Patriotic Vibes at the Lake
As much as I love Thanksgiving and Christmas here, there is something about the 4th of July that makes it my favorite holiday at the lake. It’s relaxing sunny days full of family and fun all wrapped in patriotic vibes and blue waves. You can float your cares away if you really try….and it’s absolutely effortless to decorate - thanks to Nell Hills! This store, located in Briarcliff Village in Kansas City, is chock full of fabulous decor pieces to use here and there in your house, giving it just the right amount of July 4th flair.
One of our best decisions when we decorated the lake house was purchasing our matching denim couches from Nell Hills. They are the perfect pallet for changing pillows each season. This time, I’m loving the tie-dye-ish feeling of new blue and white pillows with an accent of the double flag pillow, adding just the right amount of patriotic.
With so much red, white and blue going on in the pillows, I chose to use all white flowers in this vignette. The Little Flower Shop in the Westwood Hills suburb of Kansas City did a beautiful job creating this loosely formed bouquet that looks just picked from the lakeside garden. The container is a vintage brown pottery pitcher that usually sits on the shelf as display. It’s nice to have a function for such a retro piece.
The Little Flower Shop specializes in their gorgeous “signature” tight, tailored, low arrangements, but their designers are versatile and able to create a variety of different flower styles. I particularly love what they did for this shoot.
My heart melted when I saw this darling Americana dog from Nell Hills transplanted into its intended surroundings - our dock! Resembling our 10-month-old chocolate lab, “Lucy, the Lake Dog,” it was love at first and I knew she would be a new tradition in our summer decorating.
And what is the 4th without a star spangled tablescape? One reason I love Nell Hills is because they are the type of store that encourages mixing their updated pieces and fabrics with the treasures in your home. My table is covered in a vintage blue and white tablecloth handed down by my aunt. Simple straw placemats are the backdrop for the beautiful red Bordallo chargers from Portugal.
Of course, I like mixing in my aunts wonderful cream pottery with blue trim and my own cherished Polish Pottery salad plates as well. With small Bordallo bowls on top, their size is the perfect shape to fit the Nell Hills hand-made fabric ornaments. Tied with wired ribbon, you can choose from red or blue toile or beautiful old fashioned Uncle Sam and turn of the century children decked out in the patriotic best. What a unique and memorable favor for a special summer meal with friends, and they look really cute in the center of the table when the food comes!
Small fishing tackle baskets are great holders for silverware with a red hemstitched napkin. And wonderful blue bandanas are just the right touch for a napkin at the table for this casual holiday.
One of my favorite parts to this table is the blue toile pitcher, sold at Nell Hills and filled with garden flowers and ivy by The Little Flower Shop. There is an art to arranging flowers looking like you picked them from the garden and yet beautiful enough for a photo shoot. These sunflowers were just the ticket to top off a July 4th event. Especially in the Midwest, where you can drive on the highway and pass field of sunflowers, we are partial to this state flower of Kansas.
And let’s not forget to decorate the dock! Of course, holiday decor should extend from the inside out. We love hanging our Nell Hills bunting each year, and their stars and stripes throw is the perfect easy piece to hang on an adirondack chair with some wonderful artificial greens in a galvanized bucket. My “Merrie cup” was given to me as a thank you from a dear friend at the lake, who knows how nice it is to have drinks stay cold and of course with a lid during those high traffic times on the lake!
Two years ago on the 4th, we had 50 relatives to the lake, many from Ohio and my mother-in-law’s side of the family. It was a kick to have our house bursting with family of all ages, spread out between the dock, the boat, the patios, the deck and the screened porch. We had themed days like, Hawaiian Luau where many wore grass skirts, coconut bras and leis. We had an ice cream truck, a taco truck, Sequence tournaments and diving off the board. And we set off paper lanterns on the last night to remember a sorely missed member of the family who had recently passed.
This year, we are having family again for the 4th, but on a smaller scale. It’s always special to gather together if only for a weekend. The time goes by in between celebrations in a flash, and before you know it, the family has grown and new generations are in place to carry on your traditions.
Enjoy your 4th of July and the rest of your summer this year. I hope you get to relax and find peace amongst those you hold dear.
4101 N. Mulberry Dr.
Kansas City, MO 64116
The Little Flower Shop
5006 State Line Rd.
Westwood Hills, KS 66205