At the Beach...

It seems that every spring Pottery Barn has some sort of sea/water theme with lots of fun, beachy decor and decorating ideas. It's truly my favorite time of the year. Lots of ideas for summer-izing your home - many are things we can re-create because, let's face it, sometimes PB can be a little pricey. I got my latest PB catalog today full of coral, shells, and blue, lots of blue.

My dad was in the Navy so we moved around alot and spent most of our time on the coast (obvious, probably). We lived on the water at times but always near it. I thought that was how everyone lived - swimming in the river or ocean regularly. I think this is the reason I love the water. And I love decorating like I live on the water. Maybe somewhere like this: Or this:

Or this:

Even if you live in one of those places (lucky you!) you have to be careful of making your beachy decor look too cutesy, theme-y or, well, tacky. It's a fine line. Even at somewhere like Pottery Barn you can end up making a mistake - too many shell pillows and you've become the lady that collects shell pillows not the owner of that neat coastal retreat in the city.

So what's a girl to do if she dreams of lazy days at the beach but lives in the 'burbs?

  • Pick just one of those shell pillows (or palm tree towels, fish serve ware or seahorse prints). I know it's hard but you'll thank me.

  • Use color. Think about colors that mean coastal to you. Tropical may invoke pastel blues and pinks and yellows. Ocean is all about the blue of the sea and the tan of the sand. Life on a lake means blues and greens. Right after we re-did our kitchen a friend came over and said 'it looks like Rhode Island in here'. Now I am not sure that she really meant that as a compliment but I took it that way because I was looking for a certain feel and Rhode Island (think Newport but cheaper!) worked for me.

  • Think about life on the coast. Look at pictures in magazines and books. If you actually lived at the beach how would you keep the sand from migrating inside? Maybe a natural-fiber rug like a sisal placed under your slip covered sofa (you'll need to be able to take if off and put it in the wash). Some hooks outside the back door would be used to hang wet towels.

  • Consider wood or tile for flooring instead of carpet. Much easier to clean up that sand!

  • Bead board. It's becoming so popular and just screams coastal to me. Use it in a kitchen, bathroom, entry way or mud (sand) room.

  • A room with a view should be appreciated. If you lived on the water would you really want to cover your living room windows with heavy drapes? Not likely. While it may be necessary to cover your windows at night for privacy try to pick window treatments that are as light and airy as possible to give you a beachy feeling. The french doors below are a nice example of treatment-less windows. A totally blank window may not be practical for you so just keep it light.

I love the way this kitchen uses color on the cabinets and the bead board on the ceiling to give it a beachy feel.

While we all may not be able to live at the beach we can still create the feel through color (paint), flooring and window treatments as well as a few well sought out accessories.

As I have been ogling the Pottery Barn catalog I have gotten some ideas for knock-offs and re-creating some of their looks. If any of them turn out (& I am confident they will) I'll be back to show you. Just give me a little time.

In the meantime, check out these beachy blogs for inspiration: Sarah @ A Beach Cottage & Cheryl @ Beachcomber

All photos from Coastal Living


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