ANOTHER WAY OF BRINGING THE BEACH INSIDE FOR SUMMER
No one loves the beach more than me or my family. We love everything about those sandy white shores and as soon as we leave the ocean; we are already making plans for the next time we can return.
That is exactly why I love to give our home a beach-type theme near the end of every summer. We can get a taste of the beach without even leaving the house.
HOLD ON TO SUMMER A LITTLE WHILE LONGER
There are many classic decorating tips available for what I’ve called our “let’s hold on to summer a while longer” look.
Over the years I’ve used this type of “seasonal” decorating in different ways. From time-to-time I try to give the latest look a new “tweek.” I think I might have managed to do that with my beach theme this season.
Life is always changing around us, and nothing ever stays exactly the same; but it is all is good!
This article is full of beach theme ideas, but it is also about a more casual, modern and trendy type of beach-cottage-look; which is just a bit different from some of my more “classic” beach themes from the past. The more classic themes will be featured in another article later this season. Right now I love this more casual look.
SUNSHINE AND BRIGHT COLORS
I guess the words that describe this look best would be “lots of sunshine and bright beach colors.” I’ve found that combination seems to be the most cheerful beach theme ever!
This look seems to make my house feel happy and it gives the illusion of prolonging a wonderful summer.
With home decor, as with everything else in life; variety is always more interesting. So I change my “beach-theme” decor a little here and a little there each year. It is not hard to come up with new ideas for this theme. There are a million and one ways to emphasize the beach look inside your home.
CORAL MAKES A GREAT BEACH COLOR SCHEME
On this particular year, as the end of summer approached, I wanted to incorporate some new color schemes using coral.
I wanted a more trendy, “pop-of-color” with a very interesting entrance. Of course I wanted people to feel the wonder of the beach immediately as they walked into the house. So; I simply laid out the natural earth-toned colors first; then incorporate pops of coral here and there.
It all starts at the front door. I wanted to welcome people into our beach-themed, summer home in the most peaceful and relaxing way.
On the outside I hung an old wooden cross made from heavy vines. I’ve used this cross a lot in my interior decorations in the past; each time making it the background for different themes. It seems to welcome people like a bride by being “something old with something new.” The look is very weathered and the appearance is like something you might see for sale at the seashore.
I hung a little sign upon the cross that said “by the sea.” Seashells and ocean colored beads hang the sign. Once you read the words posted on the front door, your imagination takes over.
What do you think of when you hear those words “by the sea?”
My first thought is the comforting realization that most likely God loves visiting the seaside as much as we do. Don’t you know He had fun creating the ocean?
Have you ever dreamed of walking on the waves with Jesus?
Can you not visualize Him bringing peace and joy to the sea-side tables of the sandy shores along the way of wherever He chose to reside along the coast?
Living in a beach setting is another way to imitate the upside-down, inside out way of life that Jesus lived on this earth. Of course the beach only serves as the backdrop; it is really all about what you do and how you live together inside that backdrop that matters. This same principle can also be applied inside our homes.
I wanted that peace and joy to overflow into my home at the end of summer this year. Thus; this little sign of welcome is placed on our front door.
The little pops of blue really added to the effect I was seeking for the backdrop. The tan shells are the same color as sand on the seashore; and the blue beads are the same color of the ocean and the sky. I loved the emotions these natural colors inspired.
We were off to a good start right outside the front door, even before a person actually began to enter the house!
FROM THE OUTSIDE TO THE INSIDE
I kept the inside of the door very simple but still incorporating the “bright-blue skies at the beach feeling” by hanging a blue wooden boat anchor on the inside of the doorway.
It looked great and stood out against the solid white door. This gave everything a little “nautical” flavor too.
I took a casual little shopping trip during this time while I was pondering the way I wanted to decorate the foyer for this season’s “beach” look.
My thinking was aimed at new ways I could begin to pull some brighter beach-like colors into my decor. I especially wanted to add some coral to the mix.
I got excited when my eyes rested on this canvas print that said “Easy Living.” That was just the feeling I wanted to achieve with our home during this season. I wanted everything to feel easy and casual. The painting was very inexpensive; and yet it had all the right mix of the trendy beach colors I wanted to use.
It also displayed a pretty sailboat. I already had some model sailboats packed away that would go well with that vision of “sailing.”
SAILBOATS MAKE GREAT BEACH DECORATIONS
I just had to purchase that canvas!
“Easy living” was exactly what I had on the agenda for the end of summer in our humble little castle. I really liked those words hanging just inside the front door.
When I got the canvas home and hung it on the inside entrance wall, it quickly became the source for the color palette I used throughout the whole house.
The colors in that painting were exactly what I needed to add that little spark of cheerfulness which I had been seeking.
The sunset orange and the blues and greens and yellows of the painting made me think about some brightly colored bottles that I already had scattered around the house. I gathered them all together into one grouping to add to the top of the chest underneath the painting. I loved the colorful beach-like effect they gave to the main part of the house.
Two starfish from last year’s “beach-look” just seemed to go perfectly with these coral, blue and yellow bottles. They completed the look for that wall.
Before I knew it, the first ten steps into the foyer were covered.
A COLORFUL AND REFRESHING LOOK
I was liking the progress of this fresh beach-cottage-look.
The room was beginning to put out great vibes! I could almost hear the jute box blasting out the music of “The Mighty Quinn” over the sound of waves rolling in to shore while people danced to the music in the sand.
The year before, when I was creating a more “classic” beach-house look, I had used a large model of a sail boat on the portable bar against the wall leading to the kitchen.
This portable-bar area was the first spot where your eyes rested as you walked inside the front door. I still liked the sailboat idea. It just seemed to fit right in with the entrance painting of a sailboat, but it would add a few more natural colors and tone down the bright colors just a tiny bit.
I pulled the sailboat out of storage and set it in place. I liked it, so I kept it out and used it again.
Since I was mixing boats into the decor; I found another one that I had in storage. I put this one all the way across the living room underneath the floor lamp. I added a little blue daisy into the setting for a bit more color. I liked it. It stayed.
Mixing a few basic colors and classic tones with these trendy things I had found seemed to only add interest. The foyer was coming together just fine.
SOFA TABLE TOUCHES
The next place my eye focused was the couch table behind the sofa. I knew it needed something; but I had not quite decided. I put that off for a while and let the rest of the room evolve first.
I found some pillows that had a white background with a touch of coral and gray. The pillows seemed to help with the mission of adding some touches of coral into the room. I arranged them on the sofa and liked the way they lended to the effect I was aiming to pull together in the great room.
I set my re-purposed chair (I had painted an old dining room chair antique white) in the corner beside the window and added a contrasting sky blue pillow to it, with a gray seashell design that coordinated with the little bit of gray in the sofa cushions.
LOVE THE FAMILY BEACH PHOTOGRAPHS
I used the photo of Tom’s Pop at the beach on my end table. I always bring this favorite photo out in the summer. (We miss him so much!) It looks elegant here in front of the sailor’s lantern that I usually always use.
I also have a photo of me at the beach with my Dad. It brings smiles and I’m thankful that we got to share those coastal trips many times. It is fun to bring these precious beach memories into our home in this season. I scatter family beach trip photos here and there in little nooks and crooks, all through the house. There are so many!
Most everything added to this decor was something I usually use every summer, but the new painting in the foyer and the new pillows switched up the decorating flavors into something new and fresh again.
COFFEE TABLE TOUCHES
Our coffee table is large and black and things show up well on it. I always find it easy to use when I’m attempting to show off our little treasures. I wanted something very beach oriented to go on this table’s surface. Several books about summer vacations seemed to fit the mood of the house.
I continued the focus on colored bottles and added some blue glass with some clear glass bottles. By filling them up with shells, I gave them a beach look and set them on top of a small silver tray. I enhanced all of this by placing a little accent of white lace on top, and a pretty little blue starfish to the side of the arrangement. All of this made a pretty splash of beach color right in the middle of the room.
It seemed I couldn’t go wrong by adding the old familiar starfish ash tray that I pull out almost every year. It is a little novel and very beach-like. The coffee table was looking just the way I had envisioned it would for this new summer-beach-cottage decor.
Soon I caught myself thinking about shopping for a bathing suit and wondering where I had left my sunglasses and my big, white floppy hat. The book on summer vacations lay right there on that table just inspiring me. I put my feet up for a little while and dreamed of summer adventures before moving on with the rest of the decorating chores.
That is the wonderful thing about summer; you needn’t ever be in a hurry and there is always time for dreaming. Well…..sort of.
I found some warm cozy pillows to put on one side of the other white sofa. This added some softness against some of the bold sharp colors. The calico cat just gave a more casual, “I’m home” sort of feel to it all. Everything so far was feeling very cozy.
So….back to the task at hand. What was missing?
I still felt the need for coral colors.
This problem was solved the next time I browsed through The Christmas Tree Shop. They have great inexpensive littler summer decorations. I found these small decorative wooden beach chairs that were just the right shade of coral and very cheerful and novel. Before I knew it I was buying four of them and bringing them home with me.
Once home with the little chairs, I sat two of them (one on each side) on the couch table that I had re-purposed and painted antique white. They added just the splash of color that I had longed for.
I liked the first set of little coral beach chairs so much that I put the other two chairs (with their little yellow flip-flops hanging over them from a little hemp rope) just across the room on each side of the mantle above the fireplace.
The novelty of the chairs with a touch of coral color tied the look together. I added another starfish just above the fireplace, then I stood back to see the effect.
Overall it was just what I was after, a room full of natural light, with mostly white furniture, and little pops of color here and there.
LOTS OF SHELLS AND STAR FISH
Still focusing on boats; I added a nautical-looking lantern between the little coral chairs on the sofa table, and it set grandly on top of the white round steering wheel of a boat. The rope on the nautical lantern and wrapped around some of the jars on the coffee table added to the nautical feel of the room.
I used the same cheerful trendy-beach theme through all the rest of the main living areas of the house.
Then I placed scattered bowls of starfish in the dining room and I used the same wooden bowl full of candles and sea shells that I always use in my kitchen again this year, only this time I used a plastic platter of blue and white squares underneath the blue candles in a bowl full of seashells instead of my usual large black square tray.
I scattered little ships everywhere, and I went a bit wild by adding a banner in the kitchen window. You need something a little novel to make a statement sometimes. I thought the banner was fun and nautical too.
I had re-purposed two old bar stools by painting them a deep bright blue color. They not only went well with my summer beach look; but they gave me extra bar stools to sit around my counter height table in the middle of the room. I enhanced the look by putting some nautical looking pillows in each bar stool and setting them on each side of the buffet table near the window.
With hardly any trouble at all our home had taken on a whole new beach cottage look.
This was on a year that we DID make it to the beach.
You know that usual sad feeling of how hard it is to leave the beach behind when it is time to come home? Having our home decorated like a beach made that a lot easier. Returning to our little bit of the beach inside our home only made our great memories last longer!.
Having more beach photos to add to my ever-growing framed memories for our beach cottage is icing on the cake after having so much fun at the beach.
I love having a home that flows with the seasons and keeps the memory making going on all year. We will enjoy this beach look all the way up to the end of September.
Here is to wishing you smooth sailing through your summer decorating schemes.