Sunday, January 29, 2012

10 Simple Ideas to Add Coastal Style To Your Home

There are many ways to introduce a coastal feel to your home, other than just using shells and starfish.  While they certainly have their place in any coastal abode, here are some of the other devices my friends and I use, to Style a Beach Cottage.

1. Invest in a beautiful piece of coastal style art

Both these gorgeous wrought iron pieces, call my friend Cath's  place home.  Like me, Cath loves the beach cottage feel and is trying to achieve it on a budget.  She splurged on the piece above and I believe it was worth it.  I've never seen it again, as it was a one off, and to me that is an absolute coup in decorating. It's so important to be different. 

Sometimes an inexpensive set of original photographs do the trick.  Work that camera baby and take your best shots down to your local photo shop.  Have them put on canvas as a series. I purchased these in Noosa a while back here.  If you're living by the coast you have a great opportunity to take really interesting shots  yourself.  Get down in the sand and it's amazing what you'll find.   If you live inland and don't get to the coast regularly there are many bloggers such as Beachcomber who sell beautiful coastal shots already mounted.

Now this is something I am no longer able to indulge in, but Mr Beach House and I were lucky enough to get one of these as an engagement present from a group of friends who banded together.  Nada Herman is a local artist and has a gorgeous studio which is often open to the public.  It is so worth the trip to Clareville, if you are a Sydneysider.

If you are unable to afford any of the above, why not make some art.  This one was made using some islander post cards and pegs with a thrifted frame.

And then there's driftwood.  No matter if you are land locked.  Just find some beautiful wood.  Peel off the bark and leave it in the weather for a while.  If you want it real smooth and light, just sand and spray it with bleach over several sessions.  And there you have it...... simulated blonde driftwood.

You can also white wash it to achieve the 'bleached blonde' look

2)  Style with pineapples for a tropical look

I adore pineapples.  They are such an inexpensive stylish beachy icon

They look fabulous grouped together here

I love them like this too

3) Add an interesting basket into the mix

Fill it with interesting coastal pieces and go big, even in a small space....the effect can be dramatic.

Use the basket as a coffee table. 

Or layer it with colour co ordinated books

4) Use Vintage Nautical pieces. 

But be wary of using too much reproduction nautical

I bought this faux oar when I couldn't find a real one and you can spot the difference.  Reproduction pieces can often give an air of trying too hard.  I still like this piece, but I always mix it up with some true vintage.

A little set of thrifted binoculars evokes coastal style

This piece of ship's tackle fosters an industrial coastal feel too.  Grouped together with the red cargo ship, it begins to tell a story.
A strategically placed vintage oar in the wall studs looks fabulous

5)  Pick Up a Palm Frond on Your next Coastal Walk.

This is a very cost effective way to add beachy style.  It's so affordable, it's free

6)  Invest in a Lobster Pot.

I am still to do this, but I would absolutely love one for my deck re do
Hello Mr Beach House!!!!

The Boat House at Palm Beach uses a lobster pot to great effect as a light fitting.  It casts an interesting shadow.  I love the way it hangs on the slant.  I think you already know, I am not into perfection, in decorating or much else for that matter.

7) Use Blue Glass Bottles 

This was a mood board I created for a boudoir style coastal bedroom for a client

These little Ikea bottles have had a real work out here at the Beach House

This blue bottle on the top of the meat safe, was $1 at the RC shop.

 Demi Johns are more expensive, but look fabulous in a coastal home.  I got this in a closing down sale for $40 and I know Spotlight had some relatively inexpensive ones last time I was there, that I would be proud to call my own.

Or hunt around for this type of thing.  I found this ship in a bottle for a few bucks at the Red Cross Shop.  It looked like junk the way it was just thrown on the shelf in the store, but once you get it home, it becomes a little master piece.

8) Place beachy style towels strategically

In your bathroom

on your outdoor furniture

9)  Seek out iconic coastal vintage in your treasure hunting

I found this wooden pineapple in a little vintage surf shop in Newport.  It's down an alley way and is an absolute treasure trove of gorgeous vintage surf memorabilia.

This surfboard was my dad's from the 1950s.  People are wising up to the value of this kind of stuff lately, but stay on the hunt.  Mr Beach House put all his old surf boards out on a council clean up when we moved house 7 years ago.  And I stupidly went along with him.  They lasted all of about 5 minutes out on the curb, so you can be lucky.

10)  Use squashy couches and chairs and a nautical stripe cushion thrown in doesn't hurt one bit either 

The Ektorp range at Ikea is a very cost effect way to get this squishy squashy Hamptons look. 

I got this 3 seater lounge suite and 2 lounge chairs for $1998 from Recollections at a sale.  It looks crumpled and squashy, which creates the relaxed beachy feel.  The Beach House Brats are banned from eating on it as I want it to last. So far so good!!!!

  So that's it from the Beach House today.  Thanks for all your wonderful messages.  I adore them all and you are so kind. 

I hope to be back to you all soon.

Next up a story about entertaining in the 1970's........ I think.  My parents were very good at it and I've been at my mum's this weekend recounting some of the fun times we had then!!!!!!
We even wrote an imaginary guest list of people who we would love to sit down for dinner with now.  Not possible I'm afraid, but gee it would be nice.

Today I am partying at

Meet Me Monday
Creative Bloggers Hop
Sunday Showcase Party
Weekend Warrior
Market Yourself Monday
Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
Table top Tuesday
Knick of Time Tuesday
Trash To Treasure Tuesday
First Project of the Year Party
Talent Show Tuesday
Take a Look Tuesday
The Inspiration Board
Too Cute Tuesday


  1. Gorgeous post Carolyn, but they all are, love your easy approach to coastal living!

  2. Beautiful settings and great ideas! I don't really live on the coast but I live across the street from a lake...does that count? LOL! I like to incorporate "coastal" here in the summer as it is a cool, refreshing and relaxing style. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Beautiful round up, Carolyn!! So many things I love..., and how great to be able to pick up a palm fond on the beach!! Maybe one day, haha.

  4. lovely ideas! i really LOVE the small white rooms, is it a boatshed ? & the palm beach cafe.
    have a great week.

  5. Great images. Love all the photographs.

  6. Lovely ideas and great suggestions - especially love the blue glass.

  7. Amazing collection of beachy pretties to look at-- thanks for sharing :D

    Visiting from Homemaker On A Dime!
    ~Suzanne in NW IL from WhyCuzICan

  8. thanks so much for the mention carolyn!! i didn't notice when i read your post before :)

  9. Thanks for all these tips and eye-candies, Carolyn! Btw, your weight-loss post totally rocks and it reminded me to be mindful of my food intake :)

  10. Wonderful ideas and I love your mood board. It put me in the mood.
    I've been sick with a terrible cold this week and I'm so behind in
    my blogging I don't think I'll ever catch up.

  11. I feel warmer just looking at your post---love the summer beachy look--I can almost feel the sand between my toes. We are in winter beach mode here in Normandy-bone chilling cold!

    Lovely, lovely, lovely as always!

    xx! Cat

  12. These are beautiful and great ideas! I love the lobster baskets, especially as a light! I might have to see what I can do about that. :)

  13. Oh my, such beautiful beach and coastal decor. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  14. Oh what a fun post. loved all your coastal charm, very pretty.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    blessings, nellie

  15. So many beautiful, creative ideas! Thanks for sharing them! Now I want a beach house to decorate! lol!

    xoxo laurie

  16. Oh boy I am so envious of your gorgeous beach house, makes me want to go back to San Diego to live again. Well, just a little. I've always loved that beachy look and the colors that go with it. So relaxing, simple. Looks like I'll be digging out in the shed for some of my goodies to get the look a little anyway. maybe for Spring. We live in western CO so it's still a bit chilly here, tho not much snow at all this year. I mean if you're gonna live in CO don't you want snow? Ah well I'll pretend by fixing our little place up beachy with what I have and can make to fake it. I'll be back to look at all the pics of your place a few times I think. Thanks alot for the look into your home and life.

  17. Love the beach look! Great ideas! I would love to have you share them at my party!

  18. You have beachy salt in your blood Carolyn as everything just looks beautifuly coastal.
    I love that fish tea towel holder and the driftwood. I never though to try and make it myself :) xx

  19. Oh wow Carolyn, you just amaze me. I am love with your coastal decor. You are simply fabulous.


  20. I adore all of your beach decor! You home is gorgeous and you have so many beachy tips and tricks! Thank you for sharing this lovely post at Potpourri Friday!

  21. Love the coast ... loved every one of these pictures and ideas.

    Thanks for the peek ~
    Mary @ Sea Quilts

  22. Beautiful pictures, beautiful ideas, beautiful post!

    Best wishes,

  23. Gorgeous photos and ideas. I, too, love the beach and never tire of treasures from the sea.

  24. Great inspiration ideas and tips. Love the glass fishing float and the lobster pots used as plant holders.

  25. Carolyn~ You are killing me.. I love love love it all! What a great post..and great ideas!!
    Thank you!!
    Gypsea Nurse

  26. Ohhhhh, all so pretty. You make me want to go stick my toes in the sand! I love the beachy cottage feel! And I wish I were close enough to visit the studio! Love that style of art!

  27. Your beachy touches are dreamy!


  28. I was scrolling back thru your posts and I really like this one; great ideas for coastal touches. I also like your post about budgeting. And I was very touched to hear of your infertility battles. I went thru something similar, but didn't wind up with a kid. Count your blessings of those beautiful Beach House Brats; you've provided such a lovely nest for them and you. Thanks for being so real as we connect as women in cyberspace.

  29. GREAT ideas!!!
    The other day I was in doubt to buy a white pineapple I saw at HomeSense, I have to go back there!!!


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