Bring the BEACH Coast Right Into Your House

How to bring the beach coast vibe right into your house. You can do it. Here's how.


Are you living on the beach ?  Do you see an ocean outside your window ?

If you can see the ocean RIGHT NOW, skip this post.  You are disqualified.


But, but, but, but….. before you skip the post,

Do you need a new best friend?

Because I definitely want to be your new BFF.

Beach living??!! You are officially the luckiest person on earth.

You won the coastal living lottery.

What on earth are you doing inside?  On your computer ?  Quick, jump up.  Get outta ‘yer chair.

GO !!!

Get outside and play in your sandbox { aka BEACH }  for crying out loud.  I am so jealouzzzz.


A swing in a beach tree

What a way to spend the day !


Now what are the rest of us REAL PEOPLE going to get up to?  No good.  Trouble that is.  Because we are going to copy cat the beach dweller.  Right in our own houses.  Pronto.


No probs.  We are going to live like we live on a beach.  Minus the icky parts.  Who says we wanted sand in our pants anyway ?!!  Or in our sandwiches.  Who says we like beautiful ocean views and the sound of the soothing waves on the beach ?!  Whatever.  Waves are for sissies.   Water is stupid.  I lie.


Seychelles beach



I am Canadian


live in the middle

of Canada


Truth is, the only time of year that I hear the sound of the soothing ocean is when I hold a conch shell up to my ear.


Conch shell, coral, fun elements from the beach

How do I make the coastal decor HAPPEN ? It is really not that hard.  Seriously.

  •  Reading a manual is HARD.
  • Getting wads of bubble gum out of your dryer is hard.
  • Checking 45 voice mail messages is hard.  And slightly boring.


This coastal decor thing is a snap by comparison.

My Motto:   If I can’t have the beach coast outside my front door, I will have it inside my front door.

Yup. That’s how I roll.


A view of the mountains from Gili Island, Bali

Gili Island, Indonesia




Organic elements…..


Driftwood, beautifully shaped interesting shells, whites, soft cream colours, funky coral, sea glass, unscented creamy white candles sitting in sand, soft wispy sea grass, twigs …. Then…I mix it up with a bohemian feel of cotton floor pillows and fresh linen throw cushions.  


Twig vase with super pillows


What to avoid :

Cheesy coastal.  Don’t do that.

If you have a wallpaper border with fish on it, rip that border off the wall.  Right now.  Hurry up.  I will wait for you.

Having a fish wallpaper border is:

Oh, what’s the word???!


Got it…..



Not gonna lie.  Time for it to leave the building.  Get it OFF.   I promise it will look fantastic when the wee fishes are NOT swimming across your living room wall on a straight line of faded paper.  Pinky swear it.

Decorate with what makes YOU feel good.  Unless it is a wallpaper border.  I don’t care if that makes you feel good.  Don’t do it.  🙂

Decorate with what YOU love.



Tabletop display of shells


One thing to keep in mind, is to not go berzerk with this ‘look’.  Everything is fab, in moderation.  I often need to remind myself about that when it comes to Margarita’s.  Do you do that ?  Having ONE Margarita is like having ONE peanut.  Or ONE potato chip.  IMPOSSIBLE.


Moderation is where it is at.  For example, if you love shells….use them amongst your candles in tins of sand or in vintage mason jars.  Scatter them in a few places on a table top with other decorative pieces.  Don’t go ape crazy and have shells in every nook and cranny of the house.  That would just be weird.  You don’t want to be the neighbourhood weird-o.


From Bali, with LOVE


NOTE : If you are a ‘beach shell gatherer’  (ohhh, it is ooh so very fun)  teach me how to really make those shells smell good after you get home from your holidays.  I have brought shells home, unpacked them from my suitcase, and wondered why customs didn’t haul me in for having a dead body in my luggage.  I swear those shells smelled like I brought a dead octopus home or something really nasty.  If anyone needs to know the true definition of STENCH, just go ahead and try to stuff a bunch of shells in your luggage for a few days.  Don’t even attempt to wrap them in a plastic bag, unless you want to up the ante in the I-can’t-stand-the-smell category.  I wish I could wipe that scent memory outta my head.  Not happenin’ yet.


After you have solved the great shell catastrophe it is truly beautiful to set those shells in sand at home or display them and use them to create a beautiful coastal decor.


sketched shells of coastal love


Keep it simple.

Simple is essential in home decor.

It is fresh, crisp, serene and soothing.

The look is classically organic.

It feels warmly refreshing.

Imagine zen living, right in your own home.

Imagine the feel of vintage finds, old worn pieces, combined with softly worn sea shells….


Balinese hand carved table top box


For a fresh coastal look, layer whites-on-whites in a zen-like monochromatic way. Throw in some creamy whites, add a dash of weathered whites, and …well you get the picture…use WHITE.  I am a lover of WHITE.  No secret there.

Keeping your home fresh and clean feeling is even slightly easier at this time of year.  It is SPRING !! It is a great time of year to fling open all your doors and windows.


Kick out all the fur balls { aka DUST BOULDERS }.  Same thing.

If you keep the doors and windows open long enough, the dust just may fly out the door.  By itself.  Like Magic.

I have seen it happen.  Right before my very eyes.

The ultimate goal…is to make your house a HOME

A home that feels warm when you walk through the door.  Where, even your guests feel right at home.  Don’t make it TOO COMFORTABLE, or your guests will never leave :).  Ha ha …you know who you are.  I know my friends read my blog.  P.S. Next time you come, bring some Margarita’s.  We can practice moderation.  Sort of.  Not really.  You can stay forever.   I feel a treehouse sleepover marathon coming on.

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

Linen Curtains Coconut Vase Twigs

Painted twigs in a coconut vase & West Elm linen curtains



May you have a beautiful, coastal day.

* Happy Spring *



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14 Responses

  1. Debra says:

    Just buying our beach home. Not a warm southern beach, a northwest Washington state beach. But after living in a desert environment, I am ready for cool breezes, and the kind of greenery only rain can provide. If you want to br> no home seashells that don’t stink, make sure that they are not occupied with living or dead organisms.

  2. Janet says:

    Oh, and if you get the chance to visit any region of Africa, do so. It gets in your sole … can’t describe it but it grabs you and changes you forever.

  3. Janet says:

    LOVE the ideas and suggestions … glad to know it’s not just me bringing seashells home in a suitcase 🙂 I even have some from Africa which have a special display place all their own. The white on white is so peaceful and calming. Planning to retire by the ocean in a few years and will be following your blog for ideas.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Hi Janet…
      Africa ??!! I just freaked out with excitement. If I traveled to Africa, I think I would pick up every shell on every beach. There would be nothing left. I would need a storage container, not a suitcase. LOL !! Wow….and you are going to retire by the ocean??! Can I be your roommate ? LOL. Lynne xx

      • Janet says:

        Roommate, visitor … anytime! It’s a few years away yet … but stay tuned. Ocean coast via prairies 🙂 Funny how life turns out.

  4. Caroline says:

    Love this. I’m going to live by the sea in the next few years but this is a good interim step. I have a couple of shelves with boats & wicker fish & lighthouses all-ready there to keep reminding me of my goals 🙂

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Ohh what a great goal to have…to live by the sea! Where will you go? Will you have room to tuck me in your suitcase?

  5. Michael says:

    After getting over the shock in my head of painting all the wood trim, I have to say it feel brighter, cleaner and… the house has a much more peaceful feel. I really love it. Can you just figure out a way to bring in the sound and smell of the ocean?

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Sure can. I think we should some day…take a trip to Barbados…I am sure we will find a way to enjoy the sound and smell of the ocean there 🙂 haha! Love ya!

  6. Maribel says:

    I like your white on white, breezy feeling coastal clean lines with some fun DIYs in the mix.

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Thank you Maribel ! White on white is soooo dreamy, isn’t it? I am posting more DIY’s soon. So excited! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! Lynne xx

  7. Catherine says:

    Loved the post!! You would love the collection of shells I brought back from South Carolina. . . . All black and grey. Gothic coastal?

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Gothic Coastal sounds divine ! The greys and black…with speckles and mother nature lines would look fab !! Save some for me. How was South Carolina? Beautiful ??!!! xx

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