I definitely understand the call of the ocean. There’s just something about the salt air. I dream of someday having a beach house, or maybe spending a summer in Hawaii. But until those dreams come true, I’ll have to make due with the little slice of beach heaven I’ve created at home by decorating the guest bedroom in sophisticated coastal decor.
I’ve tried to create a relaxing space for our guests. It may not be a beachfront cottage, but I hope staying here feels a little bit like a vacation.
This room has been five years in the making — because decorating is a long game, not something that happens in a snap, overnight, like on the home and garden TV shows. I’ve had the “bones’ of the room in place since we moved in — bed, comforter, dresser, storage, bedside tables — but it’s taken me a while to layer in the details and the finishing coastal decor touches.
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Initially, I thought I wanted to decorate this room in shades of aqua and pink, but my plan changed when I found this corner cabinet for $40 at a yard sale and painted it indigo and aqua. (The exact shades are Artissimo and Eulalie’s Sky from Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, finished with white wax.)
We moved it into the room in a corner right beside the en suite bathroom, and it set the tone for the design direction of the space.
A few year ago, I got this gorgeous crystal and capiz shell chandelier from Crystorama’s Palla Collection. (Full disclosure: Crystorama was a PR client of mine, and I traded some writing work for this beauty and the chandelier in my kitchen rather than taking monetary payment.)
It makes such a statement in the room, and really works with the coastal decor vibe I have going on. We have vaulted ceilings in the guest bedroom, so it demanded a large, statement chandelier instead of boring builder-grade ceiling light that had been in the room.
Don’t be afraid to use a large chandelier in a space. In my opinion, oversized always looks better than too small. If you need help choosing a chandelier, I wrote a by-the-numbers guide that will teach you how to measure for a light fixture, how to hang it and also how to ensure you have enough light for your room.
I always knew I wanted an upholstered headboard in this room, but I didn’t want to rush and purchase something that wasn’t right or spend too much. So, for the longest time we just had a basic metal bed frame. I bought my upholstered headboard at a warehouse sale for French Laundry Home. (It helps to live in the furniture manufacturing capital of the world!)
I bought the matelasse coverlet and pillow shams at Target when we moved in and added a clearance Pottery Barn duvet cover. (The Pottery Barn Mari duvet is no longer sold in stores, but you can find it still on eBay. Or you might like this similar one at Target. And while Target doesn’t carry the coverlet I used in our guest bedroom, you will find similar matelasse quilts at the store or on Amazon.)
As I worked to finish this coastal bedroom over the last few weeks, I did buy few new things, like the Greek Key Euro Shams and Suzanne Kasler curtains from Ballard Designs (on sale and with a coupon!), and a new accent pillow from HomeGoods. (Here are a few similar accent pillows, if you can’t find this exact one at your local HomeGoods.)
Because of the tall ceilings in this room, I needed long drapery panels and they are hard to come by cheaply. Yes, I know I could have made them, but sewing really isn’t my strong suit, so I was more than happy to buy them after five years of searching for a bargain solution. (The brushed nickel curtain rods are from Target.)
Especially since most of the other furniture and accessories in the room were DIY projects, hand-me-downs or things I shopped from other areas of the house.
I painted this yard sale mirror ages ago (I think the color is Provence from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) and hung it above a little storage cabinet I’ve had for ages.
A bowl of sits on top, filled with pretty seashells, including some of the gilded seashells I made.
You may have noticed this vignette reflected in the mirror.
The pretty chest-on-chest was my grandmother’s, and my mom refinished it. It’s a very special piece.
The sea fan artwork hanging above the dresser was from the same Christmas decor collection. It was $5 and I popped it in an Ikea frame I’d bought for another project.
I also made some easy DIY shell artwork using some rustic frames I had. I’ll be sharing the tutorial for this project soon.
Sometimes decorating is all about the details. Of course I had to use my copy of Anne Morrow Lindberg’s Gift from the Sea as part of the coastal decor in the guest bedroom!
On the other side of the bed, I am using a $5 yard sale table as a nightstand. I painted it with milk paint, and since it had been previously finished, the paint crackled and chipped, so it really looks old and weathered, like something you might find in a beach house.
But they’re free on a walk at the beach, if you’re lucky!
I was able to work a few pieces of my pottery collection into the coastal decor in the guest bedroom.
And I’m working on creating a small gallery of coastal artwork on the wall beside the window.
The Monet print was a yard sale find, and the shell artwork below was a printable I framed. I found another Monet print at yard sales last weekend, and as soon as I find a frame for it, I’ll hang it with these.
Thanks for coming along on the virtual tour of our sophisticated coastal guest bedroom.
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