Let’s go hunting for vintage and antique treasures, and then I will show you how I styled my finds around the house for a late summer refresh!

Late Summer

Wow, here we are already at “late summer”.

(Also known as “early fall” to many on social media…)

I think it was just a couple blog posts ago that it was “midsummer”.

And then a few before that when I wrote about summer finally arriving here on the Maine coast.

The weather this summer has been weird. So much fog. And I don’t think we ever made it to 80º. I guess I will look at the bright side and be grateful we weren’t affected by the wildfire smoke or high temps which plagued so many this year.

And while I am not saying goodbye to summer yet, I was ready to change things up a bit around the house. Some of my summer decor was starting to feel a bit tired.

It was definitely time for a little refresh!

Join me on a little tour of some of the decor changes I made as we head into these sweet lingering days of late summer.

Treasure Hunting

But first, let’s hit up some local spots where I picked up a few fun vintage and antique treasures that I immediately incorporated into my home.

Do you do that also? Find a spot for a new find as soon as you bring it home?

Last week these new items provided just the inspiration I needed!

Just wait until you see what I did with them!

A Yard Sale

My first stop last week was a yard sale some of my friends were having.

And when I say “yard sale”, I am not talking used kitchenware, mismatched glasses, worn clothing, and old paperback books.

These friends are all collectors and they were selling ironstone, spongeware, shell-decorated bottles, net floats, vintage clothing, wood boxes, and more! (Don’t you wish you lived nearby?!)

Of course I was more than happy to support my friends by “rehoming” a metal net float, a large lifesaving ring, a spongeware pitcher, and a folk art carved fish.

An Antiques Mall

Then on Tuesday I met up with my IG bestie and now IRL friend Ann from Dabbling and Decorating.

We went to Cabot Mill Antiques in Brunswick Maine, then spent a couple hours chatting over lunch at Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe.

I didn’t have a big haul — just two finials to add to my collection and a book for the guest cottage — but it was great to spend some time with Ann!

She wrote a fun blog post about our outing: Vintage Shopping, A Church Collection Basket, and Wild Oats. Read it to find out what she brought home!

An Antiques Show

I headed right out again on Wednesday morning to an antiques show in Damariscotta. This was a high-end show, with many true treasures.

Those beautiful things did not come cheap, but I did splurge on an antique Huntley & Palmer Biscuit Tin.

My dad still has my mom’s collection of these kinds of whimsically shaped biscuit tins. I think they are utterly charming!

The one I got is shaped and decorated like a wicker laundry basket. You might have noticed I am a sucker for anything that has a faux wicker or wood finish on it. I found one just like it on ebay that I have linked here!

I also picked up a vintage sailing ship print for Ann at the show. She had mentioned when we were together that she was on the hunt for these. Sometimes it takes a village to pull together a collection!

Ann shares more about the print in her blog post.

Living Room Fireplace Display

You all know that I like to change the display above my living room fireplace seasonally.

I love the nautical flag barn quilt and ships I have had there the last three summers.

But I was in the mood for a change.

When I got the large lifesaving ring from my friend at the yard sale, I thought it would make a great “wreath”. It has a wonderful aged white finish, and I knew it would look fabulous against the rough stone of the fireplace.

I pulled together an arrangement with some urns, blue coral, and a painted wooden seagull. All great elements.

Then I lived with it for a couple days.

And it left me totally uninspired. Everything about it felt wrong.

I was so disappointed and even questioned my whole “nautical ring as wreath” idea.

But then I put my creative cap on. I knew I could do better.

It needed to have a Maine feel to it. And organic elements.

So I pulled out driftwood I have collected on my walks — a large piece on the left and long sticks in an urn on the right for height.

Still not there, though — the “wreath” needed a “bow”.

I fashioned a flower out of shells I have picked up on the beach with a piece of sea glass for the center, using a glue gun to attach them all to a cardboard base. The final touch — seaweed “ribbons”!


This story is all to demonstrate that none of us always get it right on the first try. Design is a fluid process.

Make sure you have fun! Be creative!

Incorporate natural elements into your design — especially if they are things you have foraged locally.

I wish I had taken a picture of the original design, so you could see the difference. You will just have to trust me!

Oh, and lastly, those are metal fishing net float “topiaries” in the urns on either side of the fireplace. I got the two-tone one on the left from my friends’ yard sale!

A Collection of Finials

Over time I have collected a mix of old wood finials, which I have gathered together on a small wicker tray.

I was happy to bring home two more from my Cabot Mill outing with Ann.

The tray is full, so I think my collection is complete now!

Just a small detail in the room, but their worn finish and mix of woods and whites makes my heart do a little flip flop.

Coffee Table Decor

I have had the basket of books on my ottoman/coffee table for months now.

It was definitely time for a change!

I didn’t incorporate any of my new purchases here — just a grouping of neutral-toned elements that tie in with the new mantel decor.

A “bouquet” of finger sponges in an urn as a natural element and for height.

An old rope money’s knot for texture.

A sweet sailor boy bookend as a touch of whimsy.

And the detail and visual interest of a model sailboat.

All arranged on top of two of my favorite design books, both of which happen to have beautiful cover art:

The Maine House by Maura McEvoy, Basha Burwell, and Kathleen Hackett

Country House Style by Nora Murphy, Duanne Simon, and Deborah Golden.

By the way, did you know that Nora is coming out with a new book??

And that my home is going to be featured in it??!!

It was almost a year ago that Nora and her wonderful team came to photograph our home. It was so much fun, and Nora is every bit as sweet as she is talented.

Country House Living will be out early spring next year!

Limelight Hydrangea Season

All 26 of the limelight hydrangeas lining the deck are now almost in full bloom!

This hedge is truly the star of the garden this time of year.

And it will continue to put on a show well into the fall and early winter!

You can read all about limelights in my post How to Grow Limelight Hydrangeas For Beauty All Year. They truly are the gift that just keeps giving and giving.

I don’t normally like to cut flowers from my garden to bring into the house. They last so much longer outside.

But my limelights produce so many blooms, that I don’t mind sacrificing some for an arrangement inside.

They look great in the spongeware pitcher I bought at at the yard sale from my friend!

I followed some tips Farmgirl Flowers offered on the Today Show recently and arranged the blooms in a taller, looser, asymmetrical shape. I love this more natural look! What do you think?

Blueberries and Fish

The vintage Limoges fish plate wall I have in the corner of the dining area is one of my favorite arrangements.

You can read all about how this display went from symmetrical to free-flowing in my blog post Creative Wall Decor Part 2: Non-Art Displays.

It is definitely an arrangement that has evolved over time!

And this week I added a new piece — the carved wood folk-art fish I bought at the yard sale. It adds a new and different element. You know I love something that is “not like the others”, but which still fits in.

I also added the top blueberry artwork to make a trio on the small wall separating the kitchen from the dining area. This is a piece my sister found at a local “free art” box when she was visiting. She gave me the frame and I think it is a perfect complement to the other two!

A Biscuit Tin

Lastly, I placed the sweet little biscuit tin from the antiques show on the cabinet in the entranceway.

This grouping definitely needs some more work. It doesn’t feel “me” yet.

Remember design is a process?!

And I have to say I love that process!

I will share again when this corner is all pulled together!

This Week Into Next

This past week was my first in a long while when I did not have guests. The summer rush is officially over…

I pulled the house mostly back together and got out and about a bit with friends.

At night I binge watched season 2 of Capturing Home on the Magnolia channel/Discovery +. I find this show so inspiring! Designers Amy and Kate create such soulful meaningful spaces full of color and wonderful vintage pieces. I highly recommend!

And today is Maddie and Cisco’s birthday!

If you read my post Living Your Best (And Most Beautiful) Life With Dogs, you might remember that we actually share a birthday.

Maddie and Cisco might be planning a big party, but this will be a quiet one for me. Not that I ever celebrate in a big way. But birthdays spent with family are my favorites.

When I was growing up, each summer we gathered with our cousins at my grandparents in Illinois for most of the month of August. That meant I always celebrated my birthday with family instead of with friends. So that is just what feels right to me.

Next week I am looking forward to a few get-togethers with friends. Have you seen the Barbie movie?! A girls’ night out to see it is sounds like just the ticket!

I also have a hair appointment on Monday. I am doing a thing — making the transition to my new “silver” or possibly salt-and-pepper hair color. Gasp! Some days I feel good about it. And others I feel totally panicked, haha! But generally, the time feels right.

I am not going totally cold turkey on hair color, though. My stylist is transitioning my hair with scattered low lights every 8 weeks. It has been 5 months since I had full color, and I probably have another year plus before it is fully grown out.

We will see how I feel as I continue this journey. Do any of you have any silver-sister words of wisdom for me?!

That’s it for this week!

Be well, friends!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...