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How to use sea shells as outdoor decorations

A lot of what we sell here is home décor and as such, we also tend to write a lot about indoor decorations. The truth is – sea shells are incredibly versatile things and when used properly, can be just as powerful as outdoor accents as well.

Here are a few of the ways you can use shells to help take your outdoor décor to the next level and create some excellent looking spaces in and around your property. Let’s jump right in!

Planters

One really cool way to decorate your gardens is to fill various planters with seashells. On the plus side – they’re not plants and you don’t have to water them – but they look outstanding. And if you’re feeling ambitious, you can even use horse conchs as glorified flower vases. However you decide to use them – shells are an amazing home garden accent and can break up your plant life in a way that gives your garden a lot of variety and character.

Seashell gardens

Sounds a little whacky right? Well you’d be amazed at how good an entire run of seashells can look in their own small seashell garden. You can fill them with whelks, conchs, olives and you name it – you can make it look outstanding. All you need to do is wash the shells and then thoroughly dry them off and they’re ready to line any abandoned bed or bring any empty, dingy looking spare space forward and make it look great. Another popular use is lining smaller walkways with them – particularly in and around patio and swimming areas. Instead of mulch or nothing – shells can bring an otherwise ambiguous space forward and really add to the overall quality of the rest of your space.

The perfect outdoor centerpiece

If you’re in warmer, coastal areas like we are here in Tampa Bay, you spend a ton of time outdoors – and outdoors sitting around a table. Plants are an obvious choice as a great decorative centerpiece but the truth is that they dry out, need to be cared for, and the like. Finding a big old Conch or even a clear, glass jar full of shells can make for an equally powerful, aesthetically pleasing centerpiece for your dining table.

And even if you’re not eating, they look great on a stack of magazines, on coffee tables, end tables and the like. Like we mentioned above, some folks even use them as mini-flower pots. Long story, short – if you’ve got a ‘living’ space outside that needs sprucing up – shells can provide you with the answer.

 

Hopefully some of these ideas can provide some inspiration as to some of the cool things you can do outside with seashells. If you’re looking for inspiration or the right kinds of decorations for your coastal space, check out our website or give us a call! Good luck!

How mirrors can take your coastal design to the next level

One of the most undervalued aspects of home décor are mirrors. They can help in any design, really – but they’re specifically useful when it comes to creating a more coastal space.

Not only do mirrors serve as sensational centerpieces, but they can also compliment and amplify nearly everything else around them – from existing accents, to natural assets. Not only that, but they can help create a sense of depth, space and relaxation in a way that almost no other piece of décor can.

Here are some of the ways that you can bring your coastal design to life using mirrors. Let’s jump right in!

Bring your other accents – natural and artificial – to life

The one great thing you can do with a mirror is to help bring everything that’s important in a given space to life. Have a beautiful view of the ocean? Use the reflection of the mirror to make it a central piece of artwork. Have gorgeous shell accents or other wall hangings that you want to see get a little extra love? Use the mirror to help center them or place emphasis on their being in that space.

Be strategic

A well-placed mirror not only helps the look of your home, but it can also help create the illusion that it’s much bigger than it is. This can be done by being more thoughtful about where you put your mirror – and no – it doesn’t have to be hanging on the wall to help your space pop! Consider leaving it on the floor or simply resting it on a console table to help create a unique, inspiring view. 

Keep an eye out for windows

Nothing creates depth and scope in a room than placing a mirror in view of or across from a large window. Doing so helps leverage natural light to create a brighter, livelier space. And brighter and livelier spaces are an essential ingredient of coastal designs!

Keep it smooth

Not only can mirrors help add space, depth and light to your coastal design; but the right kinds of mirrors can also help smoothen up your look. Specifically if you have way too many angles and dangles – a large, gorgeous round mirror can help smooth out the look and feel of your space. Also – the juxtaposition of round and sharp edges can have a remarkably calming effect on the people in that space.

Of course, the most important thing you can do is go with the flow and choose what’s right for you! There’s no ‘right or wrong’ here – so get creative and draw inspiration from the things around you. Good luck and have fun!

 

The Do’s and the Don’ts of coastal design

There’s an old saying out there that goes something along the lines of that knowing what not to do is sometimes just as important as what you should do and well, there’s certainly something to that. It definitely applies to coastal design as well and that’s what the topic of this month’s blog is going to be all about.

Here are some of the do’s and don’t of coastal design. Hopefully these tips will help you create a better, more enjoyable space. Let’s jump right in!

Do: Design around a color palette

Don’t: Design around a theme

Staying away from a theme is probably the best way to get started designing your modern, coastal home. Themes come and go, while look and feel doesn’t. And if you design a cohesive and harmonious coastal design, you can keep things to three main colors with one or two accents. This will keep your space centered without excessively driving home the point of a theme that might be outdated in a year.

Do: Add coastal elements

Don’t: Go overboard

We’re big proponents of ‘less is more’ in the sense that having coastal accents and elements in your room is essential. It can even define a space. But too much? Well, let’s just be blunt. Your home is by the sea. It’s not the actual sea. Keep it simple by sticking t o a few of your favorites.

DO: Use lots of natural light

Don’t: Add cold, artificial light

People really underestimate how much of a difference lighting can make in any one, single space. Beaches are synonymous with rand, rolling waves and sunny days. Good coastal design should incorporate as much natural light as possible. Think well lit and airy. If you have to use artificial light, think about how it can accent the general lighting.

Do: Go with weathered wood

Don’t: Carpet your floor

Driftwood-ish like texture and colors give coastal homes a real sense of balance and place. What you don’t want to do is carpeting your floors. While the occasional accent rug can really bring everything together, we’re more of the belief that adding lots and lots of rug can make a coastal room feel stuffy. Go with as much hardwood as you can and if you must – choose a carpet that accents a room – not one that takes it over.

We hope these tips provide you with a little inspiration. And of course – if you need the perfect accent to your new coastal space, give us a call today! Good luck!

 

The heart of coastal design

When you’re playing with the idea of going coastal with your home décor, there’s a lot of ‘inspiration’ to be had out there – with all sorts of tips and tricks as to how you can bring your vision to life. You’ll find plenty of it here, that’s for sure. But this month, we wanted to step away from the whimsical and get a little bit more practical; focusing instead on what coastal design and décor should be all about.

At its core, escaping to beach living for most is about shedding the trappings of modern life; opting instead for simplicity and a pared-down life without the clutter and helter-skelter of the real world.

More often than not, this gets left behind – and instead decorators and DIYers get lost in reaching for simple toolkits filled with things like anchors, oars, prints and yeah – sometimes shells, too! While it sounds simple in a wide range of ways – people can often overdo things. There are other, more subtle ways of giving your home that cabin or cottage-on-the-coast feel.

Beach décor – heck, ALL design – is about creating a mood as opposed to using props. It’s great to use classic elements, but don’t depend on it. Great beach design should echo back to what we discussed – a simple departure from the complexities of life.

The other, powerful message that coastal design can send is a comfort with imperfections. Like the spaces we’re attempting to create, as individuals – we’re all weathered in one way, shape or form and coastal design can help leave us at ease with that feeling, leaving us comfortable in our own skin.

At the end of the day, what’s most important is that whatever you choose to do with your space – that you make it authentically yours. You can’t fake you, after all and our spaces more often than not should be a reflection of us and our loved ones. They should tell a story. You should have things in your space that are conversation pieces or that call back to memories, feelings or experiences. They should make your feel proud and most important of all – make you happy.

We talk a lot about what you ‘should’ do with your coastal design, but reality is that we’re simply here for inspiration. What you should do – is you.

Creating the perfect coastal bedroom

When we think coastal living, we think ‘relaxation’ and when we think ‘relaxation’ – the bedroom is probably the first room that comes to mind. That’s what we’re here to discuss today. Here are some tips on how you can give your bedroom the perfect resort feel and look.

Let’s jump right in!

Have a place to kick back

The best bedrooms don’t just have a bed – but also a place where you can kick back and relax. Think about creating your own space with an upholstered bench, sette, chasie or even a pair of comfy chairs that are perfect for that morning book and coffee.

Window treatments are your friend!

While you’re here to relax and enjoy the wonderful light and weather, the room does need to serve it’s functional purpose – and that’s allowing you a place to sleep. We recommend not shying away from blackout-lined curtains and pair them with airy, sheer drapery that’ll give you privacy without sacrificing light flow or beautiful views.

Lighting is everything

When it comes to lighting any coastal home, be sure to stay away from overhead lights. The light is more stark, often too bright, and simply too harsh for the mood and tone you’ll want to go for. Lamplights cast a softer, more inviting glow to the proceedings. Also you can incorporate dimers that’ll help you find the perfect light – whether it’s night or day.

Focus on the view

Nothing beats a room with a view. In fact – what’ll make your bedroom really pop – isn’t anything in it – but how you use what’s in it to compliment and highlight what’s outside. Use your view as the room’s focal point and design and arrange around that. Even if you’re not on the water itself, you’ll be able to find plenty of eye-catching scenery that can take your room from hum-drum to spectacular.

Colors yet again

Coastal colors are those that’ll help you unwind, relax and appreciate what you have. Blues, greens, whites and neutrals will be your go-to’s and believe or not – it’s those colors in combination that have proven to (scientifically) induce relaxation.

Nothing beats a great beach home and the heart of it should be the place where you lay your head for the night. Good luck!

How to look coastal without looking too Jimmy Buffet

One of the more common questions we get is how to decorate coastal without coming off as conventional and today’s blog is going to be dedicated to precisely that.

Here are some tips and guidelines that you can follow to make sure that your décor not only looks great, but also comes off as authentic and tasteful.

Color palettes 

Choosing the right color for your walls immediately helps not only set the tone, but also the overall mood and feel of the room. The ocean, sky and beach can all provide inspiration and help you choose a style that’s comfortable but not overwhelming.

We encourage readers to think neutral – as in grays, warm manilas and crisp whites. Not only do these colors give you that beach-front feel you’re looking for, but they’re colors that go well with just about everything and give you a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to furnishing and adding accents.

Think light grays, crisp whites, sandy manilas, muted greens and watery sea blues. Navy and steel grays can be used effectively as well.

Use lots of light

 Beaches are bright places and as such, you’ll want that to come across in the space you’re decorating. Any way you can maximize natural lights from openings and windows is the best place to start. Push back those drapes and let the sunlight do its work.

Ever been to a beach home that had dark and gloomy colors? We thought so. Go bright and maximize the light!

Casual furnishings work best

Ostentatious is the last thing you want to go for when choosing the right furniture. Beach life is casual, laid back and in some ways, slightly rugged. The more natural, the better – so choose natural fibers like cane, sea grass or knotted wool. Hand painted beach color pallets look great and always, always be sure to use some of the natural detritus as decoration. Driftwood, shells and other beach debris can help work wonders.

At the end of the day – you should be thinking about versatility, comfort, color, light and of course – treasures from in and around the beach. Put those pieces together and you’ll have a space that says ‘relax, you’re in a better place’ in no time! Good luck!