The Inspired Room

Refining Your Home for Authentic Living™

Authentic Coastal Style September 25, 2007

Filed under: Authentic Living,Decorating Inspiration — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 10:58 pm
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I love Coastal Style. And I have mentioned that fact several times on the blog. But, as a sweet reader pointed out, I have neglected to talk about the fact that our family has a beach house on the coast! Yes, I did mention it in my “About page” and one other time, but that was it. I apologize, I just keep forgetting to talk about it. The house has been being remodeled for about nine months now, and still has probably another month or two to go until completion (yes, that sounds way overdue to me too!). I promise to show pictures as the countdown to completion begins! Here it was earlier in the process. See! It does exist!

This house has been a part of our family’s (including my folks and sister’s family) every summer, many weekends and holidays for over ten years (I can’t even remember how long now!). We are very blessed to have it. The house overlooks the Pacific Ocean, between two wonderful coastal towns, Cannon Beach and Manzanita. It is in a quiet, forested area high on a hill with a breathtaking view of the ocean. This is its second remodel since it has been in our family. Soon it will have new architectural features, more bathrooms, bedrooms, a new sunroom, decks, a heated garage to play games in and an outdoor hot tub overlooking the water. Don’t hate me, if you are really nice to me maybe I’ll invite you over sometime! A blog party!

As far as a style goes, I think coastal style sometimes gets typecast as being just one particular look. In reality, coastal style should be more of a way of life than a specific color scheme or choice in furnishings. And you know what I always say, there are no rules! For us in Oregon, being on the northwest coast, we don’t have the long warm season that folks in Florida or Southern California have. So in our particular case, we might choose a bit cozier beach style than what someone in Florida would choose. And yet, we have Coastal Style, it is just our own personal version of it. It wouldn’t be authentic if we copied a look that works well in Florida — the Northwest is a VERY different place.

I love authentic style, meaning I love being true to who you are, where you are in life, and what suits you. Not being a slave to what is popular, trendy or what some designers say is cool to do, or not do. Of course, what others think can be enlightening for me, but if I don’t apply it all or do it differently, I’m OK with that. I am just me, and if it works for me and I like it, that is great style in my opinion. I’m inspired by a lot of different things, but what I come up with for my home is entirely my own unique mix.

I think confidence in who you are, what is important to you, and what you love should be the epitome of a stylish person and home, not what someone else has labeled as fashionable. Who makes those rules anyways, who made THEM the home fashion police? There are fine ideas and better ideas, and some not so good ideas, but I don’t follow trends in what is currently chic or not. Being real is WAY more attractive than trying to be something you are not. IMHO! No offense to anyone who follows trends or is very chic. Really, if that is your authentic style, I am all for it. You have got to be yourself in your own home.


One of my favorite styles is commonly referred to as British Colonial. I’ve mentioned it along with coastal style before, as it is one I gravitate towards in my own home. I love the mix of furnishings and casual nod to adventure and the sea that seem to go along with that style. I use elements of it because it works for both my husband and me, it isn’t too feminine for his taste and not too masculine for my taste. It works with what we have and who we are. It can go in so many directions, so it lends itself to different interpretations depending on what you have or love.

Here are two photos (above and below) showing some of the elements of this style as interpreted by the designer, from the October Traditional Home. I know this style doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone, or even work for everyone, but if you are like me, you get inspired by being stretched in new directions! So, stretch away!


Rooms by the incredibly talented Barclay Butera

To see more on my own beach house remodel, click here.



21 Responses to “Authentic Coastal Style”

  1. Julie Says:

    My comment didn’t post. Wonder why?? Anyway, I love the coast and all things ocean. Living in western PA I don’t get there as often as I would like. So I take mini trips in my imagination through various sites. I LOVE the bedroom. It would totally work for me and my husband. He loves the color blue. Each room in my house seems to be taking on it’s own theme. I just like so many different styles, I try to pull them all together. Your blog is always so chock full of information, I thank you for sharing! Hope your little boy is feeling better!


  2. I’m inspired by alot of things and I can appreciate other styles even if it’s not something I would do in my home. I’m also so not into what’s trendy. I really want my home to be a reflection of me and my family at this time in our lives. Totally with you on that!

    I always love those shell mirrors! I saw a headboard covered in shells at a local store and it was pretty but I kept thinking how would you prop yourself up at night to read in bed?


  3. Rhonda Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Your home is your haven and must reflect what you love and what is comfortable for you and your family. I have a farmgirl/victorian soul and it leads to a strange combination of tastes but it works for me:)

  4. Becca Says:

    I loved your description of British Colonial. Its what works for us too for the same reason you stated, its not too feminine or too masculine but just right. Besides the fact that it nods to a tropical/coastal type look for us which is perfect because we both lived in Brazil near the beach and simply adore it!

  5. Victoria Says:

    I have followed Barclay since I saw him on Kitty Bartholomew’s show several years ago. His designs are clean and classic, even with all the “layering” as he calls it, they never look cluttered. I like the way I continue to discover new details as I study his work. I like it so well I have a section in my design notebook of everything in print/tv he’s done.

    But enough about Barclay how wonderful for you that you have a home at the beach-another canvas to express yourself- well I don’t hate you but I am envious. Lucky Girl!….and love the vignette!

  6. Pat Says:

    Our place at the lake is in the middle of Missouri, but it’s a sort of “coastal” look. Brighter colors, more woodsy, I think, than coastal. It seems to fit where we are, in life and at the lake.

    I am not a trend follower. I was told long ago, to collect/buy what I like. That works for me and our style.

    Love this post and the images. I can hardly wait to see the results of your coastal home redo!


  7. What a great post! You are so right, your home is your haven and should reflect who YOU are.

    Barclay Butera has such a special look. It is multifacted, but never cluttered. He has a wonderful shop in Newport Beach (the first of several) and it is inspiring just to visit and soak in all the displays, each one better than the next! Timeless.

  8. Rhoda Says:

    Oh, Melissa, how fun that you & your family have a beach house…lucky girl! Wish I had that priviledge, but I’ll have to enjoy yours & others vicariously. There are lots of folks down here who have beach homes too. I love coastal style & am always drawn to that look when I pick up a magazine. That’s when I really love blues & creams classic & pretty.’ve featured 2 pics that I absolutely love by Barclay Butera. I was thinking about doing a post on that Traditional Home oct. article too. Was wondering if it’s OK to post pics from magazines, as I’ve heard it’s a violation somehow. But, I sure did love that spread & may do a post yet on all those pics. I loved every one of them. Maybe I’ll ask permission from the magazine. I’ve posted magazine pics before, but there was some hubbub about it being illegal awhile back, so I try not to do that, but when you get inspired by an article, it seems that they wouldn’t mind the publicity!

    Great post!


  9. Rhoda Says:

    Me again! I just checked Traditional Home’s website & see that they did a whole spread on Barclay’s pics, so I think we are safe to use them on our blogs as long as we give credit where credit is due. I think I will do a post on it..I loved every picture!

    I just read about your sorry, & hope he gets better & that it’s not long-term problem. My DH suffered with it as a youngster too.


  10. Esther Sunday Says:

    Ask and I shall receive… I like that! ;D
    First, love the home. A couple of years ago, during some hard times I was having, I packed up my car, tossed in Spanky, my little dog, and headed out to the coast. Drove to Astoria and then spend the next two days driving down the coast. So, I have been in this area, and it is just beautiful! I wish you and your family many, many happy years and good memories at this lovely home and truly look forward to seeing more pics. (Can you show the view too? Gee… am I demanding or what?) And, you are so on the mark about styles, it is all about what makes someone feel good. Glad British Coloniel works for ya – lovely, to be sure! Better get back to work… pooh…. Love, Esther

  11. Terri Says:

    Melissa! Great post – what a lovely home. Funny, but when I drove the Oregon Coast a few years ago, Cannon Beach was my favorite location. I have a photo on my desk right now of those big rocks!! You are blessed (and I will invite myself over next time I am in town…hehe).
    I also have that new issue of “Traditional Home” and was just reading the article about the blond fellow with the British colonial home on the train yesterday. What a coincidence. And I was thinking of you as I’d heard you mention this style and thought “this is what she meant!” Hurrah for happy coincidences!

    I will blog soon, but I am only back in town for 8 days before we go to Vancouver Island for a 2 week vacation, and I am swamped and going out of town this weekend and starting a Thursday class.

    I also had a shocking event on Sunday when my plane made an emergency landing, which I will blog about soon. I am happy to be alive! (and nice to be back reading your blog!)

    Talk soon, Terri xo

  12. Julie Says:

    I have tried posting 4 times now. GEEZ! I just wanted to say that I love the coast and the ocean. And the bedroom is gorgeous. My husband would love it!


  13. tracy Says:

    Oh, a beach house near Cannon Beach ~ dreamy! My parents are both from Portland, so summer vacations were spent visiting relatives in the area, and usually included a day trip to Seaside. Last summer my husband & I spent a few days there, and I know it’s completely touristy now, but I still love it. To me, it was everything a vacation should be. A nice hotel, a view of the beach (but not too close to be outrageously expensive!), no schedules, just fun. Since the house we were buying here in Juneau wasn’t ready before we left for vacation, we actually closed while in Seaside. Definitely a vacation I will always remember!

  14. “Authentic Style”… I love that! You are so right. There is not one specific “cottage”, Shabby”, “Beach”, “Coastal”, “Country French” etc ~style~.

    Yep, “Authentic Style” says it best! What a great phrase.

  15. Beck Says:

    Love this look. And how blessed to have a family beach house. A beach house is something that I always wanted when we were kids and when I was about 19, my parents made the decision to make a purchase before the prices kept on growing out of reach. It’s the best to have a little place away from the hustle and bustle to retreat to. Beautiful. It’s only 1 more sleep until I move into my new place and I’m all set to paint away. I’ve decided on a soft green in the back open area to compliment the polished floor boards and cream/white furniture. So excited! I’ll let you know when there are pics up on my blog! Keep up the great work on yours. I love my shot of inspiration from you Melissa! Thankyou! (and let me know when you need a place to stay in Australia!:) )

  16. Mélanie Says:

    British colonial looks gorgeous !!! This house seems so great and peaceful

  17. What a beautiful front entry (first picture)…you know that has been on my mind lately!

  18. OK, I just read the text in detail. I LOVE THIS POST! I love the idea of authentic style, and living an authentic life. I am going to think about this some more today. Thank you for the inspirational post!

  19. Anna Says:

    Love the grassweave wallpaper, bamboo cabinet & shell encrusted mirror in the first pic and everything in that bedroom is to die for! Gorgeous post!

  20. Becky Says:

    Wonderful post, Melissa! You are richly blessed to have a coastal home..our dream..someday perhaps. Great photos and love the look!



  21. Joy Says:

    Ooh. I love that area. Some of my best memories are in Cannon Beach and Manzanita. I’m from Gresham, but living in Indonesia. I found you in CWO magazine! I love your blog, and I can’t wait to read more!

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