Decorating a Beach House on a Budget

Even though our beach house will not be move in ready until March of this year I started furnishing and decorating it a year ago.  Why?  Because I love shopping for bargains.  It’s like digging for treasure; however to have a successful decorating treasure hunt it’s necessary to establish a few rules and guidelines.

Rule 1

Purchase some decorating magazines and look through them for ideas.  Cut out pictures of color schemes, furniture, artwork, floral arrangements etc.  I put all the pictures in a folder so I could refer to them as I made decisions about my decorating schemes.

Rule 2

Decide on a color palette.  I find it’s best to choose two or three basic colors.  I chose navy, yellow and white.

Rule 3

Pick out some fabric swatches with two, three or maybe even four different patterns that complement each other.  I chose a narrow navy and white striped pattern, a yellow and navy floral pattern, a wide navy, yellow and white pattern.

Rule 4

Select a solid color couch and love seat and solid colored walls.  I chose my couch and love seat in a creamy yellow.  The great room, kitchen, dining room and hallway are Divine Design Maple (cream with yellow cast) and the bedrooms and bathrooms are Ralph Lauren Sail Cloth (taupe).  I use to be a wall paper junkie; however, I found that a lot of pattern on my walls really limited my choices of furniture and accent pieces.  Now I prefer treating my furniture, walls and floor coverings as almost a blank canvas on which to create by room design.

Rule 5

If you’re blessed by having a friend like Fancy Nancy who has wonderful taste, treat her to a free lunch and then drag her from shop to shop explaining what you like and getting her input.  When I was in Dallas a few months ago I took along my fabric and paint swatches and asked Fancy Nancy to visit Crate & Barrel and some other expensive shops with me.  When I showed her the couch and love seat I wanted she explained that their dimensions were way too large for the space I wanted to put them in.  Now, remember Fancy Nancy has special super hero powers when it comes to her spacial senses  while Joanie Baloney is….well let’s just say she’s spacially challenged.

Rule 6

When decorating your home make Stein Mart, Target, Home Goods, Ross, Marshalls and yes…..the Goodwill  your new best friends. While I think it’s important to browse the expensive boutique type shops to discover the kind of look I want in a particular room I very seldom purchase items in those shops.  Instead I go on a treasure hunt at the bargain stores and believe it or not I often find the exact same items I fell in love with at the hoytie toytie stores AND for a fraction of the cost.  Here are some examples:

I purchased this end table at Upscale Consignment for $97. It retails at Paul Shatz Furniture for $599. The yellow pot is from Home Goods; it cost $25. The same pot sells for $60 at one of my favorite home decor shops. I bought two balls of greenery at the craft store and hot glued them together to create a topiary look.

Mopar Man purchased these gorgeous adirondak chairs at Tuesday Morning for $100 each (they retailed for $200 each). I found the yellow chair cushions on a close out sale for $15 each at Pier One (regular price was $40 each). I made the two floral pillows for $10 ea) I rescued the little cabinet from a garage sale. I spray painted it white, glued on some shells and added a twine bow accent (cost $10)

My daughter gave me this platform rocker which came from my grandson's former nursery. I purchased the fabric with a 50% off coupon from JoAnne's fabric. Then I took it to a little upholstery shop near where I live and had it re-upholstered for $180. The Nautica pillow is a $5 purchase from Ross.

This was a fun project. I purchased a white fabric remnant for $5 and created my own seashell design. See next photo for the "how to".

To design your own fabric purchase a bottle of fabric paint, paint brush and stamp. Squirt a little paint in a dish then brush a very light coat of paint onto the stamp. Then all you have to do is press it onto the fabric and voila! You're a textile designer!

I cut up a Ralph Lauren flat sheet (purchased at Ross) and made two pillow shams. The navy accent edging is made from two pkgs of seam binding. For the matching window valance I cut off the top part of the sheet and attached tabs.


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8 Responses to Decorating a Beach House on a Budget

  1. Tamra says:

    What fun!!

    I am SURE you didn’t have to DRAG Fancy Nancy to go shopping with you:)

  2. Fancy Nancy says:

    What a GREAT job you did Joan, you have graduated to ‘super class’!!!!!!

  3. Barbara Korhonen says:

    would’nt you love to come help me decorate my dog friendly home, with its very smart boxer population.. I do love your decorating ideas and may borrow a few.

  4. Can’t wait to see it all in the house. It’s going to be beautiful!

  5. Anita Gibbs says:

    Love what you have done with your beach house decorating. We just are in the process of closing on a small retirement home. The countertops are green ( marble look) and in the kitchen and both bathroomes there is a medium striped
    green and white wall paper, with a sprinkling of very small peachy rose flowers. The green is a medium shade, not the moss that is in now. (Think the color you see on St. Patrick’s Day.) The house was built in 2001. I am trying to come up with a color palette that would work for me and my outdoorsy type husband. Does anyone have any ideas?

  6. Cheryl Rebman says:

    I love your color scheme girl – so nautical!! As soon as I saw your title, I pictured navy and yellow – just absolutely darling!! Have made some great curtains and tableclothes/napkins in years past with sheets!! Now it’s only plantation blinds in my house!! So look foward to when we can visit this special place!!

  7. Linda Nelson says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! looks GREAT what a decorater, and what do you do in your spare time!!!!!

  8. Mama Baer says:

    It will be fun to see your beach home some day — looks like fun!

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