Interior design tips for your beach apartment | coastal living

If you love sandy toes and the glow of the sunset, why not transform your beach condo into the ultimate coastal paradise? Swipe on Barbicore, nautical and boho-chic decor for a floribee feel combined with color, texture, accessories, and other coastal design elements to create rooms with a timeless beachy aesthetic.

Shop till you drop

Find inspiration on Pinterest, then find your heart’s desire in these local stores.

On Clearwater Largo Road, Largo’s Coastal Market 607 is a treasure trove worthy of Neptune, from the blue metallic octopus wall sculptures to the teal-colored cabinet decorated with a jellyfish lamp and glass float. Help your little one stay salty with the food/water bowls placed in the mini surfboards or treat your little mermaid with shell-covered plant pots. Chefs will love the surf-coated cutting boards, flamingo platters, and glassware.

In Seminole, the sign is whimsical dolphin wall decor, glass and metal turtles, live fish wall sculptures, cool lamps/night lights and whimsical kitchen/barware with a coastal theme. Dwellings on the Boulevard is an abundance of seaworthy delights including images of seabirds or fish, glass candle jars decorated with shells, sunlamps and accessories including glass holders, ocean-themed side tables or lamps, shell-upholstered chairs, and sculptures. Seahorses and more.

For sea and sand candles, pillows, kitchenware, seashell wreaths, bed and bath linens, furnishings, and outdoor accessories, browse Home Goods for both seasonal shells and coastal-inspired items. Gulfport’s Beach House 5317 features magical mobiles, original coastal art from pelicans to mermaids, Florida-flavored beach signs (Go Out to the Beach, Sunshine State of Mind, and Honeymoon Island), and hand-painted tables and chairs depicting palm trees and sea scenes.

Do you like beach glass? Find stunning glass art at Safety Harbor’s Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass where you’ll spot Adam Kasser’s fish and seashells or Richard Satava’s lunar jellyfish collection. Find cheerful paintings in the gallery for your beach apartment, from John James Audubon’s Rosetta spoonbill to Karen Hoepting’s cheerful flamingos. In downtown St. Pete, you’ll find charming aqua glass treasures at the Duncan McClellan Gallery or gift shops at the Imagine Museum and Chihuly Collection.

Coastal design tips

If your happy place is the beach, serenity begins with these coastal styling tips.

Let nature inspire your coastal setting

Designers say that 90 percent of your home should reflect the ocean in blues, grays, and neutrals. Add woven pieces using natural materials such as rope, seagrass, and straw in furniture made of wicker, rattan, or woods and light fabrics. For rugs, choose straw, seagrass, or jute. Fabrics should be simple and without shine.

Updated with paint and wallpaper

Use colorful string throughout the house so you can move things around according to the mood that suits you. Multiple shades of blue are neutrals, but your best friend is a color palette brochure that shows which accent colors (white, sand, pale pink, and yellow) work well with the blue surroundings of your choice. These color swatches are also useful for shopping for accessories and bedding. Play on coastal style with custom wallpaper (crabs and flamingos) in the powder room or stick on accent wallpaper in the bedroom. Light blue and light blue keep the bedroom cool and warm, while the yellow sunbeams on the chairs in the ocean blue kitchen look like a summer’s day.

Revitalize with window treatments, rugs, and fabrics

A beautiful, patterned rug can anchor a living room and add a touch of pizzazz to simple geometric leather sofas. Natural fabrics and rattan furniture blend well with the palm trees outside your apartment. Personalize a gray, sand, or pale blue sofa with soft scalloped covers and pillows, sheer curtains with coastal patterns, palm tree shades, or sand-toned bamboo vertical shades. Linen and cotton fabrics, soft alpaca, and light wood floors give your beach apartment a coastal feel. Choose sun-resistant textiles and furnishings near windows. Add a playful conch shell-framed mirror and jute lights to set the mood for 1000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Personalize with art, accessories and collectibles

Create a focal point with your aquarium, nautical baskets of seashells or Hammel sea figurines. You can put it on a shelf or wall shelves. Keep the beach nearby with vases of sea grass and water glass beads. Create a scene at your table with ocean-scented candles, sea-glass chandeliers, and coastal artifacts (especially dishes and pottery) unearthed in the Alley at Belleair Bluffs. Surf chicks can hang their custom board as art on the wall or turn their favorite longboard into a cocktail table. Gather in your home with flamingos inside and out. Vintage coastal prints and nautical-inspired art (flowing curves or waves) also add to the ambiance.

Bring the outdoors indoors and outdoors

Multiply your view of the water by arranging your furniture so that the bay is a focal point so that the stunning view becomes part of the room. Outdoor furniture should also feel like indoor furniture, with crisp white and blue flair and an outdoor table set for your next sunset cocktail or game of Scrabble. Remote-controlled lighting fixtures in ocean-inspired hues and a good Jimmy Buffet playlist help set the mood as day melts into night. For seating, check out Amish Coastal Furniture in Seminole and Mann Chair in St. Pete Beach.

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