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Summer’s (almost) here and the livin’ is easy. People everywhere are in a sun-tanned, sandy-toed beach state of mind, as seen in their ocean blue nails, wavy beach hair, and, also, in and around their home. What better way to feel like you’re at the coast than to spruce up your living space with oceanic accents and navy-inspired furniture?
Swedish interior designer Anna Örnberg shares her nautical know-how in her new book, “The Nautical Home: Coastline-Inspired Ideas to Decorate with Seaside Spirit.” Even the smallest apartments can invoke a maritime aesthetic thanks to Örnberg’s do-it-yourself projects and crafts. Here are five projects from the book simple enough to transform any room in the house into a Cape Cod beachfront. Salty sea air not included.
Showcase your shells
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Be sure to keep all of your beach treasures in one place, specifically where everyone can see. “Collect your treasures in large glass jars or under glass domes, and leave them around as eye candy,” Örnberg says in the book.
Lights will guide you home
If you’re having an outdoor party, who needs plastic tealight holders when you can use seashells? Örnberg uses large shells to hold candles and act as beachy lanterns. Really want to get into the theme? Place the shell lanterns together in a dish covered in sand. Wedging the “lanterns” deep in the sand will keep them upright until the candles burn out.
Explore the seven seas
Don’t throw out that old, scratched up dresser just yet. Örnberg likes to dress up vintage pieces in sea charts. In the book, she says to first clean the dresses, and then sand with sandpaper. Next, paint the piece with primer. For parts not covered in charts, add two coats of interior paint. Then cut the appropriate sized pieces of chart, apply wallpaper paste and stick firmly and flatly. After the twenty-four hour drying period, keep the surface protected with clear, non-yellowing, water-based varnish.
Don’t spend another dime on expensive curtains from the department store. “You can make awesome curtains for mere pennies from cheap burlap,” says Örnberg in the book. She takes a burlap weave soaks it in a tub of water, and leaves it in a pile to dry for that wrinkled effect. To complete the look, use Hawser rope as a tieback.
Out to sea
For Örnberg, a rope-lined mirror resembles a window on a pirate ship. To get this fun look, sand the mirror’s frame with sandpaper and wipe it down with denatured alcohol. Using hawser rope, bind the edges of the rope with twine and use glue gun to attach it to the mirror’s frame. Nail in some brads to secure the rope. Attach hemp rope on either sides to finish it off.
Follow Asia Ewart on Twitter: @asiaewart