Beach Cottage Decor Ideas

Fri 25th, May, 2012

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So Beach Cottage ladies, if you read Barley’s fanpage you will know I sneaked in some new bedding recently




….yes this is another post where I have foofed…



As you know this bedroom has recently been spruced up, really that meant that it was re-painted white, I mix my own Beach Cottage white now which suits the light coming in and the feel I like,  but if you are looking for a nice easy, good value white, Dulux Whisper White is hard to beat…

I have had a few emails about how the bedroom freshen up went (find that post here if you missed it)…well really there isn’t too much to show, because it’s white again (!) and it felt that way to me once it was all finished…that’s what happens when you love the colour of a room so much that you don’t change it!

But I did want a new look to this room and am right now on the hunt for new wardrobes, I have finally come to the realisation  that I cannot pretend that an old, rescued from the side of the road wardrobe can  amply fulfill my needs any longer, I need to find a better wardrobe solution

but a new look? well the best way to get that is to change the bedding…good for the pocketbook too!


Along the way with decorating, I have found that layering in the bedroom is key…take a look at any home decor shop and those faux made up beds and you will see layering going on left, right and centre…here’s one from IKEA with no less than 8 pillows on the bed.  Excessive?  Not for me!  (see the Beach Cottage Guide to Shopping IKEA here too)



My bedroom is the one place in this cottage that I do try to keep together (I am well aware that some people think this old cottage is a white show home, but remember I only show you the good bits…I have 3 BUSY kiddos here people, one especially causes me a lot of taxi driving, it is not perfect here a lot of the time)  - I like to make my bed and foof it most days, I try to keep my nightstand tidy and clean and I try not to drop clothes all over the floor…Mr Beach Cottage would be, if he read this blog guffawing and eye rolling right now at that, but I do try…

There is just something about having a bed that is comforting and inviting (no matter what your taste in style or colour) that helps at the end of the day when it has all gotten too much…and layering up and changing your bedding is one of the best value, easy quick and simple ways to improve the place you hang out…(that’s my excuse for being a serial linen buyer and I am sticking to it, ok?)

If you’ve been with me for a while, you will know that I change my bedroom quite a bit, I like that…but really, it’s not a case of being obsessed, more that if you stick to one main base colour, preferably neutral (guess what colour mine is? ;-) ) you can just about change the look every time you change the bed…


7 Easy Tips for Bedroom Style

(with a hint of beach decor / coastal style)

1. stick to one main palette and then add in a pop of colour

2. add a pattern for some personality

(here polka dots for pattern & cushion cover, colour from flowers)

 3. layer up quilts, sheets, doonas & throws – a bed that is ready & welcoming not stiff & stuffy

4. add texture, texture, texture

5. pile on the cushions for comfort and colour


6. for a coastal look, add a nautical / beach stripe

7. introduce one key nautical piece (an oar, shell, piece of coral etc) – avoid the themed look ;-)

I put together some images here of other looks my poor suffering bedroom has gone through …just click to view!  (some quite different looks, all very beach cottage / beach decor with a bit of vintage coastal style thrown in, but all using the same pieces of furniture, all thrifted vintage or budget too and changing up the linen/layering).

 [nggallery id=35]

Now tell me, is your bedroom a place you love, or does it need a bit of layering?





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40 Responses to “Beach Cottage Decor Ideas”

  1. Karen Hancock says:

    May I please find out where you got your amazing spotty linen from. I would die for spots!

  2. neen says:

    The bedroom is one place where I haven’t tried or started to foof, too many things that are wrong, wrong, wrong and it does get to me. We were meant to be completely gutting the room plaster and all this year BUT…… next summer will be the time. Robes and an ensuite are definates. I have been collecting pics from you for the MAJOR reno. But the time has come to do a freshen up and foof not just the usual dust and vac. Next week is the start of freshen-up, hubby away with work !!!! Love the simple additions you do flowers, change linen etc. LUUURVE your style tips, thanks.

  3. neen says:

    PS: just did the grocery shop at Aldi and found a white cotton looking table ‘topper’ (small table cloth) it has white flowers embroidered on it…..oooooh Aldi how I love thee………perfect under the Aldi round white bamboo tray holding Ikea white jug with rosemary, white bowl with lemons and a vintage jar with a wire dragonfly wrapped around it with a tea light inside. Be still my fluttering heart….;)

  4. Susan says:

    I’d love to know where you got the putty/white stripe bedding…that is wonderful…although I’m still considering a pin tucked duvet….

    • Erin says:

      Hi Susan, if you look at the bed from Ikea with all of the pillows layered, I think you may just find your answer. Correct me if I’m wrong, Sarah :)

  5. Aisling says:

    I love foofing in my bedroom too! Some people think I am a bit odd but I don’t care.

    I have recently bought a wonderful original danish chair for the corner of the room – we have no good shops in our suburb but a girl has just imported three containers of 50s-60s skandinavian furniture and opened a pop up shop for three months – it is fabulous! I foofed my bedroom to match the chair and it looks great! ds, 10, said it looked like a magazine :)) (Now, he might have seen mummy with an interiors mag or two in his time……)

    I love your style Sarah – and it is so nice to know I am not the only one who likes to change my bed around! And when I buy more bedding I just have to buy a nice cupboard to put it in :))

  6. kate says:

    Yay love love love your foofing posts!

  7. Janelle says:

    Loooove!! You have inspired me to go forth and foof!! My bedroom is whites and beiges but looking at your gorgeous room I def need more layers and some fresh flowers wouldnt go astray either. Am attempting a hand knitted wool cushion and maybe throw for a cosy winter look in charcoal greys etc. Also tossing out the valance, how annoying are those things?!? Thanks again for the foofing inspiration…xx

  8. Felicity says:

    Thank goodness for your blog and amazing photos. I can have a little day dream of what my perfect bedroom would be, just like yours. I sit here dreaming while i should be cooking as my mother in law is coming for dinner. Ah i will keep looking and dream a little longer, dinner can wait. I really love the white balloons too, they give off such a whimsical feeling.

  9. Susan @ Afford Your Passions says:

    I have to ask – were you standing on top of a tall ladder to get one of those shots? Nice angle!

    I would love white bedding, but we have a german shepherd who is allowed to sleep on the bed (sometimes), so white bedding (other than sheets and pillowcases) is out. I love the look of your white bedding, though.

  10. Alice says:

    dreamy… I was thinking of getting that exact quilt cover for our bed… I have to say I am loving the quilts that are currently on rotation… I think that’s what stopped me from buying the ones from Ikea, they would end up never seeing the light of day(or perhaps I would be over them by the time they did come out of the cupboard lol).

    I agree too, change the bedding around and you can instantly change the vibe of the room… We had a very shabby chic type vibe (that we both didn’t mind it was more of a vibe than actual theme if you get what I mean, hence the husband approval)…. Changed the quilt and we now have a more coastal vibe(though still a little shabby – not shabby chic though) lol…

  11. Cozy!
    Question – that vent-y thing above your bed and to the left…. does that go…..outside??? What is that?


    • sarah says:

      haha get asked that all the time! it is like an air vent….yep even in winter there are holes in the wall in older Aussie houses….there are two in this bedroom! x

  12. Oh, thank you for the Beach Cottage bedroom tips. I just tried my hand at putting one together, too (the big reveal is tomorrow!). I’m so glad you confirmed my love for MANY pillows on the bed!:) You have such a beautiful, inspiring room…and beautiful, inspiring photography. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Becky says:

    Beautifully done! It is my dream to have a house with a beach/shabby chic look to it. Where did the bed come from? I’ve been looking for something like that for awhile.

  14. hi Sarah – looking good! I’m sure Barley would love to get amongst all that ruffle! I love the old frame door you have behind your bed – that’s a real beauty!
    cheers Fiona

  15. Sarah-Jane says:

    Love love….is the beige striped bedding IKEA????

  16. Kat says:

    Beautiful and yet simple in it’s gorgousness.
    Hm, we only have two doona covers – a blue and white stripe with wooden buttons and a white one with a bit of a ruffle/pin tuck on the bottom.
    Like you I am a beachy girl and love blue and white in my bedroom. (our walls are blue with white trim.)
    So yes I do need more bed linen, but cannot justify the outlay atm and my hubby would freak!
    I cannot believe how much more serene our bedroom feels when we have the white doona cover on.
    Sarah, you have converted me to wanting more white bed linen :)

  17. Kat says:

    Ps what does your hubby think about lots of pillows on the bed?
    My hubby just does not get it. A bit like the scene from Along Came Polly, or whatever that movie is called with Jennifer Aniston.

  18. Janine says:

    love your home….where do you get polka dot sheets ?

  19. Rukmini Roy says:

    Very pretty :) I love that green chair of yours…and the pearlescent balloons too! Great tip.

  20. Elaine in Laguna says:

    High five for Whisper White…My home’s interior is painted this shade…Have lots of pillows in the bedroom, too…Bedroom is a classic mix of blue and white with six pillows on the bed…. in different sizes and shapes. Love your foofing as always!

  21. Dreamy paradise! Sigh so beautiful. You rock the layering thing!

  22. Motherofluvlies says:

    Hi Sarah just a mum from Essex(orinally from Ireland) .I love to hear about your projects and new life.Thank you for sharing the details .your generosity in sharing the practical sourcing details e.g . Double curtain rails who would have thought it! …and where you source and achieve the look , has given me the confidence to try a new look in our bedroom.Now as you know we aren’t sunny(although believe it or not 27c today)nor am I nautical and with triplets and several teenagers in the house I am being advised against this look but hey,nothing ventured nothing gained.So I have painted Dulux Clouded Sky and am now stuck!!We do have an old iron bed but what on earth to do about wardrobes.Please please post your wardrobe solutions as I need to get my room back together.The Ikea wardrobes are so deep.
    Keep up the good work as it,s so lovely to hear about the other side of the world from a down to earth ” lovely girl” as we would say.
    Thank You

    • Motherofluvlies says:

      Do you read comments?I,m not sure how this works.Well after 4 weeks of stalemate;) We are now getting a new floor and Ikea wardrobes.Which rugs do you use as the sisal seems terribly sore.The thing is I do actually have 2 old beautiful chests of drawers which dont fit in …aaaargh.I can,t bring myself to get rid of them.I have gone for Bergsbo doors what do you think.Will this work?If you get a chance do you reply?
      Luv Motherofluvlies

      • sarah says:

        I use the sisal from IKEA, it’s fine and not sure underfoot, but I am not fancy lol

        I would KEEP the chests if they are old and try to use them elsewhere or re-vamp them to fit in…they don’t make them like they used to !

        good luck x

  23. alison says:

    Do lots of pillows on the bed do Mr BC’s head in?? Mr alison used to frisbee ours across the bedroom and mutter under his breath. I depillowed our bed a couple of years ago, well cut down dramatically anyway, and now Mr alison is a happy chappy. Layers of pillows are a girl thing I think. LOL

    BTW just a reminder your quilt cover has my name on it when you are finished.


  24. alice says:

    Can I ask where you got the frame??

  25. franky says:

    beautiful room! love the turquoise pillow! where did you find that?

  26. Joan Weaver says:

    Where did you get your white lamp on the bedside table. It looks like it has a shade made of fabric – maybe with elastic at the top and folds of fabric at the bottom maybe fastened with buttons. Did you make it? If so, so. Or did you buy it and where?

  27. Sam Shay says:

    In a post you have a brown throw blanket..I was wondering where you got it from? It was in the picture with the white, crisp duvet.