There’s something about needing to be near the water in the summer for me. Not just to cool down in on those hot days, but purely just a need to be next to it. Maybe it’s because I’m a fire sign (Aries here, y’all) and the water calms me, or maybe it’s due to my years spent on (and in) the water as a child.
I grew up around water, and when I say around water – I mean on water. My family were avid boaters throughout my childhood. For as long as I can remember we were out on nearby lakes whenever possible, enjoying each moment of our short lived Wisconsin summers. As I grew, so did the size of the boat, and our family became ‘river rats’ spending our weekends on trips up and down the Mississippi river, On top of all that water, I was also competitive swimmer for 8 years of my life. Water is a big part of me, and that is not just a mater of physiology, it’s a matter of who I am.
So when the decor superstore, At Home, asked Zan over at Flourishing At Home to show how she incorporates these summer feelings in her home (and she in turned invited me and a few other bloggers to play along), I knew I would have to incorporate my childhood memories (and current memories) on the water into my project. Stay tuned: The links to all the fabulous bloggers who participated in this challenge, as well as details on how to win a $50 gift card to At Home stores are at the bottom of the post!
While I don’t often decorate for changing seasons or theme my decor (unless you consider ‘neutral’ being a theme), I do seem to be drawn to nautical decor as it reminds me those summer days spent on the water. I knew this type of style would work perfectly with our summer home. Our place, dubbed by me as “The Lake House,” has become our family’s summer weekend getaway on almost every weekend during the summer. We spend time playing on the beach, swimming, jumping off the dock, fishing, relaxing, escaping reality, and just enjoying life.
When my husband and I purchased it, it was our intention to have a place to help create summertime family memories for our children, just like we had. Of course, it was also another project to remodel and design (which we probably needed like we needed a hole in our head at that time, but oh well)! A while back I had purchased a few items to add to the living room, but hadn’t really gotten around to completely finishing the project. I knew I wanted to incorporate reminders of our current family memories into the space, but also wanted a nod to the nautical that helped remind me of my youth as well.
At Home had a huge (and I’m talkin’ HUGE) selection of decor that worked perfectly for this project, and it was all very reasonably priced too (bonus), which made the hardest part of shopping narrowing down which pieces I loved the most. I ended up with a good selection of items that added that ‘nod to nautical’ vibe I was going for, and will even help us continue to make memories as well go.
I started the project off with a gallery wall to incorporate the family memories we’ve made at the lake in the past few years. The Lake House sign was put up last year above the television (it’s a wood sign mounted on top of a vintage wood screen), so I decided to work the photo gallery around that. While I typically lean toward black and white for gallery walls, the lake we are on is stunningly turquoise blue (not common for a lake in Wisconsin) so I knew I had to keep these prints in color to showcase the lake in all its glory.
This driftwood frame from At Home became the perfect addition to the gallery wall to incorporate a little beachy feel, and the perfect place to put one of my favorite summertime photos of my boys. The other frames were left over from an old gallery wall I took down at home, and the silver and black tones went along perfectly with the color scheme of the space.
A few other simple, black square frames from At Home (that were a total deal at $7 a piece!) rounded out the photo portion of my gallery wall and balanced the two sides of the TV area. Truth be told, I was going to do a sand art project with these two frames with the boys, but they decided to go fishing instead while I worked on this. Can’t blame them for that (oh, and they did catch some fish if you were wondering)! So instead I decided to pop in a few more photos of these cuties!
Below the gallery wall is the dresser/cabinet that holds the television. This dresser was a total steal off Craigslist a few years back – and it’s one of the favorite pieces of all time that I’ve scored (gold medal goes to me, please). It needed some styling however, and this was the perfect place to add in the nautical decor from At Home. The navy blue tray, along with the silver accented, rope handle jars were the perfect way to say “ahoy there” (cheesy, I know). But in all seriousness, I wanted a way to display some of the outdoor elements that make up some of the memories we are building there.
The large jar contains sand from the beach that reminds us of all the fun we have there (even if its raining out), and the small jar is for our beach rocks collection. My sons, especially my youngest son, like to sift through the sand searching for cool rocks (as if they were panning for gold), and always asks us to save them. I never really know what to do with them, until now! The jar will serve as the deposit place for all cool rocks (non-cool rocks will still get tossed back in the lake to sleep with the fishes, sorry non-cool rocks).
On the other side of the cabinet, I incorporated more nautical touches, using this decorative anchor piece from At Home. The other items I’d collected throughout the years and the colors and textures helped to carry the concept throughout the space.
Just above this space, I included this awesome navy blue bell with a rope hanger that was a last second At Home find on my way to the check out line. I had to hang it high on the wall because well – just look at the picture below it, I have two young, ‘fun loving’ boys. You get the idea.
Next I was left with the corner. Which, I will admit, had me baffled for a bit. An old chair (with a little grey spray paint) made the corner feel less empty, and a few pillows in accenting colors from At Home made it feel, well – like ‘home.’
A navy blue lampshade completed my At Home finds, and updated an existing floor lamp to make it better coordinate with the color scheme.
Adding a few pops of greenery (dried of course since we are only there on weekends) helped tie everything together and carried through some natural elements.
The space turned out pretty nice overall, especially doing it on a small budget and with combining both old and new pieces together.
How do you incorporate your summertime (or anytime) memories into your home? Share with us and you could win a $50 gift card from At Home Stores for yourself!
To enter the giveaway, simply follow the Rafflecopter instructions beneath the links to the other bloggers in this challenge. And don’t forget to check them out as well after you enter! Good luck, and remember to use the hashtag #athomefinds for sharing your images!
Happy summer memories!
This post was sponsored by At Home, but all opinions of the products are my own.
Check out these Bloggers Summer decor makeovers as well!
Summer Farmhouse Mantle – Making Joy and Pretty Things
Summer Dinning Room & Indoor Summer Party – Flourishing At Home
Summer Foyer Refresh Reveal and a Giveaway – Restyle it Wright
Summer Decorating Ideas – Dinning Room: Craftivity Designs
Summer Dinning Room – North Country Nest
Simple Summer Mantle – Intelligent Domestications
Bring Summer Indoors – Bedroom Refresh – Thrifty to Nifty