Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday's What If's Post! "What If I Told You That I Lied To You?"

Hmmm….that's a catchy title if I ever saw one!
I have to admit that seeing this cover of Traditional Home helps me to confess it to you!! I guess I forgot my "roots"! I guess I forgot that I am a true collector…and with that in mind, collections at the beach are just as important to me as collections in my own home town and at my own shop! 
In all seriousness though, we have been at our beach home for almost a week and it hit me like a ton of bricks! I think I lied to some of you! I told you that our house was not decorated in the traditional and sometimes tacky way that a lot of beach places are! I guess when I'm there I truly love it so much that I don't think of it as "beach decor!" It just is what it is!
I love what we've chosen…I've love my collected pieces…especially my "Seaweed" Transferware that I have collected for as long as I can remember!

I can't tell you the hours that were spent on the internet and at Antique Shows in search of this lucious pattern of transferware!  There is actually someone that is saying she would like to purchase some of it but I just don't know if I can part with it. We truly have stacks of it in the pine cupboard that is shown here. What to do?

And, as much as I love this antique china I also truly love our art and we have collected it over time as well! A lot of the pieces are antiques….some are from artists I met years and years ago, but most are by Destin Florida's famous artist, Donna Burgess. 

Jim and I used to scour the panhandle for her beautiful work to add to our collection! I will show you just a sampling of what we've accumulated over the years! I wish I had photographed it all!
We were in a hurry to leave today and this was truly a last minute attempt to photograph some pieces for a client and one thing led to another!

Her watercolor prints are spectacular and I love them in groupings! 

The pieces above are seen as you go up the stairs to the second level where the other bedrooms and second den are. They mix quite well with the eclectic decor you often acquire at the beach! I've tried to make it my own and yet incorporate some young, fun aspects as well. If it were up to me…it would all be quite serene and nothing but antiques!

This trio is seen just as you top the stairs into the second den.

These pieces above and below definitely took me out of my "comfort zone" but were so fun to add to the fun of the bright color scheme we were going for in the upstairs den or family room.

You must admit these fabulous and yes, 'original' Sea Horses add to the setting with our lime greens and turquoise blues going on in this upstairs room! This pairing was actually quite the splurge from one of our anniversary gifts given to us by my precious in laws!

And although I can't believe I've photographed a "rumpled" sofa to show you…I wanted you to see how well this art works with our furnishings! It is fun and carefree…just like I want our beach home to be! That's why we go isn't it? To get away and relax!

So, you've seen the fun side of the beach house! That is where my children love to be! I however still long for my collections of antique dishes, antique "bathing beauties" from the 20's, my shell collections and art work brought back from trips to the Virgin Islands. 

Once again, please overlook the bad photography! I was rushing around and trying to pack the car! But you get my drift! Each piece in this home has truly been thought out and is well loved…even if it's just by me!

But I remember just how excited Jim was when we purchased these fabulous shells above after each of our trips to St. John! They glow…literally and are works of art in and of themselves!

This box of shells is a treasure!

We carried these prints above and the shell plaque below home in our laps from one of our trips to St. John.

This glorious painting above is in the "girls" room at the beach…I will never forget the day I found it!

I will also never forget the day I commissioned this artist above from Montgomery, Alabama to paint this pair of precious paintings for my oldest's sons room. It was his first "big boy" room…he just turned 29 and I have no intention whatsoever of parting with these fabulous works of art! The memories alone are priceless! ( as are the now vintage Ralph Lauren quilts that accompany them in the bedroom!)

And yes, we collected each and every one of these white shells all by ourselves on our many walks up and down the beach!
 (except for the time we paid Miller and his friend Roy to help when they were MUCH younger!) 
But they sure do hold special memories every time I see this glass vase! 
It was an idea spurred on from my most favorite movie, "Somethings Gotta Give!"

So, like I was saying earlier….

 I must apologize for telling a lie!

 I didn't mean to do it! I promise!
 I just didn't realize how much I truly love my somewhat over the top beach decor!
Nor do I EVER realize just how very much I love my "collections" and how much they mean to me! 
They are exactly why I am the way I am...

They are the reasons I even collect antique sailboats and why I even used a seaweed patterned fabric in our main den downstairs,

And why I love painted wicker chairs…especially those with unusual shapes….

And why I love slipcovered pieces and fun pillows with sea life on them! Of course this fabric was over the top expensive so I came up with a small way of incorporating it! The colors were just too good to pass up!

But when I truly stop and think about why I love my beach decor it is simply because it makes me happy! I love the painting above that is right beside my bed…I see it every morning and every night!

I love seeing this family room…I see it first thing every morning and last thing every night as well as it is right outside of our Master Bedroom. When I wake up and see this…I can promise you my heart swells with thankfulness and I make sure and tell God just how grateful I am. For some reason, when I see this room nothing else in Birmingham seems to matter. And by that, I mean the things that tend to weigh on my heart and shoulders. This place just makes me happy and glad and thankful!

I hope I haven't bored you too badly with my musings as we've just returned home! We had a wonderful time celebrating Jim's 50th birthday with family! I had a wonderful time remembering exactly what it is I started out loving in the first place! ( a quote from my OTHER favorite movie, Sweet Home Alabama!) best movie ever besides Hope Floats, Somethings Gotta Give, etc...

So, I hope this post finds you well! I have so missed all of my blogging friends, your wonderful posts and just keeping in touch in general! I am truly hoping that our life is about to slow down!

I hope this post finds you enjoying what you started out loving in the first place!

I hope this post reminds you to enjoy the mundane things in life…like picking up every white shell you see!

I hope this post reminds you to enjoy the simple and beautiful things in life…like starfish and seashells! 

I pray that this post reminds me to thank God for all of my many blessings! Including you and your friendship! Thank you for all that you have meant to me and thank you for taking the time to read this!

 With a thankful heart!


  1. Carolyn, I love all your collections and beautiful artwork. Those things really make a place personal. I kind of "lied" on my blog because I never confessed that the big tree in my living room was artificial until yesterday when I moved it out of the room...or maybe I wasn't fooling anyone with it in the first place - who knows! Enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. So gorgeous...your beach house is filled with so many fabulous collectibles, your seaweed transfer ware is amazing and I LOVE that painting near your bed. What a wonderful home to escape to...enjoy your getaway and thanks for the peek!

  3. A very comfortable getaway Carolyn. I love your beach house!!

    Art by Karena

  4. Lovely collection! The antique china looks beautiful especially when hung in an arrangement.

  5. Everything is lovely, but I especially adorer the transfeware- it is truly gorgeous.