Monthly Archives: June 2011

Beach Cottage Office

5 Decorating Mantras to Live By

While surfing on Pinterest last night we found these 5 decorating mantras which we completely agree with.  The tips come from Marni Jameson’s book titled House of Havoc: How to Make–and Keep–a Beautiful Home Despite Cheap Spouses, Messy Kids, and Other Difficult Roommates….isn’t that title great? It certainly had us laughing.



Amazon states, “While domestic gurus like Martha Stewart promote a fantasy of spotless homes and decorating genius, syndicated home columnist Jameson (The House Always Wins) brings a down-to-earth, humorous approach to maintaining a household that’s based in the real world of clutter, kids, pets, crowded schedules, and limited budgets. From “Slip Covers as Divine Intervention” to “The Science of Housekeeping,” Jameson makes home improvement advice fun as well as practical, stacking each chapter with tips gleaned from her own life and from experts, including interior designers and professional home organizers.”






Do you currently incorporate any of these into your home?  We’d love to hear about them!


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Coastal Living Magazine before and after room

Amazing Beach Cottage Transformations: Before & Afters

These are some of the best before and after beach cottage transformations that we’ve found.  It just proves that ordinary homes can be turned into super stylish beach cottages. Of course, professional staging and photography helps make the after photos look “perfect” but you can still get the idea.

If you have big windows with any kind of decent view then let the sunshine in and take advantage of the view.  If you’re not into uncovered windows then consider sheer curtains that still let light in but provide a bit of privacy.

A room wrapped in windows before:




A dark & seriously outdated living room before:





A dark & dreary kitchen before:




An unattractive bedroom before:







For more amazing room transformations visit Coastal Living Magazine



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Afternoon at the beach

A Bit of Beach Time with the Birds

Happy Monday, beach friends! What an eventful weekend we had…let’s just say that lots of changes are coming our way.  Life doesn’t become perfect just because we live at the beach – wish that was true, but nope, life still happens. My brother is currently quite ill in the hospital as of Sunday evening so if you could keep him in your thoughts & prayers it would sure mean a lot.  We have other “stuff” going on, but the health of my brother is the most important of all.

Since we needed a few things from the grocery store on Saturday, I volunteered to make the run.  I’m not always so ecstatic to do grocery shopping but the weather was gorgeous and sunshine filled the skies with blue so after shopping I could drive home on the beach and de-stress a bit.  That’s right, we get to drive on a large majority of our beaches in Southwest Washington so after grabbing ice cream and honey smoked bacon I aimed the Jeep to the nearest beach approach.

Afternoon at the beach

Wow, what a lovely afternoon at the beach.  It still amazes me how in June there is hardly anyone else around except for me and the birds.


After driving a while I found a nice spot to park and flock with some of the birds.  Caspian Terns and Gulls hang out together but the Terns loudly let me know that I wasn’t welcome to join them.


This guy had his feathers ruffled by my presence too.



But these gulls didn’t mind me at all and let me snap lots of pics of them…it was almost as if they were posing – silly guys!



Oops, the sandals got wet so I guess it’s time to get those toes (that seriously need a pedicure)  into the wet sand…..aaaaaahhhhhhhh…..


…and the sun is SHINING brightly!!



and look what I found — my SMILE!!!  It’s amazing how hanging out with some birds in the sand can brighten the attitude :O)



Well, I figured that the ice cream was surely melting by now so I had better get heading home but look what I found on my way!


A surfer (crazy guy) in our cold Pacific waters…



A beautiful bald eagle looking for lunch…



or just waiting for this fisherman (maybe 20 feet away) to toss him a snack!



The ice cream and I made it home in one piece and I sure felt much better than when I left. I hope that you had a great weekend or at least, made the best of it!



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Beach cottage stained glass window find

We found a Vintage Stained Glass Window!

One of our favorite finds this garage sale season is this vintage, gently cracked and completely charming stained glass window.  We have a window between the kitchen and dining room which is in a strange location and kinda ugly so I’ve been looking for something to beautify it with for some time.

A $10.00 price tag on this window fit my budget perfectly! I was especially happy since I had seen similar sized windows and in much worse condition for upwards of $100.00 at antique stores.  When this beauty was discovered, there was blue tape which held together loose pieces of glass and wire was attached for hanging.  David thought I was insane picking it up but I just gave him the “look” and he knew it was coming home with us!


Beach cottage stained glass window find


My objective with this window was to create strength so that the original piece would stay together for a long time….not to really change it much. The old rusted hinges were still attached and soooo charming that I left them intact.

A bead of Gorilla Glue was applied between the glass and wood frame to hold everything together securely.  After gently cleaning the glass I carefully applied a thin layer of Super Glue to the cracks in the glass…not perfect, but not too bad!  We actually don’t mind the cracks as they add to the originality of the vintage piece.

A dry brushing of white paint was lightly applied to the frame since I wanted to keep the “antique” look of the piece.

We decided to flip the window upside down, with hinges on the top of the frame, since the Stained Glass design reminds us of a tulip.  Some new hooks were screwed into the top of the frame and nickel-colored chain became our new hanger.  We had the hooks, chain and paint so total cost of our vintage stained glass window was a whopping $10.00!


Beach cottage stained glass window

Beach cottage stained glass window find

The window looks out to our back deck and garden so even though the green and purple don’t necessarily “match” our main beach cottage colors, it still works.  Besides being a unique conversation piece, we also both love the window and it brings us happiness looking at it; which in our beach cottage is the most important thing about the furnishings we have.


Beach cottage stained glass window find

Beach cottage stained glass window find


This window fulfills that longing for an old door or something (at least for now!).  It radiates beauty when the sun shines through and I often find myself wondering what stories it could tell from the places it has hung and the stories it has seen through it’s panes….

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Sharing this week at…

Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Show Off Your Cottage Monday @ The House in the Roses
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Good Life Wednesday @ A Beach Cottage
White Wednesday @ Faded Charm
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Time Travel Thursday @ Brambleberry Cottage
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff & Nonsense
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground
books and starfish vignette

How to Decorate with Old Books

Old Book Vignette

I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself down at any time, and collect a few friends about me and be happy. I advise everybody who is going to build, to build a cottage. ~ Jane Austen


Jane Austen Books

What a wise woman, Ms. Austen, was!   Her words touch my heart and soul and she certainly understood the comforts of a cottage.  I love old books with their faded pages and sometimes curled edges…even the sometimes musty smell which they expel.  Glorious old books and Jane Austen just seem to go together, don’t they?


I imagine that Ms. Austen would live in a simple cottage in present day.  She seemed perfectly happy and appreciative with the simple things of life, a trait which I strive to live by in my own life near the sea.



Creating vignettes with old books is an easy and inexpensive way to add charm to your beach cottage.  I’ve purchased many old books from garage sales and thrift stores as well as have a few which were my mothers. Bundle books together with fabric, jute or string or remove covers for another lovely look.  Simply stack books or combine them with seashells for a truly charming beach cottage feel.


Old book vignette


Seashells and Books



Seashells and Old Books Vignette


books, ladder are charming in cottage

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Sharing this weekend at…


Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence
Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground
Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound