A Beach Cottage Decorating with Stencils & Vintage Chairs…

Mon 26th, Jul, 2010

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Well hello!

Survive the weekend?

I did, even though I ate about a million of those little Chinese dumpling thingies …enough passed my lips perhaps for all of Australia…

All is good here plus I added a little something to the chair…

This, Beach Cottagers, is a million dollar curbside chair…now ya don’t see too many of those around do you?


I decided to ignore just about everyone on this one on painting the front legs, those who left a comment here for me, those I Facebook with, those in this house, the lovely Mr Beach Cottage.

here is how it looked before


Something just wasn’t sitting right with me about painting over the legs of this old thing…and so I didn’t.

I had a feeling that when I sand-papered the rest of it the legs would look again like they were with the right owner and it seems my hunch was right…when I attacked the fresh new white beachy vintage paint the old creamy time-worn patina began to creep back in.

and my lovely Little Mr Beach Cottage did a good job too of whacking it with a screwdriver in places to chip it up a bit.


The numbers have been in the back of my mind for a very long time.  You see, every time I go to the infamous Frenchy shop, there sits a Frenchy pillow, guess where it’s from?  All the way from France.  This pillow is in a touchable linen…it cries out for you to stroke it as you wander past.  Which is a very good job too ‘cos just about all I have been doing is stroking it.  I don’t spose I need to tell you it has a dainty little handwritten boutique label on it with an, ahem, rather not-so-dainty price.


Now, this particular pillow is adorned with the French word for night I believe, or no perhaps it is for sleep…stencilled on in black letters..but anyway if I spent that much on a pillow I wouldn’t be doing much sleeping.

And ever since the day I first saw it, and still now when I could possibly get away with sending my kids down the mines while I lounge around on the pillow, there is something that stops me from getting it to the till.  I find sometimes that an extortianate amount of money for something like a pillow no bigger than an exercise book somewhat grotesque…wherever it may be from…however much I have to indulge…do you feel that too?  Or do you think if you are absolutely squandering around in cash you wouldn’t give a flying hoot how much a pillow cost?  Lemme know…



Yep, I’ve had then, stencilled letters on my mind for a very long time and finally here I now have the Beach Cottage version…..a steady hand and a patient head are, as you know, not one of the gifts bestowed upon me from those up above…turned out not bad though if you ask me

My new chair, in my head, is up there with that cushion…in million dollar speak.

See you kiddos all too soon.


oh and we have an Anthropologie winner KerryB (I mailed you) thanks & will keep you up to speed on the podcast lol!


chair : side of road   oar : thrifted   hooks : IKEA  flowers : my garden  rug : IKEA 
picnic basket : Vinnies   boots : Country Road  


shared at Romantic Home & Shabby Nest, thanks to you!

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63 Responses to “A Beach Cottage Decorating with Stencils & Vintage Chairs…”

  1. Tammi N says:

    Sarah one word….WOW!! How gorgeous does this chair look…..love the stencilled numbers and I really love how you distressed the whole thing to look all aged and gracefull.

    Oh and I so get where you are coming from with not buying that pillow for an extradordinary amount….the joke between my hubby and I is that even if we won lotto (don’t buy tickets mind you) I would still trawl the op shops and gge sales :)

  2. Michelle says:

    The chair looks great ! Most of me favourite things around here are the things that cost very little , I stress when I spend alot on things for the house …will it look right ….will it go with this and that …is the colour right . And of course half the fun is in the search , isn’t it.

  3. Michelle says:

    Oops meant to be most of MY favourite things!

  4. Chair is looking good! I am glad to see you followed my advice…. :-)

    And about the pillow, for crying out loud if you want it that bad, snap a picture of it and make it yourself. Nothing is easier than sewing a pillow case and you can paint on fabric too, just copy the thing already! And night would be ‘nuit’ in French and sleep ‘sommeil’, but it might be ‘reve’ which means dream.

    Nice pics as always. Coming back inspired. Thanks

  5. Bev says:

    Stunning in a relaxed,beachy and stylish way. I too have a thing about chairs and cushions. Kept wandering in to a store and eyeballing a navy and sparkly tiny cushion…tiny and expensive! waited for a major reduction and took it home. You appreiate the things you wait for and work for.!!!

  6. melissa says:

    i A.D.O.R.E that chair- i’m hoping you drag it out the front of your cottage to sit on it and eat a muffin whilst reading the SMH and that when you pop inside to grab a coffee – i can get one of my beachy friends down there to race out, shove it in the back of the combi and just look at it for me till i get back down there…..
    so…your part of my plan….all you need to do is leave it out…just near your letterbox…..
    melissa xx

    • haha Melissa, you are too funny!

      wonder how it would go if I put it out for Council Clean Up…we have that around here at the mo’….it could go one of two ways…

      don’t worry once you get back to Aus I’ll have a chair waitin for ya


  7. Deborah says:

    I didn’t think you could improve on this chair but as always you did, great job… and go get the pillow you deserve it :-) x

    love to see what you did with the bottles, especially the lovely purple one ..

  8. Emma Burgess says:

    I love the chair- just gorgeous…and the accompanying styling for the photos. Love it!!! Emma.

  9. Martha says:

    love, love, love the chair!!!!

  10. donna says:

    Beautiful job on the chair Sarah! I love the numbers and can’t wait to have them on my front door. I have to wait for fall here to paint it as it’s been 110 in the shade with high humidity. UGH . Lets see how I feel aboutt the pillow? I would sew my fingers together if I attempted it on my own. On the other hand I would have a headache if I spent to much. Maybe it will go on sale? Or maybe you can find a pillow that looks and feels like it for less and then paint your own words on it? <3

  11. Sherry says:

    I knew you would do something great with the chair. I looks great!!!

  12. I am a new follower and just wanted to say that I love your blog and LOVE your beach cottage! I need that chair, numbers and all!!!

  13. Tiff says:

    Well done on going with your instincts about the chair! It looks great and the numbers put that finishing touch on it to make it “yours”.
    As for the pillow, I find I can’t bring myself to spend big bucks on things that I know actually cost very little to produce. I’d rather spend my money (when I have it!), on something that is unique, had great skill used in making it or is one-of-a-kind. That being said, sometimes I do get tired of making do and wish I had the bucks to throw at something I like!

  14. Beth West says:

    I’m glad you Beach Cottaged it! It looks just right.

  15. Kristin says:

    You have a very steady hand! Mine never turn out that good :) If the pillow included the bed for me to sleep on I might think about it :)

  16. Sarah W. says:

    The chair looks lovely. I don’t know how I missed it having rattan last time….just be glad that was intact, we had a not-so-pleasant incident with our dining room table chairs and it’s rattan, I still have the plans to fix it one day for my own home.

    May I ask, why ’125?’ or do you just like those numbers?

  17. Love the stenciled numbers. I really want to stencil our number address onto our front door… I think that look adorable! Good find… the chair looks great.

  18. I’ll be honest – my favorite parts of this picture are the boots, the trench and that gorgeous straw bag hanging on the wall! Where oh where are those boots from? Every time I see glimpses of them in your pictures I always wonder. They are fabulous!
    (The chair is beautiful as well, of course. I’m a fan of dinged – but clean. Ha! :) )

  19. Krista says:

    I’m so glad you went with your gut regarding the chair legs. I love how they turned out! Though I confess it’s your boots that I think are absolutely FABULOUS!! :-)

  20. Lark says:

    The chair looks great and fits in with the Beach Cottage look perfectly! I have often seen stenciled pillows and signs and would love to make something of my own. Hmmmm…maybe I’ll make a sign for my kitchen once I get that semi-remodel (painting cabinets and a new countertop) going. Thanks, again, for the inspiration.

  21. Love that chair!! And your photography, is, as always, AMAZING!

  22. Jenny says:

    Sarah those photos are soooo inspiring!

  23. Love it! It’s great! I love that you distressed it a bit more! That just makes it perfect.

    God bless! Fi

  24. Perfect!!! It looks fabulous!!!

  25. Alia says:

    Best chair ever!

  26. Prencie says:

    LOVE how your chair came out!!! The #’s added were the icing on the cake;) I too joke around with my husband that if we ever won the lotto or came into money that we would still be frugal in our spending. I think it’s a sin to pay so much for certain items out there! Don’t be a victim to boutique pricing! I hate walking into boutiques and leave feeling as if I’ve just been violated in some way! Nothing against boutiques but they do tend to be overpriced. Here’s an idea…..ETSY!!! Etsy has some fabulous shops and if you take a pic of the pillow I’m sure you can find someone on Etsy that can make the pillow for you for a fraction of the price!!! Plus you could have them alter it to your specifications!! I L.O.V.E Etsy!!!! It’s like a 1,000 little boutique shops online. I have bought many many things from etsy and have yet to have a negative experience! If you need some recommendations for shops on etsy for pillows I have some favorites {I’ve also been in the market to buy some French pillows};)

  27. bonnie says:

    The chair is amazing! You could get big bucks for that. The next time you’re in the shop with the pillow, check out who the maker is. You may be able to find it directly from them online. I love browsing boutiques but hate the inflated prices (sorry shop owners). I have had a lot of luck getting discounts buying things over the net.

  28. Pearl Maple says:

    Congrats to Kerry and well done Sarah for finding a way to convert expensive ideas into something we can all do.

  29. Sarah,
    Go out and buy thaty cushion today!!. Even if it means living on mince and rice for a week. You will be heart broken if some one else buys it. xx

  30. Deanne says:

    Looks great, I wouldn’t buy the cushion either, obviously no-one else wants to spend that much on it either if its been there 2.5 years.
    Why the number 125?

  31. Rachel says:

    Mmm…adore the chair. :) She looks lovely with the stenciled numbers. The flowers are beautiful. :)


  32. Gail says:

    Hi Sarah

    I love how your chair’s turned out!!

    I’ve just painted some white tea cups and numbered them.

    Could you make a cushion similar? I sometimes use unbleached artist’s linen instead of canvas for painting, let me know if you’d like me to send you a sample.

  33. vosgesparis says:

    here I am all the way over from facebook.. it sure is an easy and fast way to be updated with new posts without running nto the reader all the time ;) The chair turned out very well, but then I like stenciled things and most of all the metal stencils ;)

  34. Barefoot Liz says:

    I love the photo with ‘Nature Rocks’ on it. I dig it.

  35. Hi Sarah, thanks for some more inspiration!

  36. That chairs certainly worthy of being in a little ‘Frenchy’ shop with a big price tag – it looks great.
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  37. cheryl says:

    some things are best left unchanged too much.. the chair looks great in your entry along with the oar coat rack thingy!
    know how you feel about expensive price tags in boutique home shops.

  38. andrea frost says:

    dear sarah….it looks absolutely stunning…another job well done!!

    sorry i have been one of “those” lurkers lately & not leaving as many comments…but i am still busy looking after dad re his knee still NOT bending….as well as getting ready for my shabby vintage junk fair etc etc..

    are you coming down to melbourne for the gift fair??

    xx andrea (pink poodle!!!)~~~

  39. Gina F. says:

    Gorgeous! I love it. Certainly looks a million bucks to me!!

  40. What a sweet chair. Wish I had your eye – and talent!

  41. I am loving that chair and your stencil on it looks great. How about that caning being in such great condition?!! Your flowers look gorgeous as usual. And you are 100 % right. There is only so much I am willing to spend on a pillow, and it ain’t much.

  42. Merisi says:

    Kudos, great job, love the look!
    (Sod that pillow, you’ll find some linen and do it yourself one fine day!)

  43. Love-love-love this. So pretty! I’m going to link to it from my weekend roundup. Thanks, Sarah! :)

  44. Fiona says:

    Hi Sarah, love the chair.I particularly like rattan, painted or natural. Just wanted to let you know how when I first saw your blog I was inspired that maybe I could do one so I began practising at Easter, then finally…. last Saturday, I published world wide for the first time and it has been sooo exciting with the beautiful comments from such beautiful people.So thank you for sharing your blog with us and inspiring us that yes we can do it, just have a go!

  45. Wow, I’m loving your blog! Recently I discovered that I love cottage style. And now, I’m obsessed with it!!It’s all about white, pastel colors and vintage furniture. I’ll definitely always check your blog. Thank you,

  46. Melissa Biggs says:

    Love your chair. It’s looks great with the numbers on it. I don’t know if anyone else has asked this, but where did you get the number stencil from? Did you make it? The only ones I can find have thick numbers.
    love Mel B in Brisbane xx

  47. susan says:

    I like the chair. It looks great. :)

    I seem to be one in the minority. I will spend my hard earned $$ on a pillow or such IF i LOVE it. I have grown to trust my inner decorator… after many mistakes along the way. If I LOVE LOVE LOVE something… & if I leave it in the shop because of a crazy price tag…… IF I cannot stop thinking about said thing….. I will go back, contemplate it etc. IF I still love it, I’ll buy it. I usually love it for years & years to come. Therefore justifying the purchase. I am careful about this though… I have absolutely made my share of decorator mistakes…. :):)

  48. Alison Gibbs says:

    That chair is such a great style, loving those front legs. You and Little Mr BC did a great job of shabbying it up

  49. Sherry says:

    The chair turned out gorgeous and sometimes it is best to go with your own instincts. This is one of those times. It looks just perfect. Thanks for sharing you expertise. It will make me take a second look at items from now on. Have a great weekend, Sherry

  50. Lsmith says:

    Like all your other readers have said, that chair did turn out absolutely amazing! It’s really interesting what you can do with some stencils, paint, and creativity! Especially if you order custom stencils – the possibilities are endless, and whatever you stencil will always be unique!

  51. Love this chair! :-) I’ve got a thrift store chair to redo and I think I might just stencil some numbers on there. thanks for the idea!

  52. Rhonda says:

    Hi Sarah….I am new to this blogging thing and I follow you. I am having a blog makeover done and I would love to use one of your pictures as part of my header. Would that be okay? Please let me know!

    Thanks a billion!

  53. Lisa says:

    Love your site! -I have been looking high and low for that rug. Where can I find it?

  54. LIsa says:

    hi Sarah – love this hallway – where did you source the wallpaper from?
    I’ve looked everywhere for something subtle like this?

  55. Suzy says:

    Hi Sarah
    Ditto above. I’m doing up a house in Cornwall and love your taste. I would like to use some white wallpaper cladding but despite being a champion Googler, I can’t find the same as yours!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Sarah
      I am also interested in the cladding wallpaper but haven,t seen anything like this in uk anybody have any ideas or websites I could visit. I live in Wales, uk. If not could be a great business opportunity.
      Thanks guys