Whether you live on the coast, vacation near the ocean, or plan to retire at ocean’s edge, the Book: Coastal Living: A Celebration of Living by the Water may be your guide.

Environment specifics

The environmental conditions for living near water, sun, sand, and cliff are uniquely different in topography, element, and weather. For that reason, the architecture needs to be rugged, the fixtures need to be practical, the living conditions resilient. For example, wooden or tile floors are a must—you will be tracking in sand and water at some point.

This book features mostly all wooden floors, some weathered (a plus), but it is a disappointment there aren't more modern flooring configurations in tile. Perhaps that is because more traditional dwellings were researched. Fixtures outdoors and in the landscape surroundings must be able to endure constant exposure to salt water, harsh weather and bristling sun--there are ideas here.

Location, location

The homes featured in the book are from vastly different locales, Europe to California, but they all have the same spirit and basic traditional needs.

In interior design, decorators often use a nautical theme or rely on natural elements such as shell, driftwood, thick rope and rock. And these iconic details are displayed in photography full page, and sometimes in a two-page spread.

The chapter sections are “Classic”, “Modern”, “Casual” and “Rustic”; were you to delve into homes that can be ordered under that umbrella that is what you will find here.

From 'An exquisitely Danish escape', to 'Fire Island hideaway' or 'A Nantucket Island Retreat'—there is a style to fit your aesthetic unless you are an uber modern aficionado and then a couple European homes are your offering.

Easy summer one-pot cooking

In addition to interior design, Coastal Living has some special features—recipes using fresh sea catch and essays on the tradition and character inherent in coastal life.

There may not be vegan blue coffee that tastes like seaweed but the recipes feature seafood and fish as the protein of course. And most are the throw-it-in-a-pot and relax type of fare; in addition, recipes use common spices and foodstuffs that you would have in your cupboard. Nothing too chi-chi as that is not the lifestyle you are searching for. You will also see displays of nautical maps, indigenous plants, and other beach elemental finds on the interior pages. Nothing too unique or different.

If you dream of the sand-sea horizon, Coastal Living has information, photos and ideas that you can use to fulfill your own ambition--if you make it your own.

The cottage style could use some modernization.

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