Thrifty {belated} Thursday: The BEACH Edition

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Every time we walk along a beach, some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.
~Loren Eiseley

I’ve been promising this for weeks, but as you know life got in the way and Noodle hasn’t let us put her down for longer than a few minutes.  Although it’s been a few weeks since our vacation, I wanted to share the special “thrifty” home decor we lived with for the week!  The home where we stay when we visit the Outer Banks belongs to my aunt and uncle.  They bought it from a couple that built and decorated it in such a unique way that I am constantly in awe of what this house holds!

The original owner is quoted as saying about the beach “there’s a free lumberyard out there”.  When you step inside this house, you instantly understand what he means.  This beach home is decorated top to bottom with treasures {literally, some are treasures} from the sea.  Whether it’s something in it’s natural state (conch shells), natural objects repurposed into other things (sea sponges hold plants), art created from nature (driftwood vases and carvings, shell and sand collages), or parts of shipwrecks that washed onto the beach (oars, gauges, and so much more)… this home is testament to the ultimate thrift: FREE from the SEA!

Here’s a short tour of the home.  The long tour would take hours!  I am not a fan of clutter, but despite the huge amount of artifacts in the house none of it comes across as clutter.  I have taken but a fraction {of a fraction!} of photos of these treasures to share.  Unfortunately, my photography skills were not up to par on this one so forgive my not-so-great pictures.

Here’s a peek at a part of the house, taken from the kayak! (Don’t you love that cute bird’s house in front?)

Greeted by my “fan club” as I paddled back…

Just to give you an idea, the home sits on this canal attached to the sound.  The ocean beach is just a minute or so of a walk across the street.

This photo gives a small glimpse in the background of what I’m talking about with the vast amount of things to find here!

This collage is huge– I’d say at least 4 feet long!  Composed entirely of beach finds, there are several of these all around the house.

A close-up view:

There are hand carved driftwood vases all around the house.  I love these!

A fish basket becomes art when hung on the wall…

It’s not unusual to see boat parts all over!  Some are from shipwrecks.  The Outer Banks are known as “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” due to the hundreds of shipwrecks of it’s shores.  Makes for some interesting stories, legends, and beachcombing!

Sea sponges hold plants…


I love the ways they’ve used creative plant holders!

Shells are everywhere.  Conchs greet you on the way up the stairs!

Many of these figures were carved from driftwood.  This little guy holds up a shelf!

Driftwood is everywhere– this one is partnered with coral!

More boat parts as art…

It’s hard to get a good photo of this guy, but he’s my favorite of all the carvings.  It reminds me of my favorite bird…

…that I happened to spot while kayaking!

(yes, this one is real)

The previous owner collected so many shipwreck treasures, he donated a good portion to the Shipwreck Museum in Hatteras (this one sits next to the stairs when you walk in, though).

And glass balls (called “witching balls”) are collected on this shelf.  I love these, too!

Words (and apparently, photos) do not describe how amazing this house is.  Every square inch is decorated with handcrafted or salvaged pieces.  In fact, the house has TWO craft/work rooms– his and hers workshops! 
If you are interested in more pictures or renting I can send you the link, but it looks like I may need to wait until next year to snap some more photos!

Next week, I want to show you an AWESOME tip I found from Tip Junkie on how to use bottles and shells to make a chic home decor item.  I’m so happy I spotted this tip while on vacation because I snagged some shells at a local store for cheap to use on this project!  

Also coming up over the next few Thrifty Thursdays, it’s flea market and consignment season in Pennsylvania.  I’ve already found some fun things to show you!  So if you aren’t a follower maybe go ahead and follow me know so you don’t miss out on the fun. ::sheepish grin::

{Welcome, Southern Hospitality readers!  Apparently this might be the last thrifty party for awhile. I’d love to know is anyone is doing another weekly one that I can join in on over the winter… I love seeing all your finds…}

{P.S.- I’ll pick our Beach Bag of Goodies winner after the giveaway ends at midnight!}

I love to hear about other thrifty finds, and how you use them in your home!  Let me know what you found and/or are working on this week!

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