a fresh new beach cottage look

Wed 2nd, May, 2012

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Hey you the rock steady crew, show ‘em what to do, make a break make a-move!  Well, I have made a break and a move…with a new blog look – we are freshening up this old cottage inside & out and it’s been extended to the blog too!

So this has been going on for a long time this latest blog update, for many reasons it’s taken a while to get here, this has taken months and months

….. but here it is, there is nothing like a breath of fresh blogging air to get you motivated is there?  This is one of the things that I had to tell you about, more exciting blog news coming very soon, yahoo!





Anyway I wanted this little place on the web of mine to have a fresh, new look, but I wanted to keep the feel of the old site, not that I am difficult or anything…I briefed lovely Darcy on what I wanted and we both brain-stormed it, until it came together…

There are still a few tweaks behind the scenes going on, including a new contact box full of information which will make it a whole lot easier to find things around here



…but up there on the menu bar we have been trying to streamline things…. and make it a bit…swisher

Over the past I dunno, like ever, I have had lots of emails, messages, social media and comments from Beach Cottage ladies saying firstly that they would like more updates and more stuff and secondly that a more streamlined front page would make it easier to see what’s been going on and what might have been missed.   So this I hope, is it……

Unlike other areas of my life, like blue painted walls I actually listened to what someone else told me, that would be you.. first and foremost because I like to do the same on the blogs that I stalk…I like to see their posts condensed, all on the front page, if I haven’t managed to stalk them for a few days and secondly because as this blog grows, naturally, I am blogging more and it’s good if that is easy to find..

…and so now, in Beach Cottage Land it’s easier to navigate to posts…yah!  I hope it’s easier to find thing and it’s easier to see what’s going on in other places and find things you might want to remember..

You will now see shorter excerpts of posts, making it quicker and easier to navigate & read, my lovelies





This, together with my news soon, feels like a bit of a new start…onwards and upwards…

and let me say this, about a year ago I wrote this on my blog….

Can I just say thank you so much for you guys on here…for the comments and the interaction, for the visits which continue to grow (!), for your sweetness and support….as this blog moves on and follows me in the different directions my life goes in (it’s not just about painting things white and doing makeovers anymore) I am pleased to see you still with me…

I dont’ know if you noticed but a while ago I made a decision about my blog I decided to step back and take it where I wanted it to go…to make it reflect the good things in my life that I wanted to be positive about and for it to document what interests me…that meant adding in recipes and my love of the outdoors and more of Australia…the things that I was doing in my life that make me happy and keep it all ticking along nicely….not just the cottage and vintage things and the white stuff…of course though I love all that at the same time!

I have to admit I was a bit concerned about going down this avenue with the blog but I felt that I had to stay true to me…because that was why I started it in the first place…for a little place in the internet for me…. and so I asked Mr BC what he thought…he said that I should go with my gut and just blog about my passions and what I enjoy, because, bottom line that’s what people enjoyed in the early days…and that’s why I loved doing it….

so at the time I started to blog whatever I was doing and whatever took my fancy and I never looked at my stats…and with these changes I wondered if you guys would stick around …and I am surprised and humbled that you did…that you are still interested, engaged, and want to follow me as I continue my journey with a new life on the other side of the world.


When I wrote that a year ago I didn’t know that my blogging journey would change again…and that you would still be here….it has and is changing…and I like it….a lot …since then I have seen my blog move more into my real life, not that this isn’t real on here, but that just, somehow, this used to be my little place to connect with people who liked white paint and vintage things, nowadays, through it, I’ve made new friends and it’s just, I dunno, just moving and grooving more in my everyday life, when I am out and about, not just me in the study on a polka dot desk anymore…and that is such a good thing for me, ladies.

You don’t realise something until you look back at it and suddenly see how life just nudges you the way you need to go…and I needed that…I need to get out there and rock this blog…Hindsight is indeed a beautiful thing.  I was a leetle bit staid and oh-so-very comfortable on my own here – I am much happier here now…..

But what about you?

Really, would I still be coming back here if it wasn’t for you lovely Beach Cottage Ladies, and you lovely Beach Cottage Blog Lurkers that I see there in the stats.  Really would I bother if it weren’t for that?

I dunno…what I do know, at the end of the day, is that you are here and I am here.

So lets rock this partay yeah, let’s rock Beach Cottage Land – tell me what you think about the new look, and ask me anything you want for an updated FAQ page

…and let me know what you think of it around here…friends…yep lurkers, you can do it!

you and me are what make it around here, there ain’t no denying that




 more daily stuff from the beaches, including the lovely Barley’s fan page here, click  go ;-) 



blog design with Darcy at Graphically Designing

…in my humble little opinion Darcy is la creme de la creme…she plays with the big girls, but that’s not why I like her and think she’s good, so not my style…you only need to look at her Portfolio to see that she rocks…believe me, I have studied blog design and Darcy is a rare chick…simply because it’s not about her…her designing is all, so very much, about you…and that is what you need. click the lick above to see for  yourself


and thank you, thank you to the bestest Daisy Olsen, talk about grateful…you know…cheers lovely Daisy

(yes I get girls to help me on this blog with kewl names like Daisy and Darcy – not good D combo when mixed with Peroni Winking smile )


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77 Responses to “a fresh new beach cottage look”

  1. Nicola says:

    I love the new look, and definitely think it is more streamlined and easier to navigate around. Well done to you and Darcy!

  2. Sara says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I’ve been reading your blog for ages now, I think its great and I love what you’ve done with the redesign!

    I just wondered if anyone else had mentioned the font in your navigation and in some of the links?? or is it just me? I haven’t had any problems before but the font looks really grainy and ‘contact’ is pretty much illegible.

    I hate to complain because I love reading your blog but thought you would like to know.

    Sara ~x~

    • sarah says:

      yes thank you Sara, the font is looking different in different browsers I think, I am on a MAC and on my phone, Ipad it’s lovely! may have to change it if it doesn’t work x

  3. Lady Verbena says:

    Lovely post! I keep on coming to visit your cottage blog as reading you is a nice and warm breeze of positiveness (is that a word?). Nice design by the way! :)
    Saludos from Argentina; LV

  4. Love, love the top navigation and new look!! But am not fond of the font, haha. It looks lovely and “sea washed” but I can hardly read it. Great job!!!

    • sarah says:

      cheers Maya, I think it’s appearing differently on different browsers, on the MAC the font is a dream!

  5. Lookin’ good, lookin’ good!
    Lovin the navigation… where is that lentil recipe again… oh there it is, under RECIPE, yeah baby.

    Gotta ditto the above comments on the “typewriter-ish” font on the Navigation bar. I love the idea of this type of font, but it is coming across super grainy.

    Love the scrolling pics in the header that include the sea, blues, waves. Adds movement and energy. Love.
    xo, Jay

  6. It looks wonderful Sarah! I’m especially loving the splash of blue – since I’m a total lover of blues in the coastal palate… And white of course :)

    Congrats on the journey. I’ve been following you FOREVER and it wonderful to see the changes along the way and how you’ve grown…

    What a lovely thing this blogging is – such a nice way to share life’s blessings & beautiful things along the way!

    Clare x

  7. Leah says:

    Your fresh new look is gorgeous! The new font is a bit hard to read as the ‘b and the ‘c letters aren’t showing up, but overall it’s great. I love reading through the older posts I may have missed. Leahx

  8. Maureen says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I think that the new look is great and fresh looking (although I loved the other look too),
    the water pics are lovely to gaze at, always welcome for a landlocked girl.
    Have to say, the old school style font is great but the ‘c’ in contact, recipes etc. is hard to see on my screen.
    Have a good Wednesday!
    Maureen x

  9. Hi Sarah,
    I absolutely love the new look.
    The thing I like most is that it still has the same lovely feel,
    so I can still recognise where I am……
    I’ll be checking in daily as usual!
    Have a great day,
    Tania xx

  10. Shirl' Anderson says:

    I’ll have to see as time moves along. Change is what makes the world go round right?

  11. Glennie says:

    Love it, love it, love it

  12. phew! When i got to your new home page I initially thought something hadn’t loaded properly.   This new look is interesting and I think I like it! (well you did surprise us with it!).  For one, I really enjoy your blog and I am happy to follow it whatever direction it goes in because I’ve enjoyed the journey so far.

  13. Deanne says:

    You new look is great!!!!

  14. Michelle Lisle says:

    Hi Sarah

    I love the new look of your blog, it still has all your style about it and looks super fresh. I’m in the process of wanting update my blog and as I’m still new to design and stuff finding it a little tricky but I’ll get there. Have a great day and am loving your pics of Barley….he’s so cute.


  15. Karen says:

    Love the new look. Like a breath of fresh sea air. Happy to follow, always something to take away or onboard….Thank you for the journey.

  16. jenfrischkorn says:

    You do need to change the throw pillows around every now and again don’t you? If your blog is your other “home” then by all means, paint the walls and change out the curtains as often as it suits you!  Love how you’ve kept the bc aesthetic going but still managed to freshen up the space. ❇  Love how all of your various posts filter to the main page – saves me from clicking all over Egypt. Let’s see… questions….   Well…mostly things I want to know are things I’d ask you on a long walk or at coffee and probably not fit for mass consumption which I respect. ❇  There have been lots of things I’ve wanted to know and sooner or later you’ve gotten around to them in this post or that (like if the bc was really on the beach or not).  I loved all of your remodeling posts from way back and I suppose sources on those things and paint colors and such are helpful…  

    As for the blog evolving into more of a personal experience, well that’s just about my favorite thing yet.  That’s a real treat and gift for me, and I appreciate your willingness to open up both your life and your blog to your readers.  You aren’t just building a blog, but a little community here it seems and it’s wonderful.  I love that you answer comments.  And you know what, I DO come back to read your responses to everyone, that’s half the fun!

    Anyway – congrats on the new format and the spreading of wings.  Loving it!

  17. Cand Hames says:

    Hi Sarah , I know you are ironing out stuff here but need to mention on my PC , headers not working , letters missing , can’t link to comments in previous posts yet . Contact and about… missing letters same with rest of header , just a header stuff up . Tech stuff .. all will be great soon . Luv the new , I will roam around later { after work } and soak it all in .

  18. SurelySarah says:

    New look is ace. I like that you have kept the same colour scheme but tweaked a few things to make it fresh. I absolutely love the new font – I used a vintage typewriter font for my wedding stationery and it just looked so good!

  19. Beck at BecksAmbitions says:

    Wow, I likey :) nicely done! Also, as a newbie, it’s great to see that changes can be made along he way! I kinda agonised about my appearance/theme/blog, but like it and am happy to get on with writing (whenever I can!).

  20. Tammi says:

    Sarah I love the direction you have taken your blog…I find that no matter what you post about, your voice still comes through…it’s like sitting chatting with a friend :)
    Loving the new look here too though it doesn’t seem to be loading completely for me.

  21. Image Remix says:

    Well…isn’t this beautiful! You and your Darcy and Daisy have done well. It looks like there is much to feast the eyes on here. Can’t wait to look around and check it all out. 

    I noticed here in the comments that we’ve lost sight of who’s just posted what at the end of their comments. That was a nice feature. I enjoyed seeing what everyone was up to on their blogs. If that’s still possible, it would be welcome. Other than that, I’m loving the new images on the header and yep, it still looks like you. What’s not to love!

  22. Karen Needham says:

    The categories along the top is good but you need to lose the arrows…they look like “Drew Peacock’s’ IYKWIM.  Or maybe it is just me.  But I’m not going to be able to open your blog page without them putting me off!

    • Stacey says:

      I agree with karen, don’t like the arrows but love the colours and everything else. Enjoying the changes and the direction your blog is taking. x

    • sarah says:

      thanks so much for the feedback droopy feedback Michelle, haha :-)


  23. Selby says:

    So pretty n fresh. Like you spring cleaned:) looks great Sarah!

  24. Alice says:

    The only issue I have with this new look is the font(of your titles and the little links to take you into different parts of the blog)… I am having trouble reading it… I do love this font, I even tried using on invitations at one stage but just like now I had trouble reading it so I had to change it…. It could be just me…. Perhaps I just need to get used to it.. I do like how you put your old posts there… Has it been a year?! Gosh time flies when you are having fun…. Believe me, your blog, reading what you get up to and what goes on in your head…. Those photos….Those lovely images…. IT IS FUN…Thank you for making life that little bit more pleasant…

  25. kate says:

    wow that font for the headers is hard to read! 

  26. Laura says:

    The surfer photo at the top literally took my breath away! Lovely, Sarah!

  27. Paula maxfield says:

    For the most part I am a lurker. I read in Google reader and I always come here to read your posts cause they only show up a small bit in Google. I love your new look! Living here in Land locked Kansas, anything beachy brings a smile to my face.

  28. laurie @ heavens-walk says:

    Love it all, Sarah!  Looks fresh and updated and so YOU!  (even though I thought that your last header and set up was just as nice!)  :)  You certainly keep us on our toes!  lol!  xoxo laurie

  29. LovingIvory says:

    Great job Sarah & Crew!! ;-)
    I love it… and I’m a daily lurker – usually eat lunch at my desk, just so I can take a squizz at your blog to see whats happening!
    (and I always come back for the recipes too!  think I might try that pudding next (still loads of easter eggs around my place))

  30. Rukmini Roy says:

    I love the new look Sarah. The best is the menu bar with its doodle arrows. Its fresh, clean, beautiful..ah what the heck, its so abeachcottage :) Very, very nice. Like.

  31. Sam says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I love the new look….. It looks fab!! Just tried your surfer boy roast beef/ stew in my slow cooker…… Delish!!
    Loving your posts, your recipes and of course Barley. Bringing back great memories of our cavoodle Guinness as a puppy!!

    I am so happy I ‘stumbled’ across your blog whilst following Nikki at styling you…..so it started with your wardrobe revamp……and I have been hooked ever since.
    Looking forward to your next post

    Cheers Sam xx

  32. Izzie says:

    Awesome new look – don’t worry – we will all still be reading about you because we are all interested in whatever you have to say – recipes,vintage ,fashion,puppies etc!!   Also you have inspired me – Have got 4 more weeks before we get the keys to our new “baby”  a house in the South-West of France – I am even considering blogging our progress from crapo to chic!! – It will take some doing – But – whats life about if not to go for the things you have always dreamed of??  Lots of love and luck  xx

  33. alison says:

    Hi Sarah
    I love everything you do. I posted recently that I just love witnessing the evolution of your projects and the evolution of lil old you. It’s all good. I like how you plant idea seeds, keep us hanging and then get back later with the outcomes. Good stuff. I love following those threads.

    But you keep us on our toes!! I read the text below on one of your links and suddenly felt old and irrelevant. But that’s the good thing! IT DOESN’T MATTER on your blog. You can engage us all.

    “I’ve used a trick for quite awhile that allows me to place shortcodes in the text widgets on my site.

    WordPress 2.9 was released with the ability to auto-embed media, such as youtube videos, in posts by simply pasting a plain text URL into the post content. I have thought for some time that it would be really great to be able to borrow from the idea behind the shortcode in text widget trick to enable the same auto-embed functionality in my text widgets.”

    Cheers big ears
    alison x

  34. Hi Sarah…

    Love the fact you are upgrading your blog…
    It is always fab to re-invigorage ourselves so to speak~~ AND i am not one to criticise but i thought you would like an honest opinion..(and I DO hate being a tad critical…BUT here goes…
    I agree with some of the above comments..lots of the headings/text is really blurry/very hard to read..(i use a MAC computer)…
    AND i have to agree with the “arrow” thingey…i think it makes your beautiful blog look a tad too amateurish..
    they kind of overpower your header….detract from it…
    Plus i think most of us readers know how to click on what we want to read without having to be directed to do so by an arrow??~~

    just my little two pennies worth~~~ xx andrea

  35. Wendy says:

    Hi Sarah
    I like the new look … apart from the arrows… they don’t seem to fit the look at all. They just look untidy to me. Sorry to be negative.

  36. Mimi says:

    I love the new look! Each blogger I have followed over the last few years have gone on to bigger things because of it (Ree Drummond was the first, several others, then Marion, known as Miss Mustard Seed) You are next! Excited to see all that is in store for you!) you have such a unique style all your own, embrace it! Hearing you on the Vlog was especially fun the first time!

  37. Jane Hearne says:

    Hi Sarah
    I’m a long term reader of your blog – always really enjoy your posts and am
    continuously impressed and inspired – so thank you
    I like the new style feels very fresh
    One question for you – when you feature products -for example make up , clothes or home wear
    can we as readers be absolutely confident that these are not freebies you have been sent
    in the hope you will review favorably? Yesterday I saw a page ,under press I think ,where you seemed to be inviting companies to send you products – just thought I’d seek clarity on the subject
    Cheers Jane

    • Susan @ Afford Your Passions says:

      Sarah – I will echo what the others have said about the font – it’s really difficult to read in Chrome – I didn’t want to have to “add on”.

      Jane – I don’t know what the laws are in Australia, but in the US, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) have very strict laws about giveaways/sponsorship/promotion, and the laws clearly state that anytime there is a post where a product is being offered (whether it be a post talking about a product, or a giveaway, or a review/recommendation of a service), the author of the blog has to clearly have a “disclosure” statement in the post indicating that the author is being compensated (whether that be in the form of money or product). Sarah, I believe, is an experienced enough blogger where she would disclose anytime she has been compensated.

    • sarah says:

      Hi Jane, thanks so much for your comment!

      As per my contact page, my terms are below to save me from a million emails a day from PR’s (some of them not how shall we say good ones) what I will accept is clearly stated.

      we are happy for PR companies to pitch content ideas/products for consideration/ receive product launch information

      we would love to accept products or experiences for trial but there is no guarantee that a product will be written about or favourably reviewed…

      abeachcottage has a unique and highly interactive readership based on trust….we wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise this, please keep this in mind when sending us ideas for perusal

      If you would like your company’s product reviewed on our blog, would like to discuss sponsoring a giveaway, or would like to advertise we would love to discuss it with you

      if and when I do a sponsored post it is clearly identified as such as per the disclosure policy

      This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity.

      That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

      The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my’ own

      Even though I may receive compensation for posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products.

      Cheers Sarah

    • sarah says:

      Oh and I am certainly not inviting companies to send me products! I am stating that it is ok to send me them so that I don’t have to answer another barrage of emails…

      I don’t need free products to blog :-)

      thanks again


  38. Carin says:

    Overall some great changes Sarah. I love that you make them and try to freshen up the place (even though it was lovely before too), and all the changes you are making to the blog in general, but sad to say the font on the header and the arrows aren’t working for me. Also, and this may be something you’re working on straightening out, but I can no longer click through to the blogs of other commenters. In my opinion, that’s really important. We all like looking up someone we think we may have som,ething in common with, right?!

  39. Lisa says:

    The new look has the same beachy feel as the last but is so fresh and organized! So glad you are finding so much satisfaction from your blog, that is really wonderful. I love that you let your passions drive what you write about – it shows and your blog is a delight to visit.

  40. HRH Sarah says:

    You rock, Sarah! Your blog looks great, and I’m just going to throw my echo out here now- the font looks really cool, except the “c”, which is unreadable to me. And I don’t care for the arrows, they seem like clutter to me. Otherwise, super cool look! I’m so glad I found your blog, I guess almost two years ago now? I love reading about and seeing what goes on in your neck of the woods, and your photography is so, so lovely. Looking forward to what you’ve got coming next!

  41. Go you! It’s here! X

  42. missy says:

    Can I be downer, and say that I agree that the new font is practically illegible? Love the new look, but can you work on the font for those of us that are not advanced to using a Mac? Otherwise, the look is exactly you!

  43. Candice says:

    Hi Sarah , really happy your Speak Your Mind box is back , I think I started 2 more gmail accounts , yesterday stressed for time they both came back with my surname , then joined disqus , kept on making same mistake .
    On relic PC and with the dread of vista …. fonts are not working , letters missing etc . I will try different things tonite and see if I can sort it out my end . Enjoy . Cheers .

  44. Sally A says:

    Love the new look Sarah. You have such an ubelievable talent! Your always manage to make your daily blogs one of the most fun of any that I read. With you…you take me to the beach, share wonderful recipes, share your fantatic pictures (which I just adore) and of course we must not forget the Saturday Mission club. Please don’t give up on that dear friend. Even though I do the list on my own….it’s just a happy and delightful list filled with unexpected joys of the heart and bliss that just makes me so very happy!! Thank you for the gifts you share with all who read your blog.

    Sending loads of Arizona love and hugs!!

  45. Nicky says:

    Sarah – go you. The re-design is fantastic and makes it so easy to buzz around the blog kind of intuitively. Loving it and have used 3 of your recipes this week (working Mum with 3 littlies and my own online business to run!) and really love my “Beach” fix every morning as I sit down at my desk in our basement/home office. I’m only just over the bridge from you but your beach heaven inspires me, makes me laugh and gives me a bit of “me-time”. Your writing style also reminds me of about a zillion friends back in Blighty and so regularly makes me laugh out loud – so important!

  46. Cee says:

    Love it Sarah, it looks comfortably similar yet excitingly new at the same time. Love the blogroll you’ve added, I always wondered where you hung out. Congrats on more continued success!!

  47. Rupa says:

    Just one word – It’s FANTASTIC ! I love it ! I have been a long time lurker but I just had to comment today hehe .. I can’t stop staring — it is so pretty and so beach-y !


  48. Kellie says:

    Im quite new to the beach cottage but love everything about it especially being a Brit who has been to Oz and would so love to bring the kids up over there :)
    My blog is a year old now and I’m feeling the need for a change too, funny how you get itchy feet now and then. Over the last month my posts have been few and far between and then when I decided to change it a bit I’ve got the buzz going again – plus my stats have zoomed up again making it even more satisfying :)
    Keep at it, it looks fab :)
    Kel x

  49. Fleur says:

    Daisy is a very cool name, very close to my heart! Might have to add Darcy to the maybe one day list! Lurvveee the new look, colours are super yummy xx

  50. Candy says:

    I’m a day late as I had dental surgery yesterday and was in no shape to make an intelligent comment. Now I have no excuse…lol!! I digress…Sarah, I love the new format and the font. It’s still you, only better. The headers are gorgeous and I could look at them all day. Keep doing what you’re doing…it works!!

  51. Tamara says:

    Sarah I have been following your blog for about two years now but during the last year have found you compulsive reading! You just get better and better – I’ve always loved how your blog looks but now you’ve improved on perfection and made it even more magnificent! It just looks beautiful and I love all your recipe/ fashion/ Barley posts. Thank you for following your gut instinct, being brave and giving us so much inspiration X

  52. Ingrid says:

    I love the new look it is so fresh and modern. I lam so envious and need to make so many improvements to my own. So hopefully you have now given me the push . I so love your blog it’s my little bit of sunshine every morning.

  53. Katherine Eaton says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I have been away from here for a week or so, & i thought I must go over to the BC this morning…… to see it all freshened up, & looking new and lovely – good stuff! A change is as good as a holiday they say!!
    I got caught up in a horrible face book drama on a support group I WAS with! I turned them off yesterday morning. I decided to only surround myself with those who lift me “higher”….which is exactly what The Beach Cottage does – lifts my spirits, gives me a smile, and always good positive vibes! keep up the great, happy stuff you do – it brightens our days immenouslsy (spelling?!). From now on I go where things are happy, positive, thoughtful and good – and pretty to look at too ! Thanks Sarah. Beach Cottage rocks!! : )

  54. Judie says:

    Off Topic…. I am having problems seeing and reading the blog. I know my eyes are old (wink) and I wear readers but I have tried to change the colour of the text, change the contrast, update my display stuff. Nothing seems to help. Can anyone help. I can barely see the boxes to enter things in.. Some writing is in black and that’s actually good but it’s still not sharp. My laptop is HP, WIN7, IE9 (not sure how I got that). What else can I tell you that will help. This comment appears to be light blue grey on pastel blue. TIA for any help. I do love this blog

  55. Judie says:

    Thank you much. It’s probably something simple to fix.