Curbly Original
Forget What You Know About Nautical Decor: The Complete Guide to Coastal Design

by Amber Dickson
Nautical Decor Design Guide
Photo: Chipper Hatter for CM Natural Design

The widespread appeal of nautical and coastal decor makes a lot of sense when you consider the primal and ancient connection humans have to the sea. Being attracted to the water is hardwired into our very cells. Scientific studies have proven what we already know anecdotally: spending time near, on, or in lakes and oceans make us happier and healthier. It's no wonder that so many of us respond to the colors, clean lines, and natural elements of coastal, beach, and nautical decor. It makes us feel good to be reminded of the sea.

If your initial reaction to the term "coastal decor" is negative, it's probably from witnessing too many cutesy and heavy-handed thematic rooms.  We are not advocating buying and displaying any and all items that have a sailboat or seahorse on them. Good decorating never grows out of an overly simplistic theme, and, "Put an anchor on it" is not a valid design philosophy!           

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3 Tutorials That Will Have You Lettering Chalkboards Like a PRO

by DIY Maven
Chalkboard lettering made easy
Background by Mateusz Liberra / Shutterstock

Okay, show of hands... How many of us have sat down with chalk in hand in front of our new DIY chalkboards, ready to start lettering, only to realize that our chalkboard lettering skills stink? This morning at about 4:30am while I was surfing the webs --because that's what I do when I wake up waaaay too early and I don't want to get out of bed and my iPhone is within reach--I spotted a genius tutorial on Indie Craft Parade that shows how to letter like a total pro. Inspired, I started digging - and today I'm sharing three great tutorial for chalkboard lettering that'll make it seem like you went to calligraphy school.              

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Curbly Original
Before and After: How to Transform a Rusty Metal Cabinet to a Modern Statement Piece

by Jeran McConnel
Before and After: How to Transform a Rusty Metal Cabinet to a Modern Statement Piece
Photo: Jeran McConnel

Okay, confession time.  I have a lot of random junk in my garage.  I love to thrift, so when I come across furniture that has "potential", I buy it and save it for a rainy day.  This ugly little metal drawer cabinet has been in my garage for a couple years now collecting dust.  I bought it at the Pasadena Flea Market and paid about $20 for it.  It was very rusty and had a lot of holes and chipped layers of paint.      

        

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67 Furniture "Before and Afters" That'll Totally Inspire You

by M.E. Gray

The ultimate roundup of furniture "Before & Afters" to inspire you!

I love a good before-and-after, don't you? There's so much satisfaction in taking a sad roadside find or cheap garage sale rescue and totally transforming it into something new and different. We've rounded up some of our favorite furniture makeovers to inspire you to either start that upholstery project, get out the spray paint, or hit up this weekend's local yard sale scene. From dressers to dining tables, here are some of our favorite furniture makeovers.           

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Curbly Original
How to Furnish Your Walls at the Thrift Store

by M.E. Gray

Gallery wall made from thrifted items!

I have a hard time spending a lot of money on wall art. I feel horrible saying that. I got my Bachelor's degree in art, so I - of all people - totally understand the effort and talent that's required to create good art. Honestly, I'm just cheap. While I might occasionally splurge for a print or photo I really love, my home is hardly a museum. I can't afford to fill my walls top to bottom with one-of-a-kind art pieces. So yeah, I might be cheap, but I'm pretty dang thrifty, too! Whether it's sprucing up some existing wall art, or creating my own with found items, I can fill a wall for under $40. The best place to find forgotten and dirt-cheap wall decor is your local second-hand store (think Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army, etc.). I set out to create a cheap gallery wall using only things I found at the thrift store, and here's how it worked out.          

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Vintage Eye Candy: 70s Interiors That'll Make You Say, "Groovy, Baby!"

by Amber Dickson
1970s interior design
Photo: Unknown

The distinct colors, shapes, and textures of the 1970s give interiors from that era a unique energy. Currently, the decade's distinct vibe is coming back, and influencing current trends in a big way. Yes, 70s style might be considered over-the-top now, but comb through examples from that era and you will find pieces and inspiration that will bring new liveliness to your space all while fitting in to your current decor. Keep scrolling for some rad eye candy!           

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Curbly Original
Update Your Decor With These 16 Cool Rattan Pieces

by Rachel Jacks

With the recent resurgence of bohemian style, it's no wonder that rattan is also making a comeback. But you might be surprised to discover that rattan can look surprisingly chic. Context is everything, and mixing a rattan piece or two in with more modern elements can make all the difference between a room that looks like the revenge of the '70s, and one that looks like you just added in a bit of natural rattan flair. If you're ready to give it a chance, check out our modern rattan finds (no papasan chairs included). 

 

Rattan Beds

Rattan daybed
Rattan daybed available at Anthropologie

If you're ready to re-create the above look for yourself, you can buy a similar rattan daybed here.

Rattan headboard
Rattan headboard available at Urban Outfitters

This rattan headboard is a lower-commitment, less expensive way to get a similar look.

Rattan headboard
Rattan headboard available at Target

Target also has a rattan headboard at a similar price point, as well as that cute little ottoman at the end of the bed. It would make a great plant stand or side table.

 

 

Rattan Chairs

Rattan armchair
Armchair available at Ikea

If the natural blond color of rattan doesn't work with your decor, the black paint color on this Ikea armchair might be a better fit. 

Rattan hanging chair
Rattan hanging chair from Serena & Lily

I have to admit that I've had a soft spot for rattan hanging chairs ever since I sat in my grandparents' when I was a child. A few years ago I hunted one down at vintage shops, but if you're not having any luck with that approach, this one is a great alternative. 

Rattan chair
Rattan side chair available at Target

This simple rattan arm chair looks perfect for that awkward corner in your bedroom or living room. 

Rattan chair
Chair available from World Market

Although similar to the one above, this rattan chair is a bit more expensive, but has a more intricate look. It also comes in a black version.

Rattan side chair
Rattan side chair available from Anthropologie

Surprisingly considering the source, this stylish rattan chair beats both of the above on price.

Rattan side chair
Rattan side chair from CB2

This curvy take on a rattan chair almost reads more like sleek black metal.

Rattan Accessories

Rattan side table
Rattan side table from The Citizenry
 

The woven pattern makes this rattan side table an especially cool piece.

Rattan globe ceiling light
Globe light available at Target

This black rattan globe light easily fits in with sleek and modern decor.

Rattan Ikea basket
Rattan basket from Ikea

This rattan basket would be perfect for holding cozy winter blankets and throws.

Rattan floor lamp
Rattan floor lamp available from Target

If you don't have a spot for a hanging globe light, this rattan floor lamp is another cool option.

Rattan mirror
Rattan mirror available from Target

Not ready to go for a full rattan chair? Add just a touch with this loopy rattan mirror

Rattan baskets
Rattan baskets available from World Market

These rattan baskets are another stylish way to incorporate the trend in a small dose.

Rattan finds for your home that look fresh and modern

Ready to add some rattan to your decor? 

Need more rattan in your life? Learn how to make a rattan jewelry organizer.

How to make a bohemian wall-mounted earring organizer

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Curbly Original
Make a Tufted Velvet Flower Pillow as Good as Urban Outfitters

by Holly Wade
Tufted velvet flower pillow project
Photo by Holly Wade

I have a pillow problem. Anywhere I go, I instantly want to look at the pillow section and leave with an armful of pillows I DON'T NEED. It never stops me, and one of my favorite places to pillow shop is Urban Outfitters, which is where I stumbled upon these velvet flower pillows with tassels. Since velvet is my go-to fabric this time of year, I fell in love with the pillows and decided to practice self-restraint, telling myself I could make one and save a few bucks. Since I already had the supplies at home, my Urban Outfitters knock-off velvet flower pillow was FREE compared to the $50 version!        

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My Secret Weapon for Saving Tired Wood Furniture

by Rachel Jacks
Before shot of wood furniture in need of a facelift
Photo: Rachel Jacks

A few years ago, I discovered a product for reviving worn wood that I can't believe I didn't know about sooner. It took the recommendations of two different vintage furniture dealers before I tried it, but now it's an essential step for fixing up any tired-looking wood furniture that comes into my house. Best of all, this miracle-in-a-can is affordable, easy to find, and easy to use. Read on if you're ready to give it a try (or let my "after" photos of the chair above convince you if you think it sounds too good to be true!).             

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12 Camper Makeovers that will Amaze You

by Holly Wade

I'm going to let you all in on a little dream of mine. I want to makeover a vintage camper SO badly! I'm a little more concerned with buying a house right now (ugh), but one day, I would love nothing more than to purchase a rundown vintage trailer and make it over into the cutest, coziest trailer to take on adventures and camping trips. Since I'm more interested in "glamping" than actual camping, these camper makeovers seemed like the perfect inspiration for me. To get inspired, I put together 12 camper makeovers that are sure to amaze you and make you want to run out and buy a camper/trailer/RV tomorrow to make all of your glamping dreams come true!

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Shopping Guide: How to Put Together an Affordable Mid-Century Modern Patio

by Tracy Leigh Morgan
CB2 Ixtapa Chair
Source: CB2

Who loves a good deal?! Yep, me too! Whether you're setting up your patio for the first time this summer, or just giving it a little zhuzh for the season, it's always more fun when you find affordable goodies and killer seasonal sales - more summer for your buck, so to speak. For this shopping guide, I've put together a soft, summer-y version of Mid-Century Modern. Not too edgy, but with the right amount of clean lines and angles - and at an affordable price.       

 

I love a good design influence, so I always start with a look or a vibe I'm trying to achieve (in this case, MCM!). Starting with an idea helps me plan my color palette, as well as the elements I'll need. It's a good idea to plan ahead, as it'll save you from shopping those precious summer minutes away!

This patio look will work in almost any environment. It shares a neutral color palette with a blend of a few colors, grounded with natural wood and black accents. By keeping the palette neutral and the furnishings classic, you can play around with new colors and textures year after year, while keeping the basic furnishings.

And, we're not staying strictly MCM in style, either. Consider this an updated-for-2018 version of MCM, with all the right vibes. Purists can say what they want but THIS is the today-feeling patio that I want to sip cocktails on.

I've included high, low, sale, and affordable selections here (prices are likely to change, of course)...and even a few vintage finds! Overall, I think a little restraint with colors and a style "direction" helps the blend feel pulled together and still casual, instead of edging towards a mix-matchy retro garage sale vibe. Okay, let's go!


Furniture

Midcentury Modern Vibe: Patio Furniture

1. A bit of an investment (but on holy-moly sale right now), West Elm's coffee table is a serious MCM nod to get the party started: Mosaic Tiled Outdoor Coffee Table; Regularly $469, now $281

2. This petite dining table from IKEA is perfect for morning coffee and happy hour sips: LÄCKÖ table; Regularly $39

3. Another MCM wink here with CB2's updated take on the rope-strung, South American styles of the past: Ixtapa Grey Lounge Chair; Regularly $259, now $199

4. Even if you don't have a full conversation set yet, just toss one of these poufs into the mix and everyone will feel right at home: Project 62™ Ikat Dot Outdoor Pouf; Regularly $49.99

Add some great weather-resistant pillows to give an extra pop of color, if you'd like.

Underfoot

Midcentury Modern Vibe: RugsUSA.com Trans Ocean Ravella Outdoor Rug

These muted colors act almost as a neutral base for the "room" and would look fab with weather-resistant jute or sisal-look rugs layered on.

5. RugsUSA.com is actually one of my favorite decorating "tricks." There's almost always a sale going on and they have just about any style you can think up. This sassy outdoor stunner comes in a variety of shapes and sizes: Trans Ocean Ravella Ombre in Aqua, 3.5' x 5.5'; Currently on sale for $147


On the Table

Midcentury Modern Patio Vibe: Tabletop

6. I love enamelware over plastic for outdoor use. Somehow plastic never feels like it stands up to the abuse, or looks as stylish: Hearth & Hand with Magnolia™ Enamel Dinner Plate; Regularly $4.99 ea

7. All purpose, BPA-free & dishwasher safe, this is the kind of plastic you want. Pour the piña coladas, please!: Williams-Sonoma Domaine Shatterproof Outdoor Goblets; Regularly $9.95, now $7.96

8. Basic and pretty; another situation where real trumps plastic every time: H&M Home 4-pc matte black forks; Regularly $12.99

9. A cute modern touch that brings the graphic element of MCM to the table. Literally: IKEA HEMMASTADD paper napkins 30 pack; Regularly $1.99


Decor Accents

Midcentury Modern Patio Vibe: Decor

Now, you can spend a gazillion bucks bringing in the final touches. Decorating, styling, accessorizing...whatever you want to call it, this is where things get exciting. Let's start with the patio necessities: plants & light.

10. I can't get over how slick this pendant is, and how seamlessly it would work with MCM, modern farmhouse, Scandi, and just about any style you can think up. Plus...it's solar!: Black Cap Solar LED Outdoor Pendant; Regularly $49.99; sale $34.99

11.  Hairpin legs - classic MCM. While these aren't down & dirty cheap, they are another foundational style element and worth the moolah. This one comes in 3 different sizes, too: 9" White Ceramic Planter with Stand; Regularly $29.99

12. Another MCM-goes-modern twist: Dark Turquoise Ceramic Planter With Wood Stand; Regularly $24.99

13. The reflective gold insides of these cheap candle holders are perfect for extending the summer evenings, and no one will ever know if you're burning citronella tea lights!: H&M Home Small Metal Tea Light Holder in charcoal gray; Regularly $2.99 


A Little Something Extra

Midcentury Modern Patio Vibe: Vintage & Other Extras

With any decor project, I like to bring a little soul into the room by way of vintage additions or just a pinch of good fun.

14. These affordable bowls, platters, pitchers and dinnerware are everywhere so keep your eyes peeled at thrift stores and vintage shops. Or, search Etsy & Ebay for "melamine" or "melmac" for indestructible outdoor goodies. Vintage Boonton melamine divided bowl; Regularly $12

15. Pier 1 brings the pool silliness here, with a perfect mid-century vintage feel: Peacock Pool Float; Regularly $89.95, now $67.46

16. Great little side tables and stools help round out the look: Vintage Midcentury Modern Tripod Serving/Side Table; Regularly $52.50


Affordable Summer Midcentury Modern Patio Shopping Guide
Share this shopping guide on Pinterest!

Now you'll have a perfect start to your summery twist on the Mid-Century Modern patio. Let me know in the comments if you've found other budget-friendly or packed-with-style items this season!    

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