Take home these 10 cost-conscious decorating ideas to give your home a clean, beachy style.

By Kristine M. Carber and Katie Atkins Gregg
January 25, 2004
For a look that's purely coastal, turn to the colors of the ocean. Layers of blues and greens―in shades ranging from royal to periwinkle―create a style that works either dressed-up or casual. These sea-glass hues dazzle when set against a white backdrop, and lend a whimsical air when used on trimwork or architectural accents.
Richard Leo Johnson

Reduce clutter.
Create more visual space by removing everything and replacingonly what you need and truly want. Organize frequently usedmaterial in baskets displayed in the corner or to the side of achair. Leave a few empty drawers or shelves to place new items.

Unite rooms.
Pick one kind of flooring. Whether it's carpet, tile, orwood, a single material helps rooms flow into one another. Jute, ornatural-weave, rugs are low profile and relatively inexpensive.

Color where it counts.
Use neutral tones for large pieces such as bedspreads andsofas; add vibrant color with accent pillows, throws, andcollectibles. Choose fabric and accessories in a variety oftextures, shapes, and styles to create depth. Make customslipcovers out of sheets to refresh and reinvent worn, darkfurniture. Monochromatic color combos such as cream and white, icyblues, pale greens, and butter yellows lend a clean, simplefeel.

Keep it light.
Accessorize with reflective surfaces such as stainless steel,glass, and silver. Swap dark lampshades for white or cream to helpfill the room with space-expanding light. Torchiere lamps createthe illusion of added height by illuminating the ceiling anddrawing the eye up. Small glass-topped tables add visual space andexhibit a sleek, simple look. To achieve an inexpensive, intriguingdesign for side tables, secure two wine crates together, and topwith heavy, finished glass.

Create space.
Mirrors, typically a smaller investment than art, double theviews. Hang mirrors where they will reflect a pleasant image, suchas artwork, a window, or a piece of furniture. Whether you use oneas a headboard, a mantle backdrop, or to line the back of openshelves, a mirror will create the illusion of increased space.

Bring the outside in.
Remove obstructions from doorways and windows. The moreeasily you can see into and through a room, the larger and moreopen it will feel. Inexpensive roll-up matchstick blinds provideprivacy without obscuring daylight. Crisp white linen or gauzefabric can be draped over a black-painted dowel, found at homeimprovement stores, for a quick yet airy window treatment.

Go vintage.
Search for unique pieces at flea markets, garage sales, andantique malls. A few small novelty items can add personality to aroom without overpowering it. Mix and match dining chairs.Individual chairs are often sold at lower prices than a matchingset, and give a vintage look to any room.

Add personality.
Select a few cherished items, whether artwork, notes, photos,or mementos, and display them. Resist the temptation toclutter―stay current by replacing old with new as they comealong. Start a storage box for the items you choose not todisplay.

Group collections.
Compact vignettes keep things tidy and add significance tosmaller items. Display pieces strategically to create a focalpoint. Black and white photos in simple frames are clean imagesthat match almost any decor. For versatility, prop artwork orphotos against the wall instead of hanging.

Freshen up.
Flowers in a clear or reflective vase add color to any room.Gerber daisies are vibrant, relatively inexpensive, and can bebought at most supermarkets. Look for vases at flea markets andgarage sales.