Homes near the ocean evoke a casual vacation mood. They take their cue from the natural world around them, and things found while beachcombing often show up in fresh and surprising ways. Natural hues provide a soothing atmosphere, while thoughtful touches throughout the home add depth and whimsy. Seaside decor is not limited to beachside abodes. With a few tips and a lot of imagination, you can create it in a city loft or a country farmhouse.
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Things you need
- Area rugs
- Throw rugs
- Casual furniture
- Slip covers
- Glass bowls
- Sea glass
- Nautical art
- Mason jars
- Dish towels
- Beach towel
- Screen door
Choose paint colours that reflect nature. Stick mainly to muted tones like soft blues representing the sky, yellows and golds for the sun, and shades of brown and beige suggesting sand.
Use bright accent colours like nautical reds, blues and yellows.
Panel walls with wide wooden planks. Leave the planks unfinished for a rustic look.
Expose rafters and studs. Whitewash them.
Give the house a cottage feel with wood floors that have been distressed, painted or whitewashed.
Lay down floor coverings like area rugs made from natural materials like sisal and sea grass.
Dot the floor with brightly coloured rag or woven area rugs.
Carpet the floor with neutral, tightly woven materials like Berber and sisal.
Leave windows uncovered if possible.
Hang breezy white sheer curtains.
Install roll up or Roman-style shades in natural materials like bamboo.
Fit windows with wooden shutters.
Select comfortable upholstered pieces like overstuffed sofas and club chairs. Use slipcovers in neutral colours and natural fibres like canvas and heavy linen.
Bring in outside furniture like canvas beach chairs in bright stripes or wooden Adirondack chairs in distressed blues and whites.
Choose wicker furniture for its beachy ambience.
Furnish your bedroom sparsely with an iron bed frame, a steamer trunk as a bedside table and an antique cupboard with a distressed finish for storage.
Convert a lobster trap into a coffee table. Craft a floor lamp from a piece of driftwood.
Hang a long piece of driftwood on the wall by the door, pound in nails, and use it as a rustic place to hang coats.
Fill glass bowls with shells and put them to work as centrepieces. Display shells mounted in shadow boxes and hung on the walls in groupings. Line them up on windowsills and mantels. Glue small shells to mirror and picture frames. Use large clam shells to corral rings and earrings. Pile books with coastal themes on wicker end tables. Display a large shell or a group of smaller shells on the top.
Toss pillows in nautical stripes and prints like lighthouses, lobsters and boats on the sofas and beds. Make the bed in white linens and cover with a white down comforter. Or opt for sheets in pastel shades or nautical designs.
Line up wooden decoys on the mantel. Hang a painting with a beach theme above it.
Fill Mason jars with sea glass and place them on your kitchen windowsill.
Tips and warnings
- Hang an old-fashioned screen door and lean a surfboard next to it to welcome guests.
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