My Top 16 Beach House blogs

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Here is a list & links to my top 16 favorite beach house blogs! Most you may
already follow as a beach house fan and hopefully some new ones for you to enjoy!

Carons beach house

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Completely Coastal

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Beach Bliss Living

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House of Turquoise

Ciao!Newport beach

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Beautifully Seaside (formerly Chic Coastal Living)

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Coastal Living

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Sand and Sisal

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Stylish Beach Home

Starfish Cottage

Sally Lee by the Sea

Coastal Shore Creations

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Fox Hollow Cottage

Our Boat House

H20 Bungalow

Go Nautical

A Sense of Place: Houses on Martha’s Vineyard & Cape Cod

With the advent of Pinterest one has access to a plethora of visual goodies on house and home. As much as I adore Pinterest myself I am still a hardcore fan of magazines and books. A recent house and home book I have stumbled across is
A Sense of Place: Houses on Martha’s Vineyard & Cape Cod by Mark A. Hutker.
Available on Amazon here .

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Here is the synopsis:

Thirteen exquisite houses create a portrait of life in one of America’s most exclusive coastal destinations, along the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod.

Hutker Architects, led by founding principal Mark A. Hutker, has designed more than three hundred houses along the New England shore. A member of the close community on Martha’s Vineyard since his arrival in 1985, Hutker has become an expert at interpreting the ideal lifestyles of his clients within the respected traditions and restrictive codes of the beautiful but fragile environment.

In their design and construction, these houses honor the vernacular traditions of craft and indigenous materials, are deeply respectful of the cherished landscape, and demonstrate a lively range of solutions to building on the bluffs and dunes that line the shores of the Vineyard and Cape Cod. A working organic farm fulfills a family’s dream of simpler values; a luxurious renovation saves the best of an antique shingle cottage while transforming it for contemporary family life and a raised structure clad in naturally weathered boards combines the legacy of midcentury regional modern architecture with Cape Cod’s maritime tradition.

The firm is committed to the principle “Build once, well,” looking to the historic architecture of the region and the inherited experience of its carpenters and craftspeople as inspiration for contemporary design. The result is an architecture that is at once adaptable and livable, yet enduring, efficient, inevitable, and appropriate.

The houses sit lightly on the land, deferring to their surroundings, often built as a series of modest pavilions linked by passages or grouped to enclose an outdoor space. Creative design solutions—a light-filled gallery running the full length of a house, a continuous wall of sliding glass doors—make houses both open to views, but protective in a storm. Specially commissioned photography captures the craftsmanship and the settings of the houses, from dramatic bluffs overlooking the sea to secluded coves and rolling meadows filled with wildflowers, creating a unique portrait of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

The homes are just as gorgeous inside as their stunning views. As a New Englander myself these houses to me are Home. Rambling stone walls, weathered cedar shakes, granite blocks and oceanfront are the theme of these amazing homes.

Here are a few pictures to give you a sneak peek:

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The photos in the book are huge and colorful. You just want to dive in and live there. I hope you enjoy this visual treat as much as I have.

The Painted Chair

I have seen many a pinterest /blog post about painting fabric and had always thought about giving it a whirl. Finally I saw a post on Addicted 2 Decorating’s blog ( where she painted her floral couch with latex paint. I must say the transformation was inspiring. So much so that I broke out my paint brush and mustered up the courage to do my dining room chairs. I found these 4 parson chairs road side last fall. They were in good shape and decent quality. And Heck they were FREE! I liked them but just didn’t love them. The fabric was a basic beige cotton canvas. As much as I like beige, something about this beige was off. It somehow sucked the light out of the space and screamed DULL. I had plans to make slipcovers for them , added to my LONG list of planned projects, but was getting antsy to rid my dining room of their light sucking-ness. LOL I used regular white flat paint. It only took 2 coats! No they are not crunchy either. Here is a picture of the 2 chairs side by side, the left is the original beige, the right is the chair with one coat of paint.

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The first coat really got sucked up into the fabric. The second coat didn’t take as much paint at the first coat. Here is a picture of on the left one coat of paint and on the right two coats of paint.

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Just a light sanding when the paint is dry and Voila just what I wanted White chairs!! So happy with how they came out!!

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Sea life gallery wall & free printables

For years I have been envisioning doing a sea life gallery wall in my home. The biggest roadblock was plunking down money for a slew of frames. Finally I found 10 matching ( silver tone, 2 styles) frames on clearance at Michaels Arts & Crafts. Clearance frames are abundant, matching frames however not so much. So when I found them I snagged them. The total for 10 frames was $72. For me that is a lot because I am a total cheapskate. However I have been thinking about this for years and over this time I learned that matching frames (or at least similar) are hard to come by especially at a good price. So I bit the bullet and plunked down the cash. Here is the final product (minus some décor tweaking on the shelf).

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I love the way it came out! I can’t wait to accessorize the shelf with coastal accents.

When doing a gallery wall planning is a MUST. First layout all the frames to your liking. Once you have your layout chosen, use kraft paper (or newspaper) cutouts that are the same as the frames, be sure to add a marking as to where the frame hangers are located. Tape them up on the wall according to your layout, once hung you can hammer your nails in the pre-marked spots on each. Then remove the paper and hang frames accordingly. Many people may think these steps are time consuming or a waste but I assure you this is a HUGE time saver. These steps really take the stress out of hanging frames and no mistake holes to fill. Here is a picture to give you an idea.

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Once I decided on the prints I wanted I took to my photoshop and cleaned them up a bit. Most of them were antique prints and had sepia toning to them which I did not want. Again I wanted a blue and white look. So I removed the background and left it white. Some of the images had several images on the page and I only wanted one of them so I edited out the ones I did not want and some I tinted blue. Once I edited my photos I printed them out on canvas paper. You can use cardstock but it has a smooth surface and I wanted the texture of the canvas paper, you can even use watercolor paper as it has a nice texture as well. All these papers can be bought at Michaels Arts & Crafts either in the scrapbook section (cardstock) or the art/drawing section (water color paper/ canvas paper). Some are available in pads which you just cut to your printer size , 8.5 x 11 inches which is what I did. Once they were printed I used the glass from the frame to mark where I would cut the images to fit the frames.

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Once they were marked I used my paper cutter to cut along the lines. The pencil lines will not show in the frames. You can also use regular scissors if you do not have a paper cutter. Once cut, pop them in the frame and hang. Voila!

Here are the images I used for my gallery wall. They are all set to print (2 images per sheet) on standard 8.5 x 11 sheets. Just click on image to open to full size then right click the image and save to file.

PVC pipe & vintage door knobs turned curtain rods

I am forever looking how to do things glamorous on the cheap. Curtain rods are no exception. While looking for some time for curtain rods at prices starting $30 and up per window I kept thinking to myself over and over, “But its just a stick with fancy ends?”. So I squinted my inspecting eyes and let my cheapskate mind go to work! In the end I used simple, cheap and easy to cut PVC piping and vintage glass doorknobs.

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Both of which I already had on hand in my every growing “junque” supplies. Actually my husband had the PVC pipe leftover from when he added his ginormous air compressor in our cellar and had to run wiring for it. So I snagged some….sssshhhhhh!

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Once I took my measurements and made my cuts using a circular saw ( a regular hand saw would work just as well) I spray painted the pipes a satin black. I then added the glass door knobs to each end using the threaded rod that comes with the knob and used black electrical tape to hold them in place. The satin black of the electrical tape matches the satin black I used to paint the rods. There are a number of ways I could have attached the knobs to the rod but this was the simplest,Works for me! Having a home built in the 1800’s always presents challenges when doing any project. The windows were no different. While we have replaced all the windows with modern tilting glass insulated ones, the window framing is still original. Like most of the window frames in the house they are not flush with the wall. Instead they are built out roughly 2 and 1/2 inches.

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I used small unfinished wood medallions from Michaels Arts & Crafts and painted them out the same color as my walls.

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I then attached the curtain rod brackets to these to bulk them out. While the brackets allow for expansion, it was not enough and I did not want the rods to sag. In the end I am thrilled at how they turned out and it only cost me a few bucks for the unfinished wood medallions!

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Ballet Beauty

I received these gorgeous pointe ballet shoes as a Christmas gift from my twin sister, my twinsie, Tania. We did
have ballet for years as kids but never pointe. Naturally I put them on and pranced around the house all clumsy like. I wanted to enjoy these shoes for their beauty too. So I purchased a shadow box for them. Naturally nothing is ever as simple as hammering a nail in the wall and hanging them. First the two lever style picture hangers kept folding back making it nearly impossible to “catch” both. Once I did one of them broke!!! Deep sigh, so I wired the back, I removed the other lever style hanger with much difficulty. One broke easily the other was hulk like strong. Here is the pic of afformentioned evil picture hangers.

Our home was built in the late 1800’s, some of our walls still have the old horse hair plaster and lats. If you have never encountered this be glad. I have learned why in old photos you see pictures hung by long wires/ribbon from the ceiling moulding. Hanging a nail in old walls is frustrating!!!! Occasionally you can manage it but more often than not it is a headache. If any of you hand to try this task you too know all too well the sound of crumbling plaster as you hammer the nail into place and/or the bounce back if you hit the lats in certain spots. Deep sigh. Finally after much frustration I got the nail in and the shoes hung by my nightstand. Well worth the work!

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2013 Christmas “non-wreath” door wreaths ~shutter love

I love old shutters almost as much as I love pallets. This year I decided to do something different for my front doors for Christmas. I painted 2 old shutters a festive red, added some fresh greenery, pinecones and a lovely
bow of “Happy Holidays” printed burlap ribbon that I purchased from Micheals Arts & Crafts.

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I hot glued the shutters on the back to keep them from opening and I also added wine corks that I sliced in half. I glued them on the corners of the back to prevent damage to the door.

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You also can see a sneak peak at my chandelier make-over in the mirror. To be blogged soon!

Merry Christmas!!!

Valentine-ized Home

Valentine’s day is sneaking up upon us. In light of that I have decorated for the upcoming heart filled red, white and pink hued holiday.

Even my chandelier did not escape un-scathed or should I say unadorned. I used a christmas clearance red berried garland to accent it.

On my mantle I painted wood letters L O V E , each in a different hue and sanded them to age them.

I took sparkly costume rings and slid them over an iced crystal white taper candle.

Perched on photo clips are vintage rose themed postcards.

I used a vintage wood tool box as my centerpiece and have it overflowing with red and white tulips and ivy.

My snowmen wreaths are still up but coming down tommorrow as the front of my home will be Valentine-ized…

“Pin-spiration” {Pinterest +inspiration }

I have a Pinterest addict for several months now and have inspired to do many projects that I have found. This is my first
documented Pinspiration. I saw several handpainted stenciled wall tutorials that left me itching to do. Since we recently played musical bedrooms at my house
my husband and I moved to my oldest sons bedroom and our old office as our new bedrooms. Previously his room was a very dark navy and ours was offwhite and pale pink.
I wanted to change it up and found a glorious pale grey paint in Home Depots OOPS! part of the paint department. I loved the color but it needed some oomph. Thats where
the handpainted trellis design came into play. For this I used Martha Stewarts mother of pearl craft paint. It only took one bottle for the whole wall! I started out using my cardboard stencil and penciling in the design then painting it in. However the paint I used was sheer and showed the pencil marks and because the paint went
over the pencil I could not erase some parts..gggrr. Good thing I only did this on part of the wall. For the rest I held my cardboard stencil on the wall and painted around the template as the guide. Not only did it avoid the pencil dilemma but the found the design came out better with a guide rather than freehand following the pencil. Below are some pics of my bedroom wall, due note that the paint overlay is a sheer pearl and looks stronger and more solid from the flash. Click on images to enlarge =)

Here are several of the “Pin-spirations” and their links.

The link to the downloadable and printable template I used can be found

I still have to accesorize the room and bed but the wall is my jumping point. I also made the headboard shown here from a roadside find screen. I
will be doing a post about that project as well. In the picture it is shown will only the base lined cover. I intend to make a slipcover for it and possibly tuft it…tune in for that one soon.