From the August/September 2018 Issue  

Seashore Styles

Writer Marirose Krall  |  Photographer Gary Bilbao  |  Designer Lawrence-Mayer Interior Design  |  Location Spring Lake, NJ, Stone Harbor, NJ

Coastal décor three ways.

There’s more than one way to create a beachy look in your home. On these pages, the folks at Lawrence-Mayer Interior Design in Brielle, NJ, show us three distinctive takes on beach house décor. They range from understated to sophisticated to youthful, but each pays homage in some way to sand and sea.

Understated Sophistication

  • Soft blues and sandy taupes give this space a subtle beachy vibe.


  • Woven seats bring texture and add interest to the pale tones of the kitchen area.


Designer Sandie Gershenfeld used muted versions of seashore hues when designing this Stone Harbor, NJ, residence. The homeowners requested a space that was “inviting, comfortable, light and airy.” To re-create this dreamy, peaceful look:

Anchor the room: Gershenfeld started the process by selecting a deep stain for the hardwood floor.

Set the mood: The designer chose a palette that subtly reflects sand, shells and the sea. Light tans, creamy whites and misty blues are great color choices to keep the entire space balanced. Patterned accent pillows add interest.

Think nature: Bring outside elements in. Choose furniture, textiles and accessories made from natural elements, such as the kitchen and dining room seating here made of wood and rattan. Accent pieces include coral sculpture and sea glass.

Slightly Unexpected

  • The conspicuous color in this room is “coral.” Accessories representing the real thing adorn the book shelves.


  • Rich coral walls and fabrics stand out against the room’s neutral foundation.


Though coral (as in reef) is a seashore décor mainstay, designer Jennifer Karwan took it a step further in this Spring Lake, NJ, home using coral (as in the color) in one of its deepest incarnations. The rich tone in this space is almost autumnal, but is used with restraint—on the top half of the walls and in the designs on the barstool backs and throw pillows—for a sophisticated look. The rest of the room is neutral to create a space that’s warm, but not oppressive.

Embrace moderation: The coral theme is both relaxed and sophisticated. Here, it’s used sparingly in the fabric and the deep wall color.

Create balance: Custom accent pillows and barstool backs in the same shade as the walls ensure a sense of equilibrium in the room.

Go the custom fabric route: “It will help you define your own space,” Karwan says.

A Whimsical Look

  • This room’s décor underscores the vintage nautical look: an anchor, a ship’s wheel and a “spyglass.”


  • Maritime-themed throw pillows add a special touch to seashore sleepovers.


In this room in the same Spring Lake residence, Karwan went for a classic kids’ seashore look, incorporating anchors and whales into a navy blue palette.

Try weathered-wood faux paint on the walls: It adds depth to the space and has a vintage, seafaring feel.

Go classic with a twist: The bedding eschews the standard navy and white for the softer, more unexpected look of navy paired with cream. Coordinating carpet and window treatments tie the room together.

Add decorative pillows: They set a tone, and they’re easy to replace as tastes change.