She Buys Sea Shells At The Online Store

Let me tell you something that you probably already know: in modern-day America it is extremely difficult to escape the siren call of a coastal decor theme.

I have succumbed. But in a tasteful, understated way (I think). I believe that for the most part, I have successfully avoided coastal kitch but still created a tranquil space reminiscent of the beach. I say “for the most part” because there are two things in this bedroom-turned-den/tv room that border on the questionable but really give me a lot of pleasure: the starfish finial on the curtain rod and the single, delicate string of starfish and shells that I hung up with the curtains.

this is still tasteful and understated, right?

I came by the curtain rod legitimately.  This is the smallest bedroom – 10 ft x 13 ft – and it was decorated for a pint-sized surfer dude and used as a baby nursery. The rod was left behind by the previous owners. In fact, they also left the same rod in white in one of the other bedrooms. I spray painted the bronze rod and hardware to a more compatible sand color but left the resin finals alone.

We planned on using this as a guest room but realized that would only work if there were no people or suitcases in it. The space between the edge of that mattress and the closet doors is only 12″.


For the whole time we’ve been here, we’ve called this room “the baby room”. Now we call it the “baby tv room”. We’re very clever! It’s a tiny informal hideaway for TV viewing, needle pointing and cocktail-ing when inclement weather stops us from going outside.

The photos of the new paint color look different in every shot because they were taken at different times of the day on several devices.

The Ikea love seat turned out to be a great thing. It was very easy and trouble-free to put together. Even putting the slip cover on was no big deal. Online reviews of this particular Ikea piece all made remarks about how putting the cover on was the hardest part of the job, but I guess most online reviews for Ikea things are done by the youngs who may have never met up with a slipcover before and are lacking real life experience about how slipcovers work.  That slip cover gives a very casual, summery feel to the place – perfect for the effect I am going for here. It’s impossible to get a clean shot of this room – it’s just too small.

Still a work in progress but these are the bones of it. I’m thinking of covering that black footstool with a burlap coffee bean bag.

There’s still work to be done before I can call this finished. I just can’t get that lamp color right – it’s been bronze, unintentionally silver, bright glossy white, iridescent pearly white and today its getting a shower of Rustoleum “Sand” gloss (same as the curtain rod). They all look wrong 😦 . I have to give the upholstery of that rocker a good scrubbing. It was one of Sami’s happy trash pile garbage day finds from several years ago and he wont give it up even though I have made it quite clear that IT IS SPOILING MY PERFECT ROOM. Ah, well the things we do for love – am I right, ladies?

Here’s what I used to accomplished a tranquil beachy/coastal feel without mermaids, seahorses, coral, surf boards or wooden signs that say things about sand between your toes :

  • a laid back color scheme of aqua, beige and white
  • curtains that have a white-on-white nautical rope design ( a happy coincidence – I bought these at Christmas Tree Shops last year because they were the only $10 pair in the store on the day I went).
  • a string of starfish and shells hung with the curtains that I got from a too-expensive online place that was on sale for an amazing $8.99. Nothing else in that shop is anywhere near that price, sale or not.
  • a $20.00 watercolor of dune fencing also from Christmas Tree Shops that I bought on impulse last year but never hung.
  • a hurricane glass with sea glass-ish beads from Joann Fabrics to hold the TV remotes.
  • place mats from Amazon made of sail cloth strips interwoven with twisted banana leaf  to tie together the odd bits of furniture.
  • a clearance-priced rattan tray from Hobby Lobby.
  • a ceramic pot in a basket weave pattern from Christmas Tree Shops.
  • a stretched out duck-like shore bird.

Note – if you don’t know Christmas Tree Shops, start now. It’s not a Christmas store, it’s a …. I don’t know. A store full of stuff you don’t need but cannot resist buying. It’s a chain that started in the northeast and NJ had several locations. The Jacksonville store (only 2 in Florida! where they’re known as andThat!) opened shortly after I moved here. It’s ~ 40 miles away from where I live, but I mange somehow [cough] to get there at least once a month. And I never walk-out empty handed.





8 thoughts on “She Buys Sea Shells At The Online Store”

          1. Here’s the one I have.


            Here’s a tip, when you order DON’T pay extra for fast shipping. I think they wanted $130 something for 2-3 days, nah, just paid a standard fee ($30?) for “whenever it gets here is fine”. It came in 3 days 😀

            I found this site when trying to find housewarming gift for my son’s new ski condo a couple of years ago, I found a vintage Winter Park, CO poster frame wrapped, he loved it so much, he kept it for his Denver home 🙂 So try “vintage” in your word searches.

  1. Unsolicited lamp suggestion: get a neutral shade color like sand or linen, then paint the lamp pale pink. Not too pale, not too bright. Give a little “pop” to the room and it stays in the beach palette.

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