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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