Hittin' the Bottle....

I've just recently hauled out all of my summer decor at home, turning my Cottage into a beachhouse for the summer season. One of my vignettes features a collection of old apothecary bottles gathered together on a pedestal - and inside those bottles, you'll find various sand, shells, rocks, sea glass, and other tiny little bits that I collect on my travels. I label them with a dated tag and tie it on with a twist of raffia. I've done this for several years. I was surfin' the web recently and found this photo from HGTV's new show, 'Red Hot & Green': contributing eco-designer Danny Seo (love his blog, 'Simple Green') pulled together some elements that the homeowners have collected, and placed them in jars...

Check out that jar second from the left. What's in it?
Two old apothecary bottles filled with sand, and tied with raffia!
Who knew I was so ahead of trendy eco-design?!
(PS: I don't take anything but sea glass from marine sanctuaries or protected beaches, BTW).

I caught the new HGTV show, which features Danny Seo and cohort Carter Oosterhouse (formerly carpenter on Trading Spaces & While You Were Out - I think), and was really impressed with the great ideas & techniques for incorporating green thinking into design. Check out the website for much of the info in features, photos, & video clips: Red Hot & Green
I have to say that I enjoyed the show EXCEPT for the fact that the kitchen they demo-ed looked exactly like my vintage kitchen here at my Cottage! Same old white cabinets, same black & white checkered floor, same green walls (ok, mine are a bit more olive and less lime). I was astounded that they'd rip all that charm out! Also that they put grasscloth wallpaper up in a kitchen - it may be eco-friendly, but it's kinda' hard to clean, guys. Ah well.

And on a related note, I found these lovely bottles on the Rosanna Inc. web site. These are ceramic, made from molds patterned after vintage bottles that designer Rosanna found in Oregon. I just LOVE these colors!

I was thinking that for a really eco-friendly twist on this idea, you could take a bunch of any old glass bottles - apothecary, canning, even Coke bottles - and put a spoonful of acrylic or latex paint inside, then swirl & shake it around so it covers the whole interior of the bottle. Flip it upside down and let the excess drip out onto a bit of newspaper, then sit on it's side to let it dry. Once dry (I'd say wait 48 hours at least) arrange your bottles on a shelf or mantel or tabletop, and add a few accents - twigs, reeds, grasses, single flowers, whatever. They would be stunning on a table as placemarkers, with a simple tag hung around the neck with each guest's name on it.

You know me, I'm all for 'Fast, Cheap, & Easy' (TM) decorating ideas....and if you can add 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Reinvent' to that, I'm even happier!

Photo Credits:
Top: Debi Ward Kennedy
Middle: HGTV' Red Hot & Green'
Bottom: Rosanna, Inc.


  1. Anonymous7:26 AM

    I tried that "paint the inside of the bottle" trick once & it did look very cool. However, you cannot put water for fresh flowers in the bottle, or the paint will come loose.

  2. Anonymous3:44 AM

    I thought the same thing about the kitchen on the HGTV show-the floor and cabinets looked to be in good condition and were just so charming! And grass cloth in the kitchen-YUCKO!

    I like your paint in the bottle idea-might have to give that a go one of these days.

  3. Deb,

    Just started bloggin' around and found your site...love it. I tried commenting, but don't think it worked?? My "baby" just moved to Seattle to work for an interactive marketing c. in Magnolia so I have become obsessed with all things Seattle. Now I have become addicted to reading blogs as well. Oh well, I could be doing worse things (like working maybe?).