G’day ladies! Welcome to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays & 7 Tips for Easy Coastal Decor Style – for your Table.
Before we go there though, THANK YOU for yesterday…I am so glad I posted about that door…gotta say I love black doors, I think they are chic, classic and simple and ground everything…but really…what was I thinking?…this door is gonna be blue…at least first of all…I have been looking here for blues - as you know I love Dulux paint, it’s good quality and suits my budget…but Porters have some fantastic blues in their range too, as do Farrow and Ball.
Ok so back to tables & pretty things…. according to my inbox and all over the blogosphere, we are getting ready for some serious celebrations…Thanksgiving and Christmas and so what better way to get some table dressing going on….errrm I don’t need much excuse in this department…( ..and get ready for the first Beach Cottage Pretty Christmas Party, kicking off with some fantastic giveaways and a linky party for all us girls who love things white, pretty, with lots of bokeh and a few coastal Christmas decor things thrown in for good measure…get your cameras ready, all can join in, it’s about making our homes pretty, near the beach or not! …more info and a date soon)
But before we get all twinkled up here’s my simple, Thanksgiving Coastal Decor Style table…
I don’t know why, it must be because of the blog-surfing over the years to Thanksgiving posts and because of the Old Country and Harvest Festival…but this theme means apples to me…so a little apple tablescaping and being thankful for my life is what Good Life Wednesdays is about for me this week…the biggest thing I am thankful for right now is my kiddos, gosh it’s harder work now they are not babies than it ever was when they were toddling around (I know people tell you that and you think, yeah right!) but all in all…those three little cherubs rock my socks…Mr Beach Cottage and I, since that day Honeymoon Baby arrived have always believed in the old saying ‘you reap what you sow’…and it’s worked…it’s not perfect ’round here and sometimes there are broomstick moments as you know, but all in all, it’s pretty good, so that’s what I am thankful for…among a million other things…
I recently got this email from Julie so I thought I would answer it on here, because it’s one I get in various guises a whole lot…
I recently found your blog after I moved into a house that was the most awful house we could afford in the best area we could afford. We have worked hard on it ourselves and it is looking ok. Now though with Christmas coming up I would like to celebrate and have it looking more pretty with some coastal decor, but I feel that money and budget (having none of it!) works against me and I end up feeling so disheartened, since finding your blog and others like it though I have decided to start small and simple, do you have any tips for creating simple coastal decor ideas for the upcoming Holidays and entertaining that won’t cost much even though I live about 300km from the sea? I love the coastal decor look and one day I hope we will retire to the coast. Thanks so much, I love your blog and ideas Julie
Well, to be honest, for me, tablescaping and dressing a table really is about doing it on a budget anyway, and I love coastal decor as you know, so I think I can help with this. I don’t think that going out to shop and buying a million and one things for a totally matchy, matchy table with all the right labels (I mean hello who has a label on their plate anyway? oh yes, ooops, sorry a lot of people) is what it is about anyway.
For me, spending time dressing up a table, is a hobby (yes my life really is that exciting ladies)…I collect bits and pieces for it constantly…that’s part of the hobby and the attraction for me…on Saturday I went to the secondhand markets around here…had a thoroughly lovely time and collected a striped blue bowl from the Old Country for a hefty $2…less than a cup of coffee in Sydney and very much going into my tablescaping / coastal decor hoard.
Making the table nice, spending time prettying-up is worth it for me…and even when life is nipping at your ankles, the house is a tip and everything is getting on top of you, sometimes clearing, and prettying up a table can make all the difference to keeping off that broomstick….but it so doesn’t take money…you can do it with nothing…and you can get a chic coastal decor look on a budget…and you don’t have to spend a fortune in those beachy, coastal boutiques….you just have to make the effort…and do it…you will be surprised if you do….
So a few easy coastal decor tips of things to look out for that won’t cost you much at all
1. Napkins….gather them about your person as if it were the last thing you will ever do…I really only use linen napkins and since I started collecting vintage napkins we use them for every meal, tablescaping, company or not…I look out for napkins all the time and the best place for these at a fabbo price is at Goodwill / charity / op-shops ….the funny thing about linen napkins is that there is some unspoken rule that we don’t use them…that they get given as wedding presents and then stuffed in the ‘good’ drawer and never used…hence you will often find them in charity shops, in mint condition, with free vintage styling and for pennies. Here’s the secret…washing napkins after a meal in 2011 is a no brainer…yes you can just throw them in…yes, don’t shudder, with a regular wash, no you don’t have to iron them, yes just hang em out in the fresh air to dry and they will rock your world
…..paper napkins…hmmm, personally I don’t do ‘em but the perfect way to dress up your table with some colour and a theme for not much fuss and not much budget…and a great way to add some colour and a pattern for little outlay
2. Coastal decor…I steer away from themed ‘coastal’ decor…since we bought this old cottage, I wanted a vintage beach cottage look with coastal thrown in…so for the table I will go for the look I was envisioning and then pull in the coastal decor theme I love ..that is normally shells, glass, floats, rope, twine, driftwood, shell spheres, etc….so keep an eye open for shells and coastal accessories, but don’t go overboard…..It doesn’t matter if you don’t live near the sea, you can often find bags of shells in dollar shops and many stores have a coastal decor range (it’s often quite expensive so choose key pieces ) find a lovely way to decorate a coffee table with coastal decor using shells here
…the other coastal decor / nautical cottage trick? add a stripe! …the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to drop coastal on your table is to add a stripe…a runner goes down beautifully for a little bit of nautical cottage chic, a stripe napkin can be even better…and if you see stripe tableware out and about on your travels, pick the most versatile piece (I like bowls) that will work for you and your lot and work that into other neutral china or your vintage pieces…
3. Vases & Centrepieces…start getting creative! shop for big chunky vases (you’ll often find vases on offer at sale time) and look out for things you wouldn’t normally associate with a vase…we’re talking big old vintage mason pickling jars, baskets, zinc buckets and pitchers…(these are nearly always available out on the thrifting coastal decor hunt)
…start looking for unusual bottles and jars for the bunching and clumping of flowers…I like to use old jam / mason jars, these are simply saved and washed out…leave them plain like here or tie with something pretty and bunch in a number on a table with a simple colour scheme for big impact…
look at bottle shapes and sizes in your regular supermarket shop (the bottle I used here, was a regular old Elderflower cordial bottle that I liked the shape and label on and got me a few emails as to where I got it)..once you start looking you will find some seriously lovely bottle shapes and sizes…just head to your local bottle shop and the supermarket and start scheming…