Every time I slip into the ocean, it is like going home.

Silvia Earle

After an overly long winter and a dreary spring, I am happy to say summer has arrived at Sweet Valley Acres. My flowers are all behind but day by day they are growing and some are blooming. The sun is shining and the lake is glistening which always gets me thinking about summer decorating. One of my favorite ways to decorate is coastal style! What better way to get ready for summer than to create a coastal style dough bowl!!!

Coastal decor to the rescue!!

I had so many ideas of how to create a coastal style dough bowl but I narrowed it down to three. I didn’t actually like the first one, so I tweaked it and ended up winning a contest with the Dough Bowl Divas for the month of June!

Then I created the third one and it is so adorable! The best part is my that my family loves it, especially my son. Now who doesn’t want to have their 25 year old son say “well done, I really like this one!”

Throughout this blog you will find parts of sentences that are in bold, just like this sentence. These bold sections contain affiliate links to the products I am referring to. Should you like the item and decide to purchase it, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Materials for Coastal Style Dough Bowl

Materials for Coastal Style Dough Bowl

Special note: remember when you are on holidays to bring some sand and shells home, whether purchased or finds on the beach. We have been doing this with all of our trips and the memories it brings back are priceless. If those shells could speak, oh what tales they would tell!

Prepare base for sand

I did not have enough sand to fill my whole dough bowl because my dough bowl is quite deep, long and wide. So prior to filling with sand, I placed a thick towel in a plastic bag and then I filled with sand. Why place the towel in a bag? Well, I didn’t want to lose any sand so I did not want it stuck in the towel. It will brush easily off of a plastic bag.

Next pour the sand on and smooth out.

Wooden dough bowl with sand in base

Place candles, floats and shells

Place three pillar candles of varying heights in the middle of the dough bowl.

Wooden dough bowl with sand and 3 candles

Next, place the float twinkle light garland attractively through the pillar candles.

Then place your shells attractively.

Coastal styled dough bowl

If you don’t like it start again!!!

I could have left this out but I thought it was really important to show when a design isn’t coming together. The one above was not. It just felt to0 hatter scattered to me.

So I started again. I found a mercury glass candleholder and placed it off center. Then I draped the multi-color float twinkle light garland down the middle curving from one side to another. I am a firm believer that less is more, so I picked three of my favorite shells and arranged them in a casual fashion in the dough bowl. Lastly, I propped up a faux starfish against the candleholder.

Coastal styled dough bowl

Here are a few close up’s to show you the ambiance created by the float twinkle light garland.

Coastal styled dough bowl
Coastal styled dough bowl

Let’s create one more coastal style dough bowl…

After removing the candleholder, shells, garland and starfish, I smoothed out the sand and placed this adorable coastal style birdhouse near the back of the longest edge of the dough bowl.

Create hooks to hold twinkle lights

Then with silver, fairly sturdy wire, I bent it into what kind of looks like a shepherd’s hook. These two hooks will hold a garland of twinkle lights which are meant to represent string lights. Place one hook on one end and the other at the other end as seen below.

Coastal styled dough bowl with beach house themed birdhouse

Here is a closer view of the hook. I wrapped the larger curved portion around a spice jar and the smaller curved portion around a pen.

Shepherd hook holder for twinkle lights

Now it is time to attach the twinkle lights. The best way to do this is consider how you would hang string lights in your yard or around your house. I hid the battery pack behind the dough bowl and then ran them along the base of the roof, then up to the peak, then across to the shepherd’s hook and then back to the peak of the birdhouse, back out to the other shepherd hook and so on.

When I came to the shepherd hook, I twisted the twinkle lights around the hook. Otherwise I found they would not stay in place. Also, I placed a tiny pit of hot glue on the peaks of the roof to hold the twinkle lights in place.

Wrapping twinkle lights around hook

Add dune grass

For my make believe dune grass I used dried grass I had from my garden, broke off the tops and placed them in the sand. I placed the grass in lines to give the feel that each house has a path to beach and beside the paths are where the grasses are free to grow and don’t get trampled, just like in real life.

Dried grasses in sand

Next, drape the marine float garland onto the edges of the dough bowl for added interest and light.

dune grass in dough bowl

dune grass in dough bowl and marine float garland

Here is the finished product! I placed it on our dining room china cabinet and does it ever get a lot of attention from our guests.

Coastal and beach themed dough bowl

Don’t forget to carry the theme through the table and room

Don’t stop at the centerpiece, make sure your coastal decor theme is sprinkled everywhere.

Coastal Styled Tablescape

Start with a table runner to ground the table and define where the decor will be set. I found this beautiful extra long table runner that I absolutely adore. Click here for a link if you are interested.

Coastal Styled Tablescape

When it comes to your table setting, think light, airy and natural. I started with round rattan chargers. To be honest, these chargers are my favorites and I use them all the time!

Next I layered with a cream plate, then a soft blue plate, then a matching cream bowl and finally a faux plaster starfish.

Coastal styled tablescape

Down the center of the runner, I placed these adorable vintage looking small vases with dried cream colored grasses. In the photo below you will see the cutest nautical fishing floats twinkle light garland. I cannot get enough of this garland and have placed it on the china hutch which you could see in previous photos.

Coastal styled dough bowl

Keep the natural elements flowing by decorating any nearby pieces of furniture with coastal style decor. For example, these pale pieces of wood in a simple glass vase with a few other nautical pieces on my china hutch ties the theme together. Creamy whites, natural elements like jute rope and dried grasses and hints of blue create a coastal feel without screaming beach house!

Coastal style decor with a clear, simple vase with pale sticks, a marine float and starfish

Repeating elements from the table also helps to bring continuity and cohesiveness to the room as I did with using the small amber green vases and dried grasses on the china hutch.

Amber green glass vases with dried grasses and faux starfish

Thanks for always sticking around to the end. If you are looking for more summer inspiration, please check out my post about how to host an outdoor dinner party!

How to host a fabulous outdoor dinner party - picture shows a table set in a greenhouse with views of a lake

Or if you are looking to spruce up your home or yard, please check out my post containing a few of my favorite summer purchases.

Door basket with white tulips

What do you think?

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2 Comments
  • Diane
    August 27, 2022

    Love these fun ideas. Thanks for linking up this inspiration at Fabulous Friday Link Party

    • Crystal
      August 27, 2022

      Thanks so much Diane! I really appreciate your kind comment. The Fabulous Friday Link Party has been amazing!!!