Decorating Dilemma: Janice’s Seaside Living Room

Decorating a house on the Jersey Shore

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

We are fortunate to own a home on the Jersey Shore. The living area has a fireplace with 77″ walls on either side. If my husband was handy, I’d have him install windows on either side, but he jokes that he’s handy at writing checks!

I’m not really sure what to do with all that empty wall space. The TV is mounted over the fireplace so that you can see it from anywhere in the open living area. I’ve thought about hanging mirrors on either side, but I have a very large black arched mirror in the entry way/foyer which is adjacent to the living area. I don’t want to scare people off with all those mirrors.

I’ve also thought about hanging symmetrical artwork on either side, but they would have to be some big pieces or a large number of individual pieces to fill both spaces. I have a 45″ in diameter wrought iron clock that I am going to hang on the wall to the right of the fireplace. A wall of windows flanks the space to the left of the fireplace.

Please help!

Thank you.







Dear Janice,

We love the Jersey Shore. We cannot think of a better way to spend some lazy and calm days in the summer. Your existing sofa and wall colors are so beautiful that our task to add some interest to the walls was easy. We have so many beautiful Coastal pieces of art that editing is our challenge.

We like creating 2 different looks to each side of the fireplace. Since your sofa is so close to the wall, on the right you can keep this simple with one large painting. We want to make that different enough from the size of the TV so it creates its own impact. At the Dock comes in a large size for a nice fit. We would also add a pair of our Amalfi Lanterns and a Piper Basket to the floor beneath the artwork for added dimension.

The left side of mantel can be a total floor to ceiling gallery. Start with the Metal Anchor and then add a fun Vintage Marquee “B”. Next, hang 2 of our Ocean Life Watercolors to the left side of this wall area. Anchor the wall gallery with our Andrews Serving Table in Whitewash as a perfect spot to display your collection of seashells or candid beach photos. Let’s add in the Nala Stool, in the Sunbrella Canopy Stripe in Spa, positioned in front of the serving table for extra seating and a whimsical color punch.

The option is soft and very beachy. We also love Beach This Way for your beach house. If you still add the Andrews Serving Table with the cubes in our Sunbrella Canopy Stripe, the look will remain soft and pretty.

For both options, we love the Natalia Iron Plaque to add a bit of drama above the TV. By adding this piece, the entire wall will feel like one beautiful display.

Enjoy your time at the shore and Happy Decorating.

The Design Team

Decorating a house on the Jersey Shore

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply


    March 17, 2016

    So pretty …
    I love the Ballard chosen accessories to complete the room.
    The owner already seems to have decorating savvy .
    I would enjoy seeing the pictures when it is complete !
    Is that possible ?