I recently shared the decorated beach house I stayed in on Tybee Island, GA that was decorated by author Mary Kay Andrews. Well, that cottage was only one of several Mermaid Cottages we were able to stay in or tour.

For me, the timing of seeing all these great ideas for decorating a beach house was perfect. If you have been around here a bit, you might remember that last year my parent’s beach house was completely destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.

We are just at the point now that construction is done and we are ready to start decorating!

We already have most of the furniture gathered up and waiting to head down – but all of the final details need to be worked on.

I was so inspired by all of the homes on Tybee and took away some great lessons that I thought I would share with you today. I am hoping to use these to make my parent’s beach house even better than it was before.

Use Unique Wall Art

Before we talk about the wall art – how fantastic is that lamp? There are actually two of them – one on each side of the sofa.

But I also love the simply framed vintage paintings – if it is a picture of water, it will likely work in a beach house.

In the kitchen, the walls were painted in this beautifully bright but soft green and covered with lots of fun signs. I am not sure if these were vintage or reproduction – but if I don’t know, I guess it doesn’t matter. I love the common element of the color red.


The kitchen also had a great collection of souvenir plates from warm and sunny places. The kitschy factor is high and works perfectly here.


I couldn’t write about vintage signs without sharing this amazing vintage cola sign again – I want to try to figure out how to reproduce this.


I am fairly certain that this array of signs are all vintage. There is a few soda signs and a fishing sign – but somehow, they all just work together.


Traditional Furniture Can Work – If You Paint it a Bright Color

I am not sure a piece of furniture could be more formal than this hall tree. Mary Kay Andrews even said that is was falling apart with a broken mirror when they found it. A little love and a whole lot of fabulous bright blue paint, and it is the perfect place for all of your beach hats.

You Can Never Go Wrong with Red, White and Blue

It doesn’t take a lot for it to work – a red dresser, blue and white quilt, some pillows and art and you have the perfect beach bedroom. And could this vintage children’s bathing suits in the black frames be more perfect or adorable? I seriously want to find some and do this!Don’t Be Afraid of the UnexpectedA giant shell as a bowl? Yup, it works. A dresser covered in maps and fish? Yup, it works. A mirror covered in dark unglamorous shells? Perfect. A front door painted cotton candy pink? It couldn’t be better. And how about a mantel covered it delicately placed shells? Perfection. I can't wait to put all these ideas to work and share the new version of the beach house soon. We found an amazing giant British flag pillow last week that is the starting point for the master bedroom (my stepfather is British so it is perfect!). I have such ideas for that room!

Wishing you a great day and thanks for reading!


March 04, 2014 — Laura Putnam