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10 Ways to Bring the Beach Look to Your Home

Photo credit: Mark Lohman; Stylist: Françoise O’Neill, Coastal Living

Do you LOVE that beachy look? We're ready to say goodbye to winter and embrace Spring, Summer and all that reminds us of long, breezy days by the shore. Its not as hard as you may think and in just 10 easy steps, you'll be transported to a faraway place!

1. Lighten Up

Beach houses are know for their bright white and off whits hues. Unless you have endless sunshine streaming though, choose an off white with a hint of cream so it looks less stark. Choose to paint beams, trim and woodwork pure white. Add interest by painting one or two elements in the room a brighter shade, like the shutter in the above photo - its just adds to the casual vibe.

2. Delicate Ceilings Change the color of your ceilings to a pale, atmospheric blue - it will add the illusion of height and bring in that outdoor feel. We love Brighton Beach #108-E by Ace Paint but there are many blues that can work, just be sure to keep it delicate - the idea here is for a little color not a lot :)

Photo credit : Stacey Van Berkel

3. Add Flooring Create a casual feel by adding jute, sea grass, bamboo or sisal area rugs. There are many choices including bordered rugs that add a pop of color or pattern, all are relaively low cost. Use rugs to define rooms layouts and use runners to creat traffic patterns and collect debris from outside.

4. Window treatments Take down those formal treatment and replace with more casual altenatives like bamboo blinds, linen shades or plantation shutters. Whilst most woven or roman blinds are inexpensive, shutters should be considered an investment piece and are priced dependent on colour, material, operation & width of plank. If you already live in a a tropical environment, you may find that these are one of the most practical solutions to living with all that sunshine!

5. Don't throw out old Furniture Sunny places have a lot of color in everything you see. Add a pop of color to your spcae by painting a salvaged piece in a fun hue of your choice. Personally we LOVE turquoise, but think hot pink, light yellow, teale or green.

Visit antique stores, thrift stores or garage sales to find inexpensive pieces you can experiment or and don't forget that bumps and chips add character.

There are also lots of chalk paints to choose from now so consider layering colors or distressing a piece and take your look one step further.

6. Update accessories

Accessories - think lamps bases, photo frames, candle sticks - you get the picture can all be updated too - there are many wood and metal paint sprays available and add color or texture if desired. You should also consider reframing photos from previous trips - perhaps you have a beautiful black and white beach photo that in a new frame would add to your beach space.

Photo Credit : Jean Allsopp

7. Slipcovers

Slipcovered furniture immediately screams BEACH and these pieces are not only easy to clean but you can change them out with the seasons. Linen is the perfect texture and neutral color that lends to the beachy look. Cotton duck cloth is a more durable option for upholstery but easy to spot clean or bleach.

Find an upholsterer near you and re-invent your exisiting sofas and chairs. Alternatively, a less expensive option is to use throws of fabric and tuck them into the sides of the sofa to give a loose beach look - add cushions and layers to persoanalise.

8. Add Nature's Treasures Nature offers an abundance of treasures that are perfect for decorating. Think sand dollars, driftwood, rocks, coral and shells - clean and dry and create unique accents for virtually no cost. Use glass vases or urns to display by type or color or simply place in a bowl. Bookcases come to life with pieces of coral and you can create interesting collections in deep picture frames.

9. Add Memories

As noted in point 6, you probably have a stock of images, photos, ticket stubs and souveniers from prior trips that you can showcase in your room. Consider creating a scrapbook of beach memories, add coastal magazines or books on coastal design to your coffee table. We love many of the Etsy shops who offer unique beach trinkets, home decor & simple accessories that bring the coast home.

10. Finishing touches The sounds and smells of the beach soothe your soul. Add delicate fragrances, candles, candle burners with cotton, linen or coconut scents and instantly transport yourself back to the coast. Play soothing sounds of running water, beach sounds or that feel good caribbean music and relax! Your room is complete!

As you can tell, we **LOVE** the beach, the way is calms every part of you and how we are incredibly blessed to live just moments away from it here in SW Florida! If you need any help with your beach home, whether its round the corner or across the globe - just holla! We'd love to help!

Xo Michelle & Maralyn

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