Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Painting Furniture

Even though I purchased my beach house fully furnished, there were so many style choices of the previous owner that I wanted to change.

First, my vision of a cottage-style home was light, bright, white, and open. I wanted soft fabrics on the windows, seagrass rugs on the hardwood floors, and as many white slipcovered pieces as possible.

The owner had a very dark, earth-toned style throughout the house. It was rustic and comfortable, but I didn't share her love of heavy fabrics and the tans, browns, and black furniture pieces she had in the large family den. I loved the style of the furniture, just not the color.

I did a little research and discovered that chalk paint (or a similar-type paint that leaves a chalky finish) would be the perfect solution to keeping the furniture.  The pieces were in perfectly good condition; they just needed sprucing up. It's so easy to use chalk-type paints -- there's no sanding or prepping! Just a quick dusting with a cloth and then the piece is ready to be painted.

Here is a television hutch and sofa table that were custom pieces for the home. They were beautifully made and I loved the style -- but black in a beach house?  I just didn't get it. I couldn't wait to apply a coat of paint to make them lighter and fresher. Chalk paint is not meant to be perfect, so if I messed up, it wouldn't be a big deal.



I used Martha Stewart vintage decor paint in Antique Sky for sofa table to change it to a soft, pastel color. It's actually more mint green than blue, but I love the transformation.

I just experimented at first to see how a light coat would look; I also experimented with wiping some of it off with a cloth. I eventually decided one thicker coat would give me the look I wanted. The wood was very textured so the paint didn't grab in all the spots, and that was okay with me. I just let the paint glide on and didn't try to completely cover the distressed look.

The finished look -- I love the contrast of the dark wood top and the painted bottom. I'm also perfectly okay that some of the pieces of wood absorbed more of the paint than others, and I'm also fine that the whole piece appears distressed without even having to apply sandpaper.

I used Martha Stewart vintage decor paint in ivory for the television hutch. 

I'm very happy with the results as they look very shabby chic. I left the tops of the furniture the dark wood for a nice contrast.  Since I only did one coat on each, I finished both projects in only two days.

There are also several dark picture frames around the house that will definitely be changed using chalk paint.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sea Glass

What is sea glass?

Sea glass starts out as discarded bottles, dishes, bowls, and other glass items in the sea. Sea Glass may have even started out on a boat or ship and entered the water after a ship wreck or storm.

Over time, the sharp broken pieces are constantly being tumbled by the waves over and over.

After a long period of time, those sharp edges get smoothed out and wash up on the shore.

Sea glass comes in many different colors, from beautiful blues and greens, to the rarer reds and yellows.

When it came time to think of a name for our new beach house, I considered all kinds of themes.....
tropical and Hawaiian names, drink names, color names, and even a few silly names. But I kept getting an image of beautiful blue and green sea glass, and I could imagine how pretty the decor would be with colored glass bowls and bottles the colors of sea glass.

Sea Glass Cottage seemed to be the perfect name.

My wonderful real estate agent gave me a housewarming gift when I purchased the beach house.
A home plaque for Sea Glass Cottage.

Here is a great article to read from the blog,  I Love Shelling, that chronicles a woman's passion for beach combing. She has found gorgeous sea glass from all over in her travels.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Life is better at the beach!


     It has long been a dream of mine to own a place by the water....a place to escape to where the sun
is (mostly) always shining, the air is fresh with a salty tang, and the soothing sound of the waves are the background music to my daydreams.

     After searching for just the right place, I found this beach house in Gulf Shores, and everything about it really spoke to me.  I love the beach cottage vibe, the balconies for fabulous views of the water, the bright and open feel with lots of windows, and the homey, comfortable feel. While I bought the house furnished and I love many of the items that came with the home, I will have the most fun putting my own touches to the house to make it truly my own.

     Our home away from home.

    I hope to make Sea Glass Cottage a blog which covers all the fun topics of beach living from decor, recipes, decorating, collections, entertaining, shelling, and other beach hobbies.  There's always something fun to see or do around Sea Glass Cottage, and it really is true what they say........Life is better at the beach!