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Cape Cod Décor — It’s a Shore Thing

Cape Cod décor -- A waterfront shingle-style Cape Cod home. Wow. Just wow.
A waterfront shingle-style Cape Cod home. Wow. Just wow.

“I have a beach home.” Doesn’t that have a beautiful ring? In my case it’s not true, but it may be some day. Until then I’ll be wishing, hoping, thinking, praying and spending lots of time scrolling through real estate listings and thumbing through magazines in search of decorating ideas.  My style file of Cape Cod décor grows larger each month, so by the time I find the perfect cottage with an amazing view, I’ll be ready to start decorating it.

One of my favorite sources of inspiration is Coastal Living magazine. Several years’ worth of issues are neatly stacked in my bedroom as I can’t bear to ever toss one out. I also love Cape Cod Life. Both magazines have beautifully photographed articles about renovations, gardens and kitchens, and are well worth the subscription price (Amazon.com often offers great deals).

So until I find my dream home, I’m going to continue to build my Cape Cod décor style file. Here are a few home furnishings I consider must-haves.

Cape Cod décor ShoreThingAquaAsterPillowA pillow in a color that suggests both sea and sky.

The color is gorgeous and I’m an embroidery afficionado so I love it twice as much as other pillows. Picture this on an off-white sofa with slouchy slipcovers and maybe orange accent pillows. Simple and beautiful. It also comes in a sunny yellow color. Available through Periwinkle on Main Street in Wellfleet as well as CottageAndBungalow.com.



Cape Cod décor ShoreThingAdirondackChairsAdirondack chairs in fun colors.

This rainbow of options is so fabulous, I think I would have to buy a chair in each color. With or without cushions, they’re a seasonal staple at many Cape Cod beach homes. Footrests are available. I might have to mix and match colors! Available through Walpole Woodworkers.




Cape Cod décor ShoreThingStoneDoormatA doormat that says “welcome to the beach.”

Texture is just as important as color in a beach home, and ease of care is paramount. I want to keep the sand outside, where it belongs, but bring natural elements indoors, where they look fantastic. This doormat will last forever and feels good under bare feet as well as sandy, wet flip-flops. Available at the Artful Hand Gallery on Main Street in Chatham.




Cape Cod décor ShoreThingCassandraSmith2 Nautical chic.

I’ve been a macrame devotee for decades and am fascinated by the complexity of knots. Make them large and splash them with color and I’m ready to buy them by the bag-full and hang them on walls or from doorknobs, or toss them on a shelf next to some books.  These Monkey’s fist knots look both traditional and contemporary. Available in three sizes through MadeByCassandraSmith.



Cape Cod décor ShoreThingSummerSaltHouseSignA personalized plaque.

I love that so many Cape Cod homes have names…”Blue Skies on the Half Shell,” “Wind Drift,” “Moonstruck.” To me that signifies that the owners are totally connected with their homes. You name your kids, you name your pets, you name your home. It’s all the same thing. Names linger for generations, so choose with care. Available through Chatham Sign Shop.


Cape Cod décor ShoreThingStripedRugA colorfully striped flat-weave rug.

An absolute essential in any beach house, cotton flat-weave rugs are available in a variety of sizes and a gazillion color combinations. They brighten any space and generally are inexpensive enough so that after a few years of hard use by salty pets and sandy feet, you can replace them. This one reminds me of sunsets over Cape Cod Bay and the changeable colors of the clouds over Coast Guard Beach. Available through CottageAndBungalow.com.


Cape Cod décor ShoreThingRadiantCopperSun


A polished copper sun.

There’s something about this that makes it very special. Its materials and style are traditional, but it lends a contemporary look to any wall, indoors or out. Most importantly, it makes me smile. I love the way it looks against white tongue-and-groove paneling. Large, small, new or old, it would be absolutely perfect in any Cape Cod beach house. Available in two sizes through Walpole Woodworkers.



Cape Cod décor EVGEasthamDotCalmPillow2A pillow that shows my pride of place.

Jean Careno, who loves Cape Cod as much as I do, creates pillows for her Etsy shop that show the world that home–whether a full-time place or a vacation rental–really is where the heart is. Two Adirondack chairs facing the water under puffy little clouds provides time to think and dream. Eastham definitely is my calm. Each of Jean’s pillows can be custom-made to include the destination name and thread color of your choice.



Cape Cod décor ShoreThingMasonJars


Old-fashioned mason jar sippers.

What could be more funky and fun than these jars and striped straws? The design is a  blast from the past, and they remind me of blistering summer days gone by. Kids will enjoy slurping homemade lemonade or fruit punch from these while adults can joyfully indulge in slushy frozen drinks or sangria. I can’t wait to try a recipe I just found for Watermelon-Jalapeno Margaritas. Yum! Available in a set of 12, including straws, through Anthropologie.






Cape Cod décor ShoreThingCarmelSurfBeddingCool, crisp bed linens.

On a sultry summer night, nothing feels better than fresh white sheets. The blue embroidery on these lends a special by-the-sea flair that I find completely irresistible. This set definitely is a splurge, but summer passes quickly, so awake or asleep, we should celebrate every single minute of it. Available through OurBoatHouse.com.





Cape Cod décor ShoreThingChrisPeckPhotographyA locally-shot photograph.

Connecticut artist Chris Peck shoots nature and landscapes using High Dynamic Range photography. He takes multiple images at different exposures then digitally combines them. The resulting image has high contrast, gorgeous color range and a serious “wow” factor. Available 12″ x16″ matted through Etsy.


(Photograph top: Cape Cod Life)


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