Coastal Summer Shelf Decor

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

If you’ve been around my blog very long, you’ve probably seen my decorative shelves before. I’m not much of a seasonal decorator, but these shelves are the one thing I take the time to play around with at least four times a year. It’s a fun challenge for me to try to find the perfect collection of little tchotchkes and arrange them so they look *just right* on the shelves. I also like decorating this space because it gives me a chance to try out a bunch of different design styles– the shelves have been glam, neutral, bright and cheery, aqua-fied, and today they’re coastal!

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is clearly a far cry from the beach {We have a bunch of rivers… does that count? 😉 }, but I figured you can’t go wrong with a beachy theme in the summer, so coastal it is!

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

I had been collecting little beachy pieces here and there in preparation for putting these shelves together, and then my cousin happened to gift me a big bin of vintage books that used to be our grandmother’s. We never got to meet her, but I always love hearing stories about her life, and getting to look through some of her old things was pretty special– I knew immediately that I wanted to incorporate some of the books into this display. {And they just so happened to be the perfect colors too– win!}

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

I am as cheap as can be, and though I did buy a few things for these shelves, a lot of the items were things I already had or could upcycle. The anchor “print,” for example, is actually a gift bag that I cut up so it would fit in the frame. Yay for super inexpensive art!

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

And speaking of inexpensive art… how about free? 🙂 I wish I could take credit for the beautiful prints on the top shelf, but I found them at The Painted Hive for a grand total of zero dollars. These two are part of a set of 12 awesome free printables, so pop over there and snag ’em if you foresee any coastal decor in your future!

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

A few weeks ago Donnie actually said to me, “Maybe you should invest in some expensive fake flowers.” I think he was insinuating that I buy fresh flowers so often that I should just drop the cash on the higher-end faux version and be done with it, but really, can I help it if they just happen to fall into my cart every time I’m at Trader Joe’s? Answer: no. Plus, there’s just something about the real thing…

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

You know what’s not the real thing, though? That driftwood. Completely fake. I had no idea you could buy fake driftwood at Target, but apparently it’s a thing. Don’t tell Donnie, because he will totally make fun of me for buying something that I could walk around and collect out in “nature.” But remember, Pittsburgh = no beach, so Target driftwood it is… #firstworldproblems 😉

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

I think I could get used to this whole coastal thing. It kind of makes me feel like I’m on vacation all the time– can’t beat that!

Coastal Summer Shelf Decor at

Happy Summer!

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  1. Yes!!! Vacation all the time! 🙂 I seriously love coastal decor. For some reason I’ve been fighting going completely coastal in my house but it’s always what I’m drawn to. Finally I’m giving in and going for it. I just ordered some wicker chairs for my living room. Definitely going coastal. Anyway – I always love your seasonal shelves – this one is probably one of my favorites – love the gift bag anchor print! cute!!!

  2. Emily, Our house now a home says:

    I love these shelves and what you have done with them! I live in Wisconsin, lots of lakes, a massive lake close but no ocean. My home has a lot of coastal elements to it. But, I grew up in San Diego, California so that is me justifying my coastal home in a Wisconsin small town setting. I have that same white candle thing with the stars, it gets moved all over my house! I love it. Your pictures are always so bright and cheery. I take pictures with a lot of natural light, but even with tweaking them in editing they never turn out like this. Can you spill the secrets on what program or site you use? Or is your home that naturally bright? If so, I envy you!!!

  3. Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom says:

    Oh, Abby! I am just in love with these shelves each time you decorate them. You really outdid yourself this time, LOVE the nautical theme. The colors and that anchor print is just amazing!


  4. Abby ~ These shelves always look so beautiful, but I think this coastal style is one of my favorites! It reminds me of many, many years ago when I worked as a nanny in Nantucket (a seriously amazing job)! The colors are so relaxing, and I love how you used your grandmother’s books. I love to decorate with meaningful objects! I was going to ask where you got the gold anchor art…I can’t believe it’s wrapping paper. Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a great day!

  5. Bethany @ The Southern Couture says:

    You had me at beach. I love anything with a beach theme no matter what it is just about. The shelves are also a great way to redecorate throughout the year without having to change a lot in the house and also not having to spend a ton of money so often. I love that you shop through your house for pieces to use that also saves money. I have done this on numerous occasions and surprise myself with what I find and how it seems brand new all over again. Those vintage books are also to be loved dearly. I know exactly how you feel. I have decorated with several of my great-grandmother’s old books which is so sentimental since I was very close to her. That was such a blessing. Hope you have a wonderful week and a great start to the summer.

  6. April Hoff says:

    These shelves are so perfect for summer, and your grandmother’s vintage books add the perfect touch! Love!

  7. The books are so special! I have tons of stuff from my grandparents that I love to mix in my decor. Those prints on the top are gorgeous and I love your thrifty and free finds. You have such a lovely eye for detail and styling.

  8. Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness says:

    I always love how you decorate your shelves!! And I totally love this coastal theme. I’m with you too, real flowers are just so much better (and smell yummier!) than fake ones. Boys will never understand. 😉

  9. Love this!!! So perfect for summer – thank you for sharing! 🙂

  10. Krista @ the happy housie says:

    I love it! Summer decor definitely screams coastal… such a cute display, Abby. Pinned a couple of times and sharing on my FB page this week. Have a fabulous weekend, friend!!

  11. I love the neutral colors with the soft pop of color from blue. Perfect for summer. I’m working on our half bath and this is exactly the style I’m going for since we actually do live on the coast. Plus who doesn’t love fresh hydrangeas in the summer?!

  12. Lorrin says:

    Ok, I love this so much!! I especially love the fact that you live in Pittsburgh (I am in Johnstown) and did this. I am originally from FL and I have fought coastal decor in west central PA until a few years ago when I finally gave in. It makes me feel better when everything is gray and cold here. Your shelves are awesome, and i ADORE all the texture!!

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