When my husband surprised me with this large framed photograph I was delighted but also a bit taken aback. I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the décor in our house and didn't know where such a large piece would work. The photo is very special to us as it portrays a part of Costa Rica where we work for part of each year. It was also taken by a fabulous photographer we've recently gotten to know. To my husband's credit, the colors fit right into our color scheme, and the best location soon became obvious — the middle of our living room! You can read more about it here.
Be sure to share photos of your own home décor arrangements in the Lovely Little Vignettes group!
Our close family friend's beach house in Pismo Beach, CA, has been through many transformations in the 30-plus years our family has been visiting it, but it's always been full of historic, artistic, and beachy touches that make it homey and beautifully interesting. Some of my favorite vignettes in the home include our friend's own sculptures and paintings, and I love his use of succulents outside!
Keep reading to see more beachy vignettes.
One of the stops on my wonderful trip to the UK hosted by Visit London and Visit Britain was the charming English coastal village of Southwold. Perhaps as famous and synonymous with the resort town as San Francisco's storied Painted Ladies is Southwold's strand of multicolored beach huts that trims the sand. Originally built as bathing/changing huts for Victorian ladies who wouldn't dare bare their skin, today the 300-some shacks, which stretch across the shore, are used to store beach essentials like towels, shovels, snorkeling gear, etc. Moreover, they're a place to just be and enjoy the sun, the shade, and the breeze.
But even measuring in around only six-foot square, the view of the North Sea will cost you. Ramshackled castles in the sand have been known to sell for upwards of £40,000 ($59,000) — and a record-breaking £100,000 ($148,000) — and on the low end, the huts butt up against the £10,000 ($15,000) mark. The purchase won't get you more than four walls and a roof, though. According to town regulations, beach hut owners cannot stay the night in these vibrant shacks, so they don't quite act as second homes. Some, but not all, have running water and electricity, allowing shrewd residents to set up a hot plate to cook up some swim break fare.
It's rare that Southwold's beach huts come on the market as many are tied to the deeds of local homes or owned by local bed and breakfasts. If you decide to make a visit to Southwold — which you should! — some hotels will rent you the huts for $150-$300/week, depending on the season. But, you'd better book in advance! Take a look at my photos and tell me what you think. Would you buy one?
Last weekend my friends and I loaded up the car and drove to the beach for some major lounge time. Our agenda was pretty simple: grill, lay out, read, and occasionally go for a (quick) dip in the ocean. Given that we're all pretty active in our day-to-day lives, we figured out pretty quickly that laying out in the sun wasn't enough to keep us occupied. While we wished we'd thought ahead by bringing a paddleball or volleyball set, we still found some fun ways to be active.
Since the water in Northern California is pretty cold despite the 85-degree weather, water activities were out of the question. Here's what we did instead:
- While it may seem like a no-brainer, go for a nice, long walk. To challenge yourself even more, try wading through the ocean while you're walking to create some resistance while you move. Or if you're like my friend Shaun, decide to ditch the group and go for a 30-minute run along the beach. Since walking and running on sand burns 30 percent more calories than you would on a hard surface, you'll burn off all that food you grilled up.
- Really embrace the idea of sun salutations and practice yoga on the beach. I should be honest by admitting that I sat out during the yoga part of the day, but two of my friends said that the soft sand was the perfect place to practice their inversions.
- Get back to basics and do some push-ups and sit-ups. Sounds silly, right? Well, given all the standing boulders and picnic tables, there wasn't a more perfect place to do leaning push-ups. Not wanting to make complete spectacles of ourselves, we did pick an area that was pretty far from the crowds.
- An easy way to get some cardio in, and work those arms, is to build a sand castle. Going back and forth to the ocean to get water, while also digging holes into the ground is more of a workout than you think it is. Other folks must know this since we weren't the only adult group building a castle.
What do you do at the beach — lounge or bounce around?
Finding a swim suit that showcases your best assets can be a challenge, so we brought in Canyon Beachwear swim expert Kathleen Mudd to help us find the best bathing suit for our shape. Whether its lengthening your legs or minimizing your bust, you can use these tips to help you find the perfect summer suit!
A post on ShelterPop reminded me about the hip and charming Alys Beach homes on the Florida Panhandle, which I wrote about last year. The enchanting collection of resort homes includes vacation rentals as well as permanent residences (for the lucky ones), and I immediately got to perusing the rental listings for a getaway. It's unlikely that I'll actually make it there, but a girl can dream, right? Instead I thought I'd just re-create this bedroom, which looks absolutely dreamy to me. I could move right into it today. Here are some products to help you get the look:
I love the preppy look of this Lacoste Tournois Mer Beach Towel ($30, reduced from $40), but I've found something for every style. Consider incorporating a beach towel into your decor or using it as a tablecloth for a casual Summer party. Check out 15 choice finds below.
Temps are creeping up, and Summer is just around the corner. If you're eager to hit the sand and surf but still stuck indoors, why not bring the beach home with some sea-worthy flair? From seashells to sea urchins to do-gooding designs, there are a lot of ways you can feel the salty breeze of Summer without taking a vacation.