Who doesn't love spending a bit of time by the sea?
It's certainly the place we always head to whenever we can!
Whether you're lucky enough to live on or near the coast or just aspire to be spending more time beside the seaside, there are lots of ways to add a little nautical niceness into your life.
From naturally nurturing bodycare & skincare products and interior accessories & homeware through to a complete interior re-design, there's a wealth of ways to bring you the beauty & benefits of the beach!
Sea buckthorn - one of nature's super-ingredients
In the UK, sea buckthorn can be found growing naturally in sand dunes along the coast of England. It's also often planted in other areas to help stabilise dune systems. The bright berries from this very spiny shrub have multiple uses. In recent years you may have seen it appear on cookery programs as chefs harvest it for their dishes and drinks.
The health and beauty have been aware of Sea Buckthorn's powerful properties for years and as it promotes skin hydration, elasticity, cell regeneration, and even helps treat and prevent acne. Sea Buckthorn oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and redness associated with many skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
Lifestyle store Live in the Light is dedicated to offering truly natural, organic and chemical free products. A look through their store and you will find several products with Sea Buckthorn as one of their key ingredients - great examples of the many beauty related products to come onto the market in recent years.
Super Coconut & Buckthorn - a moisturising and regenerating mix of natural ingredients as well as intensive skin care, this this multi-tasker can be used to dissolve waterproof makeup, care for dry and damaged hair and soothe skin after sunbathing or shaving.
The shipping forecast
The range of home wares to give your home or room a nautical feel are endless. Those who have an interest in the sea know all too well that the weather plays a huge role in the behaviour of the sea from wonderful millpond calm to full-blown storm waves.
The Shipping Forecast is a weather forecast covering the sea around the United Kingdom and Ireland. It has been broadcast four times a day on BBC Radio 4 since the 1920s. The Met Office, the UK meteorological centre, produces it for the Maritime Coastguard Agency.
The coastal waters around the British Isles are divided into 31 areas each with its own unique name and the forecast contains details of forecast wind direction and force, weather, visibility and sea state.
Driftwood Designs, based in the Welsh coastal town of Aberystwyth has a wide range of products inspired by the coast and sea.
Their Shipping Forecast series includes this illustration of Sea Areas around the British Isles and the design is available as a poster (either framed or unframed), greeting card and also a tea towel - great gifts for salty sea dogs and land lubbers alike!
The design is just one of their informative range of maps and charts all individually designed by Driftwood Designs' founding artist Lizzie Spikes.
Life by the sea
Claims that a ‘bracing’ walk by the sea can ‘blow the cobwebs away’ has some truth in it. Sea air can be really good for you - it’s good for the lungs and it improves circulation and it’s also reported it strengthens the body’s defence mechanisms. Typically, seaside air is less polluted by exhaust fumes and particles and is a real bonus for those wanting to get away from urban pollution.
Living by the sea brings many joys but, for those living on the coastal edge it can bring serious problems with coastal erosion proving to be a serious problem in many areas on the British coastline. A few other issues to consider when buying a property by the sea are the on-going effects of sand, salt and sea breezes (or gales!).
The sea breeze is one of the joys of living near the beach, but you need to be aware of salt damage to interiors and appliances. One answer would be to keep all windows tightly closed but this rather defeats the joys of enjoying a sea breeze and can contribute to the potential for mould growth, something that is a common problem in coastal climates.
Sand, sand and more sand. Lovely when you are walking barefoot on the beach or building sandcastles but not so great when you have an entire beach worth of it to clean out of your house! Prevention is better than a cure - train everybody – including visitors – in the art of de-sanding before they come inside. A well-placed outdoor shower (or the more budget version; an outdoor hose with trigger nozzle) is key in the fight against gritty floors.
If you fancy creating some coastal chic in your home and want to take the theme a little further than just a few accessories there's certainly plenty of inspiration to be found.
The key to a successful scheme is getting the balance right - some carefully chosen surfaces and the right choice of colours can evoke the feeling of being by the sea without having to re-create a beach hut in your home.
Combining rustic tiles or wood panelling with contemporary accessories and splashes of intense colour will create an interior with a modern take on the traditional shabby chic seaside theme.
The professional know best...
Having an interior designer to advise you on sensible solutions to some of the problems related to coastal properties can save you a lot of time, money and heartache.
Based in Devon, interior design consultants Ashton House Design work on a wide range of projects large and small. From a multi-tasking garden cabin and coastal holiday home refurbishments to new build interior design and hotel spa renovations they are well-placed to advise on the best layout of your home and the best materials and products to cope with the special conditions you need to work with when having a coastal home.
This recently completed project (right) is a new build coastal home and features a wealth of carefully chosen details that reflect the coastal position of the house.
You don't have to go down the beach huts, bunting and seagulls route to create a seaside theme.
Take a look at local artists, artisans and makers and you'll find a wealth of inspirational products that are inspired by the sea that will help you create your own watery paradise! Many of them will be able create bespoke items to make your interior truly unique.