Channeling the Seashore at Home

It’s that time of year when we take vacations or go on a holiday and escape to the lakeside, beaches, or seashore for a little relaxation and recreation. I have been noticing lately that nautical themes and natural elements inspired by the sea seem to be everywhere in home décor. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate the freshness of the seashore into your home design.

The thing to remember when decorating your home is that trends do not have to be literal…you can just take a color, or a mood, or an element of an idea and incorporate that into your existing home, or just purchase a single trendy accessory or a small grouping. It’s more affordable, and can make a big impact without completely renovating what you already own.

¤ Nautical Colors – evoking the seaside is as easy as using blues, aquas, whites, browns, and tans in your home palette. The combination of navy blue and white, or bright, French blue and white is classically nautical. You can begin with just a small amount of these colors in a rug, a set of napkins, a toss pillow, or a guest towel to bring the sea into your everyday living.

¤ Boats – look for models of ships, sailboats, and even life rafts! A ship in a bottle can be a fun, unexpected home accent, especially in a living room or office. A boat makes a lovely focal point on a table and even can be used as a serving dish – I am thinking of the long, Asian, boat-shaped trays that display large amounts of sushi in restaurants.

¤ Sea Life – sea creatures are popular as artistic objects and accessories for the home. You can find sea life at souvenir shops on a family trip or at home stores. Some examples are:

Shells, Coral, Abalones, Sea-horses, Sand Dollars, Sea Urchins, Starfish, Crabs, Lobsters & Fish

My personal favorite of these is the sea urchin – I have a set of lamps that have sea urchin bases. Whether you have a beach retreat or uptown house, you can pepper these forms of animal life throughout.

I like to use a single piece of good size as an accent on a stack of books, or group a few shells, sand dollars, starfish, or sea horses on a console table or bedside table. A sea creature looks wonderful on the bathroom counter, near the tub, or on a small display shelf.

Sea life can make an appearance on your next table setting too – as a centerpiece, as a paperweight-type place card, or on a buffet. These creatures can be found on both serving ware and glassware. I have seen many fish-shaped bowls, starfish platters, and shell dishes since summer began.

¤ Rope – look no further than the home improvement or salvage store for this next accessory! You can find lengths of large rope and tie the rope in a creative knot to place on a side table for interest. Use rope to tie napkins, or hang a garland. I like the look of frayed edges when using rope to decorate. Nautical rope knot balls are also popular finds in home stores and knot balls can be used to top off a stack of items, as a doorstop, or as an accent item on a mantle or table.

¤ Sea Rocks and Driftwood – these features of the sea landscape can find their way into our homes as decorative objects. Search the shoreline on vacation or scout the stores to find unique, gnarled or worn pieces of rock or wood to add to your home.

As the summer rolls on, consider adding touches of the sea to your decorating style. Whether you choose a candy dish with an abalone finish, a handful of whelks, or a navy and white striped tablecloth, the ambiance of la mer is fun to bring home!