One way to bring back memories of a summer at the beach, a trip to Hawaii, or the Caribbean is through beach themed decorating and crafts for the kids.
I like to start with the bathroom (for me the most obvious room to start with); there you can add pictures, either sketches or framed photographs to the walls. I think enlarging your own picture (especially if it includes the family) looks best. My favorite is to enlarge a nice picture you took and put it behind an old worn looking window as a frame and hang it on a wall. This gives the illusion of looking out the window at a lovely beach scene.
Towels with starfish, sea horses, seashells, or fish also look great. Again, as with the picture, I think it can be more enjoyable for the family if you start with plain towels and wash clothes, then sew on, or embroider your own beach or ocean themed designs. Bathroom drapes can even be converted by gluing small starfish to give a realistic look to the bathroom ocean motif.
Soap can also have a beach theme! Place your soap in a shell container, or even decorate soap by carving your own designs in them (Ivory soap works great for this). A fishing net embedded with starfish (or even a puffer fish) hung near the tops of the walls really brings home the beach theme for me. Then there are decorative shell baskets (which are easy to find on-line). These seashell baskets can be placed on shelves or just the toilet reservoir. A final touch to the walls would be a shell night light to add evening illumination to the bathroom (my favorite is the Pink Murex). One more suggestion, if one is feeling industrious is the flooring. You can find linoleum tiles that have fish, shells, or anything beach related and place these on the floor to finalize your bathroom. If you are on a budget, a nice ocean themed bathroom rug will also look nice!
A wet bar (or even a full bar) can have a nautical theme as well. An authentic fish net (of which previously used fish nets are readily available) can be draped around and/or behind the front of the bar. On this net dried starfish, seashells (such as Spider Conch), etc can be glued or hung on this net to provide a really cool nautical theme to your bar.
One more thought for the home is using shell wind chimes, ocean décor, or aquariums for Chinese Feng Shui. I personally do not believe in this, however without insulting my Asian friends who do, this along with a home fountain is a popular way of achieving this.
As for the kids; the shell baskets I mentioned earlier are an inexpensive way to get the kids involved. These baskets usually come with many different seashells that can be used to make all sorts of design, murals or beach diorama.
The diorama is my favorite for kids. Use the shells, some fine sand, maybe some starfish (there are inexpensive dried starfish available on the internet), and even some plastic fish. Use blue plastic film to represent the ocean, cotton balls for clouds, maybe a toy boat too. The little drink umbrellas are great to use as beach umbrellas. You can glue broken shells together to form a reef too. This project could also be used for the kids to make inexpensive Christmas gifts for family members that show a little more thought than the average gift.
A variation to the diorama idea is a shadow box.
Another area for seashells is in silk flower arrangements. If you are looking for a more beach themed silk flower arrangement, some strategically placed shells, starfish, or any other mollusk (mollusc) may be just the trick.
The garden is where my wife likes to add a little more ocean themed flair. She enjoys the Pangansin shell wind chime with the urchin spines that make musical notes. I personally like the flowing beauty of a stairway (spiral) shell wind chime.
In the garden next to a hammock or just lawn chairs is a good place to hang the shell wind chimes. You can even construct a more life-like “out door diorama” using a small pond with a fountain head, beach sand or whatever similar is available, again some starfish and seashells and you have your own personal beach space. This can be a little more difficult in colder climates, but the pond can be turned off in the winter, and/or covered with a tarp to prevent damage from falling leaves or whatever else fall and winter bring.
Another area where beach themed décor comes in handy is a home “beach party”. With some shells, starfish, nets, puffers, sand, and whatever else you can think of you can make your party or even a teenagers slumber party a hit.
You can also have a luau party! You can get some lei's and straw shirts and straw hats along with the aforementioned shell items. Some coconuts also make some fun decorations for a party! Enjoy!