dining room table summer centerpiece

If you know my mom or are related to my mom or might be thinking about calling my mom or know someone with short blonde hair who walks really fast and is in charge of the world.


This post is on the down low.

She went with my children to camp as a counselor….

….and in return I’m babysitting her house.

And I wanted to surprise her.

So I gave her dining room a little summer freshening up.

blue and white dining room refresh

When I was a teenager I used to use this stuff on my over-sized pores called Sea Breeze.

You would scrub and clean your face and towel it dry and when you were finished, you would reach for a little Sea Breeze.

It was blue and it came in a clear bottle with ships or waves or something else floating on the front of it and I don’t even know if they make it any more.

blue and white area rug

You’d put some Sea Breeze on a cotton ball and wipe it on your face and buckle your seat belt.

Because it was amazing.

It felt like you were riding a wave on a surf board with the ocean breezes blowing and the palm trees swaying in the wind with the sun and the sand all around you and if you closed your eyes you could almost feel summer enter the room.

summer refresh

That tiny little bit of Sea Breeze on a cotton ball was all it took.

Not a lot.

Just a little.

Just enough to make you feel like summer was here.

Just like this room refresh.

dining room refresh

I started the room refresh by cleaning everything.

I dusted and straightened and re-hung the freshly ironed curtains and put away extra baskets and decluttered the space and pulled a tiny Captain America out from under the chair.

And then I placed a burlap runner on the table.

hydrangea centerpiece

Then I created a centerpiece so simple it took seriously only about five minutes.

I filled a large glass vase with plums and topped it off with hydrangea and greenery from my mother’s yard.

(total aside:  Best glass vase tip ever.  Look for glass vases at the floral department of your grocery store.  They are so inexpensive because they are usually trying to get you to buy the vase to fill it with flowers.  Case in point.  This giant bell-shaped vase was only $15 at the grocery store)

flower pillow

Then I added these pillows with a beautiful over-all floral pattern and added a side chair next to the side board.

A pillow like this is an easy way to introduce a new pattern for summer.

But don’t spend a lot of money on your summer pillows.

You can find them inexpensively at discount stores, especially if you don’t need them to match.

plums and summer decorating

The pillows introduced the side chairs into the conversation.

Plus, they matched the plums.

Not that I encourage decorating a room around fruit.

lemons and teacup

I brought a few more blue and white dishes out of the cupboard and stacked them in a wood tray and on the table.

Then I fluffed the curtains.

I straightened the chairs added a few more accessories….

…..and the room was ready.

dining room blue and white

Camp is almost over.

I’m picking them all up tomorrow at midnight and I’m taking my sleepy campers home and not saying a word. With all the rush of the sleeping bags and snack bags and sunglasses and towels to be washed no one will notice the dining room.


Until my mother goes to get her morning hot tea.

Then it’s going to be a Sea Breeze moment. 🙂

PS  I just finished the cutest dressing table project over on the HomeRight blog.  Click here for the DIY.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Your Mom is blessed to have you as a daughter! Your children are blessed to have a grandmother that wants to go and will go to camp with them. I enjoyed the room!

  2. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Oh.my.lanta! I remember Sea Breeze!!!!!! This room, I don't know where to start and why didn't I think of buying a vase at the grocery store??? XOXO, Lisa

  3. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Sea Breeze was amazing! We had cotton squares instead of cotton balls....but the sensation was as you described nonetheless. I'm going out today to run errands and I am definitely going to be on the prowl for Sea Breeze! Pretty room for your momma's homecoming. She'll cry..... I would.

  4. Image for Mary Mary

    What a thoughtful daughter! I'm sure your mom loved it :) I used sea breeze when I was a teen and bought it for my kids when they were teens. I used to use some of theirs not so long ago to feel that cooling breeze. I'm sure they still make it. Loved it!

  5. Image for Becky Becky

    Beautiful! I love the plums. They look amazing and match the tips of the hydrangeas and the pillows are perfect too. What a great surprise for your mom. She's going to be so pleasantly surprised. Also, I remember Sea Breeze too! Do you remember Loves Baby Soft perfume? Loved that too as a teenager.

  6. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    What a beautiful room! I love the plums and hydrangeas...why not decorate around fruit? She's going to tear up you know...I would! ;)

  7. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Precious!! You will be sailing with amazing smiles at her response! What a great job and wonderful daughter you are...if you miss her when you get home...you can bring the sea breeze to my home and fluff a few pillows. Oh, and I have plum trees and hydrangeas...

  8. Image for Ruth Anne Ruth Anne

    The breath of a summer breeze in your mom's dining room is just charming. She will love it! Love the burlap runner and vase of fruit and flowers--a great combination!

  9. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    Pretty! I love the color combination of blue and white! My sister-in-law used to have a blue and white sunroom, which I just LOVED, and my younger sister has enjoyed a collection of blue and white in her home for years. It's so pleasant to visit! My older sister and I just helped our mother add blue and white to her living room, to tone down the cinnamon color of her sofa, which isn't her favorite. Now she'll hardly notice it because it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. I've observed that blue and white are a resurging trend. Are you responsible for that, KariAnne? Wink! Wink!

  10. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Very pretty refresh of the space. I love fruit in a flower arrangement! What a sweet gesture. Ahhhh Sea Breeze. Suddenly I had a whiff of Windsong lotion mixed with Gloria Vanderbilt perfume (my signature signature scent from 1984). It stays on on your mind :) Have a great day! Nancy

  11. Image for Patty Patty

    Gee my "kids" are all too old to go to camp but . . . . my husband and I could go away for a week. You could come and take care of our two pit bulls and two cats, water my garden and refresh my dining room. Let me know.

  12. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Beautiful room, Karianne! As beautiful as the first time you did it ;-) Love the idea of fruit in bottom of the vase and especially the tip for purchasing inexpensive vases!!

  13. Image for Ellenann Ellenann

    Oh, how I love this room refresh! We are getting back to the blue and white theme in our home now, and I couldn't be more pleased. Your mother is one lucky woman!! Great job. I'm on the hunt for some Seabreeze now. It seems to be calling my name.

  14. Image for May May

    Lol - my mother would NOT be impressed if I tweaked her decor! This blue and white dining room you posted about a while back is my inspiration for the dining room in our new-to-us 150 yo stone farmhouse, Karianne. The wallpaper company don't do your lovely wallpaper any more, unfortunately, so I'm working on getting an oversized mural from "originalwallpapers" in Australia. They are unbelievably gorgeous! Not sure I can add a link, but Google is your friend. :) I also found Carolyne Rhoem's blue book good for inspiration, by the way.

  15. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I remember Sea Breeze...I loved it, too. I would put it on my sunburn to cool my burning skin and swipe it on my face to clear up any unwanted blemishes. It was a little miracle of blue. Your Mom.s room looks wonderful. She will love it! You are such a sweet daughter!

  16. Image for Dee Ann Dee Ann

    Love, love, love your rug! Where did you find it? Blue and white is my favorite color combination, especially for summer. Your dining room is gorgeous!

  17. Image for Leona Leona

    One lucky Mom.........one awesome daughter. And yes ........Seabreeze is still around. Amazing stuff ! Now the babies are back with a load of wash......my how the time goes !

  18. Image for Julie Julie

    Gorgeous!!!!! Mom is going to be so thrilled. Sea Breeze...wow, I had forgotten about that. I used that when I was a teenager...some 55 years ago!!!!! LOL Great job Karianne!

  19. Image for Caitlin Caitlin

    I have seen that rug a few times on Pinterest and cannot seem to find it online... Where did you/or your mom find it? Love blue and white for summer!

  20. Image for Mary Woeppel Mary Woeppel

    Karianne you are a breath of fresh air! Love love love that you did this as a surprise for your mom! Give her a hug from me, she created a beautiful daughter inside and out! Mary

  21. Image for Kris Kris

    The pillow on the chair that pulls in reds and blues and greens would be perfect in my living room, and I've had a hard time finding a pillow that I like--please share the source! I bet it's hard to figure out who gets more from the refresh experience--your happily surprised mom, or you for having the fun of doing it. :)

  22. Image for Dee Dee

    Beautiful room and it will be a nice surprise for your Mom. Would you talk a little bit about the area rug? Is it two rugs side by side? I've never thought about using that idea to get a larger rug. I imagine under the table and chairs it doesn't move or it is fastened someway? Thanks.

  23. Image for Cindy Pierce Cindy Pierce

    What a sweet daughter to refresh your mom's dining room. She'll love it! I got that same rug after you posted about it. I put it in my family room. I just love it!!

  24. Image for Susan Susan

    Beautiful, breezy makeover (see what I did there? ;) )! Sea Breeze is great on mosquito bites. I don't know if it clears them up faster, but it sure feels great to swipe it on!

  25. Image for Susan Susan

    Oh, your Mom can't be in charge of the world, KariAnne...that's *my* Mom...it has to be...she wouldn't have it any other way...hehe! What a beautiful thing to do for your Mom...she is going to love it because you've made her dining room absolutely stunning! That morning tea is going to be a doozy...I hope she knows how to duck the big waves! ;)

  26. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    You are so sweet. Your mother's dining room is beautiful. Do you know what pattern those blue and white dishes are? Blessings

  27. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Love, Love, Love the beautiful touches you added to your Mother's Dining Room......that was so sweet of you!! I loved your description of the "sea breeze moments" -- I had some of those myself, too! Happy Monday, Friend!

  28. Image for Mary Hammons Mary Hammons

    The room is beautiful! Blue and white is my fav! Sea Breeze is still around, even store brands. Works great getting hair color off your skin if needed! ,

  29. Image for Mary Lynn Beshara Mary Lynn Beshara

    Wish you were my kid! Wish your kids were my grandkids. She is one lucky women. Bet she knows it. Great job! As always.

  30. Image for Jeanne Bell Jeanne Bell

    My Mom is 96 years old and I went to the grocery store for her last week and she had Sea Breeze on her list. The grocery store only had one bottle left.....must still be a big seller. Have a great day!

  31. Image for Donna Donna

    Love it! So classy and elegant. I remember sea breeze I used it also. If only we could get that same feeling again from a bottle. I always love your post!

  32. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Typical karianne....always doing something special...! You are ah-mazing, little one...I may or may not have told you that once or twice before, but I don't think it can be overstated where it concerns you. She will love it.

  33. Image for Terri Godfrey Terri Godfrey

    Love it! Fresh, clean, summery. Your mother will be thrilled. Especially like the floral arrangement. I plan to recreate that. And the Sea Breeze? Just had a discussion on Facebook with old friends about using it 40 years ago. Number one: They still make it, repackaged, of course, at Walmart and other places and sold online, too. Number two: I wonder if it still tingles like the old days? It was, after all, an astringent.

  34. Image for Terri Terri

    Awwwwwww..... You are one precious daughter!!!!! Love the pillows and the Centerpiece!!! And the memories.... Seabreeze and summer camp!!!! WOWOWOW..... One sweet Mama too... to take on summer camp in your place?? NICE ....

  35. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    Lucky Mama! Have some fun this summer and relax a little. I bet you can relax for about 15 min. Then you are gone again. Am I right?

  36. Image for May May

    My daughter just got a condo last Christmas--giving us a chance for endless Mother/Daughter projects. This post makes me miss her. I am going to need a road trip really soon. It is such a long drive. 27 hrs is my personal best. Think I better pack along a bottle of Seabreeze to occasionally shock my senses back into hyper-alertness! I had forgotten that stuff ever existed! I know you are a tremendous blessing to your mother!

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