Beach Cottage Easy Coastal Style Easter Table

Thu 5th, Apr, 2012

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Well hello Beach Cottage ladies, talking coastal beach decor does Easter today..come on in…yikes, issuing a BC Ramble Alert today…heaven only knows how this table led me to about 15 years ago in the Old Country, but somehow it did…sit back and settle in, we will be a while.

Oh and thanks for the dress love from yesterday, not bad eh those little black dresses?

But let us talk about much more interesting dressing, not the dressing of one’s bod, no the dressing of one’s tables…I love dressing up tables, I always have done, though, really, I don’t decorate for Easter, not sure why ‘cos it’s sure a part of our lives…I do though like to decorate with Easter in mind…



And as I sit in the study, alone, on a putty polka dot oil-covered desk, feeling like I am talking to myself about Easter tables, it is a beautiful day in Sydney… someone next door is mowing the lawn, there is that lovely far-away hum, the sky is bright blue and the light is only the way that light can be in Autumn in Australia…it’s sort of crisp & clear but yet colourful at the same time…

I just hung out a load of white laundry too and as I came back in, walking back up over the deck, sweet scent in the air, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia for the second house we owned in England…the hum, the smell of grass and a lovely day reminded me of those days in England when the warmth crept back in…the doors were opened and sitting outside was again oh-so-sweet.

We moved into this house when our Honeymoon Baby was a year old, it was a bit of a gamble for us in terms of finances, but nothing really that we couldn’t handle, we were quite happy to tighten our belts and put our money into a nice area and a detached house…looking back now it was one of our better decisions.  It sat in the village that I had grown up in, the village one of my parents had grown up in and really, this place had pretty much most things you could want for…



The quintessential  village green complete with cricket?  Check.  Indeed it had two.  Lovely, very old, English pubs at about every turn?  Check.  A local school with an excellent reputation?  Check.  Very old Saxon church perched in the middle of it all?  Check.  Surrounded by countryside and fields?  Check.  Old Kentish windmill with white sails turned by the wind?  Double check.

It wasn’t my dream home but I loved our easy little life then…



the house was far from perfect though…built in the middle of the last century it was far from my ideal place…I wanted old and vintagey and Victorian, I got  60′s with an extension, white plastic double glazed windows and a serving hatch from the kitchen.

In that house I began to learn what I did and didn’t like in decorating…at first I followed the crowd the same as everyone else around me…there was terracotta (euuuh) and stripped pine going on…but slowly I began to get a feel for what I liked…first thing to get updated were the bathrooms…being avocado green (no I don’t have much luck with inheriting bathrooms) we ripped it out and put in a plain white one with taps in the middle, freestanding but a bit more modern than the one I’ve got now.

Early on we re-carpeted and added wood floors…I think flooring sets the tone for how you live and I love in the feel of wood underfoot…in the main Living Room we had become proud new owners of white shagpile carpet (no the fact that it was white was not a good thing), it was worse in the hallway and included swirls of brown, black and …orange…upstairs made downstairs look pleasant with red shag pile and yucky greens… plus old stained and totally horrid carpet in the bathroom…but it did have double glazed windows ;-)

We ripped this carpet out and spent most of our budget on the carpeting the main living room (even though I loved wood, it was a big space and I had crawling babies)…I wanted sisal but actually went for a much more expensive option being pure wool woven into a natural pile, it looked like a sisal but felt like heaven …that was one seriously good buy…the day we moved out of there years later, the carpet looked as good as new…



Upstairs, having run out of money we went for wooden floors…in the days when no-one was having wooden floors….we had pulled up the red shag pile and seen that underneath, thank-you-very-much, actually there were some pretty tasty, fairly wide planked floorboards up there…well-meaning old people told us it would look ****, that it would be too cold, that it would be uncomfortable, be hard to dust and look cheap…a certain ahem older person in my life at that time, even asked me if we couldn’t afford carpet why did we buy the house.  Yeah, go with that.

…but I took no notice and we threw the shag-pile out the window (literally) and got to work…we hired a floor sander for the weekend and on our own (no relatives were interested in helping us with our new house) got to grips with taking off the top layers of our ‘new’ floor…oh the dust, oh the work, oh it looked fantastic….I loved it!



I wanted it to be matt and washed but we weren’t sure how that would go and so we went with Yacht Varnish (used for boats) and it looked amazing…and the whole top floor of the house was brand new on a great budget…the cost of hiring a sander, a whole lot of enthusiasm, a young Mr Beach Cottage and a pot of varnish used on yachts….

Was it cold, nope, was it hard to clean, nada, was it uncomfortable, oh no, was it dusty, no way, did it look cheap, the opposite.

And so we rolled around in that house for a few years, had another baby, went for long long walks with prams, went to the pub with friends, built a barbecue with bricks and sucked it all up big-time.

(a lot of you asking for larger images, you can do that by clicking below)

And as Easter rolled around, it was my favourite time of year…the garden we had inherited was one of the best things about it…it couldn’t be further from the one I am in now…it was not only established, it had been planned to produce all year around…there were always flowers and happy things going on in that garden…and often me and that baby would spend a whole day rolling around, up to our eyes in the dirt.

Out the back door of the house was a patio, it faced South to South West and if the sun was out, even in Spring we could set up our table and sit out in the fresh air….after a dreary, grey British Winter, oh joy to get outside….I would plan my pots (I love how the English do that…there is nothing better than the English summer flowers) and my garden and dream of eating outside and big jugs of Pimms with cucumber and mint and ice…



And so today, I sit here, at Easter, with a pretty table on my old deck….but now in Autumn…the same lawnmowers are humming, there is still grass and an umbrella, I still dream of gardening and jugs of Pimms but now it’s good that it’s a bit cooler, and I still bore Mr Beach Cottage with plans about houses and sanders and Yacht Varnish

…but, really, life has moved on…there are no babies anymore and I miss that, there is the beach and blue sky and my joy at life in The Lucky Country but sometimes I just wish for one second I could go back to that patio, at Easter, facing South to South-West under an English sun.

Do you have memories of the places you’ve lived?



(oh and p.s. do you like my Easter table? …wanted brights to go with the white xo)







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66 Responses to “Beach Cottage Easy Coastal Style Easter Table”

  1. Caz says:

    Your table looks so pretty, but for some reason not all the photos are loading today but from what I can see I’m loving the bright blooms against the white :-) Love memories like that! I mentioned you on my blog today hope you don’t mind :-) xx

  2. Stacey (harrimar) says:

    Wow Sarah for some reason that really made me homesick for an English Easter! Maybe its just in my mind but I seem to remember Easter always being nice and sunny, I can certainly remember one year going out with the family on an Easter Sunday picnic and we put our chocolate eggs on the back window shelf of the car and being so dissapointed to find that they had melted in the hot sun!! Didn’t quite taste the same!! Hope you and the Beach Cottage crew have a lovely Easter weekend.
    Stacey x

  3. alison says:

    Love your rambles.


  4. Ellie says:

    Well one memory you’ve brought back is drinking Pimms in UK with my sis. The drinks were very carefully prepared by her hubbie with cucumber and mint. We were sitting in the sunshine in the summer heat after sightseeing around Cambridge all morning and some punting on the river. Slightly sunburnt (me & my sis, not her hubbie). No kids (these were before kids days). And just a whole afternoon to do nothing. Heaven.

  5. Wish I could make simple flowers look like that! Yes, sometimes I miss our worn but happy post-war house in Chicago, with the front porch swing, the bay window in the kitchen opening up to the shaded part of the yard, and the open backyard with enough room to run in (at least for a second or two). I used to lie in the grass and stare up at the trees and the sky and think I almost couldn’t imagine anything better.

  6. Susan @ Afford Your Passions says:

    Reading your story brought back memories of living in Australia, particularly with the comment about the wood flooring… when I was 11, my parents bought a brand new house in a brand new subdivision; we had one of the larger house plans, with nice upgrades. Our next door neighbors were clearly not as “well off” as my parents (much younger couple with three babies…) – they couldn’t afford carpeting in their house, so they just went with the sub-flooring which every house had back in the 70′s – it was pine planking, and they varnished it, and they whined about how they wished they could have afforded wall to wall carpeting.

    It wasn’t until years later that I realized how lucky they were to have wood flooring!

    Have a happy Easter!

  7. Deanne says:

    I love the pink and yellow!

    I so totally relate to your wooden floor story I think it is that generation- poor people had wood! My mother could never understand my love of white sheets- why do you want plain white sheets she would ask, because when she was young they only had white so when coloured and floral sheets came in that was so much nicer and so why would I want to go back to white???

  8. Selby says:

    Thankyou for honoring us with your house story.

    Your tale made me think of my favorite Robert Frost poem “The road not taken”
    Often referred to as the road less travelled. I think it’s a beautiful look at yearnings of the heart.

    I too am happy where I am but at Easter I yearn for the Easter camps I helped run as a young teen and young adult and the amazing times we spent Easter thurs night to mon arvo camping together with many who are still my best friends now but who I dont see nearly enough now we live so far. My heart appreciates where I am but longs for the fresh mown sports fields and tent setting up and anticipation that Easter thursday used to herald.


  9. Surely Sarah says:

    Loved hearing about your old house and garden. And loving the bright colours you’re using in your flowers – very festive!

  10. [...] the article: Beach Cottage Easy Coastal Style Easter Table | Posted in: News & Videos   Tags: beach-cottage, coastal-style, design, dress, easter, [...]

  11. jan says:

    sarah, love the table and the festive colors that echo the holiday. my little house of dreams that i lived in was built in the 1800′s before electricity came to the desert. horses were for transportation, tied up out beyond the front door.you enter the only door lit by lanterns with a match. inside that door were 4 rooms. a kitchen, living room with large bay to watch desert monsoons come in from mexico and see the most beuatiful sunsets ever! there was no hall, directly beyond the living room was a bath with claw foot tub that kept water so warm you never needed to drain and refill. outside it there were the built ins for bath storage. 2 bedrooms 3 steps away from the bath with no cupboards or closets. lovely small rooms with great views. walls 18″ thick that kept it warm in winter, cool in summer. no air or heat required. red brick exterior. probably 600-700 sqare feet total. when it was “electrified” probably early 1900″s the wall switches and sockets were put smack in the middle of the wall. round switches, glass door pulls & knobs. cutest kitchen with plenty of windows to gaze out of in there. wait… before the dream is over another dream comes true …a wee bundle of joy and the little house of my dreams vanished and a 2400 sq ft ranch took it’s place. despised it no matter what was done to it. cozy is just so much more pleasant.

  12. Glennie says:

    Gorgeous piccies Sarah. I have such lovely memories of our first house. It was a bungalow – California style – with french doors and stained glass leadlights. Absolutely stunning polished matai floorboards (a New Zealand native timber with an almost red tinge). And they were so wide, and right through the house in every room. We got married there so it holds such special memories in my heart. We moved out 17 years ago and I used to miss it so much – until it was on the market last year and we went through it during an open to view. I so wish we hadn’t. The leadlights were gone, rooms painted weird colours, the lovely ceiling beams all painted, the rimu kitchen pulled out ….. so sad. Lovely irreplaceable memories tho. Happy Easter. xx

  13. Alice says:

    I loved your story Sarah… Very nice reminds me of mine and this little place we are currently living in along with all the un-necessary comments, my mums reaction was probably the worst of the whole lot she practically had a fit(is the best word I can use to describe her body language) of disgust I promise you I am not exhagerating here I was about ready to literally push her out the door. I couldn’t handle her lack of vision and not being able to get past what was there…Lets just say we NEVER see eye to eye…

    I have to say Autumn is my fav. Season. I think Australia does Autumn really well… The lighting, the scents, the warmth and crisp morning/evening, the sun the flowers too… My tree is loaded with purple blooms at the moment…Such a shame it will have to come down some time in the future…Must find way of salvaging it…

    Love your Easter table set up… Very cheerful and colourful….

    Easter for me brings me back to when we were living with my grandparents and waking up to find their table full of the candy coated almonds and other sweet pastries, the windows and doors wide open for the people who use to follow the priest around to each house to bless each of the homes in the village… It was so much fun going to everyones house!!!Then there would be fireworks in the evening set off from my grandads varandah lol! BEST Easter EVER….

    • sarah says:

      I love your Easter memories…shame priests don’t do that these days….

      if you have vision for your house, that’s all that matters….

      happy easter Alice, thanks for commenting! xx

  14. Beautiful table decorated with those bright colored flowers. You brought back so many memories of the house I grew up in. Wood floors throughout. I can remember my Mother down on her hands and knees shining those floors. Absolutely beautiful floors! We had beautiful gardens, flowers and vegetables….and i remember working in them. What a wonderful time in my life that I didn’t realize until years later. Thank you for the memories.

  15. Gina says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely memories. For me it’s when I was a child and we lived in a tiny town in Iowa. We had a wonderful Victorian home with a parlor with pocket doors and an upstairs balcony that we could play in and a huge bathroom that we also used as the laundry room. My fondest memories though are of playing with playdough and reading books in our enclosed porch-that and reclining on the sofa while studying the stained glass on our front door(wonder if I was suppose to be napping hmmm…)? It just had so much character. But I’m making some pretty awesome memories in our little townhome right now. It’s right next to a 10 acre park with a pond-we just spotted a muskrat,turtles,carp,sandhill cranes,etc. the other day and I’m finally figuring out my style which is definitely not Victorian!

  16. Tammi says:

    Thank goodness you stopped following the crowd with your sense of style..there’d be no BC otherwise. You have much more flair anyway.
    Cute table, the brights really pop against the white.
    Happy easter BC crew :)

  17. Avril says:

    LOVE IT. I like the different color of flowers on the table. Looking forward to visit the coastal style of cottages.

  18. Sandra says:

    Oh Sarah…you almost brought a tear to my eyes…this is our first Easter since we sold our pretty pale blue cottage here in the mountains…it was the house where my girls “grew up”, and I have such fond memories of sitting under a huge pine tree and Hubby scattering eggs for their Easter egg hunt every year…now we are on a much larger property, renovating all over again, and as far as a garden…I have my favourites in pots, because quite frankly right now, three acres is just too daunting…I nodded in agreement when I read that for one minute you wanted to be back at your little house with babies running around. They grow up so fast…but we are still having an Easter egg hunt for them…girls are never too old for chocolate or furry bunnies. Lovely post.xo

    • sarah says:

      yes I know what you mean…sad that you sold your little cottage…

      and one is never too old for Easter Egg Hunt’s ;-) x

  19. Nicola says:

    I loved your story, I felt like your life back then is very similar to my life now. We bought our first house in hertfordshire last year and are decorating it on our budget. It’s easter and it’s sunny and my flowers are blooming. It’s lovely here and I usually spend my time wishing I was where you are now just so that I can be warmer! but today I am going to appreciate it! Thank you!

    • sarah says:

      good for you Nicola….love an English nice day…lap it up sweetie and enjoy that house x

  20. Liz says:

    I like the style of the cottages. And the flower on the tables real stunning.

  21. Neen says:

    Happy easter Sarah, pink and yellow pops of colour, you make everything so fresh and joyful. Love your Easter tablescape. Memories of my most favourite childhood home came flooding back yesterday with the news that it has been sold. The family we rented it from have been lifelong friends and this Easter they say goodbye to ‘Tallandowring’, the Kiewa Valleys original post office. A beautiful homestead with hallways so wide my sister and our 3 brothers and I could run along shoulder to shoulder to see who could get to the “big room” first. Memories of a freezing cold bathroom in winter.Servants quarters ( where I slept and studied during year 12) learning to drive to get to the bus stop for school, freedom to run and just be kids. Thankyou, :)

  22. Laura says:

    Your nolstalgic stories are SO well told Sarah! Very enchanting, love to read. xx

  23. Sarah says:

    I LOVE when you tell these stories….I only wish they were longer so I could curl up on my couch and be swept away to England! :)

    just wondering…do you have any pictures of your homes and life in England?

    love the bright flowers on your Easter table!
    Sarah xo

    • sarah says:

      yes I do have a lot of pictures of our life in England!

      thanks for the lovely comment xo

  24. lilwhitelife says:

    Loved reading about your Easter memories Sara. Made me long fo England too and I’ve never had the pleasure of going there but being born in America I wonder if I have ancestors that lived there and what their lives were like. Your table is so happy and your

    photography’s perfect .
    I miss the excitement of my 4 being little, dying eggs together and stashing some, unbeknownst to them, to dye after they’d gone to

    bed to hide in the yard before I went to bed to be from the Easter Bunny. That was in the house they were all were brought home from the hospital to and that when we bought it was only 500 sq ft. It had painted “porch gray” wood floors under the Avocado Green

    carpet. Wood windows and 6″ window trim gave it so much character but when we added on to it, over doubling it’s size we put in vaulted ceilings, aluminum windows, no trim just sheetrock returns and wall to wall carpeting except in the bath and kitchen.

    A few years ago we built a new house and when looking for plans I knew it had to look cottagey and have new insulated windows that look like the old ones that were original to our first little home…wide trim around them and all. I think it’s interesting how over time we figure out what we like and what our styles are. Enjoy your Easter Sara and all you bcers Hugs

  25. Ingrid says:

    It’s wonderful to be brought back to beautiful memories and to my wonderful Easter with my family and especially my Dad. Happy Easter and enjoy every moment !

  26. Lassiegirl says:

    Growing up I was always asking if I could grow or plant something in my parents very small So. California backyard, but was told always the same “NO”. They had landscaped it when we moved in and that was that. When I got married and we finally bought our own home, we set out to put in gardens and 8 large trees, maples, birches, oaks. We have 4 flower gardens, one veggie garden, and we have flowers around the mailbox and have fully lanscaped along the fencelines to hide the ugly fence…I prefer to look at shrubbery. Lots of work in the beginning and lots of learning about gardening in Oklahoma which is known for extreme temperatures both hot and cold and drought and flooding. Anyway, we put a patio swing on the porch and a playset in the yard after moving in 12 years ago and we still enjoy the yard whenever possible including my reading to our boys on the back porch, listening and looking at nature. Lots of memories of the boys playing there (love watching them “pretend” something) and swimming in a little wading pool on the patio…that pool became the turtle pond when they outgrew the pool. So many neighbors say it is like a garden park and wow isn’t it nice. Yes, it is really nice and refreshing and helps keep us sane! Our, now 2 collies, love it, too. We even have wildlife visit or live with us…squirrels, birds (including an owl), a rabbit (maybe more?), mice, harmless snakes, toads (one lives in a pot on the porch), turtles. We love this place and even though the house is now much too small for our family with 2 boys, 13 and 10, and 2 collies (the puppy gets bigger everyday!) we don’t want to move because we can’t even think about leaving our special place behind.

  27. my easter table will be oaoer plates we are hoping for 40

  28. Kahra Gilley says:

    Love your table decorating for Easter! Question: Do you leave your table and chairs out all the time on your deck? Is it covered? Mine isn’t covered so I have to be careful what kind of furniture I leave out.


    • sarah says:

      yes it has a roof so we can leave anything out there…it’s like an extension of indoors xo

  29. What a gorgeous spot-I can just imagine a good time there.

  30. Candice says:

    Hi Sarah , Enjoyed your memories ..
    All of my Easters are in the sun or the last low of the cyclone season rains and winds … what I term a Bad Hair Day .
    Good Friday was always on the beach all day , our world would become a busy haven for tourists and day trippers and we loved the Busy they brought with them and then the quite when they left . The smell’s of cooking from the camping sites and our parks near our beaches . They smell of cocconut oil was my fav ,the feeling after a surf when you would just flop on the towel and the only sounds you could hear was the rush of the swell and the faint distant hum of kids laughing .
    The pride when someone asked if you actually lived where they would only holiday , and being confused when they would ask “do you ever get bored with living at the beach ” I could never figure The Bored … do you miss the shops ? nite life ? they would giggle at my then niave answers . no I never get bored at the beach …. I love the feel of sand , know by the winds when the tides are turning , can’t fall asleep at nite without the rush of the waves . Over the decades many thousands have called my haven home and many more come or plan to come to make the Sunny Coast their home . I do miss being the only person on the beach for miles , and I really miss having the waves all to myself … Our beaches have many rules now , many surfing rules …. I love the now …. but soo miss the no rules and the non BUSY days of easter of past and many friends that have moved on and the special ones who left for that perfect swell in the sky .. Have a safe … loving and wonderful easter everyone .

  31. Kate says:

    Hi Sarah, well the sun is shining for an english Easter but it was -3 last night and my sunny garden is covered in frost. And yes, I have been planning my tubs…… And my dahlias and sweet peas.

    Somerset was lovely, even if we did seal our descent into middle-agedness by joining the national trust….

    Happy egg hunting!
    Kate x

  32. Claire says:

    Hi Sara
    We’re currently over in Gloucestershire, England, staying with my parents over the Easter weekend. Although they no longer live in the house I grew up in (their new place is lovelier and in a beautiful village) every time we come here I have nostalgic yearnings for the area, the views, the rolling hills and the calm pace of life. Never appreciated it when I lived at home of course, but now it’s just great to have this country life to retreat to from time to time!
    Happy Easter x

  33. Kat says:

    I love how scents and tastes and music can just transport you back to another time and place.
    This house we live in now, by the beach in Tassie is our first house.
    We have been here 11 years now and slowly hoping to do more to it as we can afford it.
    I do have memories of other houses that we rented before this one and of my family home growing up, but my dearest memories are in this house now, our first home.
    Here we have had four beautiful children, enjoyed walks and time spent by the beach and bush and loved being a family together.
    I do have lots of memories popping up recently of when my first was born (10 years ago last month) and when life was simpler and when the others were babies, (our baby is now three.) but I love it right here, right now.
    Beautiful table by the way and happy Easter to you!
    I love this holiday and I adore autumn. :)

  34. Nana Kate says:

    I do so love reading your post. Reading it brought instant memories of growing up in Canada. My mom has always loved wood floors and dreamed of the day that she could have them and she does. My dream now is to have them throughout my house by a lake to sit and relax. Thank you for remembering that life can be simple and beautiful.

  35. Laura says:

    Loved reading this post. It’s funny how holidays take you back to happier times at home, isn’t it? Easter bank holiday reminds me of the first b-bq of the season… sat around a firepit with old friends. Drinking sangria and eating blackened sausages… staying outside chatting and getting tipsy, until it was too late and cold to stay out… getting up the next morning (feeling ropey), but all was put to rights with a sausage sandwich and a strong cup of tea from the first car boot sale of the year! Happy days! All seems a million miles away from the egg hunt and Passover (??) dinner I am attending today!

  36. The table looks AMAZING! Oh Sarah, how I envy you and your white table. I’d have red wine on that in seconds. ;)