Home Decor

Summertime Decorating in the Living Room + A Little Chat

Bonjour, mes amies!! The soft patriotic influence is all throughout the house this season and here in the living room is no exception. I’ve brought in a light nautical look, too. Let’s explore!…

Of course, you’ve seen this patriotic decor vignette in last month’s Pinterest Challenge. I’ve kept the Americana theme light and airy adding it to this summer’s beachy nautical look.

I was with my mother-in-law at Hobby Lobby one day and I saw these chicken wire candle jars on sale… It was the inspiration for our summer coastal, beach vibe look!


Adding seaside decor

I found little seashells for $1.99 at our local dollar store and added them here on the coffee table around the candleholder. I’ve used this white wood tray to gather everything together.

A small tealight candle sits inside the other candleholder, a round crackle-glass jar I’ve had for many years.

A tiny bouquet of dried roses, which dried a lovely deep plumy-red, adds their soft patriotic accent at one end of the tray.


Our summer mantel

When I went to share photos from our mantel’s summertime look… I realized that I never photographed it. Eeeeek!!! It was the first thing I decorated after Mr. E rehung the mirror once the paint was fully dry.

So that’s what I did here just as I am writing. 🙂

In this photograph, the mantel is dressed up with a some patriotic color. Yes, I know the American flag is laying down on the little cherub… I tried to find a way to have the cherub hold it, which is what I was going for. Didn’t work, so it drapes.

In a way it works for remembering those fallen in battle (a fallen flag look), as we remember our soldiers who didn’t make it home every Memorial Day and really during any of our American holidays.

In previous years, I’ve had a bunch of our patriotic books up on the mantel and shared their stories. Mr. Ethereal was Captain Chapman in a previous life (about 30 years ago now) in the Marine Corps, and he collected a number of books about men and women who were true heroes.

I forgot that I started our journey in this house with our curvy mirror up above the mantel. I changed it out for the white dry-brushed one for more of a contemporary look. That mirror now hangs in my “Hall of Mirrors,” lol! (photograph above)

Here in the living room, I’ve moved some of the furniture around putting the loveseat back to the left of the fireplace. This is a good afternoon reading spot. The size of this loveseat is a good size for this room and usually it sits under the living room windows, but I wanted to put the library tea table over there for summer… 😉

When my daughter and I traveled to France last year, and we toured the castle at Versailles, I bought this book about Marie Antoinette (I think at The Louvre), and this sweet needlepoint pillow with Marie’s initial on it (found at Versailles).

I am slowly, and I do mean slowly, working my way (in French) through this book. The photographs and drawings are wonderful! I have to look up a lot of words, especially verbs, because I only studied one year in high school. I know a lot more Spanish and German. Funny side note, you should see me trying to use my very rusty American Sign Language at school with our deaf students! I know See-Sign, which is way different than ASL. 😉

Did you know you can go online to the Louvre’s website and shop their bookstore? They carry something like 19,000 volumes from around the world, one of the gift shop attendees told us as we were checking out. Amazing!

I did take a couple of first shots of the mantel with our pups’ boxes on it as I forgot to take them off. They were quickly moved off, but I had them there together since Yoda’s remains came home a week ago. Yoda’s is the one on the left and Skeeter’s is on the right. I really need to bury them in the backyard, but the boxes are so lovely…

The boxes also are reminders of how much we miss our family and friends and furry friends at their passing. I hope this doesn’t trouble you. It isn’t meant to have that affect. Just good memories. 💜 


Add a favorite summertime photograph

I love featuring this photograph taken by my son when he and his wife went out to Oregon for a college friend’s wedding! He sent this to me for my birthday or Christmas a couple of years ago. They had taken a detour to the coast for a little mini vacation after the wedding and before driving home to South Dakota. Love this!

It reminds me of the standing rocks in faraway places like in Indonesia but here on our own North American coastline. Beautiful!


Changes to come

Looking at our living room, it is time to begin some changes. Our furniture is very large for this space so we need to weed some out. All of it is thrift store or garage sale pieces, most of it costing $200 or less. We rarely could afford better furniture back then, plus I’ve always been thrifty! 🙂

I need to go through our bookcases, too, and let some books go that we no longer want. There are some here I haven’t read in years, and it would make it easier to reshelve books.

I did try to get our daughter to take the wing chair she wants for her future home, but they don’t have room for it right now. I thought maybe they could put it in their storage unit, but it is small and is already full. So much for trying to pawn it off last week! 😉

This arrangement works for now but is a bit crowded. I think it is time to let this easy chair go to a local thriftshop. I like the size of the barrel chair on the right side of the fireplace. It needs a new paint job and a fabric update.

Maybe this will be a project for fall?

Here is a look in the corner round cabinet. I restacked a number of the teacups and rearranged some of the curios inside featuring different items on each shelf. This was fun to do after the Flag Day tea as I was putting those clean cups and saucers away!

Always a work in progress, this cabinet has come to overflowing in recent years. Do people like to give you things? Surprisingly, that is how a number of these teacups have come my way. 🙂

Here is the opposite view of our living room! 🙂 I love the clean and just simple textured look of white pillows on the sofa.

When I was painting walls in here in May and early June, I deep cleaned the bookcase and created a new vignette on top. It is the perfect place to display tall and larger items.


As always, thank you for stopping by! A cup of tea for you. 💜 

3 thoughts on “Summertime Decorating in the Living Room + A Little Chat”

  1. Barb,
    It is always good to change things up a bit…I love what you dd in the cabinet…For some reason, I always forget to stack things like tea cups and even plates….I think I will have to “play’ with that idea a bit! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. My china cabinet goes to overflowing too — well done on the restacking and all. Your home looks beautiful and very summery and light. And bravo! Reading Marie’s book in French? I bow down to you! It all looks lovely — and I love your boxes for the dogs on the mantel. I couldn’t bury them either, and really, why should we? They are part of us — and so beautifully displayed. I would use them/move them around/have them near. (Maybe that’s just me!)

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