Cape Cod Decorating Ideas On A Budget

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Cape Cod decorating is about creating a calm, serene and tranquil living space that reflects the open, breezy and relaxed feeling of being at the beach. There are many ways that you can affordably create the feel of the ocean in your home. By carefully adding a few Cape Cod decorating touches, you’ll feel like you’re spending a day at the Northeastern shores while relaxing in your living room.

Cape Cod Wall Colors & Embellishments

An easy and inexpensive way to create aCape Codfeel is to change the color of a room with paint. Some people prefer using bright, bold primary colors such as navy blue and true red to create a nautical feeling. Others tend toward the softer pastel colors of sea blue, sage green and mustard yellow to give a room a bright and airy feeling. Avoid bright, tropical colors, and opt for the subtle sophistication of traditional Cape Cod design. Use blue, white, red and tan for nearly all the items in the room.

If you can’t decide on a color, white is an easy choice and is Cape Cod authentic. White baseboards, crown moldings, chair rails, wainscoting, clapboard and beadboards are easy ways to add a beach feel and add depth to a room. If a room has paneled walls, paint one or more of the paneled walls white to create a bead board look. The white is also an excellent contrast to any wall color. If a room is too white, add texture by paneling one wall with knotty pine for a cottage effect.

Cape Cod Furniture

A Cape Codroom starts with light or neutral colored furniture. Good color choices for couches and upholstered chairs are white, sand, light gray and pale blue. Then, accents in bright blues and browns or with an ocean theme can be placed around the room to create a cozy atmosphere. Rugs, pictures, pillows, throws and knickknacks can be sparingly arranged on walls, tabletops or furniture to complete the Cape Cod feel.

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Here are some ideas for Cape Cod furniture:

  • Big and durable pieces in neutral colors.
  • Wicker furniture painted white and throw pillows with a beach look as accents.
  • Refinish old wood furniture with a distressed look or white washed finish.
  • Update a dining room table and chairs with a matching tablecloth and chair covers in blue and white.

Cape Cod Window Treatments & Floor Coverings

A Cape Cod decorated home should allow plenty of light to shine through the windows and the interior should reflect that bright sunny feeling often found at the beach. Windows treatments should be kept simple and frequently sheer. Painted wooden blinds, bamboo shades, sheer curtains and lace panels will allow the sun to shine through.

Most Cape Cod homes have wooden or tile floors. Wood and tile floors can be accented with colored rugs. If you have neutral color carpeting, use an area rug for a splash of ocean color. Other types of area rugs that work well in a Cape Cod décor include sisal and braided rugs.

Cape Cod Nautical Accessories

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Let your imagination run wild with nautical decorations and accessories with a beach theme. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use throw blankets and pillows with striped and checked patterns. This is the perfect opportunity to display an old quilt inherited from a relative.
  • Update cabinets and cupboards with glass knobs.
  • Baskets make attractive storage places for blankets, or decorative containers to hold large, nautical ropes.
  • Replicas of old sailing ships are a perfect display piece on a fireplace mantle. Hang a large glass or metal fish over a door or archway.
  • Fill old jars with seashells, pieces of sea glass and interesting pebbles. See Sea Shell Crafts
  • Arrange pictures of lighthouses, old maps or compasses on a focal wall.
  • Enclose starfish and sand dollars in a box frame and display on a bookshelf.
  • Display antique plates in a china cabinet or on kitchen shelves.
  • Choose tablecloths, napkins and table runners with floral designs, striped patterns or historical themes like toile. Look for fabrics with fish shells, beaches and maps.
  • Hang an iron or glass chandelier and arrange metal candleholders around a room.
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Cape Cod Landscaping & Exterior Décor

To complete yourCape Codlook, christen you home.CapeCodehomes are given a name and this name is displayed on a quarterboard at the entrance to the home. Quarterboards are decoratively carved and painted wood signs that represent the name and characteristics of the home. You can also add a ship’s bell, life ring, coiled rope or small ship to the side of your home or front door. For holidays, simply place a few seasonal décor pieces onto a life ring to create a Cape Cod themed wreath to place on your front door.

Plants can also give your home aCape Codlook. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Shrubs and trees that are native to theCape Codarea include common alder, silky dogwood, flowering dogwood, maple-leaf viburnum, sweet viburnum, American mountain ash and hawthorns.
  • Coastal ferns include maidenhair fern, lady fern, cinnamon fern, royal fern and Christmas fern.
  • Plant sedges and cattails for a grassy beach landscape.
  • Flowering plants in a native Cape Cod landscape include asters, cone flower, lupine, bluebells, bee balm, phlox and black eyed Susan.

If you dream of living near the beach, add a fewCape Coddecorating touches to your interior design.Cape Codstyle is carefree and fun. Creating aCape Codfeeling in your home can be easy and affordable. With a few gallons of paint, some brightly colored pillows and some seaside accents, you can give your home that Cape Cod cottage charm with the relaxing atmosphere of the beach.

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Last Updated: April 16, 2012
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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