Surprising Decorating Lessons from an Old Fort

A few weeks ago, I was really surprised at the decorating lessons we learned from an old fort. We spent the day giving my mom a surprise adventure for Mother’s Day. My sisters and I each planned different activities which I’m sure was exciting for my mom because we all have completely different personalities. It was nice because it gave her a chance to spend some time with each of us individually. As I mentioned on Friday the theme for my adventure was to spend the day doing things that my mom likes to do but doesn’t always make the time to do. Her schedule is pretty bananas, like she could seriously use a social secretary kind of bananas.

Fort Clinch State Park

Anyway, my mom has loved photography since we were little and in January she finally picked up her camera again. She took a refresher course in photography earlier this year and we thought it would be fun to give her a few hours of uninterrupted time to take pictures. My mom had never been to Fort Clinch State Park so it seemed like the perfect place to recapture her creative spirit and to be able to hone some of her photography skills too.

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Now I’m going to be totally honest with you guys, I knew we were going to have a great time with my mom because you can have fun with her at the grocery store, she’s that cool. I basically thought we were going to take pictures of the different bodies of water, the wildlife, the beach and the cannons. But I pleasantly surprised about the decorating lessons I learned from this old fort and it made me even more excited to explore other places just like it.

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Fort Clinch was established in 1864 and is over 1, 400 acres on Amelia Island. If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet the Spanish moss is dripping from all the gorgeous oaks. Can you imagine this being your driveway? Me too! This is the winding road that takes you through the park and it immediately set the tone for a relaxing experience. Here are a few of our other favorite lessons…

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Lesson 1: Choose quality materials

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Lesson 2: Brick set in a herringbone pattern is definitely a classic

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Lesson 3: Don’t ignore your windows

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Lesson 4: Less is more on the mantel

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Lesson 5: If you’re short on space, go vertical

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Lesson 6: Stripes will always be in style

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Lesson 7: Hang artwork you love

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Lesson 8: Say yes to chalkboards

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Lesson 9: Make your kitchen a priority

Fort Clinch Kitchen

Lesson 10: Give yourself a space to create

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Lesson 11: Keep an organized message board

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Lesson 12: You can have barn style doors even if you don’t live in a farmhouse

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Lesson 13: Pairing like items with like items will help you keep things tidy

Store at Fort Clinch

Lesson 14: Painting brick white is not as controversial as you think

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Lesson 15: Take the time to set a pretty table

Officers Dining Table at Fort Clinch

Lesson 16: Buy only what you love

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Lesson 17: Don’t buy trendy hardware

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Lesson 18: Play up the view

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Lesson 19: Roll out the welcome mat for family and friends

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Can you believe we’re still using some of these same design elements in our homes today? I know, so cool!

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What I want you to glean from today’s post is really two things…first, inspiration is everywhere even in what seems like the most unlikely of places…

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and two…make time to do what you love doing…maybe it’s dance or painting or swimming or collecting shell or biking…whatever it is, you’re worth it….make it happen.

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We’re getting ready for Memorial weekend and holiday guests so I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. It touches my heart how very thoughtful you and your family are. The gift of time spent together is a gift that will be treasured for a lifetime.

  2. I love that you gathered these ideas from an old place. These really are true!! You can definitely see what’s important in design when you look at something old.

  3. Loved loved loved this post

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