Living close to the sea in Brighton is a constant inspiration for me. Whether I’m topping up my tan in summer or taking a walk on a crisp winter’s day, the distant skyline and the sounds of the waves help my mind relax, wander and get refreshed.

beach house, decor, and home image

Of course, life gets in the way and I never spend as much time at the beach as I’d like – though it’s all over Insta when I do – so I do try to bring the seaside theme into my home with cute maritime touches. These are especially sweet in our spare room as I love a themed room a lot more than my husband does, and our guests always comment on the cute details.

If you also want to bring the beach indoors, here are some top tips as well as some ideas I’m looking forward to trying.

beach, decor, and seagulls image

Pale Colours

The beach palette is classic. Like a photo of a long sunset over a calm sea and sandy beach, while salty air adds a little fuzz to the picture.

Think yellowy beiges and muted whites for the sand. Peaches, calm pinks and dusty oranges for the sun and, in between, pale blues with accents of teal and kingfisher as the sun plays on the sea.

For the perfect combination, use the sandy neutrals for wall or floor colourings, while large furniture like sofas or bedspreads bring the warm sunny tones and cute blue accessories bring the energy.

For patterns, copy the classic Breton stripe (http://stylecaster.com/breton-stripe/) for a chic navy feel.

beach house, home, and mantle image

Shells and Stones

Next time you’re at the beach, collect all the shells you can: big, small, broken, just go for it. After a good wash, small and broken shells can be glued be on clear vases or candleholders for easily crafted accessories. Large shells make great ring holders with a little padding inside or can be painted with some blue highlights and framed.

If shells aren’t an option (though you can always buy some), stones from pebble beaches can have wonderful colours and smooth textures. Use them in empty jars with some coloured sand to create a miniature beach scene or just place them around the room, on windowsills or at the head of the bed. I’ve always wanted to use larger stones as a kind of guestbook, asking distant visiting friends to write their name and leave a little message.

beach house, home, and rustic image

Driftwood

While you’re on the beach, look out for driftwood, especially after a storm or at low tide. Once you find some wood you like the look of, bring it home to clean and dry. Depending on the size of your haul, you could make a beautiful mirror frame, simple shelf, or just an interesting centrepiece to decorate with your shells and stones.

There’s some great advice here on how to make driftwood into home décor - https://homeguides.sfgate.com/make-driftwood-home-decor-61615.html.

aesthetics, beach, and blue image

Anchors, Boats and Compasses

Anchor shapes are another classic. Though a real anchor would be a nightmare around the house, anchor print is timeless and works on pillows, spread or even as wallpaper for feature walls if you want a 50s, almost pin-up feel. Otherwise, you can find accessories like these cute lamps.

Image by Nathalie Martin

For a different angle on the seaside style, model boats and boating accessories can bring some interesting details. You can find old compasses, telescopes and sextants in charity shops or on eBay – they don’t need to work luckily, just look fab! Alternatively, look at actual sailing shops for gifts for sailors (like https://www.marinesuperstore.com/nautical-gifts) and there are some great finds alongside the serious gadgets, like these mugs and cushions.

Image by Nathalie Martin Image by Nathalie Martin

Starfish and Seahorses

Under the sea, under the sea! Unleash your inner mermaid and accent your room with model starfishes – a red starfish or two adds a bright jolt – or seahorse prints. While fish may be more the obvious choice, it can be hard to find something that captures the beauty of tropical fish and, frankly, the English seaside isn’t really bursting with Nemo-like clownfish.

beach house, home decor, and ocean art image

Rock!

It’s a Brighton thing! OK… it’s a seaside town thing, but for English people, a stick of rock and a day at the beach go together like seagulls and the terror of having your chips stolen.

Pick up a few colourful sticks and arrange them in a jar, or tie them with twine to make a raft-like surface your guests can rest things on. Rock keeps forever so just don’t let it get warm and you’ll have a sweet visual treat for years.