Shore Files: More cowbell.

So where was I? Right, we cleaned, painted and redid the floors. We had some furniture. It was time to get to the fun stuff. At this point it was all pretty neutral so added some of things you'd expect in a place near the water.

One of the first projects was designing three large canvases for over the couch. I had seen a few other things I liked at the time but none of them fit the space or the budget so I went off on my own. I designed the panels and had them printed on canvas. (Forgive the crap photos - these were taken before I knew how to operate a camera.)

Summer06LivingRoom2
A closer look at at the panels.

Shell prints

We hung some prints taken in of our town around the turn of the century.
Summer06SeaBrightOldPhotos

As for the smalls, I added some natural items (I'll have to snap some of my own photos the next time) - a giant clam shell, a hunk of white coral, a recycled wood frame, etc.


And printed a few of our favorite photos taken by the beach (either this one or on vacations) and used them to punctuate the room.
StairstoBeachRobinIslandShipwreck
steps the beach at the jersey shore; shipwreck on robben island, south africa

Now I know some of you may be rolling your eyes here. Beachy things for a place near the beach? How predictable! Can't really argue with you there. But its intentional - casual and relaxed and simple. I can appreciate wanting to go another way but this was a shore getaway and I wanted it to feel like it. I will admit that at that point, it was looking all a little one dimensional. It needed some depth. More cowbell!! These photos were taken several years ago an I have done a few things to punch it up a tiny bit (one final living room update coming to bring you into the present) - but there is still work to do.

It was around this time that we took a fork in the road and we started doing our Brooklyn renovation so all of my plans went bye-bye. So its back to business. I'm still very much sure I want a beachy, breezy vibe in here but I wouln't mind a little bit of a twist either. Ideas?

43 comments:

  1. OOOOOOOOO, it looks fantastic. My BP would go down a few notches just walking up the steps!

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  2. PhillyLass9:04 AM

    Looks great! I love the beachy vibe. Can you say a bit more about the images over the sofa? Did you paint the canvases yourself, or find an image and have it printed onto canvas?

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  3. go beachy all the way! I think it's a little odd when a house that is no where near water has more than a few beachy touches, but living on the water is license to go whole hog - do it!!

    For a twist - try other tropical colors, like the brights and neons of Palm Beach or Miami, or the rich, bright hues of Morocco.

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  4. I love the colors of the pillows on the couch. And the pictures of your beach town. Though I haven't lived there in many years, I am a Jersey girl through and through. Our summer destination was Manasquan. It's been suggested that I take the current trend of words on the wall and write "Down the Shore" somewhere in my house....

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  5. I love the panels over the couch! Did you make them/buy them?

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  6. Can't wait to see the final reveal so far it looks great. I would have went with a beach theme as well if I was you. So lucky you have that place.

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  7. I like what you have done already. Since you are at the beach, it is hard to not stick with the theme. I think the one thing I would add is a little glammor with sprikle. Maybe in mirrors, glass vases, mother of pearl items. And also things in tan linen.

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  8. Everything feels and looks so clean and refreshing there. I love love the beachy feel. It brings alot of tranquility too. I say that it goes well together, would not change a thing:)

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  9. Philly & Jess: I designed the panels myself and then had them printed on canvas.

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  10. More cowbell, I'm cracking up! I have to go search you tube now and watch Will Ferrel. :)

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  11. Hahaha, I got a fev-ah and the only perscription is ... MORE COWBELL!

    I love your beach house!

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  12. The panels were a nice touch! And the pictures of yours are my favorite too! I can't wait to see how they look in my son's bedroom!

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  13. Hey, if I were lucky enough to have a seaside cottage/condo/house/bungalow/SHACK even, I'de decorate it with a nautical theme...shells, soothing ocean colors, beach scenes.. why not? That's the vibe you want anyway, that's why you're there, no? Great job!

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  14. i love the prints... no matter if they are beach like... i think that being traditional in certain cases is a good thing and definitely this is one of those cases... have a great week!

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  15. I love it! Looks very inviting.

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  16. I love the artwork, it's all beautiful. I never get tired of beach anything -our house is a gathering ground for shells, little pieces of driftwood, and photos from the beach. We just got back last month from a beach trip, and this makes me want to get my butt going and get some prints made and matted.

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  17. I love what you have so far, but how about adding some more nautical elements - like a bold navy/white stripes somewhere, (like on a wall, upholstered chair, curtain, or pillow), and a major orangey-red accent piece - (like a sideboard or dresser). This may sound a bit garish but I feel like with all the neutral items already in place it could be quite tasteful. Also adding in some rope texture, or driftwood somewhere could be the cowbell you're looking for!

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  18. Christopher Walken would say..."It needs more cowbell!!!" lol ....One of my favourite SNL skits
    Anyhow, back to business...I think you are doing a wonderful job here...and beachy is perfect! Maybe some furniture piece in black? I'm lovin it though!
    Cindy

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  19. We live by the beach too...so I always find myself saying I want that look like "it has been rolling around in the ocean for be a years"...about something.

    So to me the beach is about texture and fadedness. Maybe a seagrass rug. Maybe some worn salt faded wood for a coffee table...with recent beach finds on it.

    NJ has it's fair share of antique and thrift stores...maybe a collection of old vintage beach oils on the walls.

    just thoughts.

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  20. You crack me up! Nice job on the designs of the canvases (sp?). Great work! Love to see how the condo is coming along.

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  21. I'm struggling with the same thing! I'm worried our place is too beachy/themed. I love the prints over the sofa though. I had been looking at vintageprintables.com to find something shell/beach related but not too hotel/resort-y. Now that I've seen yours, I think I'll go for it.

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  22. I remember a friend of mine had a beach house and she would put in some interesting pieces of whismey. She said in her beach home she would do things she would never do in her winter home. She had 2 bar stools at the counter for her 2 kids that were black and white cow hyde painted seats with pink cow utters underneath. It was crazy but fun.

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  23. I say go beachy all the way. I don't think that it matters that it is predictable. It's a beach getaway. It should be light and airy. A retreat from every day life.

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  24. I LOVE everything you're doing and think it's looking amazing!

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  25. Looks good so far! Since this is a beach condo, it's perfectly acceptable to have beachy decor, IMO. If you lived in the desert, yes, it would be weird! How about swapping out some of the throw pillows for a quick change? Perhaps add something the coral-colored to mix in with the blues. And I agree with previous comments about adding some bolder colors.

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  26. Can I ask you where you had the prints put on canvas? I'd like to do some of my photos, but most places are so expensive.

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  27. looks gorgeous! Love the panels over the sofa. What a great idea. You should give a step by step tutorial on those!

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  28. Ms. Pearl: I ordered these from winkflash using a coupon so the price was great. Not crazy about the quality though - it was crooked and the color was off - but it was close enough for the price. The canvases I did with Unprinting.com in my master bedroom were way better in quality but also more expensive.

    Smileyisles: Sorry, no step by step for these. Its not something that could be wrapped up that easily - you'd need to know how to use photoshop (for those that do, its very obvious.)

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  29. How 'bout some pics of Snookie & The Situation?
    HA!!

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  30. I agree with many others that a shot of coral color would look amazing the the existing mix. And I also thought it was a rule that beach getaways are required to have an old lobster pot as a coffee table. ;)

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  31. Ms. Pearl9:15 PM

    Thanks for getting back to me...I'll check out both sites.

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  32. Mrs. L...Photoshop will be arriving for me any day now! I can't wait to figure it all out. I will definitely keep this idea in the back of my head for when I have it all figured out.
    Can't wait to see the final reveal.

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  33. Callista10:54 PM

    Painted wainscoting! When I was in Port Townsend, WA, my boyfriend and I ate at this GREAT little cafe that had a jazzy feel. The walls were a dark lime green color, and they had wainscoting painted black. It was awesome! I NEVER take inspiration photos in public, but I just had to snap a picture of this.

    http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p61/callistafink/DSC03550.jpg?t=1277780049

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  34. Mrs. L:

    I think when one likes a color scheme/palette there are infinite variations of texture, intensity, focus, etc. to play with. It seems to me no accident after just finding your site and looking extensively at both your blog design and your brownstone that the shore house color scheme just fits you and Mr. L.

    While many of the comments suggest very interesting and no doubt lovely touches and/or variations, the clean white/blue-green/hardwood/neutrals combo seems like your cup of tea. And it is lovely!

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  35. Mrs.L-
    for a shore spot, I would love the addition of a hand-painted floor cloth, perhaps a nautical stripe or the addition of something "sailor-esque" - ropes, a sail, an old bouy or some sort of life saving device....
    an old surf board....I would love a vintage touch, but I would love a shore spot to go to.
    pve

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  36. I agree with one of the above posters. I believe a tutorial is in order for those panels! =D

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  37. Thanks everyone for the feedback! Keep it coming.

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  38. Love the large art pieces over the sofa. And I love the beachy theme for a beach house - who cares about predictable!

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  39. I love the group of four photos, and how raw the last two photos are. Makes me wanna go to the beach!

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  40. FABULOUS! What a wonderful little getaway for you.

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  41. Love what you have done. Looks lovely and relaxing. I think if you want to add a little to it, just play around with adding some texture. Linen or natural fabric pillow covers, baskets under your end or coffee tables, sea grass rug, etc. are all inexpensive and something that you can change when the mood strikes you. Adding a bit of texture will give it a bit more pop and dimension. Maybe add something to your lampshades to make them pop. Ribbon, shells or painted design without going overboard. Or here's a thought, maybe paint your end tables and coffee table, a beachy blue and distress it a bit. Just some ideas.
    Whatever you do, I'm sure it will look great. It looks pretty wonderful now. congrats!!

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  42. Those panels are amazing! You're so talented! I love the direction you're going - I mean, it's a beach house, so go beachy. I say add some seagrass rugs, driftwood, and some pops of coral/red or bright green. Can't wait to see more pics!

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  43. I really love it. The space looks fresh, relaxing and inviting- perfect for a beach retreat. Those canvases are GREAT- too bad you aren't thrilled with the quality (I can't tell from your photos though). Next question- when can I come crash?? ha!

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