From my Etsy treasury: Clean lines, bleached wood, nautical, fresh, stripes, adirondack chairs, white, driftwood, canvas, ticking, Martha’s Vineyard, “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” (1996), shells.
Add sea stars and sea horses, beadboard, sea glass, and sand encrusted candles, picture frames wrapped in rope. Sailboats and nautical images, the windswept beach of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” (1947), espadrilles, lighthouses. “The Lake House” (2006) – only it’s winter.
The idea behind this is to bring the sense of a summer weekend at the beach into your house. As usual I have made a Pinterest Board to illustrate the concept. Lots of white paint and pale turquoise – in common with Shabby Chic, and certainly some beach cottages go that way. But I think the differentiating features are usually clean, shiny, fresh and “ship shape” – chrome and brass instead of worn pewter and rust. And yet bleached by the sun and sea. Very little use of florals, but think of grasses instead.
Bring it into the decor:
spray white paint over rope covered picture frames or bottles,
stack well stuffed pillows made from ticking, sailcloth and striped poplin,
place shells and sea glass in glass bowls
hang framed nautical images (feel free to print these ones)
keep it very clean and a little minimalist.
Bring a pair of adirondack chairs into the living – painted a nice clean white
Here are some more ideas from Emma’s Decorating Blog.
The truth is this is a very simple aesthetic to describe. As long as the lines are simple and boxy, the palette limited and built around white, it’s easy to add nautical, beach cottage elements. You can take it tropical and start hinting at surfer chic with a few colors, but it risks getting luau – and grass and raffia are terrible for holding dust. And the only trouble with white sofas is how quickly they start to show dirt (especially if you have pets) so maybe try navy blue for your sofas?
Is it something I’d want to live with every day? Not necessarily the whole house – but for the sunroom, or the studio with plenty of sunlight streaming in. I don’t mind a few shells, or shells as a motif.