Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living

Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living.
Welcome to our blog "Coastal Creations & Design." We hope that you'll visit us often and read about our favorite coastal destinations, beach-inspired products, inviting seaside spaces, original artists works and people living the coastal lifestyle.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ringing in a "Seriously Seaworthy" New Year

I walk the beach looking for words and thoughts of inspiration

It's early in the morning and I find myself sitting here at my desk (as usual) looking for a bit of inspiration for writing the next Coastal Creations & Design blog. The end of the year 2010 is just a few days away and I'll have to say that I am really looking forward to ringing in the NEW YEAR! Not that 2010 was all that wasn't, but I can only think that each year is a stepping stone to the next and that each year we build upon our experience, knowledge and life skills and bring a little bit more to the next table. I think that years, like chapters in a book of life, needs closure and a new chapter opened to be written. I find that to be quite inspiring, especially now sitting here looking for the right "seriously seaworthy" words to express myself- to write something with great meaning to end this year.

But, instead of me sitting here trying to describe my past year and state my new resolutions for the upcoming year, I'd quite honestly rather hear about your year and your new years resolutions. What great things happened to you during 2010? What are you thankful for? What plans do you have for the upcoming year?

Hopefully you will write a comment and share your thoughts with us. If not, then I hope you take a minute and reflect on the past year, think about what you brought out of it and truly move into the new year with renewed energy and great expectations! What's the title of your new chapter?

Love the life you live, live the life you love.

Happy New Year!
Joe Elder
Coastal Creations & Design

Walk into the new year with great energy and expectations! Coastal Creations & Design.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great Winter Weather Recipes from Virginia Living Magazine

Baby, It's Cold Outside
French Onion Soup
What better way to get warm when the weatherman whips up a recipe for cold days and nights than by savoring a steaming bowl of soup and sharing it with some of your nearest and dearest. Too busy this season to host another gathering? Say no more. Soup to the rescue! There is no better—or simpler—way to entertain friends and family at this hectic time of year than with a soup party: Two kinds of soup, several loaves of crusty bread, a salad and you’re done. Add easy-to-make brownies to the offing and you have the perfect casual cold-weather menu, a boon to the busy holiday host.
Here are some of our favorite soup recipes to get you started. Now, invite a few folks and get comfy. It's time to take turns stirring the pot!
French Onion Soup with Beer
6 large yellow onions, sliced very finely
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups lager-style beer
herb sachet: Tie into a bit of cheese cloth 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs marjoram, 1 small sprig rosemary.
Melt butter, add olive oil and sauté the onions until golden brown. Add the garlic and continue to cook on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes. The onions should be cooked at a fairly low temperature so they will not burn—this may take 20-30 minutes. Next, add the warm beef and chicken broth and the beer. Simmer with the herb sachet for about 20-30 minutes, and season well with salt and pepper.
For the croutons:
Use sliced French bread (or your favorite bread) and, for each bowl of soup, cut a crouton from the bread with a circle cutter. Toast the bread and rub with a smashed clove of garlic, then top with one slice of Gruyere cheese and 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan. Pour soup into ovenproof bowls, and place a crouton on top of each soup. Brown nicely under the broiler.

Curried Winter Vegetable Stew with Brown Rice
1 large butternut squash
16 cups water
2 carrots
2 parsnips
2 ribs celery, diced
one small onion
1/2 ounce fresh ginger, cut into nickel-size slices
1 ounce fresh cilantro, with stems, chopped
2 tablespoons salt
2 whole cardamom pods, crushed
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small bay leaf
For the stock:
Peel the squash, carrots and parsnips, and remove the seeds and fibrous membrane from the squash. Place all the peelings and seeds in a large oven-proof pot with the water. Add the onion, cilantro, salt, cardamom, peppercorns, fenugreek, cumin and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, skim any foam that rises, and simmer over low heat for one hour, until reduced by half. Strain—you should have about 8 cups.
For the stew:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups parsnips, cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups rutabagas, cut into 1-inch dice
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch dice
1 head cauliflower, in florets
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
In a large roasting pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes. Add the other vegetables—except for the cauliflower—and sauté over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add all the spices and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and the cauliflower florets. Add 6 cups of strained stock. Bring to a boil and bake, covered, in a 350-degree oven for one hour. Correct seasoning as necessary, and serve with brown rice.

Pork and Green Chili Stew
1/4 cup safflower oil
4 cups pork, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 large onions, diced medium (about 6 cups)
3 large poblano peppers, deseeded and diced medium
1 4-ounce can diced, fire-roasted green chilies
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. When very hot, add the pork and brown well. Remove the pork and drain on paper towels. Sauté the onions and poblanos 5-6 minutes, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the spices and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes. Return the pork to the pan. Add the diced green chilies and the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 40-45 minutes on low heat, until thick. Check the seasoning.
Visit Virginia Living Magazine online at: 
"Live the Life You Love, Love the Life You Live"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nautical Gift Ideas for Christmas Gift Giving...Perfect for All Occasions

Skipjack's selection of nautical belts are a perfect gift for the nautical enthusiast and perfect for all occasions!

Are you searching for the right nautical gift for holiday gift giving? How about for that "hard to buy for" person on your shopping list! We've hunted all over the world wide web in search of the best new nautical/coastal inspired gifts available today and have also included a few nautical classics. Here's a selection of seriously sea worthy nautical-inspired gifts that you should consider- perfect for Christmas and all other gift giving occasions.

Pictured above: The nautical signal flag belt is from the collection of nautical themed belts available at Skipjack and is a perfect gift for all occasions for both men and women.  $24.95. Follow the link here to: Skipjack Apparel

Step-Thru Electric Bike from Tommy Bahama

Love riding down the beach with the wind at your back, but dread the ride back? Our premiere beach cruiser has an electric motor to help you power up hills, race into the wind and cover long distances — the battery provides enough power to travel approximately 40 miles per charge! With top speeds reaching 20 mph, you can reach your favorite beachside destination in minutes.

Deluxe finishing details include padded leather handgrips, contoured padded seat, disc brakes and a bell... ding ding! Retails for $2,675.00.  Visit Tommy Bahamas website at: Tommy Bahama

We've also chosen from Tommy Bahama's hostess gifts and entertaining, the marlin bottle opener, sure to please the salt water fisherman on your list. A matching serving tray is also available. Retails for $38.00.  Visit tommy Bahama website at: Tommy Bahama gifts.

Tommy Bahama marlin bottle opener.  A perfect nautical themed gift for all occasion.

Another great gift idea are these seafaring nautical cuff links from Scrimshanders in Newport, RI. Solid brass cufflinks that have been gold plated to prevent tarnishing. This is the same setting I use with my ivory sets only these are set with a polymer reproduction of a ship. Scrimshaw by Brian Kiracofe.  1/2" x 3/4". Retails for $25.00. Visit their website at:

Scrimshawed cuff links is a great nautical gift for all seafaring dads. From Schrimshanders, Newport,RI.

Perfect for the yachtsman on your shopping list, is Chelsea Clock's new nautical Carbon fiber flag clock in chrome.  The Chelsea craftsmen have been designing and meticulously building some of the world's most exquisite time machines since 1892. This new bezel clock is a sophisticated marriage of nautical style and elegant watch design, the Carbon Fiber Flag Clock features a 4.5 inch face, sport hand, a precision etched dial and enameled nautical flags representing numerals one through twelve. Durable carbon fiber material adds a unique accent to the clock dial. Forged solid brass, chrome finish. Traditional screw bezel. Two year warranty. Retails for $450.00. Visit the Chelsea Clock website at: Chelsea Clock Company.  You can also see a selection of new, vintage and antique Chelsea clock and barometers at Skipjack: Chsea Clock and barometers at Skipjack

Chelsea Clock's new nautical Carbon fiber signal flag clock in chrome.

A great nautical gift for the female sailor in your life is Barbara Vincent's sterling silver sailboat collection. Necklaces are available individually with five different sailboats to choose from or the total collection on a 20 inch sterling silver snake chain with bead dividers. Pendants can be purchased separately at $44.00 each and sterling silver chains are available in 5 different lengths starting at $24.00.

The Barbara Vincent sterling silver nautical sailboat jewelry collection.

These eight inch square nautical coaster murals are perfect for the sailor or lover of the coast in your life! The nautical chart of your choice is printed across the 4 coasters for a stunning and unique mural effect. With depth information and the outlines of hidden sandbars, nautical charts reveal safe passage to sailors. To the casual viewer, they evoke seaside memories and dreams of open water. Select your map from the options boc and artisans in New England will create a cork-backed, four-tile marble coaster set that reproduces a local chart.
The coasters are made from imported marble - carved from large marble blocks, no two tiles will ever be alike. Variations in coloring, small fissures and tumbling all add to the beauty of this natural stone.  Retails for $49.00. You can find these at the National Geographic web store at : National Geographic.

These eight inch square nautical coaster murals are perfect for the sailor or lover of the coast in your life!

Boating sunglasses are an essential piece of nautical equipment, whether you are competitive, a fisherman/women, or just go out occasionally for that fun weekend with your friends. When your out on the water the last thing you want to be doing is squinting or being blinded by the sun and that is why boating sunglasses are so important to your enjoyment.

Hobie produces some of the best sunglasses on the market today. Exceeding the standards of world champion watersport athletes, the Heritage Series features our highest quality thin, lightweight and durable Borosilicate Glass HydroClean polarized lenses, set in carefully crafted frames of Grilamid TR-90 and hand-finished Italian Zyl. The Heritage Series also features precision flex hinges for a custom fit and extra durability on some models. Megol Nose pads and megol Temple tips on some models as well. Each style in this series reflects Hobie’s uncompromising commitment to quality, innovation and design. Hobie has always stood for the highest quality polarized lenses available. With the addition of their new revolutionary HydroClean Plus™ and HydroClean™ lens coatings you get unmatched vision on and off the water. Retails for $170.00. Visit Hobie's website at:  Hobie sunglasses.  And if anyone asks, you can add this to my list!

Hobie's Heritage Glass Series- "Seabright" is a perfect gift for boaters and beach boys too!

Here's a great nautical gift for the fisherman in the crowd. The Humminbird Fishin' Buddy & Portable Fishfinder from Humminbird brings you the best in quality and performance to maximize your angling experience. The140c Fishin' BuddyFishin' Buddy Series.The 140c Fishin' Buddy offers a 256 color TFT 320V x 240H 3.5" display, Down and Side looking sonar with 1000 Watts PTP power output. The ultimate in portability, with an ergonomic clamp mount designed to use nearly anywhere. No rigging, wiring or transducer to mount. Retails for $249.49. For more information on this product and dealer listngs, go to: Hummingbird products.

A great fisherman's gift. The Hummingbird's 140c Fishin'. BuddyFishin' Buddy Series brings in the fish!

We will be posting other nautical/coastal gift giving products soon, so make sure to come back and visit us again. Your comments are always appreciated and please let us know if you have a recommendation or are dissatisfied with any of these items or companies. Have a great holiday season! Coastal Creations & Design.

Live the life you love. Love the life you live! Bob Marley.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nautical Lamp Shades: Chart Your Course with a Navigational Chart Lamp Shade

Navigational chart nautical lamp shades- the perfect product to dress up your nautical decor.

Nautical chart lamp shade on buoy lamp
Looking for an easy way to dress up and personalize your coastal/nautical interiors? Well here’s a style secret used by designers to create local interest to the finely-fitted nautical room. Replace your old lampshades with a custom-made nautical chart lampshade using a navigational chart from your local or favorite coastline. You can select from 1,000-plus U.S. coastal and Great Lakes nautical charts created and updated by NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration). Nautical chart lampshade not only create a great look to your room, but also becomes a point of conversation as you study the lighted charts, similar to viewing a terrestrial globe! Visit the NOAA site by clicking on this link to find the right nautical chart for your local waters.

nautical chart nightlight
Skipjack offers custom nautical lampshades constructed in our own design center located in Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA. We use only the highest quality materials including authentic NOAA navigational charts. Each shade is trimmed with a muslin-colored grosgrain ribbon and features a washer top for attachment to any standard lamp. We can duplicate the size of your existing lamp with the only limitation being the size of the navigational chart. Visit our website by clicking on this link for additional information and costs of producing your custom nautical chart lampshade. We also produce a nautical chart nightlight and offer a great selection of brass and hand-made nautical lamp finials to adorn your favorite lamps.  Click here to nautical lighting and lamp shades.

Skipjack's nautical lamp shades is the perfect accessory for the nautical themed interior.

Live the life you love. Love the life you live.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Driftwood Art & Furnishings: Re-Purposed Beach Finds For the Coastal Home

A custom made driftwood lamp at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery.

It's been a few weeks since I've been at the helm of Coastal Creations & Design blog. My time was pretty much devoted to covering the 21st Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and Schooner Days events following the completion of the race held here in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia: visit our Schooner Days blog at and Schooner Racing on the Bay at co-written and produced by my good friend Allen Graves who reported live from the deck of the schooner "Spirit of Independence." Now come and gone for another year, I'm back at the wheel and searching for new Coastal Creations and Design "seriously seaworthy" people, places and things to cover.

My friend Allen Graves on the Rappahannock Riverfront. Photography by Joe Elder
 Speaking of seriously seaworthy people, places and things, my friend Allen Graves recently called and invited me to catch up with him at his cousin's home on Virginia's Rappahannock River. It's a magnificent riverfront property with over 20 acres of undeveloped land in Middlesex County and a great destination for hunting driftwood and other beached nautical finds. So off I drove leaving my wife Alison behind to manage Skipjack Nautical Wares, for another Rappahannock River adventure. This time in search of great pieces of gnarled and twisted Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana commonly known as eastern juniper / red cedar with its washed and sun-faded silvery-gray patina and wonderful aromatic smell.

A driftwood sculpture mounted onto a pitch-black iron base.
 This reclaimed cedar driftwood is perfect for a number of artistic creations; larger pieces are perfect for sculptures, custom lamps and table bases. The smaller pieces can be used  for frames and stands for shore birds and other mounting applications. My mission: to find some great driftwood pieces to create a few exceptional driftwood coffee tables like the one pictured below! This is why Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery is sought out by interior designers and coastal homeowners nation wide searching for authentic and creative one-of-a-kind nautical/coastal furnishings, art and decor. We go to great lengths to provide our customers with these type of unique and authentic products. That's why we walk the extra beach mile.

A custom driftwood coffee table base acts as an artistic centerpiece in this living room.  From an article in Coastal Living Magazine. Writer Gena Sigala, Photographer Dominique Vorillon.
 Driftwood like this is readily in demand and becoming harder to find due to the ever increasing inhabited private property that dominates our rivers and oceans. This is certainly the case for a lot of the types of authentic nautical products that we carry, where the supply has diminished and the availability to obtain them becomes increasingly more difficult.

Large piles of driftwood and fallen trees along the Rappahannock River beachfront.
We headed out on a Sunday afternoon for a preliminary search to select choice pieces along the more than one mile of beachfront with plans to return in the morning to remove and transport our finds by canoe. We walked the total distance including the two islands and noted the primary locations of driftwood and gathered together old washed boards, perfect for decorative nautical themed signs. Some of the beach areas was so dense with fallen trees and driftwood that we had to wade out into the river to get around the debris and continue our search. Other areas had narrow beaches and  eroding cliffs created by Northeaster storms that seriously destroy the river's edge and topple mature trees into the river.

A flamingo-pink plastic beach chair stands sentinel on a lonely Rappahannock River beach.

Most beaches like this one is private protected property. You must have permission prior to entering.
We returned the next morning to the first of the marked locations. Allen paddled the canoe to the site and I hiked along the shoreline to again observe the primary areas and search for other finds. About an hour later we rendezvoused at the agreed location and started to place the pieces into the canoe. A chainsaw was utilized to cut away the usable parts of a few of the larger pieces too big for transporting. We moved along the beach line with canoe in tow and continued to collect our selections. The weather began to deteriorate with darkening clouds moving in, increased winds and threatening rain.

A selected piece of silvery-gray driftwood. 
Allen with canoe in tow.
By noon we had selected and packed the canoe with as much driftwood as feasible for the return trip home. The larger pieces were positioned in the center to stabilize the weight and smaller pieces filled the remaining spaces. Allen paddled the canoe back to the dock struggling against increased winds that made steering the small over-weighted vessel a challenge. He also had problems with a previous tear in the side of the canoe that seeped in water, making the trip home even more hazardous. Fortunately, he was able to return to the dock without mishap. I made my way back along the beach to pick up our van and meet Allen at the dock.

The canoe filled with driftwood ready for the journey home.
Once back, we unloaded the canoe and stowed it away. Then we packed the van filled with our new driftwood inventory-ready to return to my business in Portsmouth. I stopped on the way home at an outdoor do-it-yourself car wash and high pressure washed the driftwood, removing mud, sand and any other loose debris before bringing the wood into our gallery.

My van packed with driftwood from the Rappahannock River.

Re-purposed products ranging from nautical antiques to reclaimed nautical/coastal materials such as this driftwood has been a passion of ours for years and a large part of items created through Skipjack Nautical Wares design studio. For other articles about Skipjack's re-purposed products, visit Maya's Completely Coastal  and Caron's Everything Coastal Style

Now the fun begins- the creative part of this blog. I will now review the driftwood inventory and plan how to best use these pieces for coastal home furnishings and design. Stay with us for part two of this blog-Driftwood Art & Furnishings: Re-Purposed Beach Finds For the Coastal Home. 

Love the life you live--live the life you love! 
Joe Elder

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Repurposed Maine Lobster Trap Float Rope Floor Mats

These colorful floor mats are made from recycled Maine Lobster Trap Float-Rope!

Colorful nylon floor mats made from recycled Maine Lobster Trap Float-Rope
These innovative floor mats are handwoven using authentic float-rope used by lobster men to tether their lobster traps. Unfortunately, float-rope can entangle whales, so Maine lobstermen are now required to replace their float-rope with "sink-rope". These old float-rope have been removed from the Atlantic Ocean, and rather than being dumped into landfills, the rope is being recycled into these unique, almost indestructible floor mats with a expected life time wear of 5 plus years.

These old float-rope have been removed from the Atlantic Ocean, and rather than being dumped into landfills, the rope is being repurposed into these unique, almost indestructible floor mats.
Each mat is resistant to mold, mildew, salt water, and sun. They do not absorb water, nor harbor insects. Clean up is a snap, too. Just shake the mat out or hose it down - it's even quick-drying!

Help save whales and other marine life, provide financial assistance to Maine lobstermen and protect the environment.

Our colorful mats are a perfect choice for your home, cottage, and yacht and a great look for any coastal/nautical decor. Use these outdoor on porches, decks, doorsteps- even your boat, dock, or poolside- these mats float on the water and will never sink. You can also use them in your kitchen, bathroom and entryways but are only recommended on non-skid surfaces.

Available in 3 sizes: Small (approximately 18" x 30"), Medium (approximately 21" x 33") and Large (approximately 24" x 36"). Choose from the widest variety of colors options available at Skipjack - based on our constantly changing in-stock inventory.

Because each mat is handcrafted from authentic float ropes, no two will ever be quite the same. Float Rope floor mats is handcrafted in and a product of Maine.

"Love the life you live, live the life you love"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

" Sally Lee By the Sea" Unplugged: An interview With Marie Rhoades

This is the third in a series of Coastal Creations & Design "unplugged" interviews featuring seriously seaworthy coastal inspired authors and entrepreneurs. We are pleased to  include Marie Rhoades, author, entrepreneur and the creative mind behind the name "Sally Lee by the Sea" to the short list of  today's well-known Coastal Lifestyle gurus. She's become a major force in the world of coastal design and her name is often seen on Facebook and Twitter as well as other social media sites with her finger on the pulse of current design topics. So here goes...Sally Lee by the Sea!

Who is Sally Lee by the Sea? 

My name is Marie Rhoades and I've loved the ocean for as long as I can recall. Born and raised in the beautiful Napa Valley I recall many happy memories of spending time with family and friends on the California coast...Santa Cruz, Stinson Beach, Bodega Bay to name a few. As a child I daydreamed about living next to the ocean one day. I found a fellow ocean lover, and member of the US Navy, and married him in 1984.

How did it begin?

Sally Lee began evolving in 2008 after the passing of my mother, Sally, and my mother-in-law, Mona Lee. They unexpectedly left us within a week of each other. You've all heard the story about how death can make you wake up and smell the coffee? Well, this tragic event did. My husband and I decided to move to the ocean and live the simple life...Sally Lee was born. A company dedicated to the memory of our mothers.

Marie and David Rhoades
I've worked as a professional artist, hand-crafter, candle maker and retail store owner since 1994 so we decided to manufacture soy candles under the name Sally Lee Candles once we moved. Unfortunately the economy just wasn't right and sales lagged. David, my husband, mentioned Sally Lee "by the Sea" one day and we got to thinking what would it online gift store? a blog? a product line?

After some soul searching I discovered my heart was wanting to help others, to write, to paint and photograph the beauty of the ocean to share with others. Sally Lee by the Sea is a blog where I can share my gifts with the world.

What's the driving force, the passion behind your blog?

Since moving to the beach I've become a different person...A former type "A" personality who has become relaxed and now enjoys the little things in life. No more trying to impress others or rushing around so fast that I miss 'living'. My passion in life is to help others embrace this lifestyle, even if they don't live anywhere near the beach. It's an attitude, not a location.

We are pleased to report that we have recently teamed with some amazing blog sponsors which offer coastal products such as sea glass jewelry, seashell covered frames and mirrors, rustic beach signs, pillows, candle holders and so much more. Our sponsors are passionate about their businesses and we consider them to each be a part of the Sally Lee family.

What are your favorite products?

 There's no way I could choose a favorite product! If it's coastal, nautical or beachy then I love it!  Seashells used to decorate home accents or anything incorporated into a candle holder always make the top of my must-have lists. I love signs with quotes on them too...see, I really can't choose.

"Seashells used to decorate home accents always make the top of my must-have lists."

What is your favorite place?

My favorite place is the North Head Lighthouse; which is about 30 minutes south of our home. It majestically watches over the Pacific and always makes me feel rejuvenated after visiting. The scenery is awe-inspiring. The beach is a 3 minute drive from our house and getting some sand between my toes each day is always a favorite place to hang out.

North Head Lighthouse, Washington

How have you decorated your own home?

We fondly refer to our little piece of heaven as "Hummingbird Cottage", although not a cottage at all, it's a manufactured home on 1/3 of an acre.  We can hear the surf from our back deck as we are 1/2 mile from the surf (as the crow flies). It's been almost two years since we moved into our home near the sea, however we haven't rushed into our decorating...we are letting it evolve over time.

Interior walls have been painted in coastal tones of sand, aqua and sea glass blue. White sheer curtains magnify the light through the windows and blow elegantly in the coastal breeze. I'd have to say that my personal style is "ethnic eclectic" meaning you'll find rich tones of brown, red, green and gold used as accent colors. David traveled the world while in the Navy so we have some global treasures from displayed.

Our living room features a round glass table; which we re-painted and covered with sand dollars from our local beach. Our hordes of seashells have found new homes in baskets, glass bowls and shelves around the house.  Starfish adorn each window sill as well as dangle from various curtain rods. I love to use soft fabrics, overfilled pillows and a variety of textures throughout - Egyptian bath towels, down comforters on each bed, soft fleece throws on the couch and chairs. I want guests, as well as the residents, to be relaxed and cozy in our "cottage".

"Starfish adorn each window sill as well as dangle from various curtain rods."
What's next for Sally Lee by the Sea?

Sally Lee is currently working on adding more resources for our readers including a travel and leisure section; a section of informational and relaxing videos; recipes and even more craft and decor ideas.

And beyond?

A Sally Lee by the Sea book of coastal photography and quotes is a dream... other than that the sky is the limit!

Visit Marie Rhoades at "Sally Lee by the Sea" by clicking on the link.

Please visit our other "unplugged" interviews featuring Maya Nagel, creator and author of "Completely Coastal" and Caron White, creator and owner of Caron's Beach House and author of "Everything Coastal" and "Everything Coastal Style."

Live the Life you Love, Love the Life you Live!

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Everything Coastal" Unplugged: An Interview with Caron White of Caron's Beach House

This is the second in a series of Coastal Creations & Design "unplugged" interviews featuring seriously seaworthy coastal inspired authors and entrepreneurs. Our first interview featured Maya Nagel, creator and author of "Completely Coastal."  Today the spotlight falls upon Caron White, creator and owner of Caron's Beach House and author of "Everything Coastal" and "Everything Coastal Style." This Pacific Coast author and business woman has certainly captured a growing audience of folks seeking the surf, sun, sandy beaches and a relaxed coastal style of life. So here goes...let's visit Caron at her beach house!

Caron taking sunset photos at Stinson Beach, California

Hi Caron. How did your love affair with the beach, and everything related to the sea, begin?

Caron- Many years ago (before 1969)  I grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State.  I was fortunate. My parents bought a 1950’s era brick beach house complete with low-bank waterfront, a rocky beach, and the ever-changing views of the Puget Sound.

Your coastal decorating style definitely began at an early age! What was your inspiration?

Yes,  with a beach full of barnacle covered rocks, oyster shells, and beach-washed sea glass to discover, I was always creating something out of my beach-combed “treasures”…

Caron's beach-combed seaglass- an obsession of hers like mine.
Oyster Shell Candle Holders from Cape Cod
So, what's the story behind Caron's Beach House? 

I created Caron’s Beach House,, to share my passion with others who are seeking a creative and distinctive coastal lifestyle, no matter where you live! My motto is  "Step inside, take a deep breath, shake the sand off of your shoes, relax and live at the beach every day of the year!"

 I love it! Tell us a little more about your business.

Caron’s Beach House is all about creating a unique experience, offering distinctive seaside and nautical home decorating solutions for their friends and customers who enjoy life on the seashore.

What can our readers expect to find at Caron's Beach House?

I'm constantly searching for new home decorating trends by attending gift shows, seminars, and searching out coastal artists to bring new beach house products to my customers. Our web store carries beach home décor accents such as cottage lamps, tropical style mirrors, a wide variety of beach pillows, shore area rugs, as well as nautical themed accents like model sailing ships, lanterns and a whole lot more
 to choose from!

Hand-painted and distressed wood buoy
White coral ribbon lamp
Bold red crab pillow
Coastal Collection Giclee – Beach Washed Whelk
How does Caron's Beach House products fit into your own personal lifestyle?

One of the best things about living at the beach is inviting friends over to enjoy our little stretch of sandy beach. We love to entertain and share this experience with others. It’s exactly the reason why Caron’s Beach House specializes in fun entertaining serving pieces as well as dinnerware designed for the coast!

It’s also why she enjoys sharing those entertaining ideas and stories in the Caron’s Beach House newsletter.  Go to any page of  Caron’s website at and sign up to start receiving your exclusive Beach Club information!

Crab Napkin Box
Etched Turquoise Wine Glasses
8 inch Oyster Aqua Glass Serving Plates
Caron welcome friends to join the conversation about living on the coast and always looks forward to sharing her beach stories with you! She also loves to share your stories as well. Here’s links to places that you can connect... Caron's blog all about out living on the coast- entertaining, traveling, cooking, home decorating, gift ideas. Caron's blog focused on beach house style, featuring some of Caron's design friends and their fabulous creations! The Official Caron’s Beach House Facebook page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Live the Life you Love, Love the Life you Live!