One of my favorite things to decorate in my home is a vintage window.

It hangs like a piece of art on my wall.

The beauty of a vintage window is that it’s a wonderful blank canvas for giving your room some seasonal decor.

  • Its shabbiness provides a textural contrast in more traditional or contemporary decor.
  • It’s fun to be creative with ideas in just a small space.
  • It can change with the season or your whim.
  • It’s great for whimsical paper-crafting projects that just don’t ‘work’ elsewhere.

Last November my friend gifted me with a lovely window.  It’s perfectly imperfect.  And hung sideways it was just the right proportion for that big blank wall over my sofa.  Win! Win!

Since then, my window has gone through several iterations from Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Spring to the Fourth of July and now she’s giving a nod to the nautical.  The perfect look for summertime!


Vintage Coastal Window ::


This nod to nautical look is simple and uncluttered and fresh for hot summer living.

It reminds me of summers growing up on Lake Michigan.  Gosh I miss that big lake!


An arrangement of three elements is most always pleasing to the eye:

  • The window:
    a gift that keeps giving
  • A lifesaving ring:
    recycled from a Fourth of July wreath with the addition of some blue fabric and rope
  • And an old paddle:
    originally a blonde natural wood tone, painted and distressed for a more striking nautical look


Coastal Window Art ::


It’s great if our home decor can have some special meaning.

This vintage coastal window certainly does as the paddle has a wonderful story from my childhood….

You see when I was about nine years old, I was a bit independent and ignored my parents’ direction.  That resulted in a fall with a severely fractured arm.  That same summer my parents were putting in a pool.  And with that heavy full-arm cast there was no way I was going to be able to enjoy swimming in the new pool.  But, my kind and loving dad came up with a creative solution.  He bought a plastic boat and a paddle for me to paddle around the pool.  He certainly didn’t need to do that, but what a great example of grace and compassion that has stuck with me my whole life.  Plus, he ended up with a much more obedient child thereafter.

The paddle you see here was the first paddle he purchased.  It was too long for me to use with my plaster cast, so he bought another short one.  The boat was given away the following summer…but not the paddles.  I don’t know why, but the paddles always hung in the garage.  A number of years ago I noticed them and decided that I needed to hang the paddles in my garage as a sweet remembrance of my father’s very loving gesture.


Project Details

I wasn’t sure at first how I was going to hang the paddle across the window.  Thankfully, I discovered I had a package of industrial-strength Velcro.  It’s perfect as it can hold the weight of the paddle and be positioned close to the window frame.  Plus, the Velcro isn’t visible when you look at the window vignette.  Happy Day!


Coastal Window Decor ::


Originally I had planned to make a nautical pennant banner for this window.

But, after I added the life ring and the paddle it seemed finished.  I really liked the simplicity.  Less is more in the summertime.  However, I thought I’d get my husband’s opinion on the window.  He made the most amazing suggestion.  He reminded me that I had a box of photos from a trip to Maine that were eager to get out of their drug store envelopes….and that I could hang them on the window too.

What a clever and creative man I married!!  That was a fabulous suggestion.  Actually….perfect!!   Now I can enjoy a few of my photos and the window has gone from a nod to nautical to truly coastal!!


Vintage Coastal Window Decor ::


Armed with a roll of double stick tape, I attached a small strip to the center of each photo and simply stuck them to the front of the window glass…centering them as best I could…using the ol’ eyeball leveling method.  I couldn’t be happier with the result.

What a great way to relive one of the best vacations ever….a drive down Highway 1…stopping at every lighthouse, walking the craggy coast and sandy shorelines, and breathing in the most wonderful fresh air. This just might be my favorite iteration for this vintage window yet.


Coastal Vintage Window Photo Frame ::


Right now I follow a zero spending budget for craft projects and home decor.  It’s rare for me to spend money as I usually shop my stash for supplies or pick up treasures along the road.  I’ve been living this way for a few years and I’m here to tell you, a little goes a long way.  And the challenge has forced some latent creativity. Yay!!   This project was a bit different.  I actually spent some money…about $3.50 on supplies….the first dollars and cents in many, many months.  But, what’s a gal to do when her craft paints are drying up and she can’t find the right piece of rope for a guest post project she’s working on?


Coastal Vintage Window Photo Frame ::


I admit, I’ve never done much coastal or nautical decorating, even though I grew up along the Big Lake.   However, this Coastal Vintage Window has me inspired to do even more!

How about you?  Do you go coastal in some way during the summer?

Wishing you all An Extraordinary Day!


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  1. I love your nautical window! Very charming! Excellent idea! Got me thinking! 🙂

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Susan!
      Hope you’re doing well. Glad this gave you a little inspiration! 🙂

  2. Judi says

    I loved and pinned this when you guest posted, but when I was there, I couldn’t leave a comment! Sometimes it gets so frustrating ~ I never know if it’s me or something else …. well, probably me LOL!! I love beach/nautical anything and this great!

    • Diane says

      I don’t know that it was you, Judi. I noticed that there were very few comments elsewhere as well.
      You make me smile! I’m so pleased that you love it too!!

  3. Dona says

    How perfect…..and such a coincidence! I’ve decided to do my bathroom in a blue/yellow ocean-nautical-beachy-kind-of-thing for August! I have the towels and rugs. Then, my granddaughter asked me if I wanted a souvenir surf board that someone gave them from Hawaii (about 3′ long, hangs on the wall). And the colors? Yep! Blues and yellow! And now I’ll have your life saver idea to use too….no money spent and none planned! It’s so satisfying when things come together like this, isn’t it? Thanks (again and again) for all you do! Dona

    • Diane says

      Dona, your bathroom sounds fabulous! How fun for summer!!! 🙂 And to think my window had a small part in helping you put your idea together makes my day. 🙂
      I love how you have so much fun decorating your bath. And yes…it is satisfying. Amazingly so.
      Hope your week is extraordinary!!

  4. Diane says

    I love the addition of the pictures. Your coastal window turned out great!

    • Diane says

      Thanks for your kind words, Diane! 🙂
      Thanks to my husband…the pictures really make it.
      Hope your week is extraordinary!

  5. It’s beautiful, Diane! I love how you’ve used things with a story from your past. The sentimental aspect of decorating is far more valuable than anything else – to me, anyway. Great job!
    His blessings,

    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks Kim!! Your words just made me smile!
      Hope your day is Extraordinary!

  6. This is a great idea. I love the idea of having a “versatile” canvas in a room to change out as the seasons change or as your taste changes. I would love to invite you over to my Weekend Beautiful Blog Party to share 🙂

    • Diane says

      Awwww…thanks Shawna. It really is fun!
      Hope your week is extraordinary!

  7. Mel says

    AWWWwww…the hubby had a wonderful idea…but rest assured, it was cuter than cute with or without. Given that our beachy things are scattered with no rhyme or reason, having a spot to decorate in a theme would be a grand thing. That’s a big part of my excuse. LOL. I think you decorate the house, not just a space….but your decorations are doable, manageable and adorable. I think I need to alter how I decorate….AFTER Halloween, of course. LOL!!

    • Diane says

      Awww…you just made me smile. 😀
      Yeah…I do see the whole. But…still it’s one space at a time as I’m able and the inspiration hits. I just did something I’ll share next week that I’m really excited about in the theme. See…it takes a while. 😉
      And you….Christmas after Halloween?? Oh…will you sneak a peek of your decorations on the blog maybe????? 😉

  8. Diane, I love the window! Someday I’m going to find one, I’m sure. I have the idea to fill the panes with flower photos but I love this travel theme! Thanks for the idea!
    We were blessed to take several trips to the gulf coast of Florida and I have a wonderful shell collection from our beach combing. I have displays along with some vintage beach photographs in several rooms during the summer. I just love shells!

    • Diane says

      Elaine…how wonderful to have such a lovely collection. And you vintage beach photos too! That sounds fantastic!! I think you must have the touch!!
      Thanks for the sweet words. 🙂 I think filling the panes with flower photos is fabulous…I must remember that for another time. [wink]
      Hope your week is extraordinary!

  9. Your nautical window is awesome. The pictures were the perfect touch! Congratulate your hubby for that. It is amazing what you put together with so little money. You are truly gifted. Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!


    • Diane says

      You have such wonderful taste, Deborah….your compliment means a lot! Thank you!!!
      In our short time we’ve made but a few ‘real’ friends here…but this Sunday we’re having the two couples over for our last hurrah in this house. I’m looking forward to the time with them.
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  10. I absolutely love this piece Diane – it is right up my alley!! The oar is so fabulous… amazing job on the stripes and design of it!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Krista!! I just recently ooo’d and aaahh’d over your oar house numbers too. And ‘pinned’ for later. I sure am missing the water these days. Breathe it in a little more deeply, today, just for me! [hugs]


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