Bringing the Chesapeake Indoors: Nautical Home Decor in 8 Easy Steps

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Bringing the Chesapeake Indoors

Nautical Home Decor in 8 Easy Steps

I’ve spent my entire life living on the East Coast, from Jersey down to Florida. But, Maryland is probably the closest that I’ve lived to water, in terms of mileage. Since moving to Baltimore, I noticed that Marylanders take tons of pride, living on the Chesapeake. When I went to Saint Michaels and Tilghman Island, so many homes were painted different shades of blue to replicate the Atlantic Ocean, with bright yellow, coral and red doors. Even the rooms at the Wylder Hotel and common areas, maintained the blue and white nautical theme. As time goes on and I think about the next place I liked to relocate, I know that I want to be close to water (near someone’s lake or beach), and I want to incorporate beach and nautical elements into my next home.

But how?!?

Let’s talk about which design elements can give any home a nautical vibe!

 

Step One: Blue or White Exterior

Numerous homes in Saint Michaels were painted different shades of blue, often with white trim.

Sherwin Williams offers a selection of preselected blues, whites and tans in their Northern Shores and Seaports collection. My favorite is Storm Cloud, which speaks for itself, offering a beautiful grey undertone. Another one of my favorites, Comfort Gray, is more of a sea green and both are complimented with Alabaster.

 

Step Two: Choose a Bright Colored Front Door

Another thing I loved about the homes in Saint Michaels is that so many of them painted their entry doors a bright and bold color. I suppose this made me excited given I painted my front door this past Spring in a gorgeous Benjamin Moore Dutch Tulip. For those that painted their home a neutral cool blue, generally chose a warm toned door with reds, corals or yellows.

 

But, for those that opted a cool color instead, mostly chose teal frond doors.

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Try Benjamin Moore’s Aura Grand Entrance , in a high gloss finish, to replicate these gorgeous entries.

BM Dutch Tulip | BM Coral Gables | BM Hawthorne Yellow | BM St. Lucia Teal

 

Step Three: White, Gray or Blue Interior Walls

Another mental note while checking out homes and interior studios in the local area, designers chose classic white walls, calming grays or deep navy paints.

 
 

Step Four: Woven Natural Fiber Rug

At least one of your rooms should have a woven rug, made out of natural fibers, pulling beige and tan tones of beach sand, with the roping texture of boat dock lines.

 

Step Five: White Bedding

Think classic, crisp minimalism, with simple white bedding to compliment your cool blue and natural tones.

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Step Six: A Blue Sofa

With a natural fabric woven rug, you’ll want a blue sofa as your main focal point in the living room. Dress the space up with a gorgeous painting of the Atlantic right above.

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Step Seven: Accessorize with the Ocean

Every decor store had blue and white ginger jars, rattan stools, and coral accessories. Dress up your side tables, coffee tables and mantles with the beach elements.

 

Step Eight: Maritime Lighting

Lastly, it’s easy to forget to pay attention to the lighting hardware style. I noticed that in addition to the “fisherman” wall sconces, a popular decor option was a brass gooseneck or barn style wall sconce.

 
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DIY On a Dime: Summer Nights Citronella Candle

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Summer Nights Citronella Candle

Make Your Own Luxury Candle

A few weeks ago, I attended a candle making workshop by a local candle maker and it was so much fun. I saved the instructions but had yet to actually make one. Now, Pepper and I sit outside every morning while I drink my coffee. We also sometimes sit outside when I come home from work, or on the weekends when I’m enjoying a new book. It never fails, but I am always feeling attacked by every mosquito in all of Baltimore.

Fed up, I went online searching for a citronella candle I would actually like. I enjoy using essential oils. They help me sleep and make my home smell fresh, so I’d like to think that I’m familiar with a lot of scents and what I like (or do not like). Well, every candle I found was either too boring (e.g., citronella only) or too expensive.

Of course I wanted the expensive one at Nordstrom; but who feels like paying that kind of money for an outdoor candle, that you’ll have to buy again after you’ve burned it all? Sigh. Then I stared at the ingredients for a moment and thought, well, I can totally make that. And I did….so I thought I’d share!

Now granted, collecting the tools may seem like too much money at first, and you’re better off buying the $100+ candle. Well, not really; because a $10 bag of 3lb soy wax is going to last you a few more candles for sure; and, there’s nothing wrong with having the below oils tucked away in your cabinet (I spray Eucalyptus and Lavender oils on my sheets to help me sleep). So, you’re getting much more use out of the list below than one expensive candle.

Prep Time: 1 Hour | Curating Time: 1 - 2 Days

What You’ll Need

 

Step One: Prepare Your Candle Container

Preheat your oven to 150ºF — 170ºF, or the lowest temperature setting for your oven. Heating your container ensures that the wax adheres to the glass or ceramic and will reduce sinkholes.

Step Two: Melt the Wax

Pour 1 — 2 inches of water into a medium pot or saucepan. Bring water to a boil. Once water is boiling, pour wax into pouring pot and place metal pouring pot in the boiling water.

Use metal stirrer to continue mixing wax until thoroughly melted.

As you can see from the pictures further down below, I ended up using both the metal pouring pot from the candle kit, and an old measuring cup that I don’t use anymore, since all three cups of melted wax couldn’t fit into the pouring pot at the same time.

 

Step Three: Add Essential Oils

Using thermometer, check temperature of melted wax. You want the wax to reach between 170ºF and 180ºF. Once the melted wax reaches the desired temperature, add your essential oils. For the 3 cups of wax for the ceramic planter that I used, I measured the following:

  • 30 drops of Citronella

  • 10 drops of Coriander

  • 10 drops of Thyme

  • 15 drops of Eucalyptus

  • 15 drops of Peppermint

  • 10 drops of Lemon

  • 5 drops of Vetiver

Using metal stirrer again, mix fragrances into melted wax thoroughly.

Remove the wax from the boiler and continue stirring for approximately 2 — 3 minutes, stirring slowly to reduce air bubbles.

 

Step Four: Wick Your Container

Remove the container from the oven and place on an even work area or counter. Using the wick sticker from your candle making kit, secure the cotton wick to the bottom of the container.

 

Step Five: Pour the Wax Mixture

When the wax has cooled to 125ºF, slowly pour the wax into the container. Do not pour beyond the widest part of the jar (pour close to the center of the jar, where the wick is placed). Depending on the width of your container, you can use the wick holders in your candle making kit. The ceramic planter I purchased from Lowe’s was a little wide, so I used chopstics to secure the wick in place.

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Allow the candles to cool completely and trim the wick to 1/4 inch.

Because I’m extra, I also added a few lavender seed buds I had leftover from my Himalayan bath salts.

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I’m sooo happy with how it turned out. Now, every afternoon and evening, I light the candle as Pep and I sit on my front porch and i can honestly say that the bugs have stayed away.

Anything to reduce bug bites! I hope you like this fun crafty DIY project!

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Buttered New England Lobster on Cheddar Bay Biscuits Sliders

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Cheddar Bay Biscuit Lobster Sliders

Your Easy Seafood Option for this Fourth of July

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes

What You’ll Need:

Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits Mix

North Atlantic Lobster Tail

1 / 2 Cup of Ghee Butter

1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

Splash of Lemon

1/4 Cup of Fresh Parsley

 

First, follow the recommended instructions for the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix.

 

Next, place lobster tails in oven and allow to bake in oven at same time as Cheddar Bay biscuits (approximately 15-20 minutes).

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When lobster tails are cooked, remove meat and place in bowl. Mix melted ghee butter, fresh parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.

 

Place lobster mix in between biscuit halves, making sliders. Reheat in oven on 250 degrees for five minutes. Serve warm.

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Shop This Post:

Sweater: J. Crew Factory | Shorts: old, similar here | Lips: MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo | Lipliner: MAC Cosmetics Kiss Me Quick | French Bistro Chairs: Frontgate Paris Bistro Collection in Capri Blue | Bistro Table: Wayfair Vivian Metal Bistro Table | Flag Toothpicks: Amazon | Maryland Crab Napkins: Caspari

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My Favorite Target Finds for Fourth of July!

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My Favorite Finds for 4th of July

All Your Red, White and Blue Options at Target

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I recently did a Target run and there were still a bunch of Vineyard Vines for Target finds. I noticed that some of my favorite Target brands also had some really gorgeous Summer pieces, including Magnolia’s Hearth & Hand, Threshold and Opalhouse. Lots of rattan, rope materials, and blues giving me all the nautical vibes and wishing I had a little beach cottage. I listed all of my faves for your convenience. AND….a lot of the Vineyard Vines pieces are 30% off and some of the other brands are 5-15% off! You still have time to pick up some amazing stuff before the dinner parties and BBQs next weekend! Happy Shopping!

Dining

 

Living

 

Decor

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DIY on a Dime: Summer Floral Arrangement

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Summer Floral Arrangement

Easy Steps Using Grocery Store Flowers

It is officially summer!! I am really starting to enjoy summer in my home, thanks to my growing garden, full of Knock Out Roses, a butterfly bush, pink peonies and hydrangeas.

This past Spring, I really enjoyed creating my Spring floral bouquet. So, I wanted to create another one with even more vibrant colors. BUT!! This time, instead of heading to the Potomac Wholesale Floral, I opted to pick up a few stems at my local grocery. I was able to get all of the flowers — with the exception of the hydrangeas, which came from my garden, for a total of $22!

 
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What You’ll Need:

 

First, cut your stems to the desired length. Remove leaves to allow more room in the vase for more flowers.

 

Once the stems are cut at their desired length, group them together, placing the peonies at the center, cupped by the lilies, then the hydrangeas, and finally the veronicas and craspedias on the outer most layer.

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Finally, instead of using a flower frog, I simply tied a rubber band around the flower stems (at the base of the flowers). I decided to do this instead of using a flower frog, like I did for my Spring bouquet simply becuase the vase I am using is smaller than the one I used last season.

Place bouquet in vase and enjoy. I placed new water in the vase every 2 - 3 days. These grocery store flowers lasted two weeks! I love how they came out.

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Pet owners, please remember that lilies are poisonous to dogs and cats. So, if you have a cat that is permitted to climb atop tables and / or counters, I would opt for another flower.

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DIY on a Dime: Colorful Spring Porch Refresh

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Colorful Spring Porch Refresh

My Bright and Budget Friendly Porch Makeover

My front porch has been such a drab these last two years. Although I have had my bench and coffee table for awhile, I’ve been completely laxed on decorating the space and making it an extension of my home.

 
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First, I painted my burgundy chipped door “Dutch Tulip” red by Benjamin Moore. I used the Aura Grand Entrance line in high gloss finish. I’ve seen this front entrance in Dutch Tulip circulate all over Pinterest for years, and i finally bit the bullet and decided to go for it. I knew the color would look great on my little row house.

According to the paint expert at my local Benjamin Moore location, I did not need a primer because my door was already painted a red base with the burgundy. However, if you need a primer, I really like using Zinnser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer.

Source:  Benjamin Moore
 

First, I poured liquid TSP cleaner into a bucket of warm water and used a textured cloth to remove dirt and pollen from the door. Once the door was dry, I sanded down any nicks and imperfections.

If you’re using primer, you will want to prime the entire door next (and allow to dry 24-48 hours before painting).

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Next, paint the panels of the door first.

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Then, focus on the remaining trim of the door. I decided to paint three coats, using a single stoke with the paintbrush to reduce the appearance of brush strokes up close.

Please allow at least 24 hours between each coat, so that it may dry properly.

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Next, I worked on my concrete floor. Per the instructions for the Behr Granite Grip and Behr Concrete and Masonry Bonding Primer, I needed to strip the porch paint previously applied. Honestly, there was no way that I was going to get all of this porch paint off of the concrete floor. So, instead, I focused on stripping just the areas that were already peeling badly. Then, I sanded down the areas that were peeling to smooth it out before applying the concrete bond primer.

 

The concrete bonding primer needs a minimum of 2 hours to dry. I allowed mine to dry for approximately 3-4 hours. Then, I applied the first coat of the Granite Grip. Behr recommends at least two coats of Granite Grip for complete coverage. I applied three coats, allowing a minimum of 24 hours to dry in between each coat.

 

I’m really glad that I covered this porch with the Granite Grip. it’s hiding all of the imperfections. And, thanks to the primer, it should last for a few years.

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Shop My Outfit

Midi Dress: ASOS | Headband: Nordstrom | Earrings: Baublebar | Fallon & Royce Straw Tote: Rue La La.

 

Shop My Front Porch

Outdoor Bench Cushion: Hayneedle | Outdoor Floral Pillow: Grandin Road | Outdoor Pink Pillows: Michaels (old), similar here | Door Mat: Kirkland’s | Outdoor Area Rug: Grandin Road (old), similar here | Outdoor Bench: Target | Paris Bistro Side Chairs: Frontgate | Chinoiserie Garden Stool: Home Goods (old), similar here and here | Pink Candle Lantern: Pier 1 Imports (old), similar here and here | Outdoor Coffee Table: Amazon | Wreath: Target (sold out), similar here.

 

Shop my Planters

Tub Planter: Amazon | Chinoiserie Planters: Homesense, also available here and similar here.

 

Shop my Paints

Porch Floor: Behr Granite Grip in Tan Granite | Front Door: Benjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance in Dutch Tulip (high gloss finish).

 

Shop Miss Peppermint

Dress (old), similar here | Woof Cliquot Plush Bottle: Haute Diggity Dog.

 
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8 Ways to Incorporate Florals into Your Home Decor Without Using Flowers

All this month, we’ve been talking about flowers and how to arrange beautiful grocery store bought flowers (or silk flowers) just like a professional florist.  But, I know some of you have expressed that buying real flowers (or even some silk ones) can get very costly, which is true.  I usually buy a bouquet of fresh flowers once a week, when I do my grocery shopping.  That can get costly!  So, I thought I’d share some other ideas on how you can incorporate florals into your home, and obviously get more bang for your buck as these décor options aren’t going anywhere.

Floral Wallpaper

I’m currently on the hunt for wallpaper, and one thing that I noticed is that floral wallpaper has no intentions of going out of style.  Even better, some designers have opted in creating a new trend – large scale floral wallpaper.  I like these much better, than the smaller scaled floral wallpapers because they are much more dramatic, becoming the focal point in the room.  They look like beautiful murals, once completed.

 

Floral Upholstery

You can also use floral fabric to bring blooms into your home.  I bought these beautiful floral chinoiserie pillows from Tonic Living. But, you don’t have to stick to pillows! You can upholster a headboard, for example, with a beautiful floral print, to give your room that pop.

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Floral Stencils

If you’d like to go with something a little less permanent than wallpaper or upholstery, try stenciling.  Royal Design Studio Stencils and Cutting Edge Stencils have great stenciling options, including these floral damask patterns.  If you ever get tired of your stenciled blooms, simply paint over them.

 

Floral Scented Candles

Nothing screams, flowers than a lightly scented floral candle.  I sometimes will burn a floral scented candle, and a light linen or fresh laundry scented candle so that the floral scent isn’t too overpowering in the space.

 

Floral Art Prints

This is another option for those of us who don’t want huge (or small) flowers plastered all over the walls.  I love this botanical diagram print from McGee & Co.  Once again, the large scale floral becomes the beautiful focal point, drawing your eyes to the print.

Source:  McGee & Co.

Source: McGee & Co.

 

Floral Dinner Plates

A common Spring theme is incorporating floral dinnerware into your home for seasonal celebrations like Easter and Mother’s Day. Here are some beautiful floral dinnerware options that I’m currently obsessing over.

 

Floral Decor Accents

 

Floral Lighting

Floral lighting is in and it is quite whimsical. West Elm, Potter Barn and Horchow have some great options!

 
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DIY on a Dime: How to Arrange Your Spring Flowers Like a Pro

If you haven’t noticed by now, I enjoy having both silk and fresh flowers in my home.  It’s a habit I picked up from my Dad, who buys a bouquet of flowers from our local grocery store when he does his weekly shopping.  I usually have a small bouquet of silk flowers in each room, including the bedrooms.  I place the fresh flowers in my gorgeous brass vase in the kitchen, and sometimes an extra bouquet in the dining room.

In 2018, the University of North Florida conducted a scientific study in conjunction with the Society of American Florists.  The study provides empirical evidence showing that flowers can reduce stress.  So, it’s no surprise that buying yourself flowers boosts your mood, especially when you come home from work and you can smell the fresh floral scents.

I wanted to share some tips on how I arrange my pretty – and reasonably priced flowers – with all of you (I can find beautiful flowers at Harris Teeters or your local market).  You don’t need to purchase expensive bouquets for everyday flowers, and still get the look of a professional floral designer.  Since it’s Spring (YAY!), we’re going to focus on making a beautiful and colorful Spring arrangement, so you know exactly how to make your momma, wife, or girlfriend a bouquet just in time for Mother’s Day.

What You’ll Need

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Step One:

 Place your vase on a flat surface.  For this arrangement, I chose a dark navy ceramic vase (approx. 18”) to give my arrangement a modern and sleek look.  Next, place your flower frog on top of the vase opening. If you use Easy Arranger’s flower frog, you can bend the outer parts of the flower from to hug the vase opening.

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Step Two:

First, add your peonies.  I chose beautiful pink peonies to distribute first. Your peony blooms she be open.  If not, use your fingers to help open the flowers.  Remove any outer petals that are worn or damaged. If you need to cut the stems, remember to cut at an angle.

Since I used the Easy Arranger flower frog, I also removed some of the leaves.

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Step Three:

 Next, add the roses and ranunculus in groups throughout the vase.  For my roses, I used off white / light peach cabbage english garden roses, and bright yellow ranunculus. Remove any leaves and/or outer blooms that are not appealing.  You should also remove any thorns, if present.  You can prep your roses with a knife or your garden shears. Again, remember to cut the stem at an angle.

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Step Four:

Then, add the sweet peas.

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Step Five:

Finally, continue to remove any worn or damaged petals from your arrangement.

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Voila!  Your first floral arrangement is complete and beautiful as ever.

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After you’ve completed your floral arrangement, be sure to maintain so that they last a little longer (and you get your money’s worth).

  • Change the vase water every other day.

  • Mist petals with spray bottle.

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