Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea

Sometimes people ask me how I come up with decorating ideas.  Mostly, I don't know.  I think I'm terrific at stealing, uh that is, gaining inspiration from decorating magazines. With this project, I can pinpoint exactly how it came together in a quick 13 years!

When I moved in to the old Shea House, my mother bought me a king-sized bed with a good mattress for one of the spare bedrooms.   The bed came headboardless.  That's a new word I just made up.  I toyed around with various headboard ideas like old fencing or one of the old doors stored in my garage, but nothing seemed quite right.

At the same time, I had access to some Navy charts from the decommissioning of the USS McKee, a submarine tender.  The charts were going to be discarded when they mothballed the McKee on the James River, but I knew that I could do something with them.  I was particularly fond of this chart of the approach to New York and Long Island Sound.  I spend many happy days as a child playing in Long Island Sound at Black Point (Niantic), Connecticut.  The back of the chart has quartermaster notes in black Sharpie magic marker, which I think is very cool.
My sister came to visit in June.  We took a long drive to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and stopped at a farm stand that had a lot of snarky signs about how many free samples one could take, that sort of thing.  The signs lack of customer service awareness bothered me, so we went to another, much nicer farm stand where I found the wonderful picture that says "you can't cross the sea by staring at the water."  I also found birch beer for Jason's birthday and some really fab blanched almonds.

In July, I was riding my bike in West Park View and came across two 1940 twin bed headboards sitting at the curb for trash pick up.  FINALLY I realized that I'd found the beginnings of my headboard arrangement. Two twins add up to a king. The whole idea still had to jell in my mind, but after 13 years, I was finally getting something together.

My first task was to spray paint the headboards red.  The posts on the bed are missing something, but I'm still not quite sure what was there.  A nautical theme made me consider using rope, so I ended up with this:

and this:

to hide whatever is missing.

I looked at Cottage Syle magazine

and Waterside Cottages by Barbara Jacksier

for further inspiration.  I saw a room in one of them with an old map hanging on the wall.  The owner had mounted some shadow boxes on  top of the map as if it was wallpaper.  That's how I figured out how to mount the picture on the chart.

I had a coil of rope leftover from Lowes and I'm cheap, so that's how I decided on "framing" the chart with the rope.  Contrary to what you read in high-end decorating magazines about "frugal" decorating, it isn't frugal if you pay $300 to custom mat and frame the cool chart you scored for free.

These, my friends, are all the clever, cheap, nautical, and I-don't-like-the-snotty-attitude-of-Powellsfarmstand reasons that this room looks like "me."  Next time, I'll show you what I did with the worn kindergarten "cubbies' thrown away during the renovation of Shea Terrace Elementary School across the street a decade ago. 

Can you do exactly this?  Nope, because this is my frugal decorating life.  But you can make your house you in the same way by keeping your eyes open for God's provision.  I once just told God I needed a cool new coffee table and found it the next day while walking the dog.

Dear readers, anyone with money to throw away can pay a decorator to buy $2,000 club chairs that they read about in Elle Decor.  But the home is the decorator's vision, not the owner's.  Only you can make your home uniquely Debra
or Judy
or Brenda

 or Annie on a shoestring.  And that, kidlets, is real talent.


Cozy Little House said...

Oh, love the red! I too have that book. Barbara Jacksier autographed it when I purchased it from her online. Love it! (Hugs for the mention!)

Judy said...

Oh, I love love love the map!

And the mention. You are too kind.