Decorating Lifestyle Thrifting & Vintage

Thrift the Look: Vintage Lake House Chic

September 27, 2018
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!

Audrey Would Thrifts the Vintage Lake House Look

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.

From the pages of Country Living Magazine

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?

DIY Shelf Wooden Building Level Trim

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.

Shopping List Thrift the Look Vintage Lake House Challenge

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!

Thrift the Look Vintage Lake House - Audrey Would

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 FacebookWe 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.

Thrift the Vintage Lake House Look      |      Sadie Seasongoods      |      Virginia Sweet Pea      |      Postcards from the Ridge

Thrift the look - Vintage Lake House - Creative Vintage Darlings

Itsy Bits and Pieces     |     Audrey Would! Vintage Home    |    Lora B. Create & Ponder     |     Vinyet Etc.

Pinned & Shared at Audrey Would

A thrifted model clipper ship for lake house decor.

Thanks for stopping by!

Audrey Would Vintage Home blog

Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home unless otherwise indicated.

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    • Reply MissMel February 3, 2019 at 9:46 am

      I came across an antique item that you showed on Pinterest.. I’m so happy to have stumbled upon it.. then one page led to another of yours.. now I’m enjoying many of your write-ups and photos and your glorious ways you share details that led themselves to our homes.. Thank you Xo

      • Reply Sheila Zeller February 3, 2019 at 9:53 am

        Thank you so much! What wonderful feedback. I’m happy to know you are enjoying the posts, and it always makes me smile when antique and vintage pieces find their way into new homes! 🙂

  • Reply Lora Bloomquist September 27, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    I love your version! Your levels shelf is perfect, and that ship’s wheel you found is awesome. Love your ironic humor throughout;) So fun to do this challenge with you!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 27, 2018 at 9:37 pm

      Thank you Lora! It was fun to do the challenge with you, too. The way you worked your lake house look was so well done from one shelf to the next! The ship’s wheel was such a lucky find. I maybe should have written about it. It’s actually a lamp, and I almost swapped it in for the lamp I did use in the challenge, but if you saw its vintage plug and lightbulb socket, whoa. Potential fire hazard! Rewiring is a must if this guy is going to be put to use!

  • Reply Angie @ Postcards from the Ridge September 27, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Wow. You really did find a lot of very similar items to the inspiration photo. It looks perfect! And I adore the shelf. The towel was a great find too! All of it is perfect!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 27, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you so much Angie! I have to say, I loved and related to so many details in your post. Board games are a great way to spend time, but honestly, who’s the Market? 🙂

  • Reply Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces September 27, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Oh this looks wonderful! I really love the lamp! You really created the look and put your own spin on it! Great job!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 27, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you Linda! I have to say, I think you did the same. I loved how you took the challenge and made it work for you and your space. So inspiring!!

  • Reply Laurie @ Vinyet Etc September 27, 2018 at 10:54 am

    You totally nailed this challenge – I’m with Paula! AND I actually squealed when I saw your level shelf, OMgoodness!!! Brilliant! So many inspirational ideas I simply adore how you worked within your own home and used our inspiration image and made it your own!!! So good! AND – I have to say, check list is AMAZING and total cost breakdown is so helpful!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      Awww, thank you Laurie! You are such a source of inspiration for me, and I’m not kidding, I thought about you as I was setting things up and shooting my pics…what would Laurie do? So here’s to you my creative friend!

  • Reply Home To Heather September 27, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I can’t believe you found that lamp! It’s so perfect! And I love how you changed up your thinking to fit the ‘vibe.’ You were right to forego the mid century radio for your stack of pretty items. It all turned out so so well!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 27, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      The lamp was such a search. I came across one without a price and no-one in the thrift inclined to give me one, and then another that was gorgeous with the same gorgeousness in a hefty price…and I searched, and searched, and I thought I was doomed (’cause I never would have though to do what you did, no lie). Then, in the last 2 weeks before show time this one appeared. I think it was meant to be! 😉

  • Reply paulasweetpea September 27, 2018 at 8:37 am

    You nailed this challenge! I love your idea of creating a list of things to look for when you are thrifting a look. I need to do that for our next challenge. The linen tea towel that you found is perfect for this look. I also love the lampshade that you found, it’s really pretty! I like both of your looks but I’ll pick the one on the right as my favorite with the addition of the extra painting below the shelf.

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 27, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you Paula! If I didn’t make lists I would never finish a thing. True story – when I was thrifting my way through this challenge I honestly pulled that reference pic out of my purse in the same thrift more than once. How does one forget that quickly? Eek!!

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