Friday, September 27, 2013

5 Ways to Bring the Beach Home - A starting point.

Coastal decorating is a popular choice in home decor these days, but not just for beach homes. Coastal decor and beach theme decorating may never go out of style. Its calm sand-and-water color palette and the uncomplicated ease with which one can decorate around a single theme help even the most insecure decorators find success. Alternately, interior designers can use beach themed decor for those who want a calm touch without compromising on variety.

Many people wonder how they can adapt their current home to the coastal decorating style.  You don't have to actually live on the coast to enjoy the beach bungalow style. Here are 5 ways that you can achieve the look yourself.

1. Paint your walls in watery blues and sandy hues. You will add instant serenity to your space by removing bright colors from the periphery and adding in that sense of "visual eternity" that mimics the coastline.

2. As you can see, you can even achieve the look if you don't have the all white furniture that usually accompanies the coastal look. Repeat the colors of taupes, tans, and whites in the furniture, rugs, and curtains to create a blank canvas backdrop for your accessories. Changing them out for a fresh look won't require you to redo when you just need a little variety.

Tidewater Landing Showroom from Coastal Living

3. Bring whimsical nautical or coastal fabric patterns into your room by way of pillows, pillow covers, and table linens. Adding a bright, beautiful lobster or octopus pillow to your couch is like adding a title to your story. There are so many sea creatures or plants to choose from, so pick the one that speaks to you in tone and color.

Coastal pillows

4. Next choose your accessories.  It's okay to mix some of your current accessories with some nautical or beach themed accessories, but it's important to carry out the color palette in the pieces too. You might start with white washed candle holders or a barnacle vase,

or go for a more nautical look with model ships or porthole clocks.

Lastly, think about your lighting. Many designers choose lighting that compliments a space, but doesn't overtly shout the theme, like these celing lamps.

Gran Timor Pendant : : Granite Ceiling Lamp : : Fission Ceiling Lamp

But it's always an option to use your lamps as accessories to the room.

Rustic Driftwood Floor Lamp : : Seahorse Lamp : : Pier Table Lamp

Don't be intimidated!  Just get started, and you'll see how easily things work together to allow you to create that perfect coastal look!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

5 Interior Designers That Caught Our Eye, Part 2

Interior design is hard. As my mother would say, "Things don't just decorate themselves!" It takes a unique perception of many aspects of a room, including scale and proportion, quality of the light, and style of the architecture to really create something stunning.  Over the years, we have come to realize that there are good decorators and there are ordinary decorators, which has led us to really respect and appreciate the acumen and artistic genius in the really good ones. Occasionally we like to highlight designers that have stood out and impressed us. I guess it's like your favorite piece of art ... you're not always going to feel the same as the next guy about it, but generally true genius is universally recognized.

Tammy Connor Interior Design

Designer Tammy Connor has a way with traditional design (which I'm seeing more and more of in the world of interiors) that can make you love something you wrote off as old fashioned.  She brings out the true beauty of the style and gives just enough updating to let you know you are actually on the cutting edge. She has other tricks up her sleeve too, and I assure you that if you love coastal decorating, you'll easily be able to relate to her gallery called "Flyaway."

Urban Grace Interiors

Designer Erika Powell defies the name of her company with her somewhat traditional, somewhat eclectic arrangement, capturing the warmth and charm of a French country look in this particular room. I love her use of a fouta throw and what looks like a bamboo viscose throw to add extra warmth and style to this room. (Foutas are a very trendy Mediterranean addition to almost any style room.) The harmony of the subtle color palette relaxes and satisfies, while the arrangement of the furniture adds supreme functionality to a large room where space could otherwise become an impediment to beauty.

Beasley & Henley Interior Design

On a more provocative note, designer Troy Beasley and his partner Stephanie Henley offer lots of exiting drama in their portfolio of interior design. As much involved in commercial interior design as in residential, Troy Beasley speaks of how "powerful and extremely motivating" it is for him to have the trust of his clients. After looking at his portfolio, I believe I would trust him to design my children! ;) The galleries are extensive, and I encourage you to take a look at them at the risk of being immobilized for hours. You won't regret it.

Fava Design Group

If you're more of a minimalist, you may fall hard for Joseph Fava's work, although his range is certainly extensive and not limited to just a minimalist style. Head on over the site and check out my favorite gallery -- the Ft. Lauderdale, FL residence (the first of two) and see his beautiful selection of outdoor furniture! Every gallery will impress, and you may just find yourself confused about which space you really relate to because you will most likely relate to them all.

The team over at Kerrie Kelly Design really speaks to me on multiple levels, because I see their style as very approachable and functional, without giving up one iota of beauty and style. Their offerings span the gamut from bungalow style (above) to what they call "Organic Luxury Living" and you will see in their work several items that can be found at, so you know it's good stuff! ;) I love the variety of the styles they utilize and the pictures in their portfolio are a never ending stream of well designed rooms.

Of all the designers that I featured today, do you have a favorite?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nautical Kids' Room

Have your nesting instincts kicked in now that Fall is here? Most of my spring and summer are filled with yard work and outdoor projects, and when it starts to get chilly I think about changes that I want to make indoors.

Some of my kids' rooms are decorated, but some are not. I am planning on decorating what we call "Jack's room" but which is really just a guest bedroom since he likes to sleep with siblings. I have decided on a nautical theme, but that doesn't narrow it down very much! There are sooo many choices in color palette and creativity.

Nautical kids' rooms and nautical nurseries are very popular! Not only are the gender-neutral -- great for that newborn surprise you are waiting for, but the nautical theme also seems to answer the call of the sea inside many a young child.

This set up would be perfect if you have a beach home. It is neutral and can accommodate several guests. I love how the wood floor resembles the deck of a ship, and I will never (and I mean NEVER) grow tired of navy blue stripes.

What catches my eye in this room is the nautical rope light fixture and the lobster pillow.

I love everything nautical ... from signal flags to sailcloth bags, I can't get enough.

I'm pretty sure we won't be going quite this extravagant, but it's fun to look!

Check out some of the nautical items available for nautical theme kids' rooms at  You will be inspired!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Miami Beach Chic via Pillows

I have been waiting a long to time to show you these!  When Cindy brought this look home from the show in New York, I went nuts!!

Remember when you first looked at a topographical map? Through the fog and confusion and the adjustments your brain was making as it was trying to make sense of it, did you have any inkling what a great piece of art it could be? And to have this cool art of the most beautiful islands and peaceful beaches in all the world on a pillow?

What a fantastic way to remember your vacation, or to keep the fantasy alive for your dream destination. Hawaii anyone? Each pillow comes in your choice of colors: sand or blue.

Now you need to see the vision:  Imagine these pillows adding a little life to this penthouse in Miami Beach:


Or here ...


These unique, modern pillows want to live in your modern beach home.

And guess what?  I have more.

They come in modern art prints!! I am imagining a wall collage of the 8x10 prints, framed in black.  But you don't have to imagine it.  You can get them over at  These come in a variety of sizes and framing options.

Bahamas Print

Sanibel Island Print

Surround yourself with the world's most beautiful beaches!  And Pin them if you love them!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Outdoor Rooms

Take a look at some beautiful "rooms" that just happen to be outdoors.  Fall has lots of potential for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs, bonfires, and for just spectacular evenings under the stars.

Dream a little with me ..


Adding things like lamps (above) and televisions (below) might not be practical year round, but it certainly enhances the feeling that this is just another room of the home.


Ditto for ceiling fans, light fixtures, and art.  Style the space, add plants. 
Sculptures and oversized accents like the ones below will not be lost in the openness of an outdoor room.
 Don't forget to outfit your outdoor furniture with outdoor pillows!

And don't forget you don't always have to go traditional with your outdoor furniture.  There are many wonderful options that are not your traditional wicker furniture.
I hope you are inspired to spend some time outdoors as we kick off this fall weekend.  Blessings to you!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beach House Tour: Nantucket, Massachusetts

Good news, folks.  This one's for sale.  For a cool $10 mill (plus) you can own this perfect Nantucket beach home ... all 8,333 square feet of it. This is where you can inquire.

Things I love about this house: its symmetry (I can't help it), the spiral staircase, multiple double doors to get out back and the checkerboard grass-n-patio that leads to those luxurious chairs.  Are you with me on this?

Dark wood has its place in coastal decor, and here is a good example of how it can be incorporated in a room without interrupting the serene white and tan tones that work so well with a beach home.

Apparently there is a living room and dining room upstairs as well as down. This is a traditional scene that could not be more perfect for a house in such an old part of our country.

With a whiff of bright apple green to wake us up a little.

Goodbye perfect Nantucket house on the beach. Stay beautiful.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Midwest Beach

This weekend my family of 10 headed north on a short trip to participate in a family reunion from my husband's father's side of the family. Reunions are funny things, especially when you start to get down in the generations, but I always find myself looking for genetic resemblances. (I suppose that is easier to do when it's not your own family, genetically speaking.)  What I was most struck with was the fact that there was very little resemblance! Once you add a spouse, and then another spouse to the already doubled gene pool, you can have very Irish-looking children and very Hispanic-looking children all running around in the same park, all sharing the same great grandparents. It kinda blew my mind.

And it blessed me too.  Even though I don't share this heritage, my kids do. And I am part of it from here on out. It was nice to see people wanting to make connections with other people in this world that spins a little too quickly anymore. My own extended family is spread out quite a bit, and I don't know if I will ever have the chance for an all-in-one reunion. There are questions and stories I wish that I had asked my grandmother when she was still alive, and I'm trying to remember to ask my parents their own stories now while I am still blessed to have them around.

It also struck me this weekend that while the people come and go, the terrain mostly stays the same and ties the generations together. Here are some shots from the good ol' midwest that you probably wouldn't associate with Ohio. Our family reunion was not far from here, and as we reunited, I admit, my thoughts wandered to Put In Bay and Kelleys Island. These are great options to consider if you're looking for a beautiful midwest beach, a short drive (for some, obviously), and a lighthouse or two!




Monday, September 16, 2013

We love the look of linen!

Linen: cool to the touch, lint free, and often softer the more it is washed.

White Coral Pillow Cover

Linen fabrics' natural color ranges between shades of flax, ivory, ecru, tan, grey, or white when treated.

Sea-ing Double Seahorse Pillow Cover

Linen resists dirt and stains.
Square Starfish Pillow Cover

Pillow covers are ideal for people with pets. These covers can be dry-cleaned and returned to the pillows to revive the fresh look.
White Anchor Pillow Cover

Here's some inspiration: rooms that utilize the tone on tone look that our linen pillows would help to create.

Robert Stern Architects

Michelle Stewart Designs via

Tammy Connor Interiors

Urban Grace Interiors