We can't all live by the coast, but a few decorating tips help bring the beach a shell or two closer.
For Lou and Delores Rosebrock, owners of the house shown here, the ideal beach home should be outfitted as a relaxing retreat with easy elegance. Their casual mix of old and new pieces inspired by the coast creates an inviting place to take off sandy shoes and unwind.
Follow their lead to create the same easy and breezy feel in your own home.
A rugged cubby just inside the door welcomes guests and sets an easygoing tone with its weather-worn paint. The piece provides much-needed storage with a small shelf, two drawers, and hooks for beachcombers' hats. On top, a piece of driftwood found just steps away on the sand is displayed.
In this two-story great room, the Rosebrocks combined Lou's passion for pond yachts with a smart decorating strategy. "Lou loves pond yachts; that's his collection," says Delores.
A framed maritime map hung as artwork continues the coastal theme. Delores complemented these accents with shell-motif and striped fabrics as throw pillows and Roman shades. Anchor these design elements with wicker furniture, and you'll almost taste the salty ocean breeze whipping against the windows.
Lou and Delores also display a sand collection in shapely glass jars tucked into nooks and on shelves all around their cottage.
"We collect sand at beaches we've been to as a couple," Delores explains. "It makes visiting the shore a little more personal when you bring a little of it back home."
Go with the flow.
In the absence of rigid design rules, there is plenty of room to be inventive. The Rosebrocks selected island-style shutters for their loft's window dressings. Although often reserved for outdoor purposes, the new and old shutters used inside the couple's home make it feel breezy and casual while keeping the master bedroom private from the rest of the house.
Let your home express its personality by showcasing prized possessions or, in this case, prized expressions. Delores added intimacy to the downstairs guest bedroom by painting a favorite greeting-card quote around the ceiling.
Guests can drift off to sleep reading, "Let's take a quiet journey to that peaceful place..." The Rosebrocks added another personal touch to their home by placing pictures under glass that tops a wicker table -- an instant photo display.