Sunday, 5 February 2012

February inspiration - winter beach

The first post of every month will feature a couple of pages from the nothin' but the rent inspiration sketchbook. The pages will be inspiration around a theme and will be followed by some shopping ideas to get the look. You might see something you like, an accessory or a colour, the idea is to spark your interior design imagination.

February's theme is 'Winter Beach'. Not being much of a sun worshiper, I love a walk along a cold beach, wrapped up and heading to somewhere for a warm drink afterwards. The coast has always been a very inspirational place for me, I love the rocks, the colours of the sea and the sound of the waves. The starting point was a photo I took on a very wet and chilly day in Seaton, Cornwall (centre of the right hand page) The deep blue of the sea, the purple tint in the sky and the grey/black sand are just my kind of colours.

1. Farrow & Ball colour card.
2. Delicate Shell, Pebble Grey & Pure Sea all Sanctuary paint at Homebase
3. Aran knit cushion, £10 from F&F
4. Celestial Cloud in 6 shades from Dulux
5. Deep Ocean & Soft Feather paints also from Sanctuary at Homebase

Photo on left hand page by me. Fossil, pebbles & ceramic pot all from my collection.

Interiors inspired by the beach and seaside are always in danger of turning into a bit of a twee nightmare, but you won't find any fake seagulls, boat shaped shelves or shell knick-knacks here though. What I've been looking at are textures and colours and beautiful accessories with a twist Think Aran knits and clever takes on beach paraphernalia set against dark stormy sea colours, so yes, there anchors and shells, but they are beautiful...


1. I love this giant squid brandishing a pair of pistols! Ceramic tile by Rory Dobner, £37.50 from Rockett St George. There's also two designs featuring fish smoking cigarettes, an anchor, a pirate's parrot and a ghostly galleon to continue the nautical theme...
2. A twist on the classic flying ducks, these black swallows,£15, by Sass & Belle at Urban Outfitters are perfect for your walls. Hang with command hooks for easy removal.
3. A perennial favourite, The Sanctuary's salt scrub is perfect for brightening up dull winter skin. £11.25 from The Sanctuary or nationwide from Boots chemists.
4. This hefty door stopper, £55 from Pedlars is also great as an objet in itself.
5. For a bit of weathered beach hut texture, you can't beat this wallpaper by Piet Hein Eek at Graham & Green. At £199 a roll it's a bit pricey, but it's incredibly realistic. Paper a panel and pop behind your dining table or bed.
6. Manufactum make solid, traditional homeware, including this amazing hurricane lamp, £25.50.
7. This cute-but-not-cutesy cushion, £34.50 from Rustic Country Crafts at Not on The High Street has a simple anchor motif and is available in for colourways.
8. These surprisingly contemporary & witty plates from Poole Pottery, start from just £3.49 for a mushy pea bowl. I also love the ceramic chip tray (not shown here)
9. This stunning print shows the mathematical formula for the dimensions of a nautilus shell, alongside an illustration of the internal structure. A steal at just £40 from Rockett St George, and that's framed too!

So, no matter how far away from the sea you live, you can still have a bit of coastal inspiration in your home.


  1. I was born in Newcastle and we always used to go to Whitley Bay beach in the summer and the winter. I can't ever remember it being sunny in the summer, but I've loved the seaside out of season ever since.

    Am coveting that wallpaper like nobody's business.

  2. It's gorgeous isn't it! Thanks for taking the time to comment, it's really appreciated.

  3. would the pure sea and soft feather make a good colour scheme for a bedroom

  4. Blues and beiges are very restful so in theory yes. However, if your room is north facing the light can make blues and greens feel very cold. The two colours you mention are perfect for south or east facing rooms as the light is naturally warmer. If you do have a northfacing wall you might want to try a richer, darker or warmer tone.

    Hope this helps!