the fate of the mohair chairs

A few weeks ago I shuffled the chairs around the dining table leaving my beloved vintage ones homeless. Or at least table-less.  But only temporarily. They’ve been displaced to my new favorite seating area in the house – what shall now be known as the living room.  Along with an old cage-turned-coffee-table, that we’ve had for years, in a similar green hue.

Ward Bennett chairs, vintage nautical living room

We’ve been working on carving out different areas in our great room to make it most functional.  Using furniture as a divider, or floating it, seems to be working with our current layout.  (But that doesn’t mean I won’t rearrange again soon.)

diving spaces, nautical living

I’m happy with how the space under the bay window has evolved.  This cozy little sitting area is saturated in deep colors from the walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs to the over-dyed blue and orange kilim rug.  The space can handle all of the dark, dramatic color thanks to all of the natural light that pours in.

walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs

The “living room” is conveniently adjacent to the bar where we store glassware & mix cocktails

eclectic living room

modern bar in a vintage world

…beside the captain.  The count is getting pretty high on sea captains around here.  This is Gorton.

ship captain oil painting

So that is the fate of the chairs.  I know you were worried about them.  They are indeed one of my favorite vintage finds ever.

vintage walnut & mohair Ward Bennett

What is your best vintage find ever?

P.S. For more inspiration on what to do with your vintage finds, check out the recently updated (and always evolving) Home tab which features our vintage home style.

 

 

 

home for the holidays

I’ve never thought of myself as a very transient person being that I always lived within minutes from family and close friends.  Always in the Philadelphia area.  And let’s face it, this last move to Cape May is still pretty much within the Philadelphia metro area…only a mere two hours away.  Still practically a Philadelphia suburb if you ask me.  People here are Phillies fans.  And Eagles fans.  It is definitely still like home in that regard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

However, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever moved out of Pennsylvania.  I’m faced with learning New Jersey laws and regulations.  Most of which are much lighter and easier than Pennsylvania’s.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

It has occurred to me that I have lived in five homes in the last 10 years.  Five!  I must be more transient than I thought with that many addresses under my belt.  This is my first official New Jersey home.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

With each move, comes decorating and redecorating.  Especially around the holidays.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Questions arise like where will the Christmas tree go?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Where will the stockings be hung?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Will Santa know where to find us?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

And with each move, comes new traditions.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

A new sense of “home”.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

New beginnings…

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Happy holidays, friends!

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

 

Linking to:

Jennifer-Rizzo-link-party-button-Holiday

layering a window seat

Yesterday was one of those days where I packed in enough activities to fill a few days. Man, I got so much done that I am actually sore.  I planted 80 bulbs in an hour using my tried and true electric drill/auger method.  Can’t wait to see those babies bloom in the spring.   Prior to that, I started out the day finishing up this window seat nook in our living room.

vintage military ammo trunk turned window seat by Circa Dee

Our living room is pretty big.  It was originally two rooms (small living room and a tiny bedroom) that a previous owner opened up to make one large space.  I love how open it is but it still calls for two different zones.  I sort of think of the TV watching area as the “family” room and this side as the “living” room where we have a sitting area and then a bar cart to the side.

We added roman shades and vintage toile drapes.  In fact, the roman shades are the only things that are brand spankin’ new in this space.

vintage military ammo trunk turned window seat + toile drapes by Circa Dee

Before I go any further, please allow me to insert a beautiful “before” picture here of this side of the room.  This house was screaming bad 80s (and in some cases, still is) so it is a real joy to recreate.

before

I should also point out that I lost the battle on painting all of the maple stained trim in this house.  When paired with the new bright roman shades, it doesn’t seem that bad however I would like to de-orange it a bit with a darker stain.  But of course that is a daunting task that I am really not ready to embark on.

You may remember the drapes from the dining room in our previous house.  It’s funny how different they look in here.  Rather than using drape hooks this time, I went with rod clips so I could easily loop them over the fishing rod curtains rods.

vintage toile drapes

Yes, I said fishing rods.  One thing about making the beach house our permanent residence is determining how much “beach” to mix into the decor.  After all I don’t want to turn this place into the set of the Golden Girls.  Or maybe I do actually.  Blanche had quite the social life.  Anyway, I am still experimenting with how much beach is too much.

I digress.

The fishing reels and one of the rods are special because they belonged to Ryan’s grandfather and father.  I like how they’re on display but also totally functional for this space.  That seems to be a recurring theme since we moved.  Many of the things we chose to keep with us are sentimental and family heirlooms so we’re trying to find ways to not only admire them but actually use them as well.

repurposing fishing rod and reel as curtain rod

As soon as we decided to move, I knew this trunk was going right in this space.  The reason is two fold.  1)  This window is just calling out for a seat and the trunk was just the right size.  And 2) storage!

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

This is a vintage navy ammo trunk with its original labels.  You know how I feel about vintage military accessories.  Maybe you don’t.  I love them!  I tried to sell this one once upon a time when I didn’t need a huge ammo trunk however it didn’t sell.  Obviously no one saw my bench vision in the ginormous trunk!  We added castors so it easily moves as needed.  It can actually double as a coffee table too sans the pillows.  I’m sure I will be wheeling this out of the window to make room for a Christmas tree sometime soon.

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

Did you notice the cushion?  It is the perfect size for the trunk and it came off of a metal bench that we already owned.  A bench without storage so it didn’t make the cut in here.

window seat trunk

I know you spotted the rug.  Is it not the most perfect selection of loomed wool that you ever did see?

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

Let me tell you that an area rug was a must have for this little space.  It never felt complete without it.  I wanted to ground the space.  This Turkish kilim number did exactly that.  After drooling over very expensive kilims and overdyed wool rugs online for months, I found this antique one at an estate sale last week for a steal.  Plus a nicely coordinating one that I can’t wait to share too!  Jackpot.

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

I’m pretty happy with how this space came together.  It is functional and full of vintage style.  I even snuck in some mixing bowls on the windowsill.

  beach bungalow window seat

ol’ peg leg

I have been wanting to brighten up this neutral corner of our living room for sometime now.  I do love the lantern lamp and just about all of the accessories but not together.  The proportion of the lamp was just wrong and all of that brown was killing me.

IMG_1393

Then this man walked into my life…

vintage ship captain lamp

and everything was suddenly right in this corner.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp

For those of you who follow me on instagram, you know that I fell in love with the peg leg ship captain lamp last weekend.  I spotted him last Friday at the most amazing hoarder sale that I’ve ever been to.  It was completely overwhelming.  So overwhelming that I left on Friday without ol’ Peg Leg.

I was so discontent knowing I left him behind.  I lost sleep over it that night.  The next morning I got up first thing and headed back to the sale thinking my treasure would be long gone.  I was so anxious to find out that I backed into a neighbor’s car pulling out of the driveway.

True story.

I can’t even believe I just admitted to hitting a parked car on the internet.  The mayhem was totally worth it though because when I returned to the sale, the ship captain was still there waiting for me.  All was right in the world!

I took him home with me and let the transformation begin in this little corner.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp

I had been imagining the little oak side table in Mustard Seed Yellow milk paint for quite a while.  The captain influenced me to finally make the change.  He seems to have that power on me.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp

Two coats of milk paint, a topcoat of MMS wax and a good buffing and here’s how the table turned out.  Her curves pop against all of the neutrals.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp (12 of 21)

I’ve been planning to inject more yellow into this space to brighten up all of the browns, blues & greens.  In fact, I think I’m over the blue accent wall but that is a project for another day.  So I pulled some accessories I already had and I’m happy with the results.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp

Ol’ Peg Leg’s lamp shade is new from Target’s Threshold collection.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp

I moved the books to the lower shelf which I gave a dry coat of Eulalie’s Sky, a new milk paint color.  You can barely see the blue but it goes with the books I think.  I also filled this glass apothecary jar of my Grandmother’s with shells for that shelf.

milk paint table makeover & shells

We picked up this brass ship wheel barometer thingy on our honeymoon.  I have no idea how to use but I sure do love it.  Form over function, here.

antque brass barometer

We’ve had the vintage cage turned coffee table for a few years but the hooked rag rug below it is new.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp

After doing a bunch of research on making a rag rug, I found one at Crate & Barrel and registered for it.  My friends got it for me for my shower!  I just love that it is made from recycled fabrics and I’m sure I could have never made one like it.

milk paint table makeover & ship captain lamp

What do you think?  Have you hit any good hoarder sales lately?

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed

another mantel to scape

Yes, you heard right.  There is another mantel in my life.  No, I’m not cheating on my first mantel.

art deco coastal mantel

I firmly believe you can never have too many mantels.  And you don’t need a fireplace to go with said mantel.  A really great mantel will add character and speak for itself.  Like this art deco one that I alluded to on Monday.  Check out the lines.  And the subtly distressed wood.  Love the imperfections.

art deco coastal mantel

As promised, beside the mantel sits my new favorite mid-century tweed swivel chair with brass tips.  And a box of driftwood for good measure.

mid-century tweed swivel chair

This vintage/coastal vignette is the new focal point of our beach house living room.  As our home should, it feels like the perfect mix of both Ryan and me.

vintage coastal living room/mantel vignette

This room is large in scale and was in dire need of further updating to get to this point.

Here’s the back story and before shot.

I’ll be honest, I had a mini-bridezilla moment a few months ago when I realized Ryan would be getting ready here for our wedding which means photographers would be set up in THIS ROOM!  It wasn’t ready!  This is what the furnished space originally looked like when we moved in 3 years ago…

living room before

It is like a time warp of someone’s grandmother’s house in 1992.  I began tearing down the thick vinyl wallpaper about 2 days in.  I couldn’t take it.  We did however embrace all of the wood trim.  I know most people would have walked in and painted everything white and called it a beach cottage.  We are going for a “rustic boathouse” look in this bungalow hence natural woods, brass, blues & greens.

D for drywall & dana

After removing the wallpaper, we painted (and discovered a hidden D!).  I believe the blue we chose is called January Frost by Valspar.

painting

And from there, we just moved those hideous couches back in their places and went to the beach for the next couple of years I suppose.  Slowly the side tables and things got changed out but the couches stuck around for far too long.  Ryan tried to convince me that they were vintage but they weren’t what I had in mind and we both agreed that they were very uncomfortable.  Last fall we found a comfy sectional for the space and then things really started to evolve around it.

coastal cottage living room

A lantern turned lamp with a modern shade got added to the mix.

vintage lantern turned lamp

Green shutters from Phantastic Phinds flank either side of the window.  There are lots of aqua touches throughout the room.  I will share the other half of the space in the near future.

art deco beach house mantel

I found this cage 2 summers ago and turned it into a coffee table with casters and a piece of glass.  It houses an anchor and other rotating coastal treasures.

vintage cage turned coffee table

Let’s get back to the mantel though.  The inaugural coastal mantelscape is a bit monochromatic.  I already have some plans to brighten it up for spring but let’s review…

vintage ship wheel

I found that large picture at a consignment shop a few years back.  It is actually a woodburning of a lighthouse scene.

lighthouse woodburning

The vintage bookends are new to us.  We seem to be collecting ship captains around here like our Gorton’s Fisherman painting that now hangs across the room.  And the old man Ryan needlepoint.  I love them all!

fisherman bookends

But doesn’t it look like this captain is wearing lipstick?  Hey, whatever floats your boat! Ha, get it? Boat.  Captain.  Ok…

ship captain bookend

That wraps up where we are with this space at the moment.  More to come I’m sure!  I am already looking for an updated lamp shade for the ship wheel sconce on the left that I purchased from another vendor at West End Garage.

art deco coastal mantel

What’s currently on your mantel?

Linking to:

i’m floored

We’ve got a new addition in our living room. The space is really starting to come together. I’m so happy with it.  It is filled with lots of warm colors, woods and rustic accents.  Just a few more tweaks and it will be perfect…and then I will probably start all over again.  Kidding!

Did you spot the new addition?  Hint…

It all started back in September with a beautiful afternoon on the lake. And my obsession with that set of adorably worn vintage chairs. A photoshoot quickly ensued that afternoon and we ended up with a perfect picture of us, the chairs and the season – all growing old. Tear.

In December I edited the photo to highlight the warm colors of the natural backdrop and ordered a large print with the intention of hanging it over the loveseat there.

Once the photo was in my hot little hands, I labored over what frame to display it in. I went back and forth to box stores trying to find the right frame. I came up short more than once and finally realized that the look I wanted was not a cheap mass-produced frame. They were so overpriced for the quality. It was disappointing so I took to what I know…junking.

A handmade wood frame was more up my alley which brings me to my post on Monday about my trip to Philadelphia Salvage last weekend. Once I decided that reclaimed wood was the framing material of choice, I thought why don’t we just make it? Ryan was on board (ha get it? board) with making it so I happily salvaged away for the perfect pieces. I climbed the top of that pile with my Mike Wolfe picking prowess.  (Not really.)

I had barnwood in mind because I wanted a rough, worn texture.  But would you believe me if I tell you that the frame is made of old wooden floor boards and trim? I know I still can’t believe it either! Floor boards as in walked all over for 100 plus years and then salvaged from an old Philadelphia house and now hanging on my wall making art.

Ryan crafted my vision into a reality with a miter box and saw. The scratched up pine flooring makes a perfect frame with shoe molding serving as the white matting inside and corner molding accenting the exterior.  Plus the red undertones subtly match the living room. Insert glass and done!

I love it! Move over barnwood, old flooring has made its framing debut!

Check back tomorrow for more reclaimed wood in the 2nd follow up post on the pallet wood backsplash.

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