Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bringing the Ocean to Our Iowa Bathroom

I love the ocean.  Everything about it is so beautiful - the color, the sound, the life it sustains.  My dream is to live by the ocean.  But I'm a little landlocked here in Iowa!  We do live right on the mighty Mississippi, but it's just not the same!  Not by a long shot.  We got married by the beach years ago in Jamaica and were lucky enough to go back this past February and I was determined to bring the beach back with me somehow.

View of Montego Bay from Our Balcony

I've loved the beach since I was a kid.  My first trip to Florida in 4th grade included a stop in New Orleans to visit and pick up friends who were going on vacation with us.  I remember they had these glass fishing balls all over their house.  I had never seen anything like them.  They were a real contradiction - gnarly rope that had been submerged in the ocean getting weathered by the salt and waves and whatever barnacles stuck to it, and the smooth colorful glass.  I finally bought one for myself about 10 years ago.

Glass Fishing Ball

I also have my shell collection that has been in a box for too long.  But now I have somewhere to show them off.  The apothecary jars I bought at TJ Maxx have been getting a lot of use, but I think are the new permanent containers for my shells.

Part of My Shell Collection

More of My Shell Collection

TJ Maxx Apothecary Jars - $9.99 each!

I've also been holding on to this bag of sea glass I bought at a nautical shop in Bradenton, FL, called The Sea Hag.  Do you see a trend here?  I tend to buy things and hold on to them until the moment is right when everything comes together!  I'm using the sea glass in the bottom of a fish bowl to steady a candle, and to bring some of that ocean color in.

Sea Glass and Candlelight Project Supplies

Finished Candle Project with Sea Glass

And speaking of The Sea Hag, I also bought this mermaid print that will reside above the loo.  I was pregnant when we were there and this was the perfect memento to commemorate that.

Mermaid Print from The Sea Hag

So back to the bathroom.  We have these cubbies that were so plain and a little ugly so I decided to paint the backs of them.  I've always wanted to try this.  I used a sea foam green paint.  The ocean in Montego Bay was my inspiration.

Montego Bay Beach and Color Inspiration

Cubbie - Before Paint

Cubbie - After Paint!

Cubbie - After Paint!

The color really adds some nice color and really brings out the color in the shells!  And every time I look at it, I'll be reminded of the ocean!  Here are a few other things in my newly oceanized bathroom.

Both Cubbies - After Paint!


  1. Great the mermaid print.

  2. Jen,
    The new paint color looks great!
    I'm bringing home a shell from Florida that will blend nicely with your new shell decor.

  3. Awesome post. I love, love nautical decor. I too will retire on the sea...have my sunscreen and beach umbrella all ready and packed! Diane

  4. Hey there, I'm your newest follower. I too love the ocean and we are planning on retireing there. Until then I try to beachify my house. Your shell collection is greaat! The display looks very beachy chic and I also love your photos of the ocean.

  5. I love that you have memories attached to each of these items! :)

    On a side note, I'm originally from Bradenton!! I was born and raised there...left when I was 19.

  6. Oh yes... there is just something soothing and peaceful about the colors of the beach & ocean... love the new look, hold on to those precious memories. :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.