Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

What better way can we offer our best wishes for the New Year than by writing on the sand!  We found this beautiful greeting and wanted to pass it along to all of our wonderful customers.  We wish you all the best of health and happiness in the coming year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Red & Green By the Sea!

Traditional red and green brings the holidays to your space with classic flair.  We might replace the pinecones with a gift from the sea, but otherwise love this look!

Happy Holidays by the sea!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coastal Holiday Wreath Ideas

Still busy decorating for the holidays by the sea?  Here are some great wreath ideas we came across and wanted to share.  There's nothing like the smell of a fresh wreath!

Our holiday mermaid would look perfect over this door!

Use your imagination . . . and all of your beach finds!  All wreaths were found in Coastal Living Magazine over the years.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seaside Gardening

The key to seaside gardening is blending a garden into its surroundings.  Obviously, weather is a very large factor in selecting plants for your seaside retreat.  Plants need to be able to stand up to the harsh winds living by the ocean bring. 

 Day Lillies and Shasta Daisies are two examples of perennials that can stand up to life at the beach! 

 Vinca, Sweet Assylum and Wishbone Flower are a few annuals that do well. 

 In our new garden at the Jersey Shore, shrub roses and hydrangea perform beautifullly. 

 Our section of our little island is home to many pine trees and olive trees appear to do well beside them.  When we designed our beach-side garden, we wanted it to be colorful, yet virtually maintenance free.  So far, so good!

Grasses are a staple in the Northeast seaside areas.  Very little maintenance and can certainly stand up to the winds.  We incorporated an old anchor from a salvage yard into our landscaping. 

Hardscaping in tones of blue-green can mimic the hue of the sea.  Wood is always a natural choice.  We just finished installing a ground level entrace patio out of epe wood which has now become a haven from the sun with a few teak lounge chairs!

The gardens of Nantucket are just amazing!  Something about their naturally-weathered shingles against all of those bright, colorful flowers.

The blue of the Caribbean Sea is a stunning background in and of itself!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunset Over the Bay!

There is so much I love about the beach.  The days spent on the beach or boating on the bay. One of my favorite times of the day is watching the sunset over the bay.   Everyone gathers on our deck after a full day to watch this event, chat about their day and enjoy cocktails and hors d'oueveres before dinner.

Some of my favorite conversations have been had over wine and cheese on the deck.  It's a wonderful time for everyone to share their water experiences.  Speaking of cheese ... our local cheese store on Long Beach Island has made me basically obsessed with one of their cheeses. At their suggestion, I tried a piece of their cheese rubbed in espresso.  I was hooked! 

I think my wine always tastes much better when I am sipping from my starfish red wine glass. Can it be the amount of wine this glass can hold?

After a day on the beach, or boating on the bay, our family and guests gather on our deck for our pre-dinner cocktails and hors d'ouevres.  We always have a selection of cheese from my new-found favorite Bellavistano Espresso to simple mozzarella. 

As I love all of the serving pieces we stock at By the Sea Decor, I own many of them and enjoy using them especially for our gathering time.  Our cheese is always served on the Granite Cheese tray shown below:

Chips and dip are usually housed in one of these beautiful serving platters:

Our baskets are filled with bread for dipping and crackers for cheese:

A few of my favorite functional and beautiful serving platters that will become staples on your seaside table:

Don't forget the plates . . . our starfish appetizer plates are perfect . . . add a set of Isola Bella hand-printed cocktail napkins . . . and let the conversation flow!