Tuesday, September 15, 2009


When decorating a coastal bedroom some otherwise "perfect" couples suddenly find they are incompatible. Photographer Dan Mayers and I first discovered this surprising fact several years ago when were photographing a waterside home for a magazine.

The house had 3 guest bedrooms. The wife suggested we shoot Bedrooms #1 and #2 because "they were the serene and pretty ones." The husband disagreed strongly and lobbied us to shoot Bedroom #3 instead.

Dan and I went out to the car to get a light stand and discuss the situation. He agreed with the wife. I agreed with the husband. In the name of harmony we shot all three. Disclaimer: none appear in this post. However, all of the photos were shot by Dan.

The bedrooms below were photographed at several different houses. Under each one I've jotted a few reasons Dan or I think the decor works for a waterside bedroom. I'd love to hear what you think. Which is your favorite? Why?

Bedroom One: The Coffey's coastal bedroom is fun and casual. The soft blue and white color scheme, nautical striped pillows, beachy artwork, and sand pail hanging from the ceiling fixture keep things bright and breezy.

Bedroom Two: Jeff West's coastal bedroom is more than just a place to sleep. Here, a pair of oars, an oval fish rug, and jute wrapped ship's jugs make the room a place to daydream of sun and surf on a rainy day.

Bedroom Three: More than any other room in your home, a beachy bedroom depends on your personal vision of bliss. With a view of the dunes, the Kinghams' chose a limited neutral color palette and spare beauty in harmony with the surroundings.

Bedroom Four: Cottage decors win points for doing more with less. You don't need an expensive antique bed or glamorous headboard. Claudia Martin used yards of tulle and a tropical pastel palette to create a budget-wise island fantasy.

Bedroom Five: Vacation cottages are often decorated over a period of years by different family members. To get that look, Missy Asen's opted for nostalgic style window toppers, a cozy quilt, and painted pieces shown off against a backdrop of pickled tongue-and-groove paneling.

Bedroom Six: Bright Caribbean colors give this guest room a "The Party Starts Here" vibe. The rattan ceiling fan, sea theme rug, mint green wicker chair and fabulous glass lamp all contribute to Brooke Steuart's great guest room.

Love the lamp!

Bedroom Seven: Last but not least, a blissful bedroom need not be indoors. Brooke's outdoor sleeper takes advantage of warm days and a water view.


Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

My favorite is number three. I love the peaceful feeling of the room. The view out the window is beautiful.

Alison Gibbs said...

Like Penny I love Room Three for the peaceful feeling it gives.

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I also love Bedroom Three, but I would have to add elements from Bedroom Two — I would hang the oars above the headboard, add in seashells and wait…is that a lifeguard doll sitting in the chair? I would definitely replace the teddy bear with the lifeguard.

Simply Dandy said...

Well #3 is definitely my favorite just for the overall cohesiveness of it. However, I am in love with the lamp in #6. Beautiful photos.


Kathleen said...

I love #3..clean, crisp, AND..a view of the water!!
They are all nice though..
I don't think I could sleep in the last one..it gets a little damp here at night, and buggy!
Thanks for hosting, Barbara...

Loui said...

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love all your posts today ..
plus those I've missed!
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Long story..
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Maya said...

I think number 3 is mostly my style..., with the oars from number 2!

NeereAnDear said...

Ok I am going to be different here.... yes number three is serene ... but it is a look that could suit any decor.... coastal... cottage... shabby.... eclectic....

I vote for number # 1 .... I love the colors.... the murals on the wall are beautiful and if you place that room with a view of the ocean it would scream beach!!

Number one is a bit more casual ... number three is more elegant...

When I think beach... coastal ... I have visions of sun... sand ... and fun!!

I also think that number six in its own kitschy way is quite fun!!

I can see everyone has excellent taste ...

As for that lamp .... LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!


Brenda said...

These bedrooms are so lovely! I would love any of them!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

HI Barbara
Well I don't think you can beat a view of the sea so #3 would have to be my choice. Although I do like many aspects of the others rooms.

OH dear.. just looked closer.. behind all that tulle in #4 is a magnifent view of the sea. I like the softness of the decor in this one also...So there you go... the view has it!! hehe Have a great week.

PS Thanks for popping over and your lovely comments. I won't be able to resist Italy.. my favourite destination. Julie

Drawn to The Sea said...

The white looks so tranquil, perfect for sleeping. If one of my dogs wasn't such a tomboy, I'd do all white.


Roberta said...

Hi Barbara, I left you a comment in the wee hours but it didn't show! Easy breezy #4 for me with a tie for #3.


Hi Barbara. I like bedroom number three best because of its neutral color.


rochambeau said...

Hi Barbara,
These photos are of beautiful bedrooms, that get to have the opportunity to have "A room with a VIEW".

Just call if I can give you an intro to Photoshop Elements!!!!!


alicew said...

It is a toss up for me between 3 and 4...I enjoy the simplicity and neutral colors of 3...but love the romance of 4.

This is my first visit here I do believe {where have I been right?!}...but I am sure it won't be my last ;)

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Hi Barbara :)
My favorite is #5. It is so cozy and comfortable, very cottagey, yet I can FEEL the beach outside (weird, I know) but when I saw that picture, I immediately felt comforted. It is a room I would love to sleep in :)
Beautiful post as always,

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Hello Barbara, I love them all, but number 1 is my very favorite! It most reminds me of the ocean and what a little waterfront cottage would look like... wish it was mine! Bisous... Julie Marie

bikim said...

Bedroom 4 is totally me! 4 4 4 Just Love it!
Thanks for sharing inspiration and take care,

Elyse said...

hi barbara,

i like the easy-going style of #5. the bare wood, the pops of brightly painted furniture. very sweet and unfussy.

thanks for sharing and happy weekend!


Daisy Cottage said...

Good Morning Barbara!

Beautiful rooms and photos...

Number 7 for me please! ;-)


The Things We Carried said...


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