Coastal decor is one of my all time favorites.  
    I live on the West Coast, but any coast would do.  
    Its a casual, easy living, non-fussy way of decorating.  
    A nod to the seashore in a 'not in your face' sort of way... 
    not contrived ... 
    a lifestyle not a trend.

    Easy going can still be elegant and rich with texture
    pattern and color

    Recently we traveled from San Francisco, down the famous Highway 1 through Big Sur.
    We stopped first in Half Moon Bay, one of my old haunts
    and found a wonderful restaurant, Italia,
    with the best pizza I have ever had...
    and a charming shop that had just the right touch of coastal vibe
    and these wonderful driftwood mirrors



    I definitely love this look, since I live across the street from a SC marsh and spend a lot of time with the beach style of living (flip flops, shorts and t-shirts, crabbing, fishing, etc....lots of sand between my toes! I want to use this look through out my home but in a subtle way. I have an incredible portrait of my older son standing in the marsh with mud on one cheek and denim overall shorts on in my living room, along with linen curtains and a sea grass rug. My chairs are striped, but in a marsh- green gray fabric from Robert Allen....what do I put with it as far as couch color, accessories? ANYTHING you can tell me would be awesome!!!! Any hints of paint colors since it goes straight into the kitchen where I have a sea glass colored glass subway tile (1x2") backsplash, white cabinets (that can be painted) and white appliances (which will eventually go to stainless) Thanks ahead of time. 

    My husband's family is from South Carolina - and I have long wanted to visit - I hear it is beautiful - you are so lucky to live so close to the water.  East Coast is a different feel from West Coast, but the same principals apply.  I love what you have described - the photograph and the furniture.  For furniture, in addition to your striped chairs, I would definitely do a fitted slip-covered sofa - something easy and kid/pet friendly in white or off white.  Pottery barn always has good examples of a fitted slipcover sofa.  It allows ease of living with a casual beachy look, and the option to wash or clean the slipcovers whenever it is needed.

    I think white kitchen cabinets are wonderful - I'm a huge fan of white kitchens, and they are especially nice on the coast with a little beadboard detail thrown and warm but not-too-dark woods. 

     You can have beadboard applied to your kitchen island or rock your ceiling with it.
    Soft grays or soft gray greens are particularly pleasing to the eye.  

    They are calming and can be either dressy or more casual, depending on the application.

    In paint colors I prefer a just a fresh hint of color with clean white moldings and trim.  I like to keep the coastal 'light' feeling - your sea grass rug is a perfect example.  Here are a few I love:

    Benjamin Moore:  Edgecomb Gray

    Benjamin Moore:  Titanium

    Benjamin Moore:  Gray Owl

    Benjamin Moore:  Halo

    Dunn Edwards/California Paints:  Whisper Gray

    Benjamin Moore:  Baby Fawn

    I do like to see some reference to the ocean in shell, coral and sea fan displays and some driftwood - but not to excess and not so that it looks contrived.  If you treat the coral like sculpture and frame the sea fans like art you will take away from that contrived feel.  

    Hi Claudine! My home is Shabby Chic/Beachy with Darker wood Antiques. I love White and Cream, toned down Aqua Blue(a bit less green), and Taupe. The trim is White through out the house. The exception is the Kitchen Cabinets. They are a creamy white from Farrow and Ball that I painted a few years ago. I am going to do two Parsons chairs with white slipcovers at the heads of the table. The side chairs I'm going to paint the aqua I love. The table base is painted Annie Sloan "Old white", The top is an original black stain. It was a former long Library Table. I'm not "married" to the top .

    The question is would BM Linen or SW Urban Putty look good on the kitchen walls. Or perhaps another color. I am getting lost in all the solid white Beachy Shabby Chic looks that I see in Magazines. Does Shabby Chic only have to be white? I would love to know what you'd recommend in a paint color. Thank you!!! 
    Sherwin Williams URBAN PUTTY

    Benjamin Moore LINEN

    Shabby Chic does use a lot of white, and you may feel more comfortable with a 'cottage' look, which is very similar in finishes and comfort.  For coastal rooms,  I like softer, almost sun washed colors - like they were left out in the sun and salty air a little too long and they faded a little.  So a color, but a barely there or a muted color.  One of my favorites is Sherwin Williams SEA SALT.  Its a faded teal, grayed down.  Looks amazing with white trim.  I sometimes have a white or a light gray wall and paint it on the ceiling...  

    The BM Linen and SW Urban Putty are very similar neutrals.  The LINEN is a little warmer than the putty, with undertones of peach.  They are both great colors, and will look great with whites and muted tones.

    The best thing to remember is that your look should be non-fussy, time worn, easy, casual with a little elegance in unexpected places, and reflect the colors you see at the beach or waterfront.  Aqua, teal, heather, sand, greens and blues, grays, grayish browns, dark browns and keep them all beautifully muted.  Think of shadows on the water, sea lavender, warm sand, wet sand, driftwood, gray wisps of clouds, sea glass.... add fresh white....warm woods and wicker, easy care fabrics.   If you like a little color on your kitchen walls try Benjamin Moore- Gray Horse, Sea Salt or Seashell.


Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I so enjoy your blog and I just love when you talk specific paint colors - so much wonderful inspiration! ... And I hope you don't think I'm crazy, but doesn't your black and white wallpaper background look like skulls? As I scroll along, I keep looking over as I feel like someone is watching me. It kinds of freaks me out a bit!

Claudine Barnett said...

Ha Ha! Yes! The skulls are for Halloween. I change the background from time . Sorry for freaking you out! Thanks for reading!


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