Life's a Beach!


Most of us here in Nashville understand the term "landlocked" all too well. Unlike some of our neighboring states, we cannot simply drive to the beach for the weekend. The typical 7+ hours it takes us in a car to find any sort of salty air and palm trees leaves us no choice but to stay at least for a few days and dread that drive back home at the end of our trip.  The Florida panhandle and 30-A beaches in particular have become  popular vacation choices for many Nashvillians. So in the spirit of Memorial Day Weekend and the kick-off to summer, we thought it only fitting to have Anna Kristin's sister-in-law, Ashley Holt of Ashley's Interiors, discuss several tips and ideas for designing at the beach. BACKGROUND: Ashley received her BS degree in Interior Design and Public Relations from the University of Georgia.  She opened Ashley's Interiors in 1992 with a focus on residential design.  Her work has ranged from Colorado mountain cabins to beach homes on the panhandle.  Ashley had been featured in regional publications and her business is based in Columbus, Georgia.  She lives with her husband and three children.   Life's a Beach! Thank you Interior Canvas! Six years ago my husband and I went out on a limb and purchased a little spot in Rosemary Beach, Florida, just 3 hours from our home in Georgia.   Though it’s on the Florida panhandle, it’s such a quaint spot that it feels like you have arrived in a little European town or coastal village. The whole town is just 3 blocks long and spans both sides of Highway 30A.   Rosemary’s downtown has delicious restaurants and cafés where we dine outside year-round.  Unlike home, our kids ride their bikes all day to and from the beach, the candy store and their friend’s homes.  Essentially, for us, Rosemary is what a vacation spot should be—a beautiful place where we experience life in a relaxed, easy manner. 

      That relaxed feeling goes for the homes too.  I have had the opportunity to work with clients in our home away from home and here are several design ideas that work well at the beach. 

Slipcovers are wonderful because you can remove them after a weekend of hard use and wash them.  They are elegant yet practical. For these I used a lighter weight cotton blend which helps with omitting wrinkles after washing and wears well.   I like the light blue color of these because it brings the color of the ocean inside.  Downtown Rosemary has a little shop call Shabby Slips that makes great slipcovers.  You can buy the fabric there or use your own.  It’s by appointment so call ahead if you’re going.  850-231-4164


Linen shades work beautifully on windows when the summer sun is bright in the afternoons.  They have a casual feeling that is perfect at the beach.  For this job I used tissue linen so it would feel slouchy and soft in the main part of the house.  In the children’s rooms, I incorporated another cotton blend to endure the heavy use.  In addition, adding a blackout lining hopefully makes for a longer night’s sleep!

I like using white accessories in general but especially at the beach.  They feel cool, serene and are often inexpensive.  Repeating the same color or non-color, but using different shapes is great for adding interest to a room.  Tracery Interiors, located on Main Street, has a plethora of choices to pick from.  Check them out when you are in town!

  My one big splurge when we go to the beach is fresh flowers.  Somehow they make my home feel cozy. Usually, I just pick up whatever is in season at the local grocery if I don’t have anything in my little garden to cut;  however, I like working with flowers that repeat the colors of the room so I try to coordinate them if possible.  In this photo, I have used white gardenias in the powder room.  The white repeats the color of the porcelain pieces sitting on the perfume tray as well as the slipcovered chair by the vanity.  Flowers offer guests a warm welcome and I guess they make me feel like I’m on vacation! I hope you find these tips useful and that you will join us here in Rosemary Beach soon!  

Ashley's Interiors

1130 Lockwood Avenue / Columbus, GA 31906 / 706-322-5550

(Photos: 1) Interior Canvas; All others courtesy of Ashley Holt Interiors)

Nashville Interior Design