Summer is in full swing and it is one of my very favorite seasons to decorate for! It is the perfect opportunity to combine two elements that make my heart so very happy! This year the cottage on the creek has gone all “Beach Cottage Patriotic” in its summer decor by combining red, white and blue elements with treasures from the shore that speak of warm weather celebrations!
Several years ago we vacationed in Maine with its 4th of July parades, sailboat regattas, and whale watching. To this day it remains on of my favorite vacation destinations ever! Imagine my glee upon finding this fine whale of a fellow at Home Goods! A braided jute twine rope is all he needed to be ready to hang out over the buffet in the dining room.
Collecting inexpensive American flags in an assortment of sizes makes decorating for the patriotic holidays of summer a breeze! I leave flags out all summer long, but if you want them to go away in between holidays, just pluck them out.
If you haven’t met me yet, let me introduce myself. Hi! I’m Terri Wilder, and I am the queen of moving items from one spot in my home to another to make it look like I have totally redecorated! The giant nest above resided upon a pedestal on the entry table and was filled with potted plants and a sweet iron bunny for spring. Moving it to the dining room, exchanging the wooden pedestal for a cake plate and then filling it to the brim with shells from vacations past and a couple of hand-sewn linen hearts makes it look completely different!
Mr. Pelican has been out of the picture for a couple of seasons but is making an appearance for summer, taking the place vacated by Miss Mannequin when she moved into the entry. This guy came home with me from a trip to Myrtle Beach one year. Having him hanging around is a sure fire way to transport me right back there for all of the fun!
The merry-go-round that was a gift from my mom, plays a variety of patriotic music for the summer season. This year it has a place of prominence on a table in the living room. I am obsessed with the little iron flag stand that I found for $4 at a local vintage store! I picked up a couple of them this last winter and have used them for other purposes, but have been so excited for summer to come so that I could use them as actual flag stands!!!
The window frame flag project from last year is the star of the this year’s summer mantle!
Books are always a good idea to add height and interest to a space. The bunny bust is the one I used for my rabbit in a hat for spring. Take away the whimsical flowers and top hat and he strikes quite a dashing figure!
Rearranging pieces from my vintage silver collection is another favorite trick of mine for making these pieces seem fresh and new. While my collection is not huge and is made up of very inexpensive pieces, there are endless possibilities for combining them either as accents in a vignette or as the main attraction.
This vintage church art angel has been in hiding for a season but has now donned her Lady Liberty accessories and taken her place on the recently painted fireplace hearth to celebrate summer.
Our entry is open to our living room so the Patriotic Beach theme carries over into this area also.
Almost everything on the entry table was simply moved from other areas of the room and grouped with different pieces to make it look both seasonal and completely different from how it looked in the spring. Tucking in a flag, some stars, and a decorative ball made of shells only takes a few minutes to complete! Simple!
I have lost count of the ways that this book page wreath has been styled since I first made it! For summer it has moved from hanging over the mantle and has been dressed up in a more neutral patriotic theme. Again, I can simply change the message on the chalkboard as we move deeper into the summer season. By the way, that chalkboard banner was just $3 at Target! Can you even believe it? I used a chalkboard marker and had a sign ready to adorn the wreath in less than 15 minutes. I also untie any bows and store the ribbon rolled up so that it can be retied into any shape I need in the future. Did someone say frugal? Yep, that’s me! Maybe just as important is the time saved from running around trying to find more ribbon.
When you find low-cost accessory items like the flag stands and chalkboard sign, snap them up even if you’re not quite sure how you are going to use them. They will help spark your creativity if you have them on hand when you are looking for ways to change up items that have been on display for awhile. When it comes to ribbon, I try to buy any that I find that I really love if the price is anywhere within reason. Because of the way I store it, I can typically get a lot of bang for my buck out of it. It’s amazing how far a little ribbon or raffia, or both, on decorative accessories can go in adding your own unique style to accessories.
Breaking out Old Glory and unpacking treasures collected on past vacations is like seeing old friends. Being surrounded by them all summer brings back so many memories and smiles. Even if the Independence Day festivities are rained out this year, and though I probably am not going to get to the beach this summer to see the pelicans dive for fish or watch the whales in all of their majesty, I can still hold a little bit of that feeling in my heart every day!
Hugs ’til next time!
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