A House by the Sea

Have you ever dreamed of having your very own house by the sea? I have! And I've furnished it and painted it and even given it a catchy name. After all, dreaming is free. The best part ~ you can own another house, any house, and do it again next year. You can move the furniture in the middle of the night or paint your walls azure or periwinkle. You can purchase all those pretty things that are just perfect for a beach house. Sofas and chairs and rugs, oh my!

The view off my rear deck provides inspiration for the color palette.

"Surf's Up" or "Cottage with the Blue Door"
Leave a comment and help me name my new cottage!

I never have trouble making a decision but I just can't decide, blue or yellow, which do you prefer?

I love the architecture at Bald Head Island. I took these pictures several years ago because I just can't get enough of the shingle style, cottage architecture and beach-inspired color palette. Have you ever visited Bald Head Island? If not, you should put a visit on your bucket list. You have to take a ferry to access the island. No cars allowed. That's why the garage, above, is so dainty. It's scaled for a golf cart.

The last time we visited the island, it was two weeks before Christmas. We headed out in the golf cart at dusk for a cocktail at the Bald Head Island Club. Let's just say, after dark on the island is a great opportunity for star gazing. Like it's really dark! Now, I don't want to give away the punch line, but you should know that our girls had been out all day long in the golf cart exploring the island and a golf cart does not have a gas gauge! Because Bald Head Island is about getting-away-from-it-all and being "one" with nature, there are not many opportunities to get dressed up. So, tonight, we have on our one, beach-chic outfit and our brand new can't-walk-but-from-the-car-to-the-table shoes on. And right about the time we are nearing Turtle Central, about two miles from the cottage, we notice the golf cart can't conquer the hill. This is where you would ask your teenagers ~ "What were you thinking?" Well, our can-do host decided to pull into the closest house, of course, my favorite house on the island, and ask for a charge. The homeowner could not have been more gracious. She actually offered us her golf cart to finish our journey to the Club while our cart charged. Her comment about lending her golf cart to four perfect strangers still makes me laugh ~ "After all, where are you going to go, we're on an island!"

Of course, I had a picture of her house in my one-day-if-I ever-have-a-beach-house-file. I love the paint color of the ceilings on the porch and the garage doors. In the outside chance this lovely homeowner ever has the opportunity to read this ~ Thank you! We plan to pay it forward!

I made an inspiration collage of some of my favorite beach house must-haves. Madame X coffee table from Tritter Feefer; carved chair in white oak vintage grey by Noir; paint colors from Farrow and Ball shaded white, blue gray, mouse's back, slipper satin and light gray; old elm pedestal side table from reclaimed elm by Noir; Verellen side chairs in linen from Circa; swivel chair from Lee Industries in Tula Spa; tradewinds wool dhurrie rug from the Barrier Island Collection; slipcovered apartment sofa in vintage sugar linen from Lee Industries; accessories from Oly Studios; fabric Ivy Paisley in ocean from Galbraith & Paul.

This entrance has so much confidence and really speaks to me. It reminds me of the creative writing "prompts" my daughter receives in her honors English class, only in picture form. If this was the cover of a new novel, what would the title be? Chapter II, Life Beyond the Skyscraper, Leading a Colorful Life On Bald Head Island

I love this driftwood coffee table, the view not only capturing the ocean but a rose climbing the railing and those graphic, blue and white pillows. I love the way people say you are going green if you buy something like this stylish coffee table. Recycling at it's very best! Oh, and the turquoise ceramic garden stool almost obscured from view. I also love the fact that the blues don't match.

Inspiration from Southern Living. What's not to like about this youthful room. It just makes me happy! I even like the J Crewish sneakers under the coffee table. I love the blue and orange color palette, the horizontal, wood paneling, the dhurrie rug and of course, those tangerine lampshades make the room.  I could just slouch right down on that sofa and curl up in that throw and read a book!

A modern and chic beach look from Max and Company. If you can't tell, I like everything blue, and I love symmetry and order. I covet the framed sea fans over the sofa and the faux bois pillows on the sofa.

Another great image from Phoebe and Jim Howard's Max and Company. The ocean photography over the sofa is a nice touch. I would love to put my new photography course to work and create some great art-photography with my daughter during our next beach trip. The thought of bringing a personal touch to the house is appealing.

I am a big fan of white kitchens, especially at the beach. I wouldn't change a thing...love the countertops, love the texture and warmth the bamboo blinds bring and love, love, love the color of that blue subway tile!

Would you wake up a different person in this bedroom? This new shade of lavender is everywhere and I love it! The other things about this image that secured a place in my beach notebook is the tone-on-tone wall bracket + coral arrangement over the bed. It provides interest and order but not clutter. I liked the quote I read recently in Traditional Home Magazine from Gabrielle Reece "I love interior design, but it's easy to get intimidated. I finally realized that it's really about just finding things you want to sit in and see every day. Comfortable pieces that aren't too high-maintenance. When we become slaves to our environments, we've gone backwards. They should nurture us, not the other way around."

I want more! This view gives me just enough detail to really, really, really want to see more of this stylish room. You rarely see these blue coral prints at the local antique shows unless you see them in a stack with a "sold" sticker on them. I stay for hours in the print dealers booths trying to find the perfect set of prints to frame. They obviously did too!  Notice the details...the herringbone pattern inside the real wood burning fireplace; the limed horizontal paneling, the linen slipcovered sofas and the white porcelain faux bois lamp. Love it!

Image from South of Market, a Charleston and Atlanta based store filled with great things for the coastal home. SOM is owned by interior designer, Kay Douglass.

Scale, texture, color! South of Market nailed it!

This would make a perfect dining area for a beach house. The slip covers are at once practical and chic, and the chairs look comfortable with the lumbar pillows. I love that you can see the view from the table and that the table looks like driftwood. I am also a big fan of white dishes. I think they let the food be the focal point of the table. I always like to visit the farmer's markets on the way to the island and load up on farm fresh produce. At least once during our visits, we like to take the ferry across to the mainland and bring back fresh-from-the-sea fish and scallops and clams.

 A rare occurrence, snow on Bald Head Island. I love visiting the beach in the off season. If I had a beach house, it would have a big, stone fireplace and lots of cashmere throws and a library of good books!
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