Things didn't stop with mantelscaping and painting when Capricious was here (I told you she was fabulous. Lucky for us, she's my sister, or I'd probably have to pay her. We did feed her and she seemed okay with that.). Once we established that Behr's Rain Washed paint color was an excellent choice for my wallsthe perfect combination of fun and relaxationnext was figuring out how we could work that combination into my limited decor. Using things I already had and wanted to keep around, mixed with small items I could buy that wouldn't break the bank.
I've always been a fan of Coastal Living magazine, and beach-style decor says peace, calm, and quiet to me, exactly what I wanted my master bedroom to tell me at the end of my increasingly long and stressful days at the office. I wanted it to tell me: This room is your oasis. Come in, relax, and put your feet up.
Nothing says beach more than sea shells, but if I was going to go that direction, it couldn't be kitschy. I wanted a classy, cozy, and comfortable cottage style that didn't scream country, since that's not our thing at all. Perusing Pottery Barn's latest summer catalogue, I was able to get an idea of what I could do. Among them was using a conk shell and coral that Jonathan already owned. Both real (sad, but true about the coral; there's now plenty of places including Pottery Barn where you can get fake coral, leaving the real stuff intact), and both very beautiful. They'd make perfect additions to the my black bedside bookcase we already owned. That's right, black.
In discovering our new-found themes for our house, we couldn't help notice we owned a lot of black. Black furniture, black frames, black lamps, lots of black accents. It was immensely popular when I was in college, and I still love a dark color any day. But white is the new black, and I was more than ready to break out a paint brush to bring them into the new era. But Capricious stopped me in my tracks. Why paint all this stuff white when you can make black work? Seriously, the girl is brilliant. And we didn't have to paint or change a thing, which was fine with me. I really loved the contrast it brought into the room.
So back to the bookcase and those shells. Using those real ocean pieces Jonathan already had, we also wanted to bring in some other shells and maybe sand for one of those cool oceanscapes that use found beach items in some vessel. I already had the perfect clear vase, we were just lacking a beach for the rest, but that's why they invented Michael's, where we found not only sand (they have all colors, we opted for your everyday beach variety) but also a bag of shells and then just for something special, a starfish. We carried it all home and sorted through the bag of shells. I didn't want to use all of them, so we chose only a select few we liked. And this is how it turned out and at the conk and coral. Ignore the empty photo frames. I'm still trying to decide what to put in them.