On the lookout for that vintage summer, seaside style

Columnist Sandy Erdman says pastel colors and nautical or lakeside themes make a great sense of décor.

070922 Erdman 1.jpg
Found the perfect lakeside artwork, a great piece for the cabin, at Kismet Consignment Fashion and Home Decor in Rochester.
We are part of The Trust Project.

If you walk around your house and hear Jimmy Buffet tunes playing in your head, well then, beach décor maybe calling you.

You don't need to live in Margaritaville to own or collect beach style, but you may want to pack away the dark heavy décor if you are considering decorating using a beach style.

Beach or seaside style is all about the colors of the ocean waters and surrounding seascape. Colors of soft yellows, greens, pinks and blues as well as white, ivory, peach and aqua that is very "beachy." If pastels are not your thing, try the nautical colors such as navy blue, red and white.

Collectible beach-style items are retro collectibles such as barkcloth pillows, draperies, chenille bed spreads, white or pastel painted furniture and white/light wicker are great added pieces. On the wall boat oars, vintage anchors, life preserves. Table model boats, lighthouse, lanterns, mermaids, fish, flamingos and of course seashell art décor. Old shutters, painted windows, Tiki glassware, weathered shelving or signs, and those vintage paint-by-number paintings. I have even used rocks, dried sponges and driftwood. Some collectors find their items on coastal trips to flea-markets and antique malls.

Cabin style

Cabin style collectibles are a hot collectible and always have been. More and more folks are heading to the lake or their favorite hideaway where cell phones lose their signal. Rustic is in, and so are collectibles that are natural, chippy, rusted, weathered, rough and primitive. Antique wood flooring, hand-hewn posts and beams and furniture made from reclaimed woods. So too, vintage salvaged items as canoes, doors, windows and more.


Collectors are also scooping up old fishing creels, snow shoes, minnow buckets, fishing lures and flies, decoys and folk art. Native American artifacts, Adirondack furniture, dark wicker and collectible camp items. Trunks, vintage suitcases, copper pots, beacon blankets, bark cloth curtains and pillows from the1940s and '50s with cabin décor and cowboys. And the colors are deeper colors vs. the beachy/seaside style, though modern cabin style with white walls are a modern trend now. Of course, there's also the occasional jukebox and pinball machine as well.

Local finds

Melissa Klema at Adourn in Chatfield has the look for vintage beach to modern lake style in the shop, but also is designing her own modern lake style as she says, “I’m currently designing a modern lake house. I’ve used some vintage Henry Link wicker pieces in the sun porch. I’ve also designed and painted some oars in the color scheme to give it a fun lake vibe.”

070922 Erdman 2.jpg
Shayna Dais and the girls at the Rusty Bucket in Winona have their complete theme this month around the seaside and lake collectibles, only open July 9-10.

Deb Haupt at Haupt Antiek Market in Apple Valley says, “From July 14-17, the theme is, 'Lakeside Vintage.' We would like folks to come and embrace a vintage summer at the lake by decorating with wicker, metal and Adirondack chairs, canoe paddles, and cute water skis and more for the cabin or cottage.”

Erica Thilges at New Generations of Harmony says, “Decorating a unique space like a cottage or porch is always a lot of fun. Choosing classic, solid-color furniture pieces makes it so easy to switch out accessories seasonally or on a whim. Right now, we have some nice vintage wicker pieces ranging from $25-$86. Accessories can range from $5-$89. Also for the beach or a beach theme in a child's room we have a fun assortment of vintage tin litho beach toys right now. They're vibrant, whimsical and full of nostalgia. Most were made by Ohio Art from $8-$29.”

Sarah Kieffer from Sarah's Uniques & Jim's “Man”tiques in St. Charles says, “From the minnow bucket to other beach and cabin furniture décor, along with Jim's handmade fishing lures, a summer of fun can be found.”

Laura Rucker at Vintage Treasures and Home Decor in St. Charles says, “I have a few seashore items such as a cute quilt, books, ship planter, a U.S. Navy pitcher to even a lighthouse chair pad on a metal chair for beachy or lakeside sitting in or outside.”

070922 Erdman 4.jpg
A great vintage wicker find with Deb Haupt of Haupt Antiek Market in Apple Valley for the porch or cabin sharing this month's theme, "Lakeside Vintage."
070922 Erdman 5.jpg
Adourn in Chatfield, with owner Melissa Klema, has arranged her pieces showing us that blue beach-side decor.
070922 Erdman 2.jpg
Shayna Dais and the girls at the Rusty Bucket in Winona have their complete theme this month around the seaside and lake collectibles, only open July 9-10.

Sandy Erdman is a Winona-based freelance writer and certified appraiser concentrating on vintage, antique and collectible items. Send comments and story suggestions to Sandy at .

Antiques & Collectibles — Sandy Erdman column sig

What To Read Next
This week, gardening columnist Don Kinzler fields questions about planting potatoes, rabbit-resistant shrubs, and how to prevent tomato blossom end rot.
Trends include vegetable gardens in raised pods and a continuing surge in using native plants and grasses.
With its soft and gooey center surrounded by a crisp exterior, kladdkaka is the perfect cross between a brownie and a molten lava cake.
Becky Montpetit runs the resource website, and also keeps tabs on the goings on in the Twin Cities.