Friday, August 30, 2013

National Marshmallow Toasting Day

Don't ask me how they come up with this stuff, folks.  I'm just here trying to find awesome things for you to celebrate for legitimate reasons.

So in honor of National Marshmallow Toasting Day, here are 5 awesome things you may not know about marshmallows:

1. They used to be medicine - a sore throat remedy. OK, to be fair it was an herb that was used this way, but that same plant's gummy substance begot marshmallows in the first place.

2. Some marshmallows contain eggs, so those with egg allergies, beware!

3. Speaking of allergens, the Egyptians used to make their own version of the marshmallow with extracts of the plant's sap mixed with nuts and honey.

4. Fries might not be French, but did you know marshmallows are?  The French were the ones who made it like the confection that we know it today.

5. Kraft Foods (in conjunction with  Doumak, Inc which holds the patent for the extrusion process by which they are manufactured) makes most of the current brands of marshmallows that are currently available, including Jet-Puffed, Campfire, Kidd and numerous "private label" store brands

Now go about your day enlightened about marshmallows, and go toast some with a loved one tonight!


P.S. If you scratch and sniff that little guy up top he really smells like toasted marshmallow!  Hee hee

Interview about the NY NOW show.

I sat down with my fantastic business partner, Cindy, and asked her to talk about her experience at the NY NOW show, formerly the NYIGF show, where she went in search of great items for I can tell you, from my vantage point things look excellent, and I am so excited and confident in the items she has identified for us to offer you.
Cindy has a lot of experience in decorating; it has been a passion of hers for years.  Additionally, her artistic eye is sharp and able to recognize subtle beauty, to-the-minute trends, and an item's unique possibilities in beach home decorating. And don't underestimate her attention to quality; Cindy understands which artisans and companies create items that are a great fit for Stylish Beach Home clients both in form, function, and caliber.

Please pull up a chair, grab a cuppa, and join in the conversation with Cindy and me.  The future is exciting and bright.

Natalee: Did you enjoy the show?
Cindy: Absolutely!! What’s not to LOVE about NYC and shopping :)
After combing the entire “Home” floor, I was completely exhausted. Day 2, I had fresh eyes (and feet) and continued onward on my quest for the best of the best.

How big was the show?
Huge!!! I’ve been to shows at the Javits Center before, but this was quadruple the size!  3 full floors, including an additional space at the Pier. 3,000 companies exhibited for home furnishings alone! There were 35,000 attendees. Very well organized, I might add.

What kinds of things did you see there?
The show was divided into 4 sections:

Home: which included home furnishings + textiles, interior décor, table top + gourmet housewares.

Handmade: limited production items, and international products.

Lifestyle:  Not a huge focus for SBH, included gifts, baby + child, personal care + wellness and personal accessories.
New York NEW: the freshest of ideas and products.

What were the trends in home décor that you saw?
Monochromatic: Multiple shades of a single hue, including a mix of patterns and textures in the same hue.

Vintage Modern: What’s old is new again. Aged woods and patina finishes.

Neo Traditonal: Combining traditional patterns with modern elements. Large scale, bold and beautiful.

Mix of cultures: A fusion of colors and textures from around the world. Many items  were handmade.

Also, shiny metallic gold is very in!

What were the trends specific to coastal decorating styles?
100% Turkish cotton towels, like our Fouta towels … I love them! 

Also: beachy, weathered rustic wood frames and furniture;
Gorgeous shell creations: mirrors, frames, candlesticks. Each one is a work of art. 
Pale blue glass bottles. Crisp, contrasting patterns and fabrics. Rafia, sawgrass woven fabrics. Mediterranean blues. And fish! On tableware, pottery, etc. Fabulous.

Was social responsibility an important thing you were thinking about as you were looking for new items for SBH? Were there many green options?
Yes, most definitely. I love to support a company that gives back. One company in mind creates luxurious alpaca scarves, blankets and throws. These pieces are handmade by Peruvian Artisans and not only are they amazing but they ensure the financial independence of several families who are being paid fairly to create these stunning pieces of art. I loved that the girl at the booth was also donating her time! Good leads to Good.

Another company that I loved used recycled feed bags to make beach bags, storage bins, purses and totes. It caught my eye because of the fish on the feed bags. Perfectly beachy.

What was your impression of the quality of the products you felt would be a good fit for SBH?
I would only look at products that fit our “brand” and quality of If it wasn’t a good fit, I moved on…girl’s gotta find the best of the best!

What inspired you the most?
The mix of clean lines and vintage products. I am a lover of good design. Also, I met some really genuinely nice people. Always good. :)

What were you looking for?
I was looking for table and bed linens, beach towels, beachy accent items, anything that might catch my eye ;)

What should our customers look forward to?

Great shell collection accents, frames & works of art; gorgeous accents & table centerpieces; modern & beachy artwork, vibrant colors and good design.
All of the fabulousness! :)

Check out our new Pinterest boards warming you up for all the cool new trends that Cindy noticed! Please follow us:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dream House Tour: Lakehouse in Upstate New York

To many, the genius behind some architects is their ability to design something new that looks like it has belonged to an area for a long, long time.  You will understand such genius after the tour that I have for you today.

Lake Cottage
Siemasko + Verbridge

I like to keep in mind that "the beach" for some is a cottage on a lake.

Lake Cottage

This one has the added bonus of space to run around,
which can be hard to come by near some popular beaches.

Lake Cottage

Now it's time to go inside.

Lake Cottage

Wipe your feet!

Lake Cottage

Look at the sink detail.  I really love the light fixture, although I would have gone with nautical decor in this space. Maybe I'm a little partial.

Lake Cottage

I can just see the large family gathered here, enjoying the summer together, drinks in hand and little children padding around in their bare feet.

Lake Cottage

This space is a little traditional for me, but it's hard not to adore this eating area and that view. I was wishing I had a photo of the living room/family room, but then I figured maybe they didn't spend much time there ...

Lake Cottage

... because they always found themselves sitting here.  Imagine Autumn!

Lake Cottage

Lake Cottage

This breathtaking lake house tour was brought to you by:
Siemasko + Verbridge, a full-service architecture, interior design, decorating, and landscape design firm.  You can find them here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Decorating With Turquoise

Looks like color week is spilling over.  I almost posted this on Saturday, but that day isn't that popular for reading blogs, so I decided to save it for today to give it the attention it deserves.

Turquoise is very popular in home decor, and also happens to be popular with every color I've already featured.

Here we go!

Bold Turquoise

Beach House Living Room

When decorating with turquoise, the key to not making your room seem like a cartoon on the Funnies page of the newspaper is to provide the brain and they eye lots of space to process the color.  This designer anchored it with lots of white, only painted the accent wall turquoise, kept the clutter to a minimum, and chose a room with lots of light.

Coastal Decor
Ion Floor Lamp | Beach Pillows | Pulsar Ceiling Lamp | Ivory Silky Shag Rug

Notice the same concepts here, as well as another common theme: accents with equally vibrant colors in small doses.

Finding a beachy turquoise room is very easy ... the color really lends itself to a fresh, light, coastal feeling. It is the color of the sea, after all.

Beach House Decorating
You don't have to go over-the-top.  See how this room is mostly neutrals, with a few well-placed, light turquoise pillows?  This space really speaks to me!

Beach House Turquoise Accents

Calm Turquoise

Coastal Bedroom Turquoise

Light and white always seem to be the answer to creating calm.  Wood tones have a similar effect; they balance out the pop of color in these chairs to give the feeling of a cheerful, fun space.

Turquoise Dining Room

Dramatic Turquoise

Decorating with turquoise

This photo caught my eye because I noticed the chairs were identical to our Outdoor Ikat Pillow.  I never dreamed ikat could be dramatic, but I you have dramatic lighting and accessories, it obviously can be done.

Lighting from
Pulsar Ceiling Lamp | Vector Ceiling Lamp

Decorating with Turquoise and Grey

Turquoise and grey are a great pair, aren't they?

This concludes Color Week, but you know there will always be colorful things happening her on the
Stylish Beach Home blog!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Decorating with Red

I read once (ha ha, pardon the pun) that a red kitchen increases appetites and makes people eat more.  I don't think my family can blame the few red things I have hanging on the walls in the eating area.  I think they just eat a lot naturally.  :-)

But there does seem to be something about red and kitchens that go together.  Bold?  It's bold without even trying.

 Bold Red

This tile is called Lush Tomato.  I am obsessed with it.


Coastal Red


Coastal Red is easy because it is the color of lobster, crabs, coral, life rings, and many nautical items.
(Psst! Here is that ship's wheel clock.)

Some nautical home decor items to help you achieve this look:

Visit to find them!

Calm Red

Give some calmness to this bold color by either using a muted tone of red, or by limiting the amount of red in an otherwise calm or neutral space. I am circling back around to kitchens again because it's just so darned irresistible.  Red and kitchens are meant for each other!

 You can get those and other chairs at!

Marius Bar Chair



Dramatic Red


I don't feel like much needs to be said here.  Total drama.  And yet, don't you want to sleep here?

Eat here?


Don't even get me started about zebra print!  I have been seeing more and more of it, and it's even starting to pop up in coastal decor, so we are working hard to get some for our store.

Wasn't red fun!?  Did you know there was a calm side to red?

Decorating With White

Pure. Pristine. Clean. Chic.

These are the words that might spring to mind when you walk into a room decorated in pure white. There is no heaviness, no clutter, no commitment.  I bring this up as a benefit, because commitment issues are a big influence on how some people prefer to decorate, and others have no choice.

This post is dedicated to those who love simplicity, and to those decorating an apartment.

Bold White


Think white can't be bold?  Think again.  The freedom and lightness in your chest that you feel from the expanse of white is bold indeed.  It is necessary to anchor it with rugs or lighting or art, and black is a common choice for this, but the sky's the limit.  You still feel the w h i t e n e s s when you step into the space.

Coastal White

Perhaps you'll think I'm cheating with this next one because it's too easy.

I mean, how easy is it to toss a great rug and a couple of oars in a white room and call it a coastal white room.  But isn't that the point?  White is easy.  Apartments are white.  Oars and other nautical accessories can make your life simpler.  Colorphobe?  White + Accessories = Easy Coastal Decorating.
And it's OK to add some color in bedroom textiles. In fact, it's encouraged!  No commitment of paint on the walls.

Calm White

That's almost like saying Catholic Pope.  Jewish Rabbi.  What else would it be?  White is soooo calm.  No muss, no clutter, just a pinch of color in the pillows. And you'll notice it takes up very little visual space, so it's great for small spaces and stressed out minds.


Dramatic White

Silver is a common pairing with white, but do not overlook the old, longstanding relationship white has with gold.  Create drama for once in your life!! One thing I want to point out here ... have you noticed what a great canvas a white room is for fabulous flooring or rugs?

Here is another bit of drama:


This homeowner created drama without even one piece of wall art or large windows.

Have you been inspired?  Has your mind been changed about decorating with white?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Decorating With Gray or Grey

Some beaches have blue water, but many have grey, foamy, earthy appeal.  Grey (or gray) is most certainly a coastal color, and is very popular in the world of decorating right now.  We are going to take a look at the bold side, the beachy side, the calm side, and the dramatic side of grey.  

Bold Grey

grey walls gray walls

beach home accessories
Ion Floor Lamp | The City Dresser | Bamboo Viscose Sheets

Have no fear if you want to go bold with this color. Sometimes, an accent wall is all you need, balanced with plenty of whites and earth tones. You will see this is an oft' paired duo: browns and greys.

grey room gray room

beach home accessories
Clockwise: Canary Ceiling Lamp | Ivory Silky Shag Rug | Nob Hill Chair | Bamboo Viscose Sheets

To pull out grey's beach side, pair with other colors of the ocean.  These simple additions of turquoise color pops add a whole new dimension to the light almost sandy grey tone.

Coastal Grey

grey with a pop of turquoise

(Psst!  That beautiful Blue French Script pillow was featured in the April Issue of Coastal Living Magazine!)

beach bedroom accessories
Bamboo Viscose Duvet Cover | Blue French Script Pillow | Beach Decor Sea Glass Frame

Grey can be calming in both dark or light colors.  It's all about the pairing.  If you go dark, balance it with lots of white accents and trim.  If you go light, remember the warm browns to keep its feet on the ground.

Calm Grey

It is easy to feel the calmness of this room, with its greys and browns.  Simplicity rules, which seems to come with the territory with grey.  Have you ever seen cluttered decorating with grey?

grey dining room

Beach House dining room
Clockwise: Fillmore Table | Granite Ceiling Lamp | Andes Jute Rug | Match Chair

Deep grey walls

Beach house bedroom accessories
Blazar Floor Lamp | Pacific Heights Arm Chair | Bamboo Viscose Duvet Cover | Blue Fish Coral Pillow | Khadi Beach Wrap

Grey's elegance come out mainly when it shows up in accessories.  Silver, glass, shiny items ... they all rest comfortably in the arms of grey.

Dramatic Grey

Dramatic grey
grey accessories

Silver candlesticks, furry blankets, glass accessories ... all done really well in this setting.

beach house living room
beach house accessories

Plush carpet, velveteen pillows, shiny pillows, glass and silver tables and accessories.  When you list it like that you'd think it would all be too much.  But when you SEE it ... ahhh.

I have saved this one for last because it has so many fab elements all perfectly meshed in this room.  I {heart} this grey couch and light grey club chairs and I feel like I must have brick inside my home sometime in my life.  Besides that, the rug, paint color, tile, lighting, pillows are all working for me.  I can't quite figure out  what is going on through the doorway into the next room (mirror on the wall?) but I just love it.  And the bar stools are one of a kind.

grey living room