The Thrifty Girl’s Guide to Coastal Decor

The Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor by Lauren from  You can have champagne taste on a beer budget after all!

It has been five weeks since the grand reveal of our Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover…and the high from your incredible reception to it all still hasn’t worn off.  So, thank you to each of you who has taken time to click through to read this series or leave an encouraging word.  It means more to us than you know.

And amidst your pure-gold comments have been some great questions, too, the most popular being,

“Where in the world did you get that bedspread?”

So, I thought it would be worthwhile to dedicate an entire post to sourcing the decor items in our newly made-over bedroom.  After all, styling is an aspect of home decor I’ve always personally felt intimidated by…and for me, it helps to know exactly how others do it and where they nab their favorite finds.

So, let’s remove the veil today and get into the nitty gritty of exactly what was bought, bargained for, and brought up from the basement!


Let’s just cut right to the chase and talk about our rugby stripe duvet cover.  Now, I knew I wanted something navy and white striped, and most of what I found was out of our price-range.  Luckily, Target came through for the win with a king-size duvet cover plus two shams for only $34.99!  (Crazy, right?)

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

Rugby Stripes exude the nautical vibe! via

Now, I will say that the fabric is very thin, so you’ll want to make sure your duvet is solid white or cream.  Also, the king-size shams that came with our set were much bigger than any normal sized king sham pillows.  So, I had to work some sewing magic to amend them to fit our pillows.  Also, I did read some reviews that said the blue can bleed when washed, so I plan to wash ours on hyper-cold when the time comes.  But so far, despite the caveats, we love it!

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

Nautical Felt Fish Pillow & Anchor Pillow - - Full tutorials over at

As you already know, the Felt Fish Pillow and Nautical Anchor Pillow were both DIY’d by yours truly using pillow forms I harvested from clearance pillows at HomeGoods.  Score!

SIDE NOTE: Oh, and be prepared because that is the first of many HomeGoods references in this post.  Pretty much, if you want coastal decor, HomeGoods is your goldmine.

HomeGoods finds!

The center cream pillow is from One King’s Lane and would have cost me $29.00, but thanks to Christy from Our Southern Home, I won her giveaway last fall, so that fabulous Alexa pillow cost me $0.00!

DIY Decorative Pillows for a Rustic Nautical Bedroom via

I got a set of new white Michael Kors sheets from HomeGoods as well as the white quilt coverlet.  Mark was really skeptical about the coverlet at first (it seemed gratuitous), but once I made up the bed with it, he was totally on board.  I just love the added brightness and texture it brings…plus I’m always cold, even in Florida, so the more layers the better, I say!

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

Side Table Decor

Our IKEA hacked side tables were one of the few surfaces I had to work with, so I tried to incorporate some decorative items among practical ones like the IKEA Arstid table lamps and still have room to spare!

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

On my side table, I have a metal catchall (also from the One King’s Lane giveaway) to hold my books and literally “catch all” of those items that used to fall through the holes in my tabletop.  Now, they have a safe n’ happy home.

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

The lemon custard candle was also a HomeGoods find.  It was the milky white jar that lured me.

And the starfish was a hand-me-down from my in-laws!  They have actually done a fair bit of downsizing and passed on to us many nautical items that ended up our bedroom.  That’s the best kind of decor, right?  Revivals!

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

Now, let’s move to Mark’s side table.

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

So, the seashell-filled jar was inspired by the HomeTalk Hangout I watched last fall with Brian Patrick Flynn.  In that video (around 10:39) Brian talks about “vessels” being a great way to achieve beautiful decor on a dime.  So, with that good word in mind, I picked up the huge glass jar at HomeGoods and filled it to the bring with shells and seaglass that we had in bags in the basement (both hand-me-downs and leftover from our wedding decor).  Now that they’re finally being showcased, I can’t believe we had them tucked away for so long.

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

The monkey’s paw was a Marshall’s find – – $4.99 I believe.  And it’s perfect for my hubby’s side table, as one of Mark’s hobbies is learning and tying sailing knots!

The rustic wooden box is one Mark made himself to hold his odds n’ ends, like his earplugs for when the lawn service from the office building next door runs their leaf blower right outside our bedroom window at 6 a.m., which happens practically every other day.  But we’re not bitter at all.  Nope.  Not.  Bitter.  At All.  {Smile.}

Handmade wooden box to hold precious and practical items via

Gallery Wall

I was overjoyed to hear how much you all loved the gallery wall!  It’s one of my favorite aspects of the room, too.  Now, let me break it down for you, starting from the top left and snaking down to the bottom left:

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

The model sailboat and shelf were hand-me-downs from my in-laws.  We just painted the dark oak shelf white to better fit the beachy vibe and distressed the edges a bit.

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

The barometer is actually a family heirloom, passed down to us from my Pop Pop.  It was made in 1935 and there’s a story to the initials on the back of it.  A story for another day….  Fun fact: the barometer was actually made by Abercrombie & Fitch back when they sold sporting goods.

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

The knots shadow-box is also from my in-laws.  The frame was too beautiful to paint, especially with the gold detail around the edge.  And I’m glad we left it as is because I think it helps tie in the dark wood of the trunk below.

Unique Gallery Wall...part of a Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover via

The whitewashed frames of our wedding photos were actually purchased at Kohl’s back when we were in Ohio.

And everyone’s favorite: the pallet whale!  I wish I could say we made this.  It’s definitely handmade, but I found it on a shelf at HomeGoods and immediately snatched it up.  I knew it had to be mine!  This was one of our more expensive pieces, clocking in at around $39.99, but it was worth every penny to me.  It just fit our “Rustic Nautical” vibe to a T!

Rustic Pallet Whale - The Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

The oar was a local flea market find.  We got a set of 2 for $10.

You may recognize the carved heart & initials sign because I gave you guys a sneak peak of it back in January during my weekly email launch.  It’s by Signs by Andrea, and I love that she was able to customize it with our bedroom colors.

Our carved heart and initials sign fits in perfectly with our new gallery wall!  via

Our carved heart and initials sign fits in perfectly with our new gallery wall!  via

The round basket is another HomeGoods find.  And is purely practical because we desperately needed a wastepaper basket in our bedroom (and I love that the gray-washed look matches our wardrobe).

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

The 1879 antique chest is one of the oldest and most treasured pieces we own.  Mark found it at an antique shop during our Columbus, Ohio days and talked the seller down from $100 to $50.  It was a little worse for wear at the time, so Mark cleaned it up, reinforced it, refinished it, and even got the latches to function.  It now holds all of our love letters and handmade gifties to each other.  (Aw.)  We propped it up on a pallet not only because it looks cool, but because it helps block an ugly wall plug!

The antique chest is one of our most treasured pieces...and it holds all of our love letters!  via

While I’m in this neck of the woods, I’ll mention the two items on the right wall between the bathroom and my closet.  The feathered circle mirror (which I like to imagine is a porthole) was a hand-me-down from my in-laws.

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

And the teak hamper beneath it was one of the items we were most excited to add to our wedding registry back in 2009.  It’s from Bed Bath & Beyond and has served us well!

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via


I could tell you that I chose two completely different rugs for my side of the bed and Mark’s because eclectic is so hot right now.  But the truth is I just couldn’t find two of the same rug at the two different HomeGoods in our area.  So, I just embraced diversity here!  And in retrospect, I’m really glad I did.  It keeps things from being too matchy matchy.

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

The white one was actually unraveled in one spot, so I was able to get it at a discount.  It was nothing a little hot glue couldn’t mend!

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

Oh, and while I’m over here, let’s talk about the Areca Palm!  I picked her up at IKEA along with a crisp white Kardemumma pot.  You can’t beat a price of $27.98 for the whole shebang.  This was the final piece in our master bedroom puzzle…and to me, it just infuses the space with life!

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

Signs of life!


Although I’m really happy with how the curtains look now, I was actually more than perturbed when I took the valences out of their packaging and discovered that every single one was a different length.  And some were off by a few inches!  I have two valences to a window, so it took a lot of musical chairs before I could settle on a combination that was somewhat pleasing to the eye.  Don’t look too close, though!  I guess that’s what you get when you buy the cheapest grommet curtains on Amazon!

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

The curtain rods themselves were really affordable, as well as super easy to install.  And they don’t look cheap in person to me.  I would order those again in a heartbeat.  (The curtain links are Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase after clicking through, I receive a small commission at no greater cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this site!)

Grommeted valences give off a nautical vibe! via

Wardrobe Wall

Here’s a section of the room I left out of our Grand Reveal post, so if it looks new to you, well, that’s why!  Here we have the cousin to our IKEA Hol side tables, the storage table, which we have been using to store our extra bed linens.  We gave it a gray wash with white dry brushing on top, similar to our hacked Fjell wardrobe.

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

Sitting atop it is nautical box we picked up at HomeGoods nearly a year ago.  Mark stores his knives and accessories within, and even customized the box by adding sailing rope handles.

Sailing rope handles to a nautical box via

A compass decorates the top of the box via

On the wall, you’ll see one of the first D.I.Y. collaborations Mark and I ever had – – our wood pallet sign.  This was pre-sawzall and pre-Silhouette-machine (hard to imagine!) but somehow, we managed.  {Wink.}  You can read our tutorial for that project HERE.

A Thrifty Girl's Guide to Coastal Decor via

This oar is one that belongs to the sailboat Mark named for me right before we got married: the Linnea (which is one of my middle names).  It’s so beautiful, especially with the wood burned logo Mark designed, we decided it needed to have a home in our bedroom for now.

The Rest of the Series

Now, if there’s something I didn’t mention in this post, chances are, it’s because we made it, and I’ve devoted an entire post to it.  So, be sure to explore the thumbnails below!

[catablog_gallery id=”8966″ [catablog template=”gallery”]


And this pretty much wraps up this series!

I say “pretty much” because there is one corner of the room I have omitted from photos (did you Observant Olives notice?), and there is a final D.I.Y. endeavor related to said corner slated to go down this spring.  So, how’s that for a little cliffhanger?

But until then, thanks again, friends, for your companionship on this Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover series!  In a word, it’s been nausome.  {Shout-out to my friend Candace for coining that term.}

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: Source Guide to what was Bought, Borrowed, and Brought up from the Basement via

Happy weekend to you!

{Linking up here.}


Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    I must say, I was overwhelmed by your reveal a few weeks back. Such a great room! However, I love this post much more. It is comforting to know just how many items are sentimental, nostalgic, and/or have a history. The amount of love that is represented in this room by the objects alone, is staggering. I don’t mean to be sappy, but you really nailed the idea of a master bedroom. Both partners are equally represented in style, interests, and heirloom. I simply love your explanations and it comes through in your post just how special your husband is to you, and vice versa. Congratulations on another wonderful endeavor!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Christine! It’s funny, at first when I was drafting this post, I wondered if people would even care…but like you, I’m the kind of person who revels in stories and history. It just adds so much richness to a space. So, I figured I’d just go ahead and put it out there — and your comment just helps affirm why I’m glad I did! Also, I’m so glad that you can see us BOTH in the workmanship and design. That was my hope…and I think it’s in part why it took us so long to get here. It was definitely a process, but a worthwhile one. Like so many of the hard things in life, right?

  2. says

    This is truly such an amazing series, with an even MORE amazing end-product! Seriously, it’s so fascinating what you can do with a little bit of imagination and some elbow grease! But now I have to wait AGAIN for the rest of it, and uuugh, patience is not one of my strong suits. Since I know it will be wonderful, though, I’ll give you a pass this time, but just because it’s you! 😉 CAN’T WAIT!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Your words carry much weight with me…so thanks so much for the affirmations, friend! Ha ha, and I debated even mentioning the final frontier because I hate to be a tease (though thanks for the pass just this once!). We’ll see…I might be able to share Part I of that project in the next week or so. That’ll at least satiate your piqued curiosity! 😉

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks so much, Susan! It really did make all the work feel worth it to have it received so well by everyone, including you!

  3. says

    NAUSOME! Lol, that cracked me up. I didn’t realize how many pieces were from Darryl and Rachel, and HomeGoods as well! I need to go raid my HomeGoods more regularly…such good stuff for such good prices! I also immediately thought of Nacho Libre when you said “nitty gritty”…it just goes to show how deep that movie has sunk into my mind n’ heart. 😀

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha. I knew you of all people would appreciate it, Lisbeth! Yeah, once I got to writing the post, I, too, was like, “Wow…so yeah, pretty much this entire room is thanks to IKEA, HomeGoods, and D & R! Alrighty then.” And no one quite says “nitty gritty” so well as Nacho Libre. That movie never fails to make me chuckle, and I think it’s all thanks to you and our shared sense of humor for the way things are said. Mark has adopted it, too, now…which makes me soooooo happy!

  4. says

    Oh yes, this all is nausome! And how!
    But … didn’t you forgot something? Who, if not a thrifty girl wanting to decorate coastal, will go to the beach and collect as much driftwood, shells and sand as possible? 😉 (And yes, I’m totally guilty of that – of course!)

    Love, Midsommarflicka

    • thethinkingcloset says

      It’s so true! In fact, I didn’t mention it, but many of the shells and seaglass from our wedding were scavenged by me and my family prior to the big day back in 2009. Whenever I’m at the beach, I can’t help but comb the shoreline for special treasures. Clearly, M, we’re cut from the same cloth in more ways than one!

  5. Marmie says

    Awesome nausome! So generous of Darryl and Rachael to share their special nautical objects with you and Mark! It’s settled, then. The new theme for our tent house is rustic nautical and you and Mark can give us some expert advice and direction when you visit this summer!! :-) And shout out to Lisbeth, we’ll all have to watch Nacho Libre as we cool down with some Day’s Ice Cream!!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha. Sounds like a plan! (Although I love the decor and improvements you’ve already made.) But change can be good! That I am learning. Definitely count us in for Nacho Libre movie fest while chowing down on Day’s!

  6. says

    I know you two put a lot of work into this space and every bit is so fantastic! I can’t wait to see what you reveal next! Hugs and love to you!

  7. says

    It all works beautifully and didn’t cost a fortune! Well done team! Also a beautiful room, designed by yourselves, in my opinion never loses its novelty. Never “gets old” just keeps welcoming and uplifting when you walk in.

    • says

      Sharon, you write like a poet. And it’s true – – there’s something so rewarding about building and piecing a space together with your own two hands. And it has been such a positive experience, we’re already brainstorming our next space to transform!

  8. says

    Your “reveals” of each piece made for most interesting reading. I felt like I was reading how a magician revealed the secrets of his/her tricks–which is exactly what you did!

  9. says

    Yay! Yay!! What a grand finale to an awesome series, Lauren!!! If I may…. I think you need a sign outside of your bedroom door that reads, “Just Add Water”! That’s all it’s missing to be the perfect beach retreat!!! Ha ha!! I LOVE it all!!!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Sarah! Your words mean a lot, especially since I was working with a new camera and new photo editing software for the first time with this shoot…and I was definitely still learning the ropes! Glad to know I didn’t totally botch it. 😉

  10. says

    Wow! You did a fantastic job in your room makeover. It turned out wonderful and you did so much of it yourself, which I think makes it so much more personal. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. says

    Love it, Lauren! Your master bedroom is a work of love and creativity… You and Mark must be so proud of it! And, I totally agree, Home Goods is a nautical goldmine! :)

    Thanks for sharing at Much Ado About Monday this week!


  12. says

    I love how many personal items you incorporated into your room with such style and grace! When we finally design our bedroom, I want to fill it with personal touches, since, duh, it’s our bedroom. And I love seeing how you brought the fabulous final look together! Bravo my friend!

  13. says

    LOVE THIS ROOM! Stopping by from Do Tell Tuesday and so glad I did. I am also a Home Goods addict and love coastal decor. I think you are going to become one of my very favorite bloggers and I’m going to back and pin all these fantastic photos now. Thanks for sharing your finds.

    • says

      Oh wow, way to make me smile from ear to ear. Thanks, Jen! I think you are going to become one of my very favorite readers by leaving me epic comments like this one! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and visit. Come back again soon!

  14. says

    Love this room, love the stories behind it, and love its creator! So fabulous, my friend! I love that there is so much meaning and history behind so many of your pieces! It just makes an already amazing room all the more special! It was so fun to follow along with this series! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

    ~Abby =)

    • says

      Aw, that means so much to me, Abby. Thank you for your warm words and for your cheers and unceasing support throughout this series. I’m truly feeling so blessed to have blog friends in my life like YOU! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Abby.

  15. says

    Again Lauren your bedroom rocks! I think I want to move in :) Great tips and I like that there are different rugs on either side of the bed even though that may not have been the plan. You scored some great finds! Thanks for sharing at The Makers!

  16. says

    Wow love your room!!! Bedrooms are always such a sacred and secret place for couples to me and it looks like a little slice of heaven on earth.
    I am totally in love with the heart and anchor pillow, and that wooden whale is so cute.
    Great job!

    • says

      Wow, “a little slice of heaven on earth”? That’s high praise, Zelda! Thank you so much. And it warms my heart to know you’re a fan of those pillows that DIY’d. And yes, the wooden whale is quite the show-stopper isn’t he? Thanks for stopping by and for making my night with your awesome comment.

  17. says

    This makes me want to take a beach trip. Maybe I’ll just have to transform a little bit of my home to make it feel more like the beach. Amazing job!

  18. Teddee Grace says

    When you need to launder your duvet cover, see if you can still get those washer sheets..yes, washer, not dryer…that soak up dye in the wash cycle. They are almost miraculous. Love the room!

  19. says

    I love every little thing in your bedroom! It’s all so beautiful and cozy feeling, just like a relaxing day at the beach! Thanks for sharing where you got everything.

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

  20. Bev says

    You are so stinking talented! Your bedroom looks like it belongs in a home decor magazine! I will continue to follow. Hubby and I are also moving to a coastal home in May but it’s almost opposite from where you are. We will live about 8 blocks from the coast of Lake Michigan. I’m admiring all things nautical. I know I will be able to draw a lot of ideas from your blog. Thanks for sharing and great job! :) -Bev

  21. Andrea says

    Love the beachy look!! Would you mind sharing the paint colors? We’re re-decorating a beach house right now and I’d love to create a similar look!

  22. Judy says

    In regards to your duvet bleeding when washed, I have heard adding salt to the water helps. My husband and I live in Florida and spent our first 8 years together living on our sailboat. Our new little condo looks much like yours, lots of nautical stuff!

  23. says

    i just live your room! Being a transplant to Arizona from Hawaii we knew that our home will have to reflect our love for the ocean! Working on my gallery wall i live yours!!! Guess where i’m going tomorrow! Homegoods! Woohoo
    Thanks for sharing your space!

  24. Allison Noe says

    Lauren, Welcome to Florida. I live in Port St John, near Cocoa. I worked in Orlando for 10 years. You did a beautiful job on your nautical bedroom. We just did a nautical theme in our Indian River condo. Like you I hunt for bargains. Another great place is Beall’s and Beall’s Outlet. The Outlet in Cocoa Beach is chocked full of great nautical finds if you are ever over here. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing the source of your finds.


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