How to Get The Best Vintage Coastal Style ~ Top Tip for Great Nautical Beach Decor

Fri 27th, Jan, 2012

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G’day lovely beach cottage ladies, I hope you are ready for some nautical, coastal style, beachy stripe in your life?

Because today we are getting our nautical stripes on!

Towards the end of last year, this little ratty old cottage of ours was featured in a couple of magazines…which resulted in a whole lot of emails from lovely girls to me…many of whom wanted the quickest, easiest & most economical way to get the Beach Cottage Vintage Beach Decor look without much fuss.

I replied to them all that the solution was the humble stripe.

Need coastal style / beach decor?

Get some coastal style nautical stripe in your life.

below some of my ideas for using the simple stripe for different beach coastal looks whatever the occasion!

…the stripe paired with very neutral white coastal look…a nautical vibe with the old oar as a curtain rail, a vintage feel from the thrifted crochet and an Australian feel with the gum



easy white with natural wood for coastal style…vintage from the ladder & the chairs, coastal stripe from the rug and the bowls, colour from the flowers and a nautical feel with the Adirondacks





coastal style stripe with some colour, vintage feel from the bottle



pop some colour in that coastal look baby…nautical stripe fabric remnants torn up and used to tie around old vintage Mason Jars, paired with lots of white & natural materials

popping that nautical coastal style stripe with some Spring colour from the tulips, vintage vibe from the mirrors, door & white painted suitcase



my tissue paper pom-poms went coastal…vintage Beach Cottage Coastal style with the old white painted ladder, nautical vibe from the glass floats, stripe napkins for a coastal zap & my fave pink pop with flowers…





fresh, light & a bit more summery…vintagey bottles & lovely patina from the blues, dahlias, I heart you, coastal vibe with the strip & cushions



ahhhh…getting a summer groove on as we came out of Winter through Spring…I did a huge clean-up & move around in the bedroom..added some polka dots and mismatched the nautical stripes with a coastal edge with the oars I white-washed

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foofing with more pom-poms….that was my tissue paper phase…nautical stripe with the runner, vintage from the mason jars plus a bit of whimsy with my world famous clay tags….free added bonus old and very very loved teddy




little corners with stripes…vintage coastal love from my lady friend who lives in the Beach Cottage Sitting Room, the old Hungarian sea trunk…droopy & gorgeous lilacs from the garden and the nautical stripe sitting happily on the old white sofa for a beach decor hit




I love this shot of the hall….the old vintage oar whitewashed for a beach vintage coastal feel…my fave basket, old chair found on the side of the road, painted white and given some stencil love…and some random flowers from the garden stuffed in an old jam jar…thrown in a few IKEA stripes for a hit of nautical








…and right now, my favourite look for coastal beach cottage vintage decor style is to add some vintage colour with white, neutrals and nautical stripes…as in this tablescape


…I loved this, it’s, I think, my fave tablescape ever and the way I am going in the whole house with decorating at the moment…mixing in some blues and aquas with the putty stripe, pulling in some pattern especially love me some block print/paisley

…and then of course popping with some pink and fresh flowers…the only way to go…




I hope you enjoyed it….

I’d love to hear your easy tips for changing a look…I think flowers & soft furnishings are a no-brainer…how about you?

See you next time Beach Cottage friends


Love from the beaches



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79 Responses to “How to Get The Best Vintage Coastal Style ~ Top Tip for Great Nautical Beach Decor”

  1. Susan says:

    Listened to the vlog! It was fun to hear you talk :)

    Love the pictures (as always!)

  2. Denise says:

    Enjoyed the video Sarah! The bloopers were a lot of fun to watch as well! :)
    I so want to capture the beach cottage vibe in my own home, and the photos are truly an inspiration.

  3. Melinda says:

    Lovely photos as always – and VLOG 2 was just as fun as the first – perhaps your camera man should ditch school and just follow you about as full time paparrazi !!

    Now… those gorgeous grey spotty pillowcases on the bed – would you share their provenance? Even though I should be focusing on the stripes those spots are causing a flutter.


  4. So pretty! It’s so dark and grey here this time of year, such a nice thrill to get your gorgeous photos through the “window” of my computer monitor. ❈ Love the vlog – please do more! Trying to figure out how to get some nautical strip going for summer… Maybe just need a trip to Ikea for some browsing… Have a great day, Sarah.

    • sarah says:

      thanks Jen, I am working on some more vlogs because of the feedback I got last time! thanks so much..yes IKEA is the answer to a lot of things haha x

  5. Suzanne says:

    Love the vlog!! Sarah those photo’s …..seriously are worthy of a lovely coffee table book!! Just divine I will be your first customer!!
    Fab post!! Have a lovely day!!

    • sarah says:

      thanks Suzanne, I have been asked the same a million times…I just don’t seem to ever get any futher xo

  6. Debs says:

    What a beautiful and fresh home! Oh how I would love to have so much white…but I know it wouldn’t last in my house with kids! :)

    • sarah says:

      haha Debs, I have 3 kids, two boys of whom one is very lively ;-) white works fabulously…throw it in the wash, add some bleach and away you go x

  7. Chrisartist says:

    Hi Sarah
    Gorgeous shots. We have a beach house. I find your blog inspirational.

  8. Glennie says:

    Love, love, love it when you vlog. Also just so love your taste – just so stylely and “right” …

  9. Deanne says:

    Everything looks so nice, when I get back from holidays I am going to be doing a lot of decluttering and decorating around here!

    • sarah says:

      I have the blog week for you Deanne…I am planning the same and am having a Beach Cottage session on it…stay tuned…I’ve got lots of lovely bloggers in on it to help! xo

  10. Grace says:

    Oh, aren’t you and Mr Camera Man just the cutest. I loved seeing your vlog (although I have to say I don’t usually have the patience to watch them, but I wanted to hear your accent).

  11. Alice says:

    Sarah you are such a laugh…. Too funny, loving all your stripy goods, I have very similar stripy cushions to yours (the first one you showed) in both the neutral and blue stripe, I love them! Thanks for the vlog Sarah… too cute…

    In answer to the whole easy way to go coastal… For me I found de-cluttering a must, adding a nice shell here and there, stripes, adding aqua/blues/greys and lots of whites.. Rustic functional pieces (even ornaments like bookends, hooks, toilet paper holders, kitchen paper holder, baskets etc)… airy/light curtains…or stripy roman blinds or even vanetian blinds are a simple ways…I’m not a fan for myself but matchstick bamboo blinds seem to be popular too (perhaps more for doors leading out to a verandah/patio etc rather than every window in the house)…The thing I love about beach decor is that you bring the outside in and it doesn’t look brand new all shiny etc… Battered and weathered are the two keywords I keep in my mind when I look to add or change anything in my house… I personally love it!!!

    I don’t know why but I do find it easy to go coastal.. It doesb’t matter if you have a french/country/scandanavian/minimalist/modern look and all yuu need to do is change some bed linen, add a tablecloth, a seashell here a piece of interesting mangled sunbleached driftwood there… Some pebbles and flowers, a picture of the seaside in a hidden nook…and voila instant coastal feel… What I find hard to do is go overboard and over doing it… It’s a fine line to walk…
    Whoa I think Ihave gone overboard with this comment… lol

    • Alice says:

      sorry meant to say what I find hard with beach decor is to NOT to go overboard… I am too distracted..

    • sarah says:

      oh yes I feel the same Alice…so easy to just make a few changes….and why I love it so much….

      thanks for your input!

      and going overboard is key…nothing worse than ‘themed’ beach coastal decor in my opinion :-)


  12. Diane Robertson says:

    I have just watched your Vlog, how wonderful is technology! Great to put a face and voice to what I read, loved the accent and your son sounds just as cute! Thank you for your tips, Ill be coming back. Well done Sarah!

    • sarah says:

      thanks Diane…yep it’s kinda unbelievable really when you think about me doing a vlog from my house here and girls watching it MILES away hahah xoxoox

  13. I loove your vlog, again! I agree white is just so easy. My opinion is to let the people in the room be the colour! Keep it coming, well done.

    • sarah says:

      too kind Jodie, yeah sometimes people ask me how I live with white and no colour….I am like I have three kiddos…there goes your colour baby xo

  14. cheryl says:

    Hi Sarah~~ I love your style and those pics are so soothing and pretty. I have that same milk bottle…love it. My in laws are headed to Australia tonight. Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas.. they are so inspirational and make me want to change some things in my home;))
    Have a great day
    Fresh Vanilla For C

  15. Lizette says:

    Well you’re just too cute!!! And your pictures are stunning, as usual!

  16. Manda says:

    Once again Sarah, thanks so very much for sharing your house and your style with us all. I absolutely loved your vlog! And like some of the other ladies, love the accent ;) And well done to your very handy camera man, he did a wonderful job.
    Enjoy your last weekend before the kiddos head back to school.
    xx manda

  17. Susan says:

    Let me tell you girl that eldest son of yours is SOOOOOOOOOO nice to you, my two teens are experts at making fun of me 100% of the time and there is NO way my teen son would EVER be so patient with me as to do something like this. You are raising lovely children! Bravo. LOVE the bloopers :)

    and just for the record in MY beach house we have dark wooden floors and white everything else. With white marble kitchen bench tops. And a wooden dining table I have had now for 25 years.

    Oh and my most recent “beach cottage it up” purchase was some leafy green numbers from the local buntings in self watering white plastic pots… because I was finding I was spending a little too much on fresh flowers :)

  18. I love your vlog! And now my husband wants to me to work on an accent. Thanks. Unfortunately I don’t have any tips for you as I only have bad style, but I love all the stripes. Absolutely love!!

  19. Ann says:

    Hi, Sarah
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog! Even your posts about your little excursions and new outfits are fun to read! I would love to visit Australia someday! Until then, I’m excited about all your tatty nautical cottage decorating ideas. My hubby and I are soon going to be empty-nesters and we are planning on moving to a lake. We live in midwest U.S. so no ocean is close by, so a lake will have to do. But we are looking at a cute little A-frame cottage that would be so adorable decorated in the nautical beach style. I am getting really excited with all kinds of ideas and can’t wait to move so that I can start decorating!!

    I loved watching you vlog too!! Now I feel like I know you a little better. I can tell that you are such a fun-loving person! It’s like videos seem to bring the world together!! ♥

  20. alison says:

    I enjoyed your vlog. It was a nice change of pace for the blog. You keep churning out an amazing amount of ideas and things to inspire us. I get tired just thinking about how you do it with a family and running a house. I was reminiscing recently about the “good old days” when my husband and I had young kids, a modest income and mortgage interest of 17-18%!!!! Your blog would have been such a comfort and morale booster at that time.


    PS I’m hanging out so much for your bathroom reno though. I rang my builder this morning for a quote so I’m one step closer. Been busy gathering ideas for the decor in the meantime.

  21. Rukmini Roy says:

    Thank you for this post Sarah ‘coz I was really wondering what you do to make your home look so beautiful and nautical. Stripe is the key. Not just any though. I am moving to another house, a bigger one but again a transition home. But anyway, till I live there, I’ll try and make it feel like ‘home’. Some nautical stripes are coming to my house :)

  22. Robynne says:

    Hey Sarah, you’ve got an English accent!!! It’s funny because I always hear your words in an Aussie accent, but of course that’s ridiculous. It was lovely to actually hear you speak and see your zany personality! I will go looking for your last vlog, as I didn’t see it…I’m off to find a tan in a bottle (very white pommy suntan goin on at the moment), have hubby’s xmas work party tomorrow night…and a new dress, flabby white arms and a big red nose (have a cold)…so I should look a treat! I think I might have to hit Freedom when I’m home next week, like that print cushion…Robx
    p.s you say 5 bucks…I say 5 quid!

    • sarah says:

      haha I hope you got your tan Robynne….I know those white arms too well of my own….I like Garnier tan and I use it ALL the time, tho it does stink up a bit

  23. Elaine in Laguna says:

    Good Morning…Loved this edition of your vlog! I continue to get a kick out of your voice. A very nice Mr. Camera Man, too! I live at the beach on the West Coast, USA…I try to keep things light, bright and airy with bamboo floors, white shutters, and a white-washed tongue and groove ceiling. I go easy on pictures, shells, flowers and stripes since the house is small. But I may need to go to the Nordic boutique after work today for a striped rug after watching your vlog! I’ve added a few beach accessories from my local stores, but no lighthouses! The Laguna look evolved over a 25-year-period of living in the house which started with icky tan carpet and beige walls! I’m looking forward to your bathroom reveal since I still need to remodel mine here. Thanks for the great start to my Friday!

    • sarah says:

      Hi Elaine

      thanks for your lovely comment, I appreciate it…I like the sound of your airy bamboo floors & shutters and yes I know about icky tan carpet lol

      cheers sarahx

  24. Cathy says:

    We have recently moved to the East Coast (USA) and are living in a transitional condo for the time being. We moved from a smal midwestern cottage with the yellows, blues and all white furniture, vintagey and beachy look to a very modern place. With the move we had to leave a lot of furniture behind and are replacing it with thrift store finds of which I plan to paint in whites, greys and blues.We also have a monstrous brown sofa that cannot be changed at this time. We are soon moving to a very modern new home – can I still do the beachy, vintagey, coastal look without it looking out of place in vaulted 10 foot ceilings, open floor plans and modern cabinetry???? I love the look and have basically used it my whole life but, am unsure of it in this new home. Thanks Sarah – I love your blog and follow it daily…. LOVE your style ….

    • sarah says:

      oh yes you sure can!

      I would soften it up with lots of throws, soft furnishings, if it is open plan perhaps some large floor cushions and separate the room with rugs for ‘areas’ (I like jute / coir for a laid-back beach house feel)

      on the sofa, can you use white/neutral throws to lighten it up?

      thanks for the blog love Cathy x

  25. Awesome tips and I love to see another ‘hands talker’ :-)

  26. marcia says:

    So stinkin cute, Sarah! Both you and your son did a fabulous job. I love listening to you talk, you’re accent is adorable! Can’t wait for the next video, how about one of the patio, bedroom or bathroom progress? Have a great weekend, Marcia in Cali

  27. Ingrid says:

    Love , love , love the vlog ! You can say and see so much in so little time. Great for inspiration! Oh and I had to say that I love you latest tablescape, those flowers are just the right amount of pink! Remarkable ! It seems that the slightest touch of color from the aqua glass bottle and the fruit water is just perfect! Beautiful!

  28. I just love all of your looks! It’s just the ultimate dream home for me! I’ve been living in an apartment on the water with my boyfriend for a couple of months now and after months of not putting much artwork up or having much decoration, I’ve finally gotten some coastal pillows and other additions. One of my favorites has been this giant white wall that we had that I just filled with beautiful old wooden and white picture frames that I filled with fabrics that look coastal and match instead of spending a ton of money on art. I added a few “brassy” touches and it looks fantastic! I also just got an old milk jar and added some white sand with crushed seashells in layers and added some hydrangeas for a beautiful flowerly look. I’m sharing it all soon on my blog but when I was picking it out, I definitely was thinking of you as inspiration so I couldnt help but stop by and share with you!! Thank you!

  29. Kari Nichols says:

    It’s soooo fun to see you on the vlog (could listen to your voice all day by the way)…. Please KEEP the bloopers forever & ever!!!! I love the blunders, they show that you are oh so real like the rest of us, and your children will appreciate them so much someday :)

  30. Candy says:

    What a wonderful son you have there! Everything is just beaautiful, beautiful!! I have all white decor with neutrals and stripes and it couldn’t be simpler..that’s what I LOVE about it. When I feel like adding color it’s just so easy. My friends think I’m daft…ha ha. Little do they know!! Thanks for all the inspiration and can’t get enough of your accent!!

  31. I just love your video! I think I have watched too many times! Love your sweet little voice! Your son was cute to! Have a great weekend!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful photos!!!

  33. Ellie says:

    I loved the video, some great tips for us. Well done.
    You’ve got a mixed accent now, it was a little bit Aussie at the start and the got more British as you went along – made me smile!
    Well done to the camera man too!

  34. I love the stripes and I love the vlog! I could listen to you talk all day :)

    a latte of blessings & giggles, Jeanie

  35. Seriously, nothing makes me happier than a sneak peak into your beautiful home. LOVE it. the very second I have a beach house, I’m employing you to make it every inch as fab as yours. That’s ok, right? Haha.

    After all, I LOVE me a nautical stripe.

  36. catherine says:

    Love it! I am ‘dying’ to put my white slipcovers on. In ‘winter’, or at least as much winter as we get in florida, i put on cranberry slipcovers, to cozy things up a bit….usually through valentines but today, looking at your adorable home, i am ready to beach it up!
    Thanks again for sharing…..
    Off to baseball, college season starts for my boys today. Go hawks, Go saints!

  37. catherine says:

    Forgot to ask….are any of your ceilings painted a color? Mine are all white, but wanted to try something different, in the south we paint porch ceilings blue to keep the wasps from building nests, they think it is the sky, but i havent been brave enough to try inside.

  38. Meeha says:

    Great tip! I think that your beach cottage charm comes mostly from your “neutrals with a twist” scattered everywhere and from your talent of mixing all patterns and sizes of stripes.

  39. I just found your blog and FELL IN LOVE (hard). What a beautiful and relaxing spot to stop and take a moment to enjoy the view! I am so glad I am here and will return often!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Hi,

      Love your beach style, your mixture of white and natural colors with a light touch of color here and there is soft beachy and gorgeous.

      Thanks, have a great weekend


  40. I was hoping to find some the resources for the things you spoke about on your video, but I didn’t see anything in this post. You showed lovely pillows and a table runner that I thought was available directly from your shop? Please let me know more.


  41. Nicky Singh says:

    Hi Sarah, Love your blog and love the stripes, you make everything look so beautiful.

    Nicky Singh.

  42. Sarah, love the video! The bloopers are so much fun, soft focus…that’s what I need! Love all your ideas.

  43. Yes, please do some more vlogs! Love your style…visiting your blog is like going on a mini vacay! Keep em coming! :)

  44. Lovely to see and hear you , Sarah. Love the accent


  45. Lauren says:

    I love your style! I was afraid to go all white but now that I see it and you can add a few colors here and there I am slowly transitioning our bedroom. I am having a hard time finding striped fabric believe it or not! Online, the stores (I am in America). Any tips on where to get good pillow fabric. P.S. love the runner on the coffee table!!

  46. Barefoot Liz says:

    Love, Love, LOVE the striped runner!

  47. Your vlog is beautiful, just like you. So happy to see you are going for it, and VLOGGING. whoohooo !! congrats !!! Lynne xx

  48. Tammi says:

    Love your Vlog’s Sarah and so glad you add the bloopers as I know I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face if I was being videoed :)
    You do the vintage, coastal style so well and have been an inspiration to many…keep it coming.


  49. [...] cushion covers after watching Sarah’s v-log on coastal-ing up your place. She’s over at A Beach Cottage And coastal stripes I found plus two other gorgeous beach flowery prints I [...]

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