Friday, March 25, 2011

Bringing Home the Beach...

so, you had an AMAZING spring break vacation
at the beach.
 well guess what...
it's our spring break too!
and we've managed to sneak in a few days at the beach...
every year, I hear families 
saying they don't want to go home, they LOVE the beach
they can't wait for summer...
like the mom on the towel near me, 
the one with the sunburn that will leave BAD tan lines
watching her kids play in the sand...
who just told her husband he needed to find a job in Florida
so they could move down. 
yeah...about that...

anyway, I'm no decorator and don't pretend to be.
I wouldn't even DREAM of trying to pull together some fussy, high end
look.  We're barefoot and casual all the way!
 but I do have a few ideas for you.
I know there are probably TONS of articles out there on this...
in fact, I've written a few things myself.
nothing terribly original...just common BEACH SENSE.
but since I'm hearing a lot of wishing and DREAMING going on about
life by the beach, let's do it again:)
sometimes we all need a refresher course, right?

and THIS time, if by chance I get ANY comments after being so lazy.
I will write back! The NEW me:)
 so lady with the sunburn, this is for YOU!

it's so EASY to decorate in that shabby, 
beach cottage way...
first up...clear the clutter.
think about it...beaches and the ocean are wide open spaces, 
stretching as far as the eye can see.
 the trick here is to keep it simple...relaxing...easy going.
beaches can be bare stretches of sand or layered with shells...
but it never feels cluttered.

 Next...color scheme.
it's really quite simple.
just sit back and think of what you see at the beach.
sandy beaches...fluffy clouds...foamy shells...washed out sky...
 and shades of aqua, seafoam, and turquoise.
 painting your house a DREAMY shade of white or cream makes a great canvas.
 accenting with any of the above colors will immediately bring the beach in.
 by the way, one thing I've learned since living in Florida for 16 years...
decorate how YOU want...not what the area or your friends think you should do.
sometimes I want a beachy feel, sometimes I want a FRENCH feel,
sometimes I want to feel as if I'm in a cabin in MAINE, complete with a moose motif:)
so if you live up north and everything is dark's only paint!
 go for it...add the little touches that say "beach" to you.
at the very least you'll be happy thinking
about your beach vacation!

moving on to furnishings...
this is where slipcovers RULE!
 just don't make my mistake and be sure to get the kind that you can rip off,
throw in the washer and bleach the heck out of them.
 i will ALWAYS have comfy, so cozy, so casual...
all ways to describe a beach house.
the key is FABRIC...because it's the most comfy.
 linens, canvas, duck cloth, cotton.
and besides, what good Rachel Ashwell groupie would be without slipcovers?
wicker is a FABULOUS touch too.
 at any garage sale or thrift store, you can find a wicker chair or table.
take it home, spray paint it white/cream/aqua...whatever...and
VOILA...instant beach feel!
 if you have an old dark wood table...paint it white and chip it up a bit.
(although mixing woods is COOL too:)

floors...hardwood RULES!
a few throw rugs scattered is all you need for those
 if you're not a fan of hardwood...
tile works too.
but in my personal opinion,
the contrast of wood...any shade...plays against the rest of the room
and keeps it cozy:)

accessorize with beach TREASURES...
a few sea shells, STARFISH, sand dollars...
scattered here and there, piled in a clear glass jar...
instant decor.
add in some SEA PRETTY!
driftwood pieces add a nice touch...but remember, no clutter:)
 coral, sea foam, FLOWERS and candles work too.
 a few faded, BEACHY throw pillows here and there will pull it together.
and don't forget a faded throw for naps after a long day at the beach!
***please remember to gently toss any LIVE sand dollars
and starfish back in the surf.  
if they're alive, they're not ready to leave their ocean home
and move into yours:)'s the law. SORRY:)
okay, when you think of days at the beach,
what scent comes to mind?
okay, forget the occasional fishy smell (haha)
maybe the scent that comes to mind is something CRISP, cool, breezy.
for me, it's the scent of suntan oil...COCONUT, lime, pineapple.
TROPICAL scents...yum!
 I have these through the house when I want to think of the beach.
a few other smells are not necessarily beach smells but
still remind me of living near the beach and they are
night blooming JASMINE and my all time favorite...
 lastly, remember to display your beach photos.
make a photo book for your coffee table...
 pictures of days spent tossing beach balls,
searching for shells, walking on the beach,
building SAND CASTLES,
playing in the SURF,  making

that beach cottage look is casual and MISMATCHED all the way.
hmmm...mismatched...that must be why even I can do it:)
 to those spring breakers who spent their vacation
by the beach here in FLORIDA...
most of us do appreciate you and don't mind
sharing our beautiful beaches with you.
after all, it's because of YOU...
and the MONEY you spend down here...
that we don't pay local and state come on down!
then go home and design your OWN beach cottage!



  1. Thank you for the 'mini~vacation'...
    I just returned from the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming and while there told our 20 yr old that there is nothing like the raw beauty of the height of m0UNTAins except the wonder of the depth of an ocean. Then I come home and see your post!
    What an absolutely AMAZING post! You have done well with this one! Thank you for sharing such beauty with your readers! And I agree, it's hard to go home when you're not going home to Florida! b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.

  2. I agree with Deborah! I want to visit those places too:) Kris and I say dibs if anything pictured is yours and for sale:) lol

    Loved the great blog about our Mom too, so special Sis! You have such a gift, one minute I think you should write books and the next decorate shabby chic homes:)

    love Kathy

  3. Whoops Kris must have this on her page:)

  4. Oh you make it look so easy. I could not pull it off here. I'd have to burn my house to the ground and start over. Lovely eye candy. We're going to visit son Buddy and his family in Dolphin Island next month so I will get a little sand between the old toes. Blessings, Mollye


So, what do ya think? Do tell...I'd love to hear it:) Be Happy...

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