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Monday, July 25, 2011


In the summer my mind will inevitably go to the beach. Not just the surf and sand but the possibility of living at the beach. Most of us can only dream of such a wonderful possibility, but dreams are a necessary part of life, don’t you think?

In dreaming of living at the beach we can envision a small cottage……..

Or maybe something larger like a gorgeous home in the Hamptons….

Okay, maybe this is too far of a stretch for my dream home at the beach.
How about something in-between like this………….
Now this is just right!!!!!

How would I go about decorating this lovely beach cottage? I wouldn’t want to get to kitschy or thematic, like this……….

As cute as this is, and as fun as the color combination is, it just takes it one step too far for my own personal taste.

I started thinking of what beach elements would I like to have in my home. I decided that I wanted what I will call, “Beach Elegance!”

I needed to define what that meant to me, and what elements I would need to achieve this look.
Navy and Cream
Any shade of blue from navy’s to aqua's mixed with white, cream or sand.

Other than the view outside the only nautical or beach themed item is the nautical instrument on the tripod. That is just enough to give this room its beach feel and still remain understated and elegant at the same time.

Although there is not a seashell in sight this room still has an elegant beachy vibe to it. I think it is the turquoise bottles and the great rattan coffee table. I would probably use a seascape piece of art in place of the blue and white porcelain artwork.

Turquoise and Cream

I am not completely sure if the art pieces are intaglios or shells, but for the sake of this discussion let’s view them as shells. This vignette is completely elegant and yet with the shell artwork it could be in an elegant beach house, don’t you think?

By having some artwork displayed of ocean scenes this would fit perfectly in an elegant beach home.

master bed and bath 027 In my own personal master bath I have chosen ocean colors to decorate with. By adding just one shell it takes on the elegant beach style that I love.

master bed and bath 032
On the top of my armoire I have ocean colored glass bottles with seashells.

Master Bed and Bath 2 009 
master bed and bath 015
I chose the color scheme of blue for the water, soft linen for the sand and white for the shells. I love the look and the feeling my bedroom gives me each time I step inside the door. I take a deep breath and relax. That is exactly what going to the beach does for me too!!!

This room by Meg Braff is elegant and simple. Notice the beach feel not only comes from the color, and the beautiful sea coral prints, but notice the texture of the chairs and the wallpaper. They remind me of the rope used to tie up  boats to the dock. You see, there are ways of having a beach styled room without getting too thematic or kitschy.

Now that I know the color direction I need  to stop and think about what type of ocean inspired elements are appealing to me.


I love shells, but not placed everywhere in a room. I like them to make a bigger statement. I find that big is better and less is more for me. I also love baskets, rattan and a beautiful seascape for artwork, a well made model sail boat is also appealing to me. If the room has just one or two of the elements it will be just enough to give me the elegant beach house I am looking for.

This mirror makes a wonderful statement because of the abundance of the shells and the size of the mirror. If there were more shells in this area such as in the dish on the console it would be one step too far.

Shells and Baskets
I like the large white coral and the sea fan on the mantel. I would have to eliminate the two elements by the pitcher of hydrangea’s. It is one step too far for me. I like the big statement piece on the mantel.

Having this magnificent sea shell chandelier would be plenty of beachiness in any room. Can you imagine having this view to  look at with breakfast every morning?  Perfection!!


It looks as if the bags are all packed up to head down to the beach for the day. The glamour in the mirrored table is a wonderful contrast to the casual shell chandelier and the beach baskets. This is one of my favorite  images that represents my look of,  “Beach Elegance!”


Simple, Elegant and still gives me a seaside feeling.

All the elements in one room. I probably would not had the coral beneath the piece of art. The large coral on the coffee table would have been enough for me.

Sail Boat

One large scaled mode of a sale boat with the addition of the turquoise and cream color scheme gives me the quality of  Beach elegance!!

 Subtle Elegant Beach Style

Sometimes I see a room that is not overtly done in a beach style, and yet I can tell it is by the seaside.

Sea grass rug, beach colors, baskets, it all says a beach-side home to me!!

Not a shell in sight nor a seascape and yet this just says,
“Elegant Beach style.”

So there you have it!! My take on what I like to call, “Beach Elegance.”

If you were to have your own beach house, would it be casual or elegant or maybe somewhere in-between? What colors do you think you would use? Would you do a thematic style of decor or would you go more subtle with your beach elements?

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Dreaming about decorating your very own  summer beach house.

All of the above images are from Pinterest


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Gorgeous inspiration, Kathysue!!

The enchanted home said...

LOVE this post, Kathysue. Can I come for a weekend visit, a long weekend? Beautiful elements and you and I would have nearly identical decorated beach houses becuase I share your vision. Love the navy and cream, shells-check, sailboats-check,glass as decor-check,baskets-check...yep you got it covered! And your bedroom/bath is downright dreamy....like being in a perfect cloud by the ocean...beautiful!

Hamptontoes said...

You know this post made me smile! My favorite place in the world is near a beach, any of them. However, the Hamptons are my playground. Hope your summer is going well!

Susie @ Maddie G Designs said...

I think if I were decorating a beach place I'd do lots of seaglass blue and white, natural fiber rugs, etc. I always love seeing images of your master bath...so calming!

Karen said...

I'd do a casual look with lots of white slipcovered furniture and natural elements.

Unknown said...

it would NOT have any beach theme at all - biggest pet peeve - my Mom's house and SO many of my friends who have houses on the beach, their decor is ALL "sea shore" stuff - i LOATHE it .. i think it's b/c i see it SO much

*kiss kiss*
~Tiptoe Butterfly~

Splendid Sass said...

Love the first living room, the gorgeous dining room and the bathroom with the bowl sink. My sister has that sink in her house, and I love it!
Beautiful images here. Would love to own a house at the beach too. I would settle for the tiny cottage.

Anonymous said...

You and I are on the same wave length again! I would love a beach home..... sigh... Loving that bedroom... so serene. xo

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

So many pretty room, however your bedroom and bath are just perfect to me. They can say beach, but mainly I think your room just says elegant. Hugs, Marty

Unknown said...

Such pretty pics! Love your mosaic tile in your bathrom. I'm definitely on the casual side when I think of beach houses. Casual-nice, not casual-sloppy. I do love the beachy look!

vignette design said...

I love this post Kathysue! Such elegance! We can all dream of a cozy beach cottage to spend the summers in--right? ~Delores

Beach House Living said...

Divine style! Now, when are you arriving to re-do our house. We have shells, boats, nautical, seascape paintings and a completely un pulled together look since DB won't part with a thing.

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

My house isn't on the beach, but it's just five miles away, so the flavor here is definitely beach.
I have lots of shells and light colors in my home. I love a little more elegant look in the livingroom and some shabby/cottage decor as well.

I love all of the photo ideas. Your bedroom and bath is so pretty and has just the right touch of beach.


debra @ 5th and state said...

oh kathysue, you have s p l e n d i d taste!
here in the middle of the country we have a few lake houses but to have a beach cottage, like the first photo would be lovely. (hmmmm, 2 houses to maintain?)

crazy for that image with the seashell chandelier and that view....sigh.......

designchic said...

I dream of having a beach cottage one day, and have decorated it completely in my imagination!! Such beautiful inspiration for my Monday ~

Acanthus and Acorn said...

You're killing me, just came back from the beach and now I'm missing it more than ever. Beautiful round-up of images and I LOVE your bathroom!!!

Mel@georgicapond said...

What a lovely and inspiring post, full of great ideas and tips. I agree that the seaside theme can be overdone and you only need a few subtle hints of the beach to get the message across otherwise as you say, it looks too themey. Love your bedroom, I thought I was looking at design by Phoebe Howard, so I can see why she is your design idol. Just beautiful.

Crystal @ Ordinary Days said...

Kathysue, I DO love you taste!! Those rooms are just DREAMY!! :)

Jessie said...

What beautiful images! I love your inspirational images as well as your room and your bathroom, they are so lovely! I agree that a beach theme room is slightly over the top. I love a more subtle decor that reminds me of the beach and is done elegantly. Great post, Kathysue!

By the way, I just host a new giveaway so stop by and enter for a chance to win a piece of fabulous jewelry of your choice!


Janell @ House of Fifty said...

I'd take small, a shack, as long as it was at the beach with a view! Janell

Marcus Design said...

Beach cottage style can't help but make me smile!!! Sooo many of the spaces you've shown just grab me and pull me in! I love it, my dream would be to have a summer home in the Hamptons with rooms similar to many of those you've shown here. I hope you are having a great week dear friend, and thank you sooo much for your sweet comment on hodge:podge blog!! Nancy xo

Jenny said...

Gorgeous! I love your room and it epitomizes beach elegance. That's definitely the look I would strive for if I ever had the good fortune of having a beach house. For now, I will dream...

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Kathysue, this is speaking my language for sure. Love, love beach & coastal & you have compiled some wonderful pics & inspiration.

thanks so much for all your encouragement & support, means so much. You always say the sweetest things. I'm so excited & feel so blessed to get all these new opportunities. It's been an awful year for me, but God is turning things around. xoxo

cotedetexas said...

such a beautiful post. i want to own a beach house so bad !!! put my own stamp on it. oh well.

thanks so much for your kind comments.

Marianne said...

I dream of having a beach cottage one day. You really featured a great collection of images here. They all are so calming and beautiful. Just what I need on a rainy Seattle day!

VICTORIA said...

Love the bedrooms! What a Fabulous Post!Everything looks wonderful indeed!its a dreamy spaces ans stuff as well! thanks for sharing your fantastic dreams with us!

Unknown said...

I love your take on the beach house and Beach Elegance! The turquoise and cream room takes the cake for me!!

And, one day, I dream of having a beach home to decorate!

xoxo elizabeth


So much beauty!!! That one picture with the loveseat that has the blue stripe in it is so dreamy to me....I love it! Of course it is no secret that I love a beachy style :)