Tag Archives: Home decor

Nautical Map Canvas Artwork for Less

nauticalmap2For a number of years I have been earmarking nautical maps as home decor. The day has finally come where I finally have one hanging on my wall – and I want to share how I did it for a fraction of the cost. (Are you surprised?)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) navigational charts are free for the public to use. Charts can be found for all coastal area of the U.S.A., and even the great lakes, which is perfect because you can choose an area that is meaningful to you.

The North Shore Harbormasters have conveniently added links to locals maps at this link for other local Bostonians.

(Charts are not to be used for commercial purposes)

nauticalmap1I chose Cape Ann, North of Boston – an area we lived in and loved for seven years, which makes it something I am happy to stare at.

Once you have your chart of choice on the NOAA website, just right-click and save the large-scale PDF to your personal computer.


I wanted to have mine printed on canvas. I ended up trying Easy Canvas Print because they had the best sale that day. Cheapest isn’t always the best, but I wanted to give it a shot.

I purchased my 30″x34″ custom size canvas for $65 ($159 without the promo code). Similarly sized nautical canvas pieces I have seen in stores have been priced around $300.

My review of Easy Canvas Print:

Their online file-uploader does not take very large files – so I had to scale down my file quite a bit to get it to upload. In turn this made me worried about the end-result of the print quality, but I am happy to say that it looks crisp and clear.

Also, I am not sure how, but they cropped my image wrong so parts of the map were cut off. However, I called the customer service and they were very friendly, and sent me a new one straight away with no extra cost to me. It took time with shipping, and to get the new canvas, but I love the end result!

Even better, they are one of those website with constant promo codes. If you sign-up for their email newsletter, you can get 40% off. However, I struck gold when one day they were randomly offering 65% for first-time orders. Keep an eye on the website and I’m sure it will come around again.

This is not a sponsored post. Just passing on a good find!

Once I got my new canvas, I put it right up on the nail where an old painting was hanging. Not the right height, spacing, or anything – I just wanted to see it on the wall.nauticalmap4I plan to DIY a frame to help it stand out from the walls – the tones are too similar now. I’d like to replace the DIY Cabinet Door Numbers Artwork with something more colorful. But first I’ll need to learn how to use some new tools and cross something off my bucket list!

nauticalmap5You may notice we have a bit of work to do in the living room – we never re-centered the artwork over the couch after we moved it over for the newly widened doorway…. which is still missing the trim boards…. and the sloppy paint lines where the crown molding is supposed to go… 🙂

Such is a renovation life. And (spoiler alert) we’ve got a few other projects keeping us busy!

Do you think a white or stained frame would help the artwork to pop better?

Having Ourselves a Very (Decorated) Merry Christmas


Hello there! I’m taking a break from my salted-caramel-eating, ugly-christmas-sweater-making, carol-singing, old-school-christmas-movie-watching, gift-wrapping week to stop in and share our Christmas decorations! The late-Thanksgiving threw me a bit this year, and I am behind on my gift shopping. 😐 Normally I have everything in-order a few weeks in advance, but not this year.

This is always a joyous,  but slightly harried time of year, and there’s nothing I love more than ending a long day in front of the glowing tree lights with a cup of tea.

We cut down our own tree again this year. Meaning my husband chopped, and I gathered branches for the mantle and cheered “timber!”. designlivelychristmasdecor2The bunting is just burlap triangles I drew on with sharpie and loop-stitched together.

This year we hung exterior wreaths on all the windows. I love it! It’s nice to have decorations outside during the day (when the lights can’t glow) and the wreaths also double as inside decor.

I love seeing them from every room.


Hanging from the chandelier we have my favorite set of ornaments – the 12 days of Christmas. They were given to us by my aunt as an engagement gift. They get lost on the Christmas tree, and I love being able to see them all when we eat. designlivelychristmasdecor3 Again with the (free!) evergreen boughs – which adorn the mantle, the sideboard, and the front porch.  When I was pulling out the decorations this year, I realized I have very little actual Christmas decorations – plenty of ornaments – no decor! So I picked up these  wooden trees and moose from Crate & Barrel.  And, like always, my nearly no-sew bunting is hanging.designlivelychristmasdecor5

Yep… still have only hung the one cabinet door. Hopefully this winter we will actually set some time aside to finish installing the cabinet doors, drawer facings and add the hardwear.



We keep our little fake tree in the dining room. It’s holds all my glittery ornaments. It’s the “bling tree”. You can also see it from the kitchen – which makes me happy!


I save the Christmas cards we get every year and band them together by year. They all sit in this box on an end table so I can look through them as the years go by.

I made the box from an old cigar box (that happened to say “forget-me-not”) and wired ribbon.   designlivelychristmasdecor8

I made these fun swirly snowflakes this year instead of the usual cut-out ones. I’ll be back later this week with a how-to! They are super easy! (And no tiny paper clippings to pick up!)

christmascardwreathOur Christmas Card Wreath is hanging in the hallway this year  – see how you can make one for yourself here.

Last but not least – the porch!designlivelychristmasdecor11The porch is pretty simple – a crock full of evergreen, red berries and some cool snowy looking branches from Michael’s! (yea Christmas sale!)

I’m sure the Amazon Prime delivery guy really appreciates the festive greeting. Because he sure has had to stop at our house quite a bit recently. : )

And of course our wreath. I’ve been debating re-painting the door after we re-sided the house. But I do still love this green color!



As for me, I’ve been busy baking. And Moose has been busy shoveling – we’ve gotten over 18″ of snow this week!

This morning was one of those breathtakingly beautiful mornings – the kind that make me want to stay in bed all morning.

But Christmas waits for no one. : ) Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? We will be watching Home Alone 1 and 2 this weekend!

DIY Kitchen Word Art: What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’?

Easy DIY Word Art Tutorial - Design Lively

Last week I posted on my latest adventure with beadboard wallpaper – my kitchen backsplash. Well, I got inspired and decided to re-do the art above my stove.

About a year ago I made a word-art sign that hung above my stove that said “What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin'” because it’s not an unusual occurrence for someone in this household to burst out singing this song.

While I loved the pop of yellow, the text didn’t read well from far away, so once I had my new backsplash I was inspired to give it another go! This time around I choose a higher contrasting blue and white letters and a chunkier typeface – Helvetica.

As a reminder of how I transfer my letters on to my wood board, see below!

The EASIEST Way to Transfer Fonts to Wood Boards:

Easy DIY Word Art Tutorial - Design Lively

1. Choose a font and what you’d like to say – and print it out!

2. Turn the paper over and rub it with chalk

3. Tape the paper (chalk-side down) and tape it into place. Trace over the outlines of the letters with a pen or pencil.

4. The pressure of the pen should leave a chalky residue behind, transferring your type.

5. Begin painting! Start with the outlines and then fill the letters in. I used craft paint and a tiny paintbrush.

6. After the paint has dried, the chalk residue will just wipe away.

Easy DIY Word Art Tutorial - Design Lively

You tell me, what’s cookin’ good lookin’?

(And on that note – I need to cook some dinner!)

I submitted this project to Beneath My Heart’s “Best of DIY October” Link Party

Love and a Good Cause: The Maine Float Rope Company

Maine Float Rope Doormats A few weeks ago when we went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, we brought home a special treat for our front door. I’ve seen a lot of these float rope doormats in stores in recent years and we finally decided to bring one home with us.

I love our cheerful mat with the pop of yellow – but here are some of my other favorites:

Maine Float Rope Doormats

How fun are these mats? Not only did they come in fun and vivid colors, but these doormats by the Maine Float Rope Company are also sustainable and practically indestructible.

Save the Whales

It all starts with my favorite animal, whales. The Northern RIght Whale which is known for living in the North Atlantic, was becoming an endangered species. While protecting these whales they discovered that these whales were getting caught in ropes in the ocean used by fishermen and lobstermen. The happy news is that this rope has been removed from the ocean and the whales are no longer in danger.

Save the Earth

But… the state of Maine is left with tons and tons of used ocean float rope. Thus, an idea was born.

Maine Float Rope Doormats

You can read the full story here. Penny Johnston started the Maine Float Rope Company. The rope is cleaned and woven into doormats, which is the product that you now see today.

As it was meant to withstand  brutal New England winters in the ocean, the mat is virtually indestructible. If it does get dirty you can hose the mat off, and if it gets grubby you can flip it over for a brand new mat.

I love this mat because it’s fun, and friendly. Plus every time you step on it you know that you’re using recycled materials. How can you lose? The price tag will set you back a bit, which is why it took me so long to finally pull the trigger. But I’m so happy that we did.

Recycled materials, locally made, saving the whales. All those make me feel pretty good. I’ll keep you posted throughout the life of the mat and let you know how it fares overtime.

What would you make with tons and tons of float rope if it were left up to you?

The Maine Float Rope Company has no idea who this crazy Kat girl is and I’ve only shared my own thoughts and opinions and love for my new doormat. This is not a sponsored post.