Step into the world of thrifted chic! See how I re-created a vintage lake house look with thrift store finds and other second-hand goods. Think clipper ships, nautical tchotchkes, and typical lakeside elements made of wood and aged brass. So much fun!
Today I am one of eight bloggers participating in this first blog hop for the brand new blogging group, “Thrift the Look”. And, today is our reveal day! Pour yourself a coffee and cozy up for the maiden voyage of Thrift the Look: Vintage Lake House. You will find links to each blogger’s reveal at the end of this post.
Thrift this Look: Vintage Lake House Chic
We had a choice between two vintage lake house looks, both sourced from the stylish pages of Country Living magazine. The first, a white backdrop of shiplap and a worn, chippy sideboard accented with vintage nautical pops. The second, a brown stained wood on wood floor to ceiling bookcase loaded with old hardcover books and classic lake house goodies.
I chose look #1. Since we downsized a few years ago, there’s not a lot of room for too much ‘stuff’, so I had to be strategic and think this through. My jump off was determining where this lake house moment would live, and then start with a few pieces I already had to form the backbone of where to begin.
Where to Begin for the Vintage Lake House look
I decided our covered deck could use a bit of a boost, but as renters that meant no major overhauls. The walls are gray stucco (it sounds worse than it actually is!), so that meant no hanging anything with nails. My biggest challenge was figuring out the shelf, which turned out to be one of my favourite things.
Vintage Wooden Levels to Create a Shelf
I spied these two vintage levels at Value Village and instantly felt the vibe. I had no idea how I would integrate them, but I knew they were making the cut. How could they not?
When I started to improvise the shelf, it all came together like clock-work ;-). I placed one wooden level at the back to lift the mirror up and used the groove in the top to help hold the mirror in place. I used the nicer of the two levels along the front edge of the shelf to give it a unique, finished look. I thought the round brass casing resembled a mini porthole, so perfect for a nautical touch!
Vintage Lake House Look Thrifting List
We have been working on our Thrift this Look throughout the summer, and I have had a ton of fun hunting down my vintage lake house treasures. For months I packed this picture with me everywhere I went – you can see the well-worn crease lines from folding the page! When I got home I would check things off my list. This is how I tracked what I had, where I found each item and how much it cost.
Some of the things I thought would be easy-peasy to find were not, and a few of the impossible dreams stared me down on the shelves!
I thought the little seashell trinket box would be a fairly easy find given where I live, but it ended up being a no show. I had to improvise with this pretty purple shell to achieve that look. The shell is sitting on a vintage glass bobeche (glass collars on candle chandeliers to catch dripping wax) turned upside-down, and settled amongst beach glass.
Something to keep in mind when you’re putting together your lake house look is to include little touches of nature like feathers and no fuss greenery or flowers. My feather was found this summer when we were on vacation visiting family, so it not only provides the nature element, but it has a little story and memory to go with it! The greenery was snipped from a tree in our yard.
Thrift the Look: Vintage Lake House Reveal
Here is how it all came together. My very first find was ‘The Lake District’ linen tea towel. It wasn’t Maine, but it was a main part of the lake house look, and I picked it up for $3.00. It’s brand new, you can tell it’s never been washed or used.
I have two versions of my reveal because I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. On the left I’ve added extra greenery to the vintage green vase, but have left out the painting of the clipper ship beneath the shelf.
Which one do you like?
You know, I actually bought chalk paint and had planned to paint the table my Dad made, and the shelf including the levels. But as I stepped back with my can of paint and paint brush in hand, I had second thoughts. Even though the inspiration photo I chose is chic cottage white, I don’t think white was right for this collection with the gray stucco in the background. I did put the shelf edge out that had traces of old white paint on it though.
I had a vintage radio to use, but it looked way out of place. It’s very Mid-Century Modern, and just didn’t have the right look. So in place of the white radio I used an old vintage dictionary instead. I thought it’s height and look would fit in just right. The tin on top was a gift from my daughter quite a few years ago, and I thought is would work well to help fill in the radio gap. Plus it sets off the vintage model clipper ship perfectly.
Here’s one more look at the inspiration photo and one of my reveals, side-by-side. If I could have painted the stucco, I think that would have been a game changer, and maybe, just maybe I would have kept going with the open can of chalk paint! Although, I have to admit, I wasn’t super keen on painting the levels. I like them as is.
The Cost Breakdown to Thrift this Look
With the other clipper ship painting, it would be an even $75. You notice there’s no price on the brass mirror, and that’s because I thrifted that years ago. I can’t remember what I paid, and I’ve had it in my living room ever since… I found my decor pieces in a bunch of different thrifts, and it was interesting how varied the pricing can be. That’s something to be aware of when thrifting, because it’s so tempting to overspend when you’re caught up in the moment of trying to outfit a look.
Do you think you would be up for a Thrift the Look challenge? Come join The Creative Vintage Darlings on Facebook. We have so much fun! You can also find lots of inspiration through our hashtags, #CreativeVintageDarlings (check us out on Instagram), and for our new thrifting group, #ThriftTheLook and #VintageLakeHouse for this challenge.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. But remember, I’m just one of eight bloggers hopping today. Below are the links to the rest of the vintage lake house reveals. Better top up your coffee!
Now please go see how the rest of the team thrifted the look.
Thanks for stopping by!
Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home unless otherwise indicated.