Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sea Glass Cottage gets a new look!

                                      Welcome to the new Sea Glass Cottage!

I'm happy to be stopping in today to give a peek at some of the updating I've been doing around the exterior of the beach house.

I really didn't fall off the planet for all these months -- the initial "just painting the exterior" turned into a very involved rebuilding of three levels of porches (back and front), rebuilding exterior staircases to code, and then waiting for the weather to cooperate for a proper paint job. It was quite an undertaking, but very worth the effort! While all of this was going on, my family kept busy with life, even spending two weeks in London, England for a fabulous vacation.

Just in case you don't know what the original exterior looked like, it is a traditional West Indies style beach house with lots of decorative details in a pale yellow and white. All the white was beginning to look very gray and dirty and worn. When I named it Sea Glass Cottage, I knew it would have to be a shade of blue. All the lovely details were lost in a sea of white.

                                                                      ( Before )

After a really fun experience of experimenting with every shade of blue and aqua, I finally chose Benjamin Moore's Yarmouth Blue for the base, and Jamestown Blue for the porch shutters. I kept the trim and the bahama shades around the house white. The entire porch deck was rebuilt with Trex decking in a pretty blue-gray shade.

I hope you enjoy the new look!

                                         Welcome!   Come on over and sit a while!

First floor porch --fresh white adirondack chairs are decked out with ikat designs on pillows in sea glass colors of blue, teal, and aqua. Occasional tables are there for your glass of wine or iced tea.

Second floor porch -- rocking chairs to watch the water and dream as the clouds go by.....

The back staircase and outdoor shower area  is rebuilt, nice and sturdy, safe, and looks so fresh and clean!

Next on the list of to-do's, freshening up the landscaping. But that's for another day!

Thank you for visiting my new blue beach house! I'm very happy with the new look as now it feels like I put my stamp on the house and it is really "me."

Now it's time to pull out those gorgeous blue pumpkins that I'm so fond of and spruce up the porches with some coastal fall decor.  See you next time!

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Favorite Things #4: Ikat Designs

Lately, I've been drawn to a lovely design pattern......ikat designs.

I didn't even realize that I was gathering a collection of ikat designs until I noticed a very strange coincidence......I had purchased a sundress, outdoor pillows, a candle, and a fragrance all in the same indigo blue design!! Hmmmm, there must be something to this pattern that I loved, so I did some research.

Ikat (pronounced "ee-kat") is an Indonesian fabric dyeing technique that is extremely labor intensive and a true art form. The colors and techniques of ikat design can range in soft and subtle hues to very bold and intense colors.

Ikat designs are everywhere -- in art, home decor,  fabrics, rugs, fashion, jewelry, home accessories, and more. (Check out my pinterest board, "Ikat Designs.")

Here are a few of my current favorites featuring the stunning ikat patterns.

l. Pillows: I bought a few of these for my outdoor sitting area from Kirklands. I can't wait to show you how well these go with the new and improved BLUE exterior of Sea Glass Cottage!

2. Summer Fragrance: It's too hot in the summer for a perfume, but Aerin's Ikat Jasmine body cream is the perfect way to wear a very light scent, and I love jasmine!

3. Fashion: I found this cute ikat print sundress at Macy's and it works well as a casual dress or a cover-up.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Please Pardon Our Dust.......

Hello, friends!

Just dropping in to say that all is well at Sea Glass Cottage -- but the beach house is temporarily out of commission.

What started as an idea to just paint the exterior has somehow snowballed into a major construction project rebuilding all the wrap-around porches, balconies, and stairs!

But everything will be safe, weather-proof, and built to last for many years to come in the very harsh beach environment.

Can't wait to show you the final results!

Front Porch removed.

Banisters removed on all 3 floors.

Back Stairs being ripped out and rebuilt.

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Favorite Home Decorating Tips

Blogland and Pinterest are an amazing resource for decorating ideas and lessons in interior decorating. Every day, with a cup of coffee in hand, I spend some leisure time browsing through my favorite home decor blogs  and pins for the latest in decorating trends, colors, styles, and fresh new ideas.

Sometimes, there's so much eye candy out there it can become overwhelming. So many many tips and I've tried to narrow down all that inspirational goodness into a neat package of simple design inspiration. My version of Decorating: 101.

 I've learned some very basic principles from people who are very talented and have shared their expertise on their beautiful websites. Here are favorite decorating tips that apply to any style of home that you have -- traditional, coastal, farmhouse, modern/contemporary, shabby chic, etc....  Everything works! And I've used every one of them.

Enjoy the inspiration!

l. Lessons in Layering - Learning how to layer a room with color, texture, and shapes adds interest and warmth. Yvonne at Stone Gable teaches you it's as easy as 1-2-3.

2. Accessorizing Your Home - There's an art to selecting and displaying just the right touches in a home. Kristy at Starfish Cottage shows you how.

3.  Coffee Table Styling - A few simple tips will make styling a coffee table fun and easy.

4. Light and Bright -  Learning how to choose the right lighting for a room will keep your home light and bright.

5. Creating a Beautiful Bedroom - A bedroom is a place of sanctuary and rest. These beautiful bedrooms will inspire you to make your bedroom inviting and luxurious.

6. Styling a Kitchen -  The kitchen is the heart of the home and should be styled with that in mind. Organized, functional, and a place the whole family enjoys together. Again, Stone Gable has some fabulous ideas for a gorgeous and organized kitchen.

7. Styling Empty Spaces Above Cabinets -  What to do with all that empty space above the kitchen cabinets? These are great style ideas without making the space look cluttered.

Decorating Files

8. The Dreaded Blank Wall - Here are 10 ideas to take an empty wall and make it into a beautiful and functional space.

Ballard Design: How to Decorate

9.  Pillow Styling - I have to admit, pillows make me happy! Here are a few quick tips for arranging pillows on the sofa.

House Beautiful

10. Creating Beautiful Tablescapes - For a complete resource of seasonal, themed, and holiday table decor and entertaining, two places are my go-to websites: Between Naps on the Porch, and The Painted Apron. Check out the colorful and creative ways to add style to your table.

Between Naps on the Porch

For all things party decor and entertaining related, check out the delightful recipes, party ideas, table decor, and all-around fun at The Painted Apron.

Whew! That was a LOT of decorating ideas --  I hope you picked up some tips and were inspired to fluff up some pillows and create a coffee table vignette. Happy Decorating!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Going Tropical

This spring, I'm going tropical!

Think swaying palm trees, shady verandas with Old World charm......

And green.......

With lots of textures and neutrals......

Burlap, jute, and pretty prints on pillows.....

And a pineapple pillow for the universal symbol of "welcome."

My neutral pillows (from At Home) are my year-'round pillows, and I switch pillow covers depending on the season. This pretty spring green geometric print pillow cover is from Birch Lane.

And nothing says the tropics better than swaying palm trees. Love these palm tree pillow covers with Old World text from Birch Lane.

I added a tobacco basket to hold some magazines and greenery on the coffee table. I love this lantern which I usually keep on top of the bookcase -- I brought it down to be the center of attraction.

And while we're on the subject of tropicals, I'm interested in adding more greenery to the beach house.  This chart from pinterest is perfect for selecting some pretty greens to add to baskets and bottles.

Now, I'm off to fix a tall glass of iced tea and escape into a good book! Preferably set in the tropics!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tobacco Baskets - Part 2

Welcome, Spring!

We spent a little time down at our beach house recently, and while the weather was pretty it was an unusually chilly week for the first days of spring. It was too cold for my taste to venture out on the beach, so I enjoyed the fresh air by opening up and the doors and windows and getting a few simple projects done inside.

Last week, I wrote about my love of tobacco baskets and some simple ways to use them in home decor. I bought two smaller versions to use in the beach house.

I'm freshening up the look of the den (which is the family hangout) with a tropical look for the spring.....fresh greens, burlap, jute, baskets, botanicals, and lots of neutrals. The small tobacco basket is perfect for a few magazines and a small plant for a touch of spring green.

I've also posted about my vintage post card collection.....the tobacco basket reminded me of a bulletin board, and I thought it would work well as a way to display a few of my favorite post cards.

It was easy to just slip the cards underneath the slats without damaging them.

Hope you are having a wonderful spring, and thanks for stopping by Sea Glass Cottage!

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Decorating with.......Tobacco Baskets

Hello, friends!

Things have been very busy at Sea Glass Cottage getting some much needed updating and remodeling to the outside of the cottage and the grounds. I am looking forward to showing you the final results, but it will likely be a few months before all is complete and ready to show.

In the meantime, I have turned my obsession -- I mean attention -- to the beautiful and rustic look of tobacco baskets.  Just when I thought I had enough collections going with wicker demijohn bottles and baskets of all sizes and shapes, I discovered I love the look of tobacco baskets in home decor.

 I've already purchased two and know exactly the DIY project I will create with them at the beach house!

Vintage tobacco baskets come from the North Carolina area of the U.S. and as you would expect, were used to hold the cured tobacco leaves when the growers took them to market. You can find newer replicas, but I love the look of the weathered and worn baskets -- even the ones with broken slats. They have a history and a story.

Besides being an interesting piece of wall decor on their own, you can use your creativity and dress them up seasonally or to display them in unique ways that reflect your decorating style. Here are some ideas:

1. Add a Wreath

Of course, the wreath could be changed out seasonally.


2. Create a Vignette on a Shelf


3. Hang over a Bookcase 
       I like the way a framed photo was added to the basket.

                                                         The Endearing Home

4. Hang above a Fireplace


5.  Display on a Coffee Table 

           Put plants, books, and other decorative items in the basket.

                                                                 Craftberry Bush

6. Hang above a Bed

                                                                Coastal Living

Do you have tobacco baskets? How do you use or display them?  I'll be going back to the cottage soon to work on my own twist on this awesome piece of decor.

Thanks for visiting Sea Glass Cottage!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Signs You Love Beach Style

I love the Country Living website -- have you visited it recently? It really is very fresh and on trend -- not at all like the old version of country living from the past.

 I came across this article there entitled, "23 Signs You Need a Beach House" and I thought it would be fun to put a little twist on this since we already have a coastal vacation home. Do I qualify as a certified coastal lover according to the quiz? Turns out I do, indeed!  Using pictures I've taken in and around Sea Glass Cottage, I'm a card-carrying member of the beach lovers club.

Are you? Take the quiz and find out! (Of course, it's all in good fun.)

1. Practically every room in your home is decorated with a blue and white color palette:

The walls in my home are painted a soft gray-blue and there are many soft blue accents throughout the cottage -- lamps, pillows, florals, candles, rugs, and other decorative accents.

 2. And a few pops of turquoise:

Throughout the cottage, I display collections of vases, bottles, and decor that reflect the beautiful colors of seaglass....  You will also see vintage stained glass windows which act as sun catchers to reflect beautiful colored glass. It's a simple DIY project -- old windows are hung on chains inside the window -- use small hooks drilled into the window frame to hang.

3. You decorate with shells:

You will find shells scattered all around the cottage in lanterns.......

and on shelves with pieces of art and decor.....

I even have a shell basket!

I took this plain, dark driftwood mirror and transformed it to fit my decorating style at Sea Glass with shells and seaglass. You can read about my DIY project here.

.........and I  definitely have a love of urns and bowls of shells in every room.

4. Starfish and Coral decorate your home.

I scatter pretty starfish and coral pieces all around the are a few starfish in my bedroom sitting area with some of my magazines.

I've tucked a starfish in my loofah sponge and soaps to make a pretty vignette in my bath area.

I love jute and have this burlap table runner and candle set out as my year 'round neutral look. 

Another quick DIY project -- A coat or two of chalk paint on a terra cotta pot, a little burlap ribbon, and hot glue the starfish (or shell).  

And, of course,  there are plenty of pretty pillows with shells, starfish, and coral.

5. You have white, slipcovered furniture.

Ummmmmm, yes! See All of the Above photos! :)

6. Flowing curtains are a must.

I love the romantic look of these sheers around the master bedroom -- they hang around the bed and over the french doors, and it's so pretty when they are blowing in the breeze!

7. Even your dishes are blue.


My everyday dish set is white, but my coffee mugs are seaglass blue, of course!

8. You use a nautical theme in your home.

My son's vintage nautical bedroom and en-suite bath are my favorite -- so colorful and fun. A nice break from all the white and soft blue.

Another DIY project - use wood and pegs to hang nautical decor.

I enjoy adding a touch of whimsy to my decor -- in this case, wooden figurines.
9. You spell out your love of the beach with signs and decor.

This fun vintage sign on wood hangs in the family room.

...and this weathered beach sign hangs in the powder room.

10. You dream of lazy afternoons on the porch or sipping wine watching sunsets.

Oh, yes! We were given Sea Glass Wine as a gift, and now we have to have a bottle
 on hand all the time.

And here is a typical sunrise and sunset at Sea Glass Cottage:

Watching the sun rise in the east from my bedroom balcony....

And beautiful, breathtaking, colorful sunsets on the back porch.....

11. You dream of long walks on the beach.

Yes, yes, YES!

How did you do? Are you a beach loving, certified fan of all things coastal? 

I sure am! 

Thanks for playing along with me, and may all your coastal dreams come true!

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