For our "On The Waterfront" vignette I really wanted to see if I could put something together that didn't scream NAUTICAL. Not that I don't love signal flags (you'll see some in another post), blue & white stripes (half of my wardrobe is striped) and anchors (did you see our pajama post?)...it's just that you can find "nautical decor" everywhere from The Christmas Tree Shops to high end boutiques. And I was getting a little bored.
So instead, I started with a piece of coral which I picked up at Seed To Stem. This is the real deal, not a drawing of coral that you can find on every pillow, napkin and tote bag known to man. (Again, not that I'm judging, of course. I happen to have a huge piece of coral painted directly onto my powder room wall). But, like I said, I was getting a little bored with the coral trend. Except when it comes to actual coral. I was also lucky to find this little brass container that had developed an nicely aged patina and reminded me of the brass that was (and still is sometimes) used on boat hardware. (The letter "Z" tag I bought on a trip to Paris and have been waiting for just right place to put it).
I've been collecting vintage paint-by-numbers for a little while and had a major score the other day when I found one of a harbor scene for 5 bucks at Salvation Army. I thought It would be a great backdrop for the vignette but it ended up making the whole thing too busy. The frame, however, was just what I needed to make the coral stand out. And I couldn't resist hanging a postcard of a vintage ship drawing from one corner. (You gotta have at least one little boat in a "Waterfront" vignette, right?).
Most of us now associate blue as the primary color of nautical decor. But on one of my frequent thrift store trips I happened to see a small green vase that was the same shade of green you see in authentic sea glass. Not the pure "pretty" green you see in reproduction pieces but that green-with-a-touch-of-mud shade that reminds me of old bottles I'd collected from antique shops that dot the coastline of Maine. I thought I could do something with the green instead of relying on blue. I remembered I had a few other pieces and pulled them out as well.
The other elements I had around my house: the iron whale bottle opener, a shell my son and I found on one of our beach combing expeditions, a small vessel with green trim that reflected the green glass vibe and finally, Karen's idea to use my blue & white Pastis bottle for an understated nod to the traditional colors of all things "nautical."
I think this is one of my favorite vignettes of the past year. I'm partial to nautical bric-a-brac anyway, but this feels very personal to me, which is the whole point of creating vignettes in the first place!
Share your photos of anything you've done to bring out your inner sailor in your home! We'd love to see them!