28 Aug 2015
We may dream of living by the coast – fresh sea air, long walks on the beach, sound of the waves – and for most of us it is a world away from our fastpaced everyday lives.
But forget relocation, why not just bring a bit of the seaside into your home?
Encourage relaxation by embracing and reflecting natural surroundings. Evoke the undulations of sea and sand by choosing furniture with curved edges, like chairs with horseshoe backs, circular mirrors and round tables.
See your home as one calm and flowing space, with the eye easily moving from room to room, mimicking the constant motion of the tide.
Let in the light
Consider these key elements when creating your space. Think about how it feels to be beside the sea and the emotion that evokes within you.
Visualise that special kind of light you only get by the water… Now consider your home, and use the light sources you have to recreate those big skies. Position key pieces of furniture near windows so the space is flooded with light from sunrise to sunset. Accessorise with glass pieces and mirrors so light can reflect and illuminate. Glass panels in doors are also a nice trick to boost whatever natural light you have. Keep window coverings delicate, perhaps using voile or cotton.
Steer clear of too much polish, clutter and fussy detail. By keeping furniture to a minimum and including pieces that let light through, such as slatted or rattan chairs, you will boost a room’s sense of space.
There’s something enchanting about a completely white room; it has an immediate calming effect. Only a hint of colour is required: try accents in classic coastal shades of blue and turquoise to bring the space alive whilst also giving a subtle nod to sea and sky.
White-painted tongue and groove cladding instantly evokes the seaside. Use it on walls throughout your home, not just the bathroom.
To give a sun-baked look to floorboards, shelves and table tops, limewash the boards, or try the Scandinavian ‘white lye soap’ treatment: after sanding, apply caustic soda to open the grain then use white lye soap to bleach the wood and give it a beautiful chalky finish.
Bring the outside in
Bring warmth to your scheme with natural textures, for example, a coffee table made from reclaimed elm evokes driftwood strewn on the beach. For soft furnishings, choose natural fabrics like cotton, linen and jute in neutral colours and touchable textures.
Shells and coral collected from the beach make wonderful ornaments and bring back memories of happy times. Pieces fashioned from driftwood like candle holders and mirrors are perfect.
Try using everday items you would normally find outside to give a subtle hint of beach life. A vintage deckchair in the bathroom, a white-painted folding garden chair at a desk, an antique tennis racket on the wall or a aged zinc bucket as a bin.
To avoid the beach house clichés, mix new with old, high street with antique, natural with gloss. Let your personality shine through and who knows, your own unique take on coastal chic could refresh you as much as a fortnight in the sun!