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Today we uploaded to our Facebook page a special collection of wooden and metal wall art turtles for all of you terrapin, tortoise or sea turtle enthusiasts. Click HERE to enjoy our favorite 15!

Photo Contest

Interior designer Robert Searle described the Sunset Key Guest Cottages in Key West as “eclectic.” They offer a stylish take on coastal comfort, with expansive and primarily white living areas warmed by natural fibers and punched up with hits of island colour.

Robert said the inspiration for the interiors of the cottages came from his own childhood. “I spent many summers in Nantucket and blended the look here with Caribbean colours. I call it the ‘Nantucket Key West Look.'” Here’s how you can have this seaside look in your home, starting with:

1 Paint
The perfect base for any coastal chic room is the perfect white. A cool white channels a crisp New England vibe, while warm off-whites create more of a tropical vibe. The paint meisters at Ralph Lauren Home nail white like no one else. (And they’re not too shabby on the complementary island-y jewel tones, either, if you’re looking for a warm and welcoming yellow, like the one pictured above). Go to rlhome.polo.com to see the palette.

2 White sheets
Nothing says “four-star hotel” more than silky cotton 400-thread count sheets in classic white. The extra deep fitted sheets make bed-making less taxing for those of us who don’t have maid service. President’s Choice Home luxury bedding: presidentschoice.ca

3 Jute rug
A sisal, sea grass or jute rug is a fast and easy way to give your home an organic, natural element. A canvas binding will give the piece a clean, finished look. IKEA’s classic Egeby rug comes in different sizes and has a non-slip latex backing for safety.

4 Wood blinds
Enhance the ambiance as well as privacy of your home with these slatted wood blinds. Choose a light stain for a coastal chic vibe, or a deep, rich tone for more of a Pacific islands feel. For a Key West look, a mid-tone stain is versatile and classic: blindstogo.com

5 Wicker chair
Since the Canadian climate is anything but tropical, all-weather resin “wicker” can be better than the real thing. It won’t crack or unravel (even if you put it outdoors), and it’ll always look its best. The chic super-dark stain paired with an electric blue cushion makes this anything but your grandma’s wicker. (Switch things up by changing cushion cover patterns periodically.)

By Yuki Hayashi

What better way to bring calm and comfort into your bedroom decorating than by using a beach theme? There are lots of ways to make your bedroom one of your favorite seaside haunts. Give these ideas a try:

It’s All about the Color
Color often makes or breaks a room, and beach theme bedrooms are no different. There are a few different ways to use color in a beach themed bedroom. If you want to have a nautical theme, then think of red, white and blues. If you want to go with a more tropical sunshine feel, you have your choice of going with bright, vibrant colors, pastel colors, or some combination of the two. Whether you go down the nautical road or the tropical road is a matter of personal preference – along the lines of whether your ideal beach vacation is more Cape Cod or Caribbean islands.

The Right Furniture
The best furniture for your new beach bedroom should incorporate natural elements from seaside environments. Look for polished driftwood, teak, bamboo, and wicker accessories that inspire that beach feeling. Lighter shades of wood work best for beach themed decorating, although darker pieces can be incorporated into nautical themes.

Starfish Hook

Hand carved wooden starfish mounted on metal frame with single hook

Accessorize
After you have chosen your colors and picked your furniture, you need all of the right accessories to pull the look together. Seashells, anchors, hand carved ocean animals, our hand carved Wooden Starfish Hook – all of these things will give your room those finishing beach inspired touches.

Hand painted metal wall flowers

When you are displaying metal art on your wall, you will want to consider the shape of the wall as well as its size. You will also want to consider  lighting and angles so  the sculpture is attractive from various viewpoints in the room.

Two rules to keep in mind:

  1. Hang your wall art over a piece of furniture that is larger than the artwork.  If you hang a large picture over a small piece of furniture, then you will make the proportion of the furniture look a little off in your room.
  2. Make sure your painting is in proportion to your space. If you hang a small picture on a large wall, it will simply look lost and it will also throw off your room’s proportions.

Where to hang your wall art?
Generally five feet is considered a comfortable height. When you are using the five-foot guideline, it refers to the center of the piece of art. There are exceptions. In rooms where people tend to be sitting, you may want to hang your piece of art even lower on the wall.

While you can use wall art to inspire an entire room’s design, you can also use it to manipulate the size and shape of your room. For example, if you want the ceiling to appear taller than it actually is, you can orient your picture’s center lower than five feet, and if you want your ceiling to look lower, you can hang your pictures a littler higher on the wall. If you are creating this illusion, make sure that there is no furniture around your painting, because, the furniture will destroy the illusion that you are creating by reorienting your eye to the ceiling.

You can also hang a grouping of art to create an illusion of height or width. Hang your artwork vertically if you want your room to feel taller and hang them horizontally to create a more expansive feeling to your room.

A fun decorating tip for those of you lucky enough to already enjoy cottage living, try introducing some subtle coastal accents to your decor with the addition of some hand crafted sculptures made by your favorite folk artisan.

As a wonderful ‘tongue in cheek’ way to diffuse lighting glare, utilize random fish sculptures as wall sconces. Where? Anywhere there is a need. Sky’s the limit! The Dolphin Abstract sculpture would be fantastic in the kitchen or breakfast room.

 

Many of us are fortunate enough to know someone who has a beach house.  The beauty behind knowing someone at the beach is getting an invite to visit!

But, what about a thank you gift? A bottle of wine or a food basket is a nice gesture, but quite temporary if you think about it.  Next time you want to give a coastal gift to someone, consider hand crafted art as far more thoughtful,  and classy.  If you really hit a home run and the recipients love your nautical gift, perhaps the next time they take a look at their unique sculpture, they will think of you …“you know, we ought to have them back for another visit”.  Remember, an invite is great.  A second invite is better. Give a gift that lasts!

Here’s a great idea. Our stately seagull, quiet in his repose on a seaside piling, hand carved with a washed finish.