I see the beach mood is strong in this one :))
One week before my trip to the seaside, my beach inspired living room is finally complete. I can't believe it, because I usually plan how to decorate a room, but I never finish it at the right time. This time, the stars aligned and I was able to make all the preparations and to put everything in its place, the way I dreamed about it. Don't expect to see starfish and shells everywhere, because "Obvious decor" is not my style. The room looks casual and urban, with a shabby chic vibe and the beach can be found in more subtle aspects: the glowing light in the room or the colors of a white shore in Greece.
Let me show you how far I've come in the before and after pic of the living room. This is what it used to look like a few months ago: a thick fluffy carpet for warm feet, random pics on the wall and strong punches of color. I basically kept the main furniture (the leather love seat, the mod chair and the Lucite coffee table) and worked my way around it. I am always on a tight budget, so I changed the art, the rug and the accessories using items already in the house. The only money I spent was 5 bucks for a can of aqua paint!
I'd like to make this post a tutorial on how to pull together a beachy living room. If you're going for that refreshing coastal vibe, don't start painting the walls and shopping for furniture. There are a few things you should consider first.
LIGHT! Think about the sea? Think sun bathing, bikinis and SPF 50 sun-screen protection! The beach is a shrine to sunshine, and your room should be one, too. In order to expand light, choose light colored walls (mine are simply white) and light colored furniture (I used a cream leather love seat and a white leather mod chair). A great tip: use clear furniture so that the eye will travel further on the walls and the room will seem lighter and brighter. I just stripped the "before" coffee table of its pink film and I suddenly had a wonderful clear Lucite little table which didn't crowd the room (it's the reverse of what I did on a previous post).
COLOR! Think about the beach? Think swirls of turquoise and light blue waves. Think white and golden shades of sparkling sand running through your toes. Think little broken shells polished with soft pinks and purples. My color scheme is a white base accented with powdery pink, aqua and a little bit of fiery red. Look at the way I've distributed the accent colors evenly to different locations in the room, instead of just cluttering them in one spot. You've got pink on the chair on the left and in the roses on the right. Then there's punches of aqua in the background (the painted Ikea floor lamp and small cabinet) and in the foreground (the painted wooden stool, the book, the glass, the cuddly toy). Yes, this is where my 5 buck paint can went: I painted a cabinet, a lamp and a stool! The little bits of red can be found in the lighthouse poster and the rug. Another tip is to blend all the colors in one big item. In my case, it is the rug that ties the room together. I've got it from grandma (not mine, but she is still a grandma and I thank her dearly).
SPACE! Think about the third dimension: the walls. Go vertical and add height to the room with a gallery wall. You can display anything and everything, as long as all the art has a common theme. In my beachy living room, all the art is sweet and naive.
I've got two more tips for you concerning the gallery wall. First, layer! Add interest by overlapping stuff, like I did with my floor lamps, photo frames and pillows. Secondly, expect the unexpected! (and the Spanish Inquisition, ha! ha!) I put a little straw hat and a ceramic mask on the wall, in order to add texture into the sea of glass frames.
PLAY! A room should not be serious. It should be fun! Think of happy little things that suit your color scheme: flowers, little vases, tea cups, books, ornaments, baskets, boxes, pillows, photos - you name it!
My tip here is to choose a plant that reminds you of the ocean coast, like I did with the sago palm.
That's it, folks! Happy beachy decorating!
Update: the room has been featured at Flamingo Toes, Country Momma Cooks, It's Overflowing, Little Inspiration, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Five Days Five Ways, Bacon Time With The Hungry Hypo, The Charm of Home, Lovely Crafty Home, Christina's Adventures, My Girlish Whims, Clean And Scentsible, Sweet Little Gals, Home Stories A 2 Z, The Sasse Life, Domesblissity, Loving This Crazy Life, Stuff and Nonsense and Candance Creations. Thank you, wonderful ladies, for your support!