. The couple furnished the house with a mix of antiques that they’ve owned for years and new vintage-style pieces that blend seamlessly with the old. As Marsha said, “If you stay with the things you love, they’ll never go out of style.”
I love nothing more than to be invited in to tour someone’s home. To peruse the layout, the architecture, the way they use color, mix patterns and especially their “finds”. It’s so inspiring!
Vintage fiends like myself always have a list of must-find items tucked away in the back of one’s mind. Perhaps it is an industrial antique scale, a factory cart coffee table, a 1940’s 2-tier plant stand (not to be specific or anything).
For me, as of late, it was a brass bed.
Not a cheap, shiny 1980’s brass bed but a high quality solid brass with a warm patina. A queen size brass bed with serious antique style which would make it vintage, of course, because queen size beds weren’t available until the 1950’s or so. And the price had to be right. After only a few months searching, the perfect piece popped up on Craigslist. The only problem was that it was over 2 hours away. This was a great deal even factoring in gas and tolls. Ryan made the trip picking up the head board, foot board and frame for my birthday. Lucky girl.
This bed was a game changer for sure. It works very well with our existing French provincial family heirloom furniture. That’s not going anywhere. However, I decided to part with the coastal salvage vibe that we had going on previously.
I found a fantastic brass hued mirror that coordinated very well with the furniture and lamps. I brought in Mildred, the necklace-wearing-bust, and other vintage jewelry vessels that I’ve collected. The window seat got outfitted with more pillows because there are never enough. And we finally did something with one of our wedding pictures turning it into a canvas for above the bed. The shell lamps stayed as did the duvet with the addition of new ticking shams.
The biggest change of all is the flooring. Previously this room was outfitted with pink carpet. This winter our home has received many upgrades including new flooring throughout thanks to my patient husband who has redone almost every square foot. I floated a flat weave, natural chevron rug over the weathered-look wood floor.
This bedroom now has a sophisticated yet collected vibe featuring vintage finds and family heirlooms. Each one tells a story. Of course, it is always entertaining to look at the progress of a space. The ‘before’ picture is exactly how this room looked when we first saw the house. It gives me the heebie jeebies. The next one shows how it was last styled with a coastal salvage spin. And of course the present look. You can see that the symmetry remains the same.
What is on your must-find list?
Our holiday decorating is a wrap at this point. We’re enjoying the warm glow of the tree every night and we’re watching the pile of wrapped presents slowly grow. We went with a smaller than usual tree this year but propped it up on my favorite vintage card catalog table. As for the ornaments, we kept fairly traditional. I’ve been known to go all one color or theme in the past but not this year.
The only big curve ball I threw on the tree were arrows. I guess I should say I “shot” at the tree.
Since we had no specific color scheme, I thought these bright vintage arrows were a fun addition around the top of the tree. What do you think?
You may remember the arrows and antlers from my fall mantel. Yep, they easily transitioned to the next season…along with the cotton stems too.
Both have been a hit in the shop along with some other outdoorsy and almost season-less ornaments like the vintage style chairs, acorns & lanterns.
For garland this year, I simply used chenille ribbon. I love this stuff! It can go around your gifts or on the tree. We still have some available to trim your own tree with!
Tonight is Serendipity of Doylestown’s open house from 6-9. Check out all of these ornaments and more!
Can we reflect for a moment on my love for chenille?
My vintage home decor tastes are constantly changing from nautical to industrial to cottage and back again but through all styles, chenille remains constant. Why? I don’t know. It’s just a little dose of granny whimsy usually in the form of a blanket.
When I found this yellow chenille rug a few weeks back, I knew it would be right at home in the cottage-style bathroom we finished last winter.
It is thin and worn and some of the frayed edges are long gone but I love it just the same. Sigh.
And that stool? That was a quick little milk paint makeover. The worn finish on the top matches the vanity almost perfectly. Happy accident!
It is simply constructed of plywood.
The first coat of paint was done in lucketts green on the top and base.
Then the wax puck made an appearance again between layers of paint…
The top was painted with some leftover ironstone and the base with leftover shutter gray. A little bit of furniture wax and the stool was finished!
A couple of winners! Am I alone in my adoration of vintage chenille?
Memorial Day unofficially marks the beginning of summer but for me, it seems to be Independence Day. Once the 4th of July hits, we’re all fully aware of the season; the rising temperatures and the long, lingering days followed by breezy evenings. And it’s right around the corner!
We’ve kept things casual in the seasonal decorating department lately. Just a rotating collection of vintage and handmade favorites on the mantel. For summer we have a fish painting on a barn door that was gifted to us along with a handmade swan sculpture, a wedding gift. Surrounding the art are our own handmade baluster candlesticks plus an endless collection of vintage lanterns. The yellow planter is borrowed from my McCoy collection which is dispersed throughout the house.
The mantel itself is not original to the house but the art deco piece seems to fit proportionally. We popped a mirror inside. This was actually a happy accident as it is doing a great job of bouncing light into this otherwise dark corner. Over the winter, we painted the wall that it is on. The previous blue accent wall had to go. The neutral backdrop is much more conducive to a rotating cast of collections.
And that chair! Still our favorite rehab to this day. I’m so glad we decided to keep it. It was a full gut job, shopped from the curb and saved from the landfill!
I’m having a moment with these vintage arrows as well. So bright, fun & cheerful. They coordinate well with the Crate & Barrel recycled rag rug in the room too.
That’s where things stand in my current vintage collections. Seemingly high between lanterns, McCoy and arrows, among other things like aqua mixing bowls and ship captains, not pictured. What are you collecting this summer?
Macrame and String Art are two trends from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s that are having quite the moment again. In fact, they have been for a while now. We’re seeing vintage versions crop up as well as handmade and manufactured reproductions.
I personally have fully embraced both in our home. The vintage versions, of course, which have been sparking conversations amongst visitors.
Macrame is the art of making textiles through tying knots. Plant hangers have been the most abundant version out there. Over the winter I scored two macrame plant hangers each with coordinating glazed planters at an estate sale. I just love the combo.
Don’t remind Ryan of this but a few years ago while having a deep conversation about decorating he made a suggestion that involved macrame planters and beaded curtains. Naturally I rolled my eyes and wouldn’t even entertain the thought of either. I can assure you that I stand firm on the beaded curtains though.
String art is usually constructed on a one-dimensional surface. It is characterized by geometric and usually abstract shapes made by stringing thread from point to point, usually nails or pins. It is a very calculated design.
We have this gigantic string art displayed on our screened in porch. My father-in-law made it over 30 years ago! Such precision and patience he has. There are more where that came from too. Isn’t it cool? Or should I say groovy…
So tell me, where do you stand on the return of both macrame and string art? The previous generation’s Do It Yourself projects. Love or loathe?