Summer slipped away like a whisper and along came the awesome season of Fall. My love for both seasons is passionate.
This love of the seasons carries over into the decorating of my home.
This fall I decided not to leave behind the beach-cottage look I enjoyed so much toward the end of summer. Because I wanted to hold on to some of it; yet turn the page too; I simply let a tiny bit of summer linger in the air and turned from summer to fall with a new theme I’m calling Thanksgiving By The Sea.
Now (with a little bit of creativity and imagination) my heart can magically manage to live within two worlds. Here behind the safe and strong walls of my home I can enjoy the pleasures of the sea mixed with the inviting and seasonal luxuries of the beautiful colors of fall. What more could a person desire?
Once the process began, I was surprised at how well all the things I already owned just seemed to meld together.
I’m loving this Fall Beach Cottage Theme.
VISIONS OF JESUS ON THE SHORE
Thinking of this vision that the beach theme provokes in my spirit reminds me of why I am so grateful to have such an awesome Savior who was willing to come humbly down to this earth and walk, talk and become as one of us in order to love us into an eternity with God The Father.
Hence; I do not find the theme of the beach totally out of order with Thanksgiving.
It actually fits well within the thankfulness for the many fond memories I have in my heart of times we all have shared visits to the seashore as a family during some of our years of greatest blessings. Fall is a good season to lift up praise and thanksgiving for all of those awesome memories. Using this “Thanksgiving By The Sea” decorating theme, each time I walk through the rooms of my home I am now reminded of so many ways that God has been so good to us; and during this season of thankfulness I remember that we need to offer thanks for so many cherished blessings and memories.
NOTICING THE CHANGES OF THE SEASON IN A DIFFERENT WAY
The whole concept actually inspires my heart to sing, which brings me into a more thankful mood and sets the stage for meditating on all the pure and right thoughts for the season. God is always in total control; and I am reminded of how He works everything together in order to give us this loveliest time of the year. The air is full of peace and harmony; yet also excitement and change. There is a sense of the old leaving and the new waking up beneath the ground, not yet ready to appear. An unseen renewal is going on behind the scenes that applies to our future well-being and happiness. Fall reminds me of kept promises in the state of maturity and change. It always provokes a new type of anticipation.
The seasons change like clockwork at the beach, just as they do in the heartlands; only with the extra blessing of a lovely shoreline appearing in the landscape.
Lately though; I’ve been pondering the constant rhythms of change in so many different ways; and I suppose the changes of seasons at the beach are just as lovely as the seasonal changes to inward lands; only in a different way.
So with this theme in my home I also want to ponder some of those things that God put into nature that teach us life lessons. I want to consider these changes more during the coming year. I also want to ponder the blues of the skys and the corals of the sunsets and offer thanks! Hence at our home we begin a new page of Fall by coming to Thanksgiving By The Sea; even here; of all places, in this humble little abode which actually has no shore in sight!
We have creative and imaginative minds here; and when you mix that with praise and adoration for God Almighty for giving us each and every season in each and every place; it turns out that all things are possible! Even Thanksgiving By The Sea in the little southern state of Alabama. If you don’t believe me just take a peak into our front door.
EVERY SEASON STARTS WITH A WARM WELCOME
You know all décor for me starts with the warm welcome you receive as you cross the threshold and enter into someone’s home.
This season as Fall approached in all her splendor; I wanted people to feel the casualness of the beach as they crossed into the place we call home. I wanted them to experience a sense of rest and relaxation and peacefulness within our walls whenever they stopped by to visit.
There should be a feeling of “slowing down” and “leisure.”
This was different from my usual Classic Fall Harvest approach (which I still love and will use again another season. You may review that article here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/classic-fall-thanksgiving-decor/ ); and I’m still actually pondering all the reasons why I felt so compelled to make this tiny little unexpected change. I find myself just acting on instinct and this little nudge from my spirit that tells me God will reveal every reason later if I just accept the suggestion on faith and move through it with joy.
So here I am decorating a living room in Alabama as if it were a beach cottage on a Caribbean island, and just having a blast while doing so!
The sign saying “by the sea” is now on the outside of the front door. After such an invitation from the outside; I wanted to make the entrance to the inside warm and inviting.
I think I’ve pulled that off pretty well with the modern painting of the ocean which I hung in the foyer. The painting of cool greens and blues showing nothing but refreshing waters is anchored into its space with my simple little antique desk sitting underneath it. If you are looking for a beach scene to hang on your wall; I highly recommend looking at this link. (I did not have room for it; but I think it is very pretty and interesting.) http://amzn.to/2yJoSSF
The small desk is holding a minature replica of an old fashioned aluminum bicycle with a basket in the front. I’m fascinated with bicycles this year; so this part of the room reflects part of real-life for me. I wish I had a place to hang a few bicycle canvases too. I did manage to get some bicycle pillows in on the other sofa. I’m loving all the bicycle art that is so popular right now. Here is a link to another decorative bicycle that is very similar to the one I’ve used. http://amzn.to/2hDgSzH
I’m getting ahead of myself here; but here is a photo of the bicycle pillows I like to use on the white sofa just inside our foyer entrance that has its back to the foyer and the white sofa table. With the bikes on the pillows of one sofa, and the coral on the pillows of the other sofa; I feel the sofas give off a beachy message for sure.
To give the bicycle, the desk and the painting a bit more of a fall flavor; I added the little orange wooden pumpkins. I also kept the “by the sea” look with the blue weathered anchor on the inside of the doorway; but added some fall flowers in the wreath to give it that “fall” flavor. Here is a link to another beautiful anchor which would also give the same fall effect to a room: http://amzn.to/2A41vaM
I put a sky blue vase at the top of the stairway holding some pretty blue and green daises. To give these flowers a taste of the beach; I added an old branch of wood painted antique white into the mix of blues and greens because the white wood reminded me of an old piece of driftwood you might see floating along the shoreline.
The warm welcome of the entrance is enhanced further by the pretty shades of turquoise and blue in the beaded mat I placed under a pretty silver vase containing aqua, blue and brown colored balls. If you prefer the one I used you can probably find it at Bed Bath and Beyond. These seemed to be showing off as I placed them on our antique white couch table.
The right coffee tables and the right sofa tables are probably some of the best investments you can make for the main rooms of your home. You will be using and looking at those two pieces of furniture a LOT; so consider them carefully. I chose to make mine as versatile as possible so that they can display the seasonal items I love to use. Mine are actually a black coffee table and a white sofa table. I invested more than I usually would spend on our large coffee table but I feel it has been well worth every penny. We have used it for many years and it is still a wonderful part of the room. On the other hand; the antique white sofa table that I love so much was just an old re-purposed dresser that I had considered junking. I’m so glad I changed my mind. That old chest is now one of my favorite pieces, and I’ve used it in a million different ways to say “welcome” to those entering our front door. It has also added a lot of extra storage space.
The portable bar across the foyer’s entry is the first resting place of your eyes coming inside the door and it displays a friendly little sign that says “welcome home.”
I love reading that little message each time I walk in the front door after a long day at work. Decorative messages scattered through the house are a great idea. Here is another that I thought was pretty adorable. It just fits the “fall at the beach” theme too: http://amzn.to/2AO7hun
RUTH VISITS THE BEACH
Speaking of work; I have placed my family’s heirloom statue of Ruth Gleaning Wheat on the portable bar for Fall. It is known as a valuable heirloom among our family members simply because of what it is and what it reminds us of; not its monetary value which is probably not much at all.
Our replica of Ruth represents the bounty of a good harvest to us and she helps us to remember and appreciate the results of the labor of our hands in looking after our home. She serves to represent the fruit that God brings to us from those efforts. She speaks of our own personal harvests in the midst of a harvest season.
I doubt the real biblical character of Ruth ever made it to the sea shore; but I’m sure she would fit right in there and love it if she did; so I’m keeping her in the theme of this living space because of the “harvest” logic that she brings to the table for the season of Fall.
My family has many stories that evolve around this particular statue of Ruth.
My grandmother Grace saw this statue in a store window probably back in the early 1930’s. She loved it; but dared not dream of buying it for herself. The price was just too high. My grandmother was known for being a beautiful yet wise and thrifty woman.
My grandfather owned and worked a dairy farm. He worked hard every day for money to support their household. Though “comfortable” they were not wealthy people; just good hard-working people who were very responsible and believed in paying their bills responsibly on time and saving whatever they could for a rainy day.
I’m not sure what price the store owner had on this statue; but I’ve been told that it was probably equal to three month’s wages from my grandfather’s dairy.
Grandmother Grace kept passing by Ruth every time she went to town to run her errands. She kept noticing Ruth looking out from the furniture store window when she walked down the sidewalk and passed by on her way to the grocery store.
She would stand in front of that store window and wonder how lovely that statue of Ruth would look sitting atop her piano in the living room of their house.
Grandmother Grace loved the story of Ruth and that statue just seemed to fit everything that my grandmother’s life stood for.
Her buying of the statue was one of those very irrational moments in time that would only make sense to the person thinking the thoughts.
She had to do something very out of character for her personality. She knew in her heart she somehow just had to come up with a way to obtain the money to purchase that statue of Ruth Gleaning Wheat. So she began to glean some of her own wheat. She worked hard to do whatever she could to sell things from around the house to raise the money she needed.
She saved and saved and saved every week until she finally had enough money to walk inside the store and buy that statue of Ruth! She just knew it would be gone every time she walked by that window; but for months on end Ruth stayed in that same spot whenever she passed by as if to say “I’m not leaving here until you come to get me.”
Finally my grandmother purchased that statue of Ruth Gleaning Wheat and brought it home and placed it above her other prized possession; her piano.
This purchase which might seem like nothing to us today, was probably one of the largest purchases my grandmother ever made. Today, almost 87 years later; it is still a beautiful part of our family history and I am pleased to have the statue representing the story of Ruth Gleaning Wheat inside my own home.
The statue is old and weathered now; and somewhere along the way (I do not know that story yet but am trying to find it out) she got broken. Someone very carefully glued her pieces back together and we still have her with us despite the tragedy of the brokenness.
That part of the story just fits the old message that we all have learned the hard way; that broken things increase in value and the cracks and scars of our lives just tend to give us more character over time.
So Ruth greets me each day as I come home from work. Often I too feel broken and given from a long hard day, and I sometimes pretend she is real and casually speak to her of the troubles I’ve encounter in the modern-day fields where I now go to labor. She always listens patiently and I’m sure she probably relates. She just never stops gleaning. I’m amazed at her constant strength and determination. I’m pretty sure the two of us (the three of us when I think of my grandmother Grace) are kindred spirits. I’m very glad to have Ruth’s company to keep inside the foyer of my living room beach-cottage.
To top off an already good story; one of my friends wrote and published a beautiful story about the life of Ruth. The novel is called “Ruth The Woman Who Found Romance In a Barley Field.” I wrote an article about her book and you can read it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/story-of-ruth-one-of-my-favorite-books-for-fall-pen-art/.
You might say I’ve been very blessed with Ruth stories! And I’ve loved each and every one. I’ve often written articles and stories about Ruth myself in the process of blogging. Never was there a more lovely life story that paints such a portrait of the love and promises of God. My friend’s book is offered for sale on Amazon.com and it would be an excellent bible study for any small or large group. There are great questions in the back of the book that make you think hard about several of the lessons that the story of Ruth tells.
THE COLORS OF BEACH GLASS ALWAYS FASCINATE ME
To bring a more nostalgic beach-like look to the portable bar; I’ve also incorporated a collection of red, green, turquoise, yellow and orange bottles made from sea glass. They catch the light of the sun from the windows across the room, and I love the colors that result which differ and change during the different moments of the day. When the sunlight hits the bottles like this; I’m again reminded of the seasonal changes that we all go through each year. It is only appropriate that these colorful bottles get to celebrate the season of fall at the beach on top of the portable bar.
So with all those elements of welcome; a person comes into the living room flanked with splashes of turquoise , white and coral from the beach complimented by splashes of oranges, browns and grays that speak of fall.
The blending of the cooler beach-like colors of tan and blue mixed with the warmer elements of the fall colors brings the spirit of the room to suggest a more relaxed, celebratory and cheerful way of life.
I’ve really enjoyed the surprising and eclectic results of those color choices and decor elements.
Looking around you instantly know the season is fall; but you still feel as if you are relaxing beside the sea. In my mind; this is a perfect combination of events.
The additional theme of the bicycles that are incorporated into several different spots help to keep a feeling of casualness inside the room, and I enjoy the lack of formality they present.
Every little splash of cheerfulness adds to the feeling of this place.
A WHIMSICAL FALL ELF
Did you catch a glimpse of the little fall elf on the coffee table?
We’ve heard that God gave him the job of painting the trees this fall, and he has been quite a busy fellow!
This is the very week that the results of his efforts have started popping up everywhere.
All of the leaves in our neck of the woods are changing their dresses and bringing out their lovely colors. They put on a new parade for us every day; and I think this little elf with the specific instructions of God may be secretly coordinating all of their steps.
He smiles knowingly from the side table at anyone who dares to question his motives. He has maintained a tiny little space on our fall end-table for years now. The skinny little fellow has miraculously survived the love, hugs, kisses and bending and posing of all his limbs by of all three of our grandchildren. The owl in the candy dish keeps him company when they are not around to play. I order my little elves (she makes some for ever season of the year) from Anna Lee. You can find them on-line at the Anna Lee website.
I’ve changed the gray curtains of the living room windows into a refreshing shade of turquoise. To give a different effect I deliberately left the golden sunflower yellow color on the curtains in the dining room. The contrast of the two colors seems to work without any problem. I still feel the flow that connects the two main rooms to each other and it all works together for the foyer and the hallways too.
The color blends of the curtains hanging in the two separate, yet open and joined rooms remind me of many of the paintings of Vincent van Gogh. I’m hoping to see the movie called “Loving Vincent” this fall; being a huge Van Gogh fan. I’m excited about this movie because it was made from the oil canvases of over 100 artists who painted together for a period of ten years in which they attempt to tell their imaginary stories of the last few weeks of the famous artist’s life. It is the world’s first ever feature length oil-painted animated film. There has never been another movie like it; and it should be very interesting to see.
I suppose one could look at my draperies and ask the same question they asked of Vincent van Gogh; “Is she mad or just genius?” Okay……maybe not…..but it was a nice thought anyway.
For the living room widows; I let turquoise and beige pumpkins find a home at the bottom of each window. My granddaughter loves to sit and play with these pumpkins when she comes over for a visit. Want some turquoise and beige pumpkins too? You might find a few left at Michael’s.
My dining room table is now spread with some lovely beach colors.
The large white bowl full of turquoise, blue and white colored wicker balls and the light blue candles in silver holders keep the beach theme going on. I’ve added a few fall touches here and there. If you need some pretty silver candle holders; try here: http://amzn.to/2AMdHdF
The turquoise and gray place mats were a great find; and they tied together a lot of what I was wanting to portray in the dining area for this season. The plates are simple yet elegant and they add that pop of color accented by a fall-ish ring of brown. The starfish on each side of the centerpiece give the table that finishing touch; as do the colorful vintage napkins with their pretty darker blue flowers.
I always find a place to display the wicker cross that I found in our storage building long ago on one of those days when I wasn’t looking for anything. I’ve always loved having it inside my house.
This cross has taken on every seasonal message of our home for many years now.
For the Thanksgiving By The Sea this season I sprinkled it with some fall leaves and added the sign “by the sea” which again gives me that beautiful vision of Christ walking the shores of Galilee.
To add to the beach-like atmosphere of this corner of the dining room, I put a little lantern filled with sea shells at the foot of the cross.
When all the pieces came together I thought the dining area turned out pretty and cozy. It will make for a nice fun place for our ever-growing family to gather on Thanksgiving Day.
You know the heart of the home is always the kitchen. The piece of furniture that absolutely everyone loves and adores in my kitchen is the counter height kitchen table with the black smoked-glass top. Hours and hours of conversation have gone on around this table. I often use it like most people use a kitchen island. It really does show off any of my food art and all of my seasonal decorations and dishes. It is probably my favorite piece of furniture inside our home. There is no better way to show off your labor of love in the kitchen. Of course, my very favorite item for this fall’s seasonal kitchen decor is our Family Fall Tree which I display each year at Thanksgiving inside our kitchen window.
I still have those warm memories of last year when our little Lennon arrived just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with us and his Mom and Dad and Big Brother added the leaf with his name on it to our FALL FAMILY TREE.
That will always be a memory that I cherish. You can find out how to order your own fall Family Tree in this article: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/family-tree/
The Fall Family Tree has some different company this year.
There are new beige and turquoise pumpkins flanked by little Anna Lee figurines that have a fall look about them.
One is an apple picker; which is one of our family’s favorite fall activities; and one is another little fellow who is gathering in his fall pumpkins.
The figurines in the window beneath the tree are complimented by the one in the center of the beach-like centerpiece of our kitchen table. I just filled a bowl full of shells; put the little fellow on top of them and surrounded him by larger shells that are filled with fall candies.
This little guy is gathering fall squash to feed his family this winter. That happens in our kitchen too; so he fits right in. I’ve given him a few pumpkins for decorations; and I’ve added some candy corn to the big sea shells that accent the large wooden bowl full of shells in the center.
Fall and the Sea are surely coming together here at this kitchen island/table; and I’ll have fun serving people on these turquoise place mats with matching napkins.
Don’t you love the seashell plates?
Soon all of the kitchen and living room turquoise will be reflected in the front yard because I’m working on painting my turquoise picnic table; just have not finished that project yet. It will surely be in place by spring; but until then the turquoise accents inside the house will have to send out the message of hospitality.
I suppose you know that the meaning behind the word/color of “turquoise” has now become traditional for representing hospitality in our communities. That meaning is something I learned from the book called “The Turquoise Table.” I’ll be official in the movement soon. I hope to start the turquoise table fad in our local community. In the meantime – the welcome mat is out in the kitchen and the main parts of my house have their turquoise hospitality showing.
There is one more little elf that will be joining the fall landscape painter elf who sits on our den coffee table. He must have needed a helper; because we have lots of fall trees. This one is now resting on my kitchen counter whenever he isn’t helping God to paint the landscape with his partner who is resting in the living room. We are beginning to see the results of all of their hard work everywhere! It is quite beautiful. Soon my fall tree will be in a full blaze of glory and it will probably be the brightest spot on our street. I love that these little elves are sneaking around and helping out every chance that they get.
For a little finishing touch; I placed the replicas of sailing ships that I usually use every summer beside the lamp in the living room. I think they add that final element of relaxing by the sea shore.
As you can see I’ve been a bit carried away with this beach cottage fall theme. So much so that I could almost turn this article into a novel. I’ve even carried the theme of fall at the seashore over into the bedrooms and bathrooms of our home. Since it is my favorite season; I want the theme to be every where that a person lives in the house.
I bought this lovely frame to hang some of my necklaces from; and also to display some of my favorite pics of all three of my grands. ( I’ve got to get those photos inside the frames before the holiday! ) At least I found the frame a spot on the wall a;ready.
Photo frames are great for bringing out the seasonal themes of a room. I’ve got fall family photos scattered in beach-themed frames all over the place.
I’ve also put a pretty beach canvas painting and a matching basket full of towels in the guest bath. I think we are now ready for anything.
I hope your fall home is giving you as much joy as ours has this year. Feel free to drop in anytime and have a cup of coffee with us beside the fireplace.
I’ve got to run and dream up a seafood feast for Thanksgiving. Now what did Jesus serve those disciples after they came dragging in from a long fishing trip? Maybe that will give me some good ideas……
If you wish to review some of the recipes I finally decided on; you can find them here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/thanksgiving-by-the-sea-recipes/
May your fall be warm and cozy and your heart be filled up with thankfulness for all of God’s many blessings!