our collected living room

jungalow style

After nearly 3 years of tweaking, rearranging, shuffling chairs, plants and window treatments, I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with where we’ve landed in our living room.  While the kitchen is usually the center of the home figuratively, this living room is literally the center of ours.  It is a large room with multiple doorways, windows and traffic paths so getting the floor plan just right was really important.  Originally this room was two small rooms that a previous owner opened up.  I’m glad they did.

collected vintage living room-514

grainsack vintage chair living room-491

woodstove vintage living room-500

Form, function and scale were also very important for us.  Our house is small and although the rooms are relatively large, there are few of them so each space has to work just right for our needs.  The corner by our sliding door always stumped me and I knew it could do better for us.

antique victorain secretary white chesterfield living room-536

After months of searching, I found a fantastic antique Victorian secretary desk on Craig’s List.  Last winter we brought this stately piece home to finally give purpose to that corner.  It was immediately evident that this was what the room needed. It pulls triple duty for us as china cabinet storage, bar and work space.  The secretary opens to reveal the perfect little desk that Ryan works at almost daily.

bohemian style living room kilim rugs-511

Another game changer was finally pulling the trigger and purchasing just the right sofa which made its debut back around the holidays.  The white tufted chesterfield puts a smile on my face everyday and it brightens up the middle of the room.  I tend to wonder why I waited so long on this purchase.  Probably because it is the only thing, aside from the gifted yellow rug, that is brand new. Nearly everything else in this space was “found, free or flea” which epitomizes my vintage style.

farmhouse white chesterfield living room-495

eclectic living room-501

Near the entrance, we were in desperate need of a freestanding closet to function for coat storage.  Again, after months of sourcing, I came across just the right scale antique piece.  Persistence pays off!  We drove about 3 hours to pick this one up and it was well worth the trip.  I painted the closet in MMS milk paint Farmhouse White.  The old finish resisted the paint just right revealing the perfect chippy texture.  Form and function wins again!

farmhouse white @mmsmp antique cabinet-521

Those rugs are possibly my favorite find of all time.  That’s a bold statement to make in this room because it’s loaded with favorite finds.  They are authentic vintage kilim rugs that I picked up for a song. I will never let them go.

bohemian home vintage kilim rug ammo trunk bench seat living room-505

Along with the pair of vintage mohair chairs that I’ve sung the praises of here plenty of times before.  I doubt I’ll ever tire of those either.

vintage mohair chair ladder blanket rack living room-527

This room has looked like this for nearly 6 months and I have no immediate plans to change it aside from the occasional accessory or vignette. Famous last words but I think we’ve finally found a happy eclectic mix of vintage/collected/bohemian/farmhouse/jungalow/beachy style. Did I miss anything in that style classification?

collected boho living room-489

bohemian home vintage collected living room

Updating this room certainly didn’t happen overnight.  First there was the wallpaper which came down immediately and up went creamy off-white paint.  Cornerstone by Behr.  I’m still happy with this choice years later.  Then there was the wood stove installation and slate surround.  Next was the flooring which Ryan installed every square foot of.  Finally, the furniture finds and accessories which make the house a home.

bohemian home vintage collected living room

I’ll leave you with some before and after pictures for good measure.  Updates have come in phases but it’s always fun to look back at where we started when we bought this house, frilly curtains included.

living room before

vintage collected bohemian farmhouse living room-514

living room before

vintage kilim rug window seat-505

Thanks for visiting!

garden antiques in the living room









hello spring, hello color

We’re ready for another season of long, sunny days here in beautiful Cape May!  Spring has been a bit of a tease this year but honestly, I love it.  It actually works out perfectly when the sun heats up enough to blow open all of the blooms from forsythia to pear, dogwood and cherry trees.  Then the temps drop to a blustery 40 degrees allowing spring to be put on ice.  Quite literally.  All of those blossoms hold on just a little bit longer than they would had the temps continued to soar.  We’re still enjoying the sunshine and, of course, all of the color that spring brings with it.

spring in Cape May with Circa Dee

Living near the marsh offers calming sounds of nature…better than any sound machine money could buy.  In late winter, the peepers seem to wake up from their hibernation and croak sometimes together in unison and sometimes in a row.  They are quiet today as I write this but that may have to do with the cool temperature.  Legend has it that once the peepers return singing for a second time, the fear of frost is gone for the season.  Forget the zoning calendar, we have peepers to tell us when it’s safe to plant.

Milk Paint Hutch with signs of spring @mmsmilkpaint

Would you believe me if I told you we had a roving tom turkey visit us for Easter?  I almost can’t believe it myself and I saw it firsthand.  The Easter turkey gobbled down the path beside our house using it as a thoroughfare from the woods to the marsh I suppose.  Free to range being that it’s spring.

Apron Strings Cabinet-481

Tom the Easter turkey follows a long line of visitors in the past year including a barred owl that peered in our window at Halloween.  While his visit was a bit spooky, I occasionally find myself checking for the owl in the middle of the night.  Then there was the hawk that landed on our deck last spring and chose to stay overnight, without invitation.  The aforementioned countless peepers, bats, raccoons, turtles, snakes, rabbits and array of birds from woodpeckers to cardinals and orioles. Plus the monarchs. I can’t wait for monarch season!  There is also the brief period when the dragonflies visit at dusk in summertime.  I’d be remiss not to mention the skunks.  Phew!  Wilson had a duel with a skunk in our yard about a month ago. Needless to say, the skunk won…

Apron Strings Cabinet-482

This is the time of year when I find myself falling in love with this town again because of nature’s simplicity.  It certainly is spring with the return of all of this life and color!  Inside I appealed more to neutrals and calming whites all winter long but as of late, I am back on the color bandwagon.  Pictured here are a few of the latest projects featuring bright, spring colors!

Milk Paint Hutch- bergere over artissimmo @mmsmilkpaint

Be sure to visit Cape May in springtime and take in the sounds of the season.  The West End Garage is open Friday through Monday now and will return to a daily schedule in mid-May.  That means summer is right around the corner!  In case you missed an earlier announcement, Circa Dee is now only at The West End Garage.  More frequent posts and updates are on our facebook and instagram.  Happy Spring!Milk Paint Hutch - vintage OPEN sign

beach cottage bedroom

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom

Is it spring yet?  The beach sure is lonely without you.  I am counting down the days until the neighborhood is bustling again.  As much as a I love a little wintertime solitude, I prefer the action that warm sunny weather brings to the sandy beaches.  With that said, let’s check out a bright and cheerful beach cottage bedroom.  Between starfish and vintage swimsuit art, it is just brimming with anticipation of summer!

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom

If you are a regular around here, you probably remember that my folks bought a cute beach cottage about a year ago.  We’ve been gradually making progress room by room.  Each space was basically a neutral space that needed a punch of color and personality.  The carpet is brand new so it wasn’t going.  They also weren’t into painting as it was also recently done.  The reality is that other time-consuming projects, like creating a bathroom, took priority.  Basically we just pulled together a color palette and accessorized on a budget.  To do that, we used a combination of salvaged pieces, vintage, second-hand finds plus new textiles and art.  The color scheme is just so happy.  Perfect for the beach, right?

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom 393

Once upon a time, the headboard was in my bedroom.  It’s a salvaged door which so happens to measure a short 60 inches – the same width as a queen bed.  Years ago, I adorned it with driftwood, paint and starfish which are still fun.

Possibly my favorite part of the room are the swimsuit prints.  These were very hard to find!  We spotted them about a year ago at Bed, Bath & Beyond but were not ready to pull the trigger.  Of course that was a mistake.  Months later when we ready for art and agreed on the swimsuit prints, they were gone of course.  Local stores were wiped out.  Spoiler alert, after weeks of searching, I finally found them AND they were half price.  Naturally, I also hoarded a set for myself because you never know when you’ll need vintage-inspired swimsuit art.  These were the only two patterns available out of the original six or eight prints.  Fortunately, the colors were perfect.

beach cottage bedside tables + vintage swimsuit art

Those lamps are new-ish but found second-hand for mere dollars.  Aren’t they perfect?  The end tables are both painted in MMS milk paint, apron strings on the left & kitchen scale on the right.  The kitchen scale drum table doesn’t actually belong in this room.  It is one of a pair which are available for sale at West End Garage.  Normally we have a coordinating chest on the right but this one looks pretty darn good there.

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom -390

Let me divert your attention to the other side of the room.  What was once two dusty old closets, is now a full bathroom.  It is the tiniest full bathroom aptly named The Water Closet.

The Water Closet-

The closet space was the selling point on this old house but not for storing clothes.  The house had all the space they were looking for in a beach cottage but just one bathroom which was a deal breaker.  We stood in this very room when I had the bright idea that the side-by-side closets from adjacent bedrooms could be knocked out to make room for approximately a 30 square foot bathroom.

WC before

Now, I can’t take all of the credit.  My dad is the plumber who masterminded the water closet complete with a pocket door.  I will take credit for the pocket door actually.  That was my idea.

pocket door water closet bathroom

To the left is the toilet and to the right is a shower stall.

water closet tiny full bathroom

Admittedly two closets were lost in the making of this full bathroom.  However, we compensated with stand alone closets in each room.  As it turns out an additional bathroom is strongly preferred over closet space in a beach house anyway.

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom -396

Just three months until Memorial Day!

vintage salvage style beach cottage bedroom -383

Source List


  • Bedding – Homegoods
  • Headboard – salvage
  • Tin Shelf – salvage
  • Night stands – vintage painted in MMSMP Apron Strings & Kitchen Scale
  • Lamps – estate sale finds
  • Curtains – thrifted
  • Top down shades – JCPenney
  • Swimsuit prints – Bed, Bath & Beyond (sold out)
  • Cedar Closet – vintage painted in MMSMP Artissimo

Water Closet

  • Towels – Homegoods
  • Shower Curtain – Homegoods
  • Tile – Home Depot ‘Noce’
  • Mirror – vintage
  • Rattan shelf – trash (no shame)
  • Rattan baskets – Homegoods
  • Plumbing – Marston Mechanical