Beach Cottage Coastal Decor on the Deck

Thu 12th, Jan, 2012

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I’m not sure if you want to come in here today…there’s a lady on a broomstick and a tradie.

Welcome to the only place in my cottage that is not chaos.




I have retreated to the deck while the bathroom is being smashed apart as we speak.



We are having lovely weather here in Sydney and  after waiting for summer to arrive all over the Christmas break, it came, with a bang…now it’s roasting.




So yesterday arvo I gave a much needed clean to the deck…I am not quite sure what it is but if left, it is always covered in a grey-ish black, what I can only describe as dusty grime…anyone else in Sydney get that?  Or is it just a coastal thing?  Suffice to say I never got that in my houses in England.  Oh ooooops, I didn’t have a deck in the houses in England, it was too cold ;-)

And I got a breakfast tray ready for the morning….one of my New Year’s things I am trying to do is have breakfast…(more on what I want to do this year on another post)…so far I have failed miserably…ever since I got pregnant with Honeymoon Baby, breakfast makes me swimmingly nauseous…I have even before thought it was morning sickness sometimes it is so bad…

So I thought I might kill two birds with one stone today and

1. get everything out ready for breakfast tomorrow so it doesn’t look like  bomb went off when the kiddos do it

2.  have a little tablescaping fun…




Once I started it though, I got quite hot and bothered and thought longingly of hopping down the beach for a swim in the ocean…it was hot and humid out there cleaning the deck in the heat….



…and so when the table dressing bit of the above scenario came up, instead I made a big pitcher of Iced Tea and sat in an Adirondack observing…




So rather than my usual foofing and messing around with the table dressing….this is a Dump & Go Tablescape…

…I plonked all the stuff for breakfast in the vintage caddy, added the enamel vase I love and a nice tablecloth.




done & dusted…



I still have the coastal wreath up on the door…what do you think of that?  I kinda liked it so it’s not yet come down…





Wanna come and have breakfast with me?

I will see you soon…got some serious bathroom stuff to show you, woohoo, plus I need to have a housekeeping post here…to tell you what’s new and upcoming etc…so if you have anything you wanna ask, lemme know…plus just before Christmas, throughout December I had a few email issues…if you emailed me & didn’t hear back and it’s important can you please re-send..

Cheers Big Ears




p.s. I had so many enquiries before when I featured the enamel vase…it’s from Freedom



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90 Responses to “Beach Cottage Coastal Decor on the Deck”

  1. Susan says:

    I like the idea of having a coastal wreath up year round, so if I were you, I would leave it on display. :)

    Love your tablescapes, as always :)

  2. Mrs Woog says:

    Can I come and live with you PLEASE!

  3. I want to come and have breakfast with you Sarah!
    I love blue and white crockery etc mixed together, I love hydrangea’s, I love the tray and for some reason I have always wanted a old-school milk bottle even though I don’t drink a lot of milk.

    A very beautiful table setting :-)
    Enjoy your breakie


    • sarah says:

      yeah me too Steph…I love blue and white also…always on the lookout for nice blues to add to it all…I like it mis-matched so great for op-shopping !

  4. Marnie says:

    Looks so fresh Sarah. It’s cold here in old Melbourne today, so hard to believe we’re in the midst of summer.
    Love the tablecloth and the bowls…well I love it all. Good luck with the bathroom reno…I’m jealous that you can get tradies…what’s your secret? I was thinking of sending my good looking, younger girlfriends to the pub on a Friday arvo to wrangle a few for me. Don’t get the (general) tradie work ethic…they should all be millionaires!!
    sorry, rambling
    x Marnie

    • sarah says:

      yeah same here Marnie…to be a tradie on the northern beaches you pretty much are a millionaire lol!

      we have a nice one though

      I heard Melbourne was chilly…weird!

  5. Toni Blackmore says:

    Experiencing a strong need, not desire mind, but need for a tablecloth like yours. Can I ask where it’s from? (Fingers crossed it’s from Freedom last week:) ) Many thanks.

  6. Beautiful Sarah! And the thing about a coastal wreath is that it doesn’t strictly need to come down after xmas… cause the beach never goes out of season!

    Love your vase jug!

    x Catherine @ The Spring

  7. Nadine says:

    Love the Dump & Go tablescape! (Still waiting for summer to arrive in NZ . . )

  8. Manda says:

    Once again Sarah..simply stylish. Hope you enjoyed kicking back with your iced tea. Good luck with the tradies, can’t wait to see the result.
    I’ll join you for brekky anytime ;)
    x manda

  9. Robyn says:

    I’m not a breakfast eater myself, makes me feel heavy and bloated. Especially first thing in the morning. Now I have a protein shake for brekkie instead. Means something is in my stomach and I don’t starve myself – like that’s ever going to happen ;-) – and it keeps me going until lunchtime.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Keen to see your bathroom Sarah, hopefully those wonderful tradies will turn up on Monday to start mine.

  11. Candy says:

    So, so lovely and most inviting, indeed! The tablecloth…OMG, it is calling my name! haha Yes to the wreath remaining It adds the unexpected and I like that. I’ll be on my broomstick soon as we’ll be doing a kitchen remodel. I’m excited but also dread the total mess. I’ll be feeling for ya but keep telling yourselve ‘tub bath, tub bath’ in THE MOST FABULOUS TUB that you’ve dreamed of all of your life!!! Have you chosen the name yet?

  12. Caz says:

    Lovely as always – I want to come have breakfast at your place ;-)

    Gotta have me one of those tablecloths – its the perfect thing – love it!!!! Sarah please please spill the beans on where you bought it?

  13. Bev says:

    That is one sweet place to hang out !!!!!!

  14. Amy says:

    Love that table cloth, may I ask where it is from please? Hope you are enjoying the sunshine like we are across the dicth. Amy x

  15. Love that tablecloth! Yeah. where did you get it? Oh and please gives us your tea recipe…love the rest as well. Now get off that deck and take a swim for all us landlocked natives waiying for warmer weather.

    • sarah says:

      more details soon shirl’!

      I’ll be blogging the iced tea cos I have had lots of emails about it…

      LOVING the warm weather xo

      • Peggy says:

        OH thank you! My husband loves disgustingly sweet tea and we are trying to come up with a compromise as I Do NOT. Its odd since he grew up a Yankee and they typically do not drink sweet tea. Now my sister in law is from the south where sweet tea is considered one’s life blood. For that matter my mother lives in the deep south but isn’t FROM there but her tea is barely more than colored water. Oh it looks like our temperatures have start to plummet, the fog is rolling in, and the winds have started to buffet us so I guess I better head out for the weekly grocery shopping before we are lambasted with this storm. Toodles! Enjoy a swim in the ocean and think of us who are chilled to the bone right now. :)

        • sarah says:

          well I hope you will like my sweet tea Peggy though with the sounds of your weather I think you might have to heat it up lol xx

  16. cheryl says:

    love your style~~~~I need to take it right here to California;)
    Fresh Vanilla For C

  17. Love the tablecloth! Oh don’t I know about the workmen and the chaos, six bloody months of it. Wine will help a lot.

  18. Alice says:

    I seriousy love that wreath, I want one to keep all year around (except during the christmas period, a christmas one goes up then)… I’m working on it…

    Yes I get that sandy/dusty type grime too and it drives me bonkers. I am forever cleaning /hosing the outside my windows and my table outside (not to mention the spider webs!!! Is it just me or has this been a really good season for spiders! My house, in and out is so filled with webs that I can’t keep up with cleaning them off!)….Funny, to me this doesn’t feel like summer more like autumn (maybe because of where I am)… I got so confused the other day that I started doing my autumn clean up in my garden!

    Sarah this dump and go type of tablescaping is very a much loved way of decorating a table(for a big number of people) for me personally…. I tend to set up a buffet type table with all the plates and cutlery, food etc and every body can help themselves to how much they want… For a small group I tend to do the above…

    Hee…hee… I did get that vase from freedom, but I had to get the smaller one because of the big glass bottle (my husband miraculously agreed to get) I bought on the same day from freedom too… Hee… heee… I must have done something really good he even bought me a cape cod chair (not the exact one I wanted but I ain’t complaining)lol!

    • sarah says:

      haha I know that vase bottle you are talking about…I want it, I need it and have got my eye on it lol !


  19. Laura says:

    Lol – good job I read all your posts… I was just about to ask where the jug was from! Lx

  20. Karen says:

    I have been wondering this for a while now. What does the term arvo refer to? I am one of those crazy American’s who have never heard this term.

    Your tablescape looks inviting and lovely. I am not a huge breakfast person either but I would so eat at your table!

    • carol says:

      another american here, and was planning on asking what an arvo is? also, am assuming a tradie is a contractor, or rather a sub-contractor. tradie shortened from tradesman? no, that doesn’t seem right somehow. and would like your tea recipe, living in the south we consume gallons of tea (sometimes called southern wine). also, really wish we had a store ya’ll are referring to as “freedom”, i think i like everything that comes from there!

      • sarah says:

        well Carol I’ll translate for you!

        tradie = tradesman
        arvo = afternoon
        Freedom = a homewares shop

        hope that helps, as a gal from England I find it odd that these things slipped into my language so very easily x

    • sarah says:

      G’day Karen

      arvo = afternoon!


  21. Annastacia says:

    Gorgeous table! I love how you can just toss something together and have it be beautiful! Also, just saw your share the love tab at the bottom and saw the post it to reddit link. Are you a redditor? My hubby totally is (I’m his sidekick of course :) and I thought reddit was only for total nerds, which we are, but you are most certainly not!

  22. Rukmini Roy says:

    Count me in. Yes, I would very much like those yummy sandwiches sarah. And some ice tea,please, yes, thank you. Can I also be there at your deck for the rest of the day? I am so, daringly shameless.:)

    Having an off today, I am treating myself to the luxury of a good breakfast as well. But you know, I have that breakfast sickness too. I cannot gulp anything before 10 somehow except green tea or coffee. But today I turn an year older and as I age my body needs some food love. ;)

    • sarah says:

      well Happy Birthday!

      I’ll reserve you a space on the crochet hammock? yeah?


      • Rukmini Roy says:

        Thank you :) Yes. The crochet hammock will do for me. I can’t believe you have a hammock outside your home! Makes me want to just lock my apartment and take the next flight to Australia. Also, I’m trying your chocolate tart today. :)

        I love the tablecloth Sarah. It’s beautiful. Enjoy your day. Looking forward to the bathroom.

  23. i will bring the swedish pancakes, sarah. this is your idea of just a quick tablescape. you are absolutely incredible and sooooo inspiring!



  24. Not only am I coveting your tablecloth but also your pale blue bowls. All the blues and greens in this set of photos is making me thirst for summer…… I think I see lupin growing in your garden, or is that hollyhock?

    Is the beach house the same thing as the summer house? I thought a while back you said you’d be doing some reno on the summer house, and now you’ve got the bathroom reno going. Are there two houses? Trying to keep it straight….

    Looking forward to the tea recipe ❈

    • sarah says:

      no the ‘Summer House’ is a tiny outbuilding we have renovated…pics to come soon, before/afters…in England outdoor shed-type buildings are called Summer Houses…you use them in Summer to keep the wind off…which is how the name came about….right now it’s a bit HOT!!!!

      the bowls are from IKEA, there are lupins out there!



  25. Krissie says:

    oooh Sarah i am the same with breakfast,when my guys are nibbling away on a morning the smell makes me hold my breath and my tummy turn,then a few hours later i can eat anything….love your palmy plants in the background and the table looks gorgeous and i vote for the wreath staying,it all looks really good out there.
    Those hydrangeas are beautiful are they from your garden too? i planted a white one last year and when i tapped it out of the pot a bit fell off so i shoved in a hole and yaay hey it grew,so i am hoping to have lots next year.
    See you around Beach girl x

    ps i can’t wait to see your bathroom!

    • sarah says:

      yes Krissie, they are really really easy to get cuttings from…I have little cuttings everywhere!


  26. Deanne says:

    Oh love those bowls- I wish IKEA was a little closer so I could just pop in for some!

  27. Pam in France says:

    Love the tablecloth Sarah – it’s like those giant old fashioned glassware tea towels my old Mom always used to favour. I think you can still find them.. you could make some cool matching placements out of them?!
    So cold and damp here in England, you’re giving me sun envy, lol.

  28. Pam in France says:

    Oops – *placemats

  29. Tammi says:

    Sarah your dump and go tablescape rocks as much as your dump and go recipes do :)
    For years I have set out our breaks things at night, makes it so much easier in the morning rush I think.

    Love the look of your deck, it’s far too hot here in Perth at the moment to even consider stepping outdoors.

    Oh, I made your chocolate tart yesterday and for some reason it didn’t set….so today we are making homemade chocolate ice cream with it :)


  30. Mummaducka says:

    I have to have coffee first thing then food a couple of hours later, very bad for the metabolism, i know!

  31. le says:

    loving this scape – just no fuss brilliant :) best le xox

  32. Ellie says:

    You are totally teasing me with that ice tea recipe…

  33. I discovered your website before Christmas Sarah and am now hooked! I can imagine your lovely Aussie beach house as we spent some time down under 20 years ago when doing the big travel thing before settling down in rural Norfolk. We spent some time with friends of friends at Whale Beach and I watched in awe as some of them took part in the Palm beach to Whale beach swim!

    I love your Blog and the styling and of course the photos – the light always seems amazing. I’m hoping to get my own personal Blog up and running this year (I do personal stuff on our business photography site but I want to branch out a bit) and am inspired by your approach! Will keeping reading!

    Debbie x

  34. Susan says:

    Love, love, that that tablecloth Sarah! Put me down for one if you end up selling it in your shop! How do you get your hydrangeas to grow like that? Mine are so tiny and pitiful looking.

  35. Robynne says:

    It’s horrible having tradies in the house…cause you’ve gotta dive into the shower and get dressed before they descend…no privacy all day…no laying on the couch and reading….I always feel like I’ve gotta look busy all day so they don’t think I’m a layabout housewife…plus I always feel obliged to offer endless cups of coffee or cold drinks! However, the result will be worth it for you and at least you have your lovely deck to escape to. Robx

    • sarah says:

      I know…I hate the having to be in the shower quicly cos I normally hang around in my pj’s til the last minute!

  36. Janelle says:

    Here’s another girl loving that tablecloth! Can’t wait to hear where you scored it!! Gorgeous! x

  37. Ellie says:

    I just love the caddy – its fantastic. I live in hope of finding something similar one day.

    Re the dust & grime, I dont know how far out of Sydney you are but it might just be “city dust”. I experience the same thing while living in London and central Dublin. Its a small price to pay though for your lovely location!

  38. alison says:

    Cheers Big Ears. LOL LOL

    Sarah, blame the full moon for your mood. Just remember your bathroom pain is going to help me and many others with our renos.:)


  39. Everytime you post a picture of your deck I get serious deck envy!
    I’ve always wanted one, so much so that I built a pagoda at the bottom of my last garden with my ex (he is an aussie so it was for him to reminisce about home in). We tried to have breakfast down there a couple of times, even in January, but it’s just not the same in the UK!!
    I’m going to be putting some decking on the back of my cottage this year and will be looking through your deck photos for inspiration as always. I love your blog and I love your house!

    • sarah says:

      hmm, I guess looking out at a very blue sky and the colours on an Aussie backyard do help Erica…but really you can’t beat an Englishman’s garden… ;-) x

  40. Fleur says:

    I find it so interesting that you cant stomach breakfast. My eldest son is exactly like that.. he is 7.. and he just doesnt do breakfast. I cant really blame you or him as many breakfast items see too much for a morning tummy. Let me know what you find you do stomach.. then I can try those things on him :)

  41. Tabby says:

    I love my deck too. Right now though it is winter here. I’ve put up the cushions and swept is off for the season. But now I am collecting goodies for next season to decorate with. I’m thinking of painting my little decorator bird houses white for next season.
    On my deck I have used Christmas lights around the top of the walls to give a soft intimate feel for the evenings when we sit out.

    I just can’t wait for next season.

    Thank you for sharing the summer with us stuck here in the winter. :o)

    • sarah says:

      Hi TAbby….I love being on my deck in the Winter…hot water bottle, patio heater if it’s very cold, quilt, pillows and a hot choc! xo

  42. Ingrid says:

    Love the caddy! The beautiful crispness of the white with all the blues and turquoise remind me so much off the beaches right here in Hawaii! Will for sure keep for inspiration when it will be time to decorate my lanai. Oh and I just scored two old adirondack chairs on Craigslist, sweet!

  43. i love the shots with the antique cart! I want one of these so badly! I took my boyfriend to an Antique Mall here a while back and wanted to buy like three of these but he looked at me like I was crazy. Little does he know that I still have plans to go back and get those!

  44. So very pretty tablescape! I wish I had more time to play at home. I still can’t get used to the idea of Christmas in the Summer! Its been cool here on the coast of North Carlina in the good ole US of A.

  45. Deb says:

    Yes please, I’ll have tea, black no sugar and then you could perhaps tell me all about that rather nice tablecloth.

  46. Ruby Showalter says:

    Your tablecloth is to-die-for!! Where did you get it? And your tablescape is gorgeous as usual…you are my hero!!

  47. I seriously need to move to the beach!

    Your pictures!! So crisp and clean and beachy. We live in the Texas Hill Country, but the coast calls my name.

    dee :)

  48. Carol says:

    My eye was drawn immediately to that tablecloth. Everything else is great too, but I am thinking I need to find that tablecloth in white and red.

  49. Barefoot Liz says:

    As soon as I’m well enough, I am so going to Ikea to get those bowls! I love the pale, high gloss blue!

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