Thursday, July 26, 2012

Doggone Good Time at the Beach

I was going to post these yesterday, but then I never did. Alas. Here they are now, pictures from our trip of our babies enjoying their first beach vacation:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Non-Traditional Beach Decor

Let's start this post by talking about where I came up with the topic of non-traditional beach decor. I was running in Weekapaug looking around at all of the amazingly gorgeous cottage mansions. You cannot pick a better place to run or walk than Wawaloam Drive in Weekapaug. Do yourself a favor and google map it, then check out the street view.

Anyway, as I was running by these fantastic cottages, I noticed that many of them had gone rouge. They did not paint their trim and shutters white. Instead, they had matched the blue found in their endless row of hydrangea bushes. I would definitely call blue a traditional beach color, but the way that the blue popped off of the grey shingles really caught my eye and got me thinking about the harmony of everything at the beach. The colors all go together so well, from the sandy tan and white to the various blues and greens of the ocean and skies. The color of sunsets over the water, hydrangea bushes, seaweed, beach roses. The list is endless, and it all works, and it all looks fantastic.

The beach doesn't just have gorgeous colors.... (paint names provided by Sherwin Williams Chip It tool)

Source: Pinterest, unknown 

Source: Coastal Living

Source: fotocommunity
It also has amazing textures and sheens. The coarse sand, soft tall grasses, slippery seaweed. There is also the depth provided by rope and baskets, shine of the sun hitting the water, dullness of a well-weathered boardwalk, the sharp edges of jagged rock.

Hey, now that you think of it, you agree with me, don't you? The beach really does have it all! Aside from being versatile, I think there are some very distinct items that would read "beach" even if they weren't in traditional beach colors.

For example:

starfish, source: A Lived In Home
wicker, source: BHG
rope, source: Jonathan Adler Design
So then, here are some photos I found that I would surely classify as non-traditional beach decor... and just to give credit where it is due, I'd like to remind you that I didn't design or dream or make any of these items.

source: Arte Styling Designs
The coral color is a perfect representation of a non-traditional beach color in decor. What makes it still say "cottage" to me is the white wicker and the seaweed-looking blanket.

source: Apartment Therapy
The hot pink accents add some cheerful color (and remind me of the beach roses). The gingham pillows and cottage style headboard are what keep this look beachy.

source: Coastal Living
I love how the teal back-splash looks like a wave in this kitchen. Its a bold color choice that probably works better in FL than here in New England, but I like that it isn't the traditional bead-board back-splash with pale green walls.

source unknown
This couch (and wide stripes in general) always reminds me of the beach. The green cabinet on top of the pale-honey colored floors look like a bit of grass sprouting up out of the sand. The reason that I would say this is non-traditional is because it gives such a subtle nod to the beach that it would work just as well in the country.

source unknown
Finally, this scene is one that I really like. The table is set with blue and yellow, which in any other setting would not look like it has beach flavor. But in this context, you can see how the yellow matches the grass in the background, while the blue glasses echo the deep blue ocean in the far left.

Beach week continues tomorrow!

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Beach Week!

Last week I was busy having a lovely time at the beach. Good Ole' Misquamicut!

Did you miss me?

Well, I have great news for you, to fill the void caused by my lack of posts last week, I have officially declared this week to be... you guessed it, beach week! I'm going to spend the entire week talking about beach decor and beachy style crafts. Perhaps it will fill that void I feel right now... the void called, "returning to work after a vacation that seemed too short".

So I made some fun little photos on picmonkey to show you. Some photos from this year's trip, and some from vacations past:

Hope to see you back tomorrow for my thoughts on non-traditional beach decor!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Porch Perfection

Have you been anxiously awaiting the outcome?

Have you been sitting around, biting your nails in anticipation?

No...? That's lie! I know you bite your nails Amy.

Anyway, its finally time to share my completely non-redneck porch!

Do you even remember how bad it was before? Let's go through the laundry list of events that shaped the new, and way better looking back porch:

1. I moved the cinder block into Dan's barn/manarea.
2. Though there is still a massive gap between the porch and the ground, it's hidden a bit by the flower pots.
3. I planted all kinds of cute flowers that seem to be doing fairly well in this part-sun area.
4. I spray painted the original screen door frame, and then we put the screen door back on, and replaced all the screens, including the bottom "doggie door" screen.
5. I scrubbed the dirt off of the house with a car wash sponge, soapy water and bleach.
6. I painted the porch floor, then primed and painted the railings and the back door.
7. My Electrical-Engineer Father-in-law replaced the light fixture. I saved quite a few doll-hairs (as my sister would say) by simply thieving a used porch light from my parents.
8. I didn't really thieve it, they gave it to me.
9. I sanded down the chairs and repainted them with a nice "hammered" silver spray. Now they match the door
10. I bought cheap cushions and matching pillows for the chairs, and then I got an outdoor rug for a steal online.
11. Finally, I made a new "wreath" for the back door that is a bit more summery.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pinterest Challenge/A Confession

As you probably know... I love Target. I love their clothes, the shoes, the home decor, the outdoor decor, the list just goes on and on. The problem with all of that love is that it simply isn't free and husbands hate it when you spend money, even if you got a great deal (which you certainly did at Target).

Well I was recently spared from the constant lecturing when our Target became a "super" Target, if you will. Yes, in Manchester they now have groceries! I figured that as long as I was bringing home food, the Mister would never care about my other purchases. 

Him: "What did you buy for $125 at Target?"
Me: "Groceries and toilet paper." 

You can't go wrong with toilet paper... men go crazy if you run out, and they have no idea how much it really costs. So I was going on a little 1-2 item spree every time I bought groceries, and the Mister was none the wiser. 

Enter these amazingly priced ottomans (yes, I am getting to the Pinterest Challenge, I swear!):

Are you seeing that price tag?! There was absolutely no way that I could resist. I loved the textured tan and the preppy stripes... I had to have them! So I made my purchases (these beauties and some groceries just for good measure) and came home wondering what I would do about the black. 

I am not a fan of black. You will probably never see anything in my house painted black, and even my wardrobe remains mostly colorful - I do have 2 black sweaters. I wondered if I could use fabric glue and some blue ticking to cover up the black stripes. And then, like a lightning bolt of glory, I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, originally featured on How About Orange

Zootalo! (Use your best French Chef Louie from the Little Mermaid voice for that statement) Of course, why hadn't I thought of fabric paint? So I drove myself to JoAnns and bought two bottles of Martha Stewart's fabric paint in Navy Blue (though it probably had a cooler name than "navy blue"). 

Then, I let everything marinate. When crafting, it's important to let things marinate because you wouldn't want to use the supplies you bought too soon. Give it a month or so.

Finally, when the Pinterest Challenge was issued by Sherry and Katie from Young House Love and Bower Power (respectively) I decided: it was time. Get on it! But with all of the painting we have been doing on the porch and the barn and my little side projects, we were out of painters tape. Fortunately, I found that plain old masking tape worked just as well!

Don't you LOVE the blue? So I painted my way around one ottoman last night while also eating a very healthy dinner of tostitos and queso. Although it was fairly time consuming (took me about an hour and half including time to lay down the tape) I think that if I had a bigger paintbrush I could have moved a bit faster. 

Here's a nice little "before and after":

The final product, for a total cost of $14.98 per ottoman and about $2.99 for a tube of paint (1 tube per ottoman needed) looks lovely, matches my decor, and serves a grand purpose of "just being there" for me to kick up my feet. 

And here she is all gussied up:

Thank you Pinterest Challenge, for ending the "marinate" period on these ottomans and making me get busy!