February 23, 2011

Kickback, Relax "Coastal" Style

                                                                photo: coastal cottage chic
Get closer to your ideal lifestyle, go "Coastal".

Many of our Coastal Cottage vacationers write us with questions about how they can recreate that Coastal feel in their homes after returning from their Anna Maria Island experience.

Likewise, our sister office, An Island Place Realty, receives requests every week from buyers wanting advice on how to turn their home into a seaside retreat.

Beach style is all about bringing nature into your home with a laid-back, casual feel.   Your goal is to create that feeling of well-being and calm found at the beach.  
                                                                                          Photo:  Coastal Dreams
Get that Coastal Cottage style with these 3 simple steps:

1. Start with Color. Mimic the Gulf’s tranquility with a monochromatic color scheme (shades of one color).  Your walls can focus the color with white whites for your furniture, or choose an all white palette and accent with color.
                                                                        Photo: Beach Elements
Use an “inspiration” photograph. 
Look for colors that inspire you. 
Don’t try to match the colors in your photo, just be inspired.
Imagine the blue-grays of the water and the way it changes into a soft turquoise.  Notice the white whites and sandy browns, dark browns, oranges and shades of coral in the shells. Look for contrast: soft edges of rippling water as it washes over the sand and contrasts with the sky.
Choose lighter tones of the blues, preferably soft pastels.

                                                                       photo: ocean styles
2.  Choose Comfortable Furniture.
Breezy, comfortable…. Think naps and reading.
Painted wood, wicker, rattan, natural pine
Think about recycling old furniture with a quick coat of white flat paint.  Sand the edges to give it a “shabby chic” look.

                                                                                             photo: cottage design
3.  Accessorize with “Sea-Themed” Accents.
Infuse your interior with natural materials. Fill a handmade basket with simple beach finds like starfish, sand dollars and of course, sea shells.

Get a couple of fun signs for the walls.
                                                photo:white flower farmhouse

Don’t forget books:  mysteries, beach stories, old classics.  You can pick these up at garage sales and pile them on side tables near all those comfy chairs you found.

Add beadboard halfway up the wall with a shelf for shells.
                                                                         photo: coastal shells
Coastal Cottages need artwork:  a simple sea scape, or dune painting.  Perhaps a brightly colored canvas of flowers, butterflies, or fish to add a splash of color.
                                                                      Artist: Deborah Webster

Whether you live by the beach or just dream of ocean breezes, its all about kicking back, relaxing and  bringing the peace of the island home with you to create your own Coastal Cottage.
                                                                                       Photo:  beach elements


  1. This seems simple enough. I like the idea of keeping the wall colors subdued with a lot of white furniture. It gives it a tranquil feeling.

  2. Thanks for this simple formula. I've been so inspired by the vacation home we rented this year that I really want to bring some of that "coastal" feeling home with me.

  3. The condo we recently rented was decorated with photos the owner must have taken. There were beach scenes as well as notable places around the island. Good idea.

  4. I really like the crazy bright colors people use on the island. I saw color combos on houses with turquoise and green,pink and purple, and even bright orange. In the north, we are so boring....
    I just love the playfulness of the island!