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The Art of Coastal Living: Integrating Local Art into Your Decorations

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores vacation rentals make the dream of beach living come alive for thousands of vacationers each year. Guests anticipate their trips with excitement, counting down the days until it's time to travel south. One way to add to their good times is to surround them with the very thing they have come to experience- create a beachy theme! How should you do that you might ask? Choosing a great local interior designer in Gulf Shores is a great start!

With the right decor and local art pieces, you can create a tranquil, beach-life atmosphere for yourself and for guests. Having a beach themed space assures guests stay in the vacation mindset and remain in fun-mode even when their toes aren't in the sand. This blog post will guide you through the art of coastal living and how to integrate local art into your decorations and create a sea-worthy, relaxed vibe that will help bring peace, joy and laughter into your Gulf Shores vacation rental or beach home.

Beachy Artwork

At Emily Duncan Designs we derive a great deal of inspiration for the natural beauty of the coastal landscape. From the swaying seagrass and undulating dunes to the meandering boardwalks that lead to sugar white beaches. It is about creating a space that feels calm, relaxed, and connected to God's creation. The aim is to capture the essence of the coast—its peace, vastness, and healing properties—and infuse it into your living spaces.

To seamlessly incorporate a coastal theme into your home or rental, begin by selecting a color palette that reflects the beachscape—a mix of soft blues, sandy beiges, and sun-bleached whites. Utilizing these hues in your wall paint, furniture, and accents will create a cohesive backdrop for showcasing local art. When choosing pieces, opt for artwork that highlights the natural beauty of the coast such as seascapes, marine life, and abstract interpretations of the ocean's dynamic.

Look for unique crafts made by local artisans—perhaps a piece of driftwood transformed into a sculpture, or reclaimed materials crafted into wall hangings. These authentic elements not only bring a piece of the coast into your living space but also support the local art community and preserve the cultural identity of the area. Beachy wall art that is light and bright is perfect way to set the design tone for your decorating. From seaside paintings to photographs of the ocean, there are numerous forms of wall art that can help you create the warm and inviting coastal feel in your home.

Beware Beach Tacky

Avoid the common pitfall of overdoing the beach theme with an abundance of kitschy trinkets and an overload of seashells and beach paraphernalia. Such decorations can quickly turn a tasteful space into a cluttered and tacky area, detracting from the serene coastal atmosphere you're aiming to achieve. Instead of filling every nook and cranny with seashell lamps and fish net tablecloths, embrace the spaciousness and simplicity of the shore. Be selective with your beach-themed pieces and allow each item to stand out and contribute to the overall ambiance without overwhelming the senses. Remember, in coastal design, less is often more.

Remember too, the importance of maintaining an atmosphere that is family friendly. Coastal decor should evoke a sense of calm and an invitation to relax; however, it's best to steer clear of distasteful or potentially offensive decorations, including overt alcohol-themed items. While a nautical wine rack or tasteful bar cart can complement the theme without crossing lines, be wary of decorations that over emphasize alcohol, which can detract from the natural and wholesome essence of the coast. Imagine you are hosting a group of pastors on retreat, and they have breakfast under your glowing neon margarita sign exclaiming "It's 5' O'clock Somewhere". You won't lose anyone for not having such items, but you might lose out by having them.

It should go without saying, but it is also prudent to refrain from including any inappropriate or risqué humor items. A large contingent of your rental pool has young children and being mindful of "little ears and eyes" will go a long way in showing respect for your guests. Keep the focus on the beauty and tranquility of the coast, not on tacky or off-putting decor.

Blend in Contemporary Styles

Coastal decor is not just about beach-themed items. It's also about blending maritime inspiration with elements from other complementary styles. For instance, at Emily Duncan Designs, we love to create a modern coastal interior by adding contemporary furniture pieces with clean lines and neutral colors to your beach-themed decor. This creates a seamless blend of styles that adds interest and sophistication to your space. Alternatively, you can introduce rustic elements like natural wood and woven textures to bring warmth and depth to your coastal decor. Don't be afraid to mix and match different styles, as long as they work together harmoniously to create an inviting and relaxing atmosphere.

Shop Local - Artists

But how do you elevate your Orange Beach interior design and truly bring the beach to your home? The answer lies in integrating local art into your decorations. Local art adds color and personality to your home, and when chosen carefully, it can enhance the gulf coast theme of your decor.

For instance, consider purchasing art from local artists who specialize in local seascapes or marine life. Not only will these artworks add a touch of authenticity to your coastal decor, but they'll also support the local art community. Adding a note or card that gives the artist's bio and some background is a bonus for curious guests.

When integrating local art into your coastal decor, consider the color palette of your home. Coastal design often features a palette inspired by the sea and sky, with colors ranging from soft blues and greens to crisp whites and sandy neutrals. Choose artwork that complements these colors to create a harmonious look.

Art Placement & Flow

Moreover, the placement of your artwork matters. In coastal design, sightlines are important to the overall feel and flow of a space. Position your artwork in a way that it draws the eye towards a view, whether it's a window overlooking the sea or a beautiful piece of furniture. Use mirrors to double the impact of views whenever possible, using adjacent walls and angles to create the feeling of more space, view and light.

Lastly, remember that coastal living is about simplicity and relaxation. Avoid overcrowding your space with too many art pieces or decorations. Instead, choose a few key pieces that truly capture the spirit of the coast.

The art of coastal living is more than just decorating your home with beach-themed items. It's about creating a space that embodies the tranquility and beauty of the coast. By integrating local art into your decorations, you can achieve an authentic coastal feel in your home and support local artists at the same time. So why wait? Start exploring the wonderful world of coastal design today!