What to buy when decorating a bunkhouse or nautical room

Calling all party animals.  Is your Summer booked with holiday BBQs, graduations, weddings, and trips? Ours is!  I can’t believe how fast this Summer is flying by. The calendar’s been jam packed with a revolving door of weekend guests… and I’m loving it! It was time for me to get our lake entertaining routine organized, efficient and looking good. Today, I’m sharing my favorite Summer nautical decor and essentials for ALL lake lover.

Shopping for the Perfect Nautical Bedding

Pillow Candy

Okay, so nothing screams lake house more than an anchor. Even before the bunkhouse was delivered I had two of these nautical anchor pillows in my possession. Last January, at the Americas Mart in Atlanta I met a dynamic mother/daughter duo who own and make Pillow Candy.  These accessories transition your pillows from season to season and come in 30 different color ways and designs. You just wrap your existing pillow with your “candy” and you’re good to go! I’m officially “hooked” and now need one for every month to sweeten up our home.  Just behind is a 24″ by 24″ Kate Spade NY Euro striped duct pillows from HomeGoods. The big size is ideal for when the kids sit up in bed and surf the internet when not out in or on the water. 

What s pillow candy. How to layer on navy blue bedding. How to mix and match patterns right.Cozy Quits

We’ve been enjoying our Home Depot Shed Turned Dream Bunkhouse for a little over a month now.  Every weekend we have new guests so having fresh cozy bedding is a must. You know me, I like to change things up so when I came to picking out bedding for the bunkhouse I found twice the options with this Reversible Lake House Quilt by Eddie Bauer. The buffalo check immediately caught my eye online. Once I received the four twin size quilts I fell in love with the stitching on the reverse side. I mixed things up in the bunkhouse making the two bottom bunks with the solid side showing and reversed for the top bunks. These lightweight quilts are easy to layer with extra blankets for those chilly lake nights. Finding the best nautical and coastal pillows at Homegoods

Quality Sheets 

This Spring I came across a wonderful new sheet company called California Design Den. This company goes the extra mile in every part of the production process. Skilled artisans stitch each linen by hand and all the cotton yarns are paired with an array of eco-friends dyes.    Mixing patterns is my style so the bright and crisp 300- thread count polka dot 3 piece sheet set played well with the buffalo check quilt and striped pillows. I was pleasantly surprised by their super softness. I am definitely buying more of these for the main cottage. They are that comfortable and soft. No wonder why everyone sleeps in late! The perfect Summer decor addition. 

Im sharing the most comfortable and eco friendly sheets sets that i love!

Beach Art & Accessories from HomeGoods 

Painted Wood Canoe Paddles  

The walls just above the two bottom bunks had a big ol’ blank space. In the main cottage, I hung a trio of painted paddle over Chloe’s bed. It seemed only fitting to continue the trend out in the bunkhouse.  I purchased two more oars and a set of watercolor framed prints from HomeGoods. The yellow, turquoise, red and green was just the right amount of color to balance the predominantly navy and white palette. Everyone has been asking me about this Summer decor art. I would recommend checking your local HomeGoods store but if you find no luck I have a similar wrapped paddle canvas art  pinned on my Amazon shop. Centered in the middle of the bunks is an indoor outdoor round Mariner’s Compass Rug. The round rug softens all the harsh sharp linear edges in the bunkhouse and correctly points to the North.

I love to style accent pieces and here is the prettiest navy blue dresser ready for our summer lake guestsMaking Guest Feel Welcome

It is just about 20 steps to the main cottage but no one wants to go outside when you need a little snack. I tucked chips, cookies, nuts and Swedish fish in a wooden painted sailboat and placed it on top of the Matrix Accent Chest.  A yellow and turquoise wooded buoy rounds out the pops of yellow. Beach inspired books and a small tray for jewelry and coins are stacked on top in addition to a potted plant in a blue polka dot clay planter. Above the paddle wall art is a special gift from one of my Instagram followers Lorzel from BarnHouseChickMarket. Lorzel saw my post about building a bunkhouse and sent me this vintage hand carves sign all the way from California as a gift! How awesome was that and I just got to meet her in person last weekend at the Haven Blogger Conference.Im sharing how Is style this navy blue dresser and lined the drawers with scented drawer liner.

Scented Drawer & Shelf Liner

When you come across Ocean breeze stripe drawer liner in your color scheme you buy not  one but two rolls. We easily cut this softly scented paper and placed in the bottom of each drawer to avoid the inevitable musty lake smell. 

The view from the door of the bunkhouse looking up to the top with the Gulliver Four light pendant hanging in the middle. Rustic Nautical Lighting from Progress

Briarwood 4-Light Pendant

With just 120 square feet and 10 foot ceiling height at the center peak we still had room for a statement light fixture. A fan was out of the question and not safe with bunkbeds so it was a perfect opportunity to highlight the Briarwood Four-Light Pendant by Progress Lighting. It was open and airy, had ample lighting, rustic modern design, and the painted finishes matched perfectly with the reclaimed wood paneling celling.  The entire Briarwood Collection is gorgeous! We hung this beauty tight to the ceiling but imagine two of these hanging over a farmhouse kitchen island?  Stunning, right?

What does the Gulliver four light pendant form Progress lighting look like

Outdoor Nautical Lighting 

Although we had plenty of lighting on the back of the cottage I felt the bunkhouse needed two nautical barn lights on the exterior. There was not a lot of space to sneak in a light. I found the Brookside One-Light Small Wall Lantern. This 8 inch fixture is made from brass with an antique nickel finish and is just the right size with no room to spare. It was meant to be. Progress Lighting offers this fixture in three sizes and three finishes so there is a style fit for all your needs. 

We paired the Brookside lantern outdoor goose neck sconce in satin nickel for the exterior of the bunkhouse. Twilight on Honeoye Lake

I wanted to share a picture of how it looks at night with the lights on. The warm glow invites you to take a closer look in. All the neighbors love to walk by and see the interior lit. We even moved one of the fire pits from the waterfront out around back. I added small pillar candles nestled in beach sand in mason jars on the front deck for extra ambiance. And the red, white and blue theme is perfect Summer decor color scheme.

Sharing beautiful twilight images of the exterior of the she shed turned bunkhouse Nautical Mirrors, Window Coverings & Accessories 

We had just about a foot at the end of the bunks to fit in a ladder and some extras. I brought from home a navy and blue ombre garden stool and sat on top a tin pail filled with colorful striped beach towels. As you can see from the reflection there are two iron mirrors. I didn’t really need two but I loved the symmetry and the fact that they looked like portholes. These two were early HomeGoods Summer decor scores. Simple black iron curtain rods and high clips hold up the gray and white linen cafe curtains from Target. A pair of heavy duty navy blue cast iron anchor hooks were hung on each bunk for beach bags, hats, or wet towels and bathing suits. 
I found the perfect nautical inspired double mirrors that are perfect for the bunkhouse. They remind me a a porthole.

Stylish Summer Decor Essentials 

The Party Barge Cooler

Now that the accommodations were set, it’s time to talk entertaining. On any given weekend we have anywhere from 2 to 10 staying with us. Most of our time entertaining is spent outside but on those unbearable hot days we set up our beverage bar inside on the screened-in porch. Last year we made some improvements to the porch with an update to our daybed that has made this the most desirable indoor spot. We use and antique drop leaf table for snacks and to set up our new Party Barge Cooler form Revo. Even the name sounds fun! 

The party barge cooler from Revo Coolers is the perfectly versatile and attractive movable cooler.  Revo Party Barge

These Party Barge Coolers rival any other cooler with pressure injected foam insulation that allows ice to last longer with no condensation.  Three individually insulated compartments with condiment trays and an aluminum ice scoop provide unlimited options and you can choose from 4 colors. On the Revo site they show a Mimosa Barge, Bloody Mary Barge, Wine Barge, etc. The options are endless. This is perfect for those dips and veggies that spoil and wilt quickly out in the sun. Not anymore with this awesome cooler that we can move around easily at a moment’s notice.  

I am sharing my favorite new obsession, the light cube. Its a plastic light up lice cube that you can freeze. Light Cubes

Years ago we went to a very swanky Fourth of July fireworks display at our friends home on Lake Ontario.  The bartenders served cocktails with Light Cubes and everyone went wild! It didn’t matter if you hade soda, water, or whiskey your glass. These food safe battery operated ice cubes were the hit of the party. As the party died down we went and scooped up the Light Cubes from empty glasses and took a handful home for our daughter to see. Our favorite memory of them are placing them in her bubble bath. Hours of clean fun! So when I discovered them years later on the Revo website I ordered more! They even offer multi -colored cubes and all have three settings for slow strobe, quick flickering and straight on bright. EVERY party needs a dozen or two! 

Tha party barge cooler by Revo is so easy to set up and you can change around the compartments and move the entire thing easilyA Whale of a Time

Although we’re hundreds of miles from salt water and whales I couldn’t resist the most adorable aluminum whale from HomeGoods. They have the best Summer decor out early. Kids of all ages fall in love with this happy guy.  I am showing it with drinks but last weekend we pilled him high with shrimp cocktails. We are now spending so much more time out here with our new deck. We said goodbye to the old picnic table and brought in a new streamline bar height dining table and stools.  I set up the appetizers while Ross fires up the grill and the Summer smorgasbord starts! 

The chrysler cityscape outdoor patio set is easy to clean and doesn't take up too much space. Let the Games Begin

I try to encourage the kids to stay off their phones by having a multitude of games and activities available. Aside from the kayaks, tubes, and canoes we have corn hole, croquet, volleyball, badminton and now oversized dominos.  My dad even made a wooden connect four in his wood shop. I break out my watercolors every once in a while when the sunset takes my breathe away…..There is plenty of room for the kids to play in the she shed turned bunkhouse.

The weekends fly by and the weeks are long…

Over the past 5 years our little cottage compound on Honeoye Lake, NY has provided so much family fun.  It’s a shame to keep it all to ourselves that’s why we built our newest bunkhouse.  We have enjoyed making memories with our loved ones and can’t wait to share the next weekend with more guests! Thanks for spending a few minutes with us. Until the next project you can find me out on the dock. 


Amie We are so glad that we chose to get the 10 foot ceiling in the shed turned bunkhouse. There is plenty of room and it doesn't feet clostraphobic

Photography by KNYFIVE

* I have gratefully received products from the brands mentioned in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% mine.

If sharing is caring, then pinning is winning! Feel free to pin these Summer decor images to Pinterest so that others can be inspired.

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Amie Freling

"Life's too short for white walls .." Amie Freling-Brown, a Rochester, NY-based designer and artist who transforms ho-hum spaces into works of art. Her creative designs can be found in many fine homes, restaurants and businesses. Her work has been featured in national magazines, on HGTV and has been sold through retailers nationwide from True Value Hardware to Nordstroms. She proudly offers such professional services as design, staging, color consultations and fine art.

Amie Ferling Real Estate

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