Cozy + Coastal Office In A Salt Box By The Water | Life By The Sea

UPDATE: Shortly after this post, we invested in a Lindsay Letters Quarterly Calendar and replaced the futon with the most comfortable coastal loveseat in the world! Scroll to the bottom to view the NEW office set up and new items! Also, I’ve linked Lindsay’s calendar below as well! It is SUCH A BEAUTY! 

When we first bought our home a few years ago – some of our community was asking, “are you going to give a home tour?!” and I thought wow that sounds nice, maybe I will! But honestly – the nicest things about our home are:

2) The backsplash in the kitchen & the color of the cabinets
3) The window room with built in seats
4) The fact that we have an outdoor shower, not the QUALITY or look of it, HAHA, just that we have one
5) My office 🙂

Hmm..let me think… our fireplace is also kind of cute? LOL! But just overall NOT a Pinterest kind of house to say the least. We truly are simple and we…

1) really try to avoid clutter (our kitchen counter is so bare compared to the average house!)
2) won’t spend money on any renovating right now because we’re on our debt free Dave Ramsey journey and
3) we literally need to fix so many things in this home it’s ridiculous, haha!

LITERALLY broken things EVERYwhere!!! Duct tape and bungee cords it is, LOL! But mama’s pride and joy is her office 🙂 It’s NOT perfect in the world of most “pinnable” offices but to me, and for me, and for our simple life… it is perfect.

This room means so much to me. It’s the office with a water view I always dreamt of – complete with a rattan chair, coastal accents and all things my branding (and FAVORITE) colors…pink, yellow and blue. A mix of bright and pastel, my color loving dream with just enough natural and neutral to balance it out.

Oils I adore on the shelves, a diffuser almost always going, a small TV to watch Dawson’s Creek and Law and Order and Safe Haven and The Choice… office supplies ALWAYS in stock but not too much (because, CLUTTER is the devil, so I keep just the right amount…always having a back up of my favorites).

Powersheets and Simplified Planners always one office chair spin away.

I pray here, I email here, I work here, I dream here.

When it storms, we close the curtains and we huddle up here. This office is my MOST favorite room of all time, in my life. I rearrange it 3-4 times a year when I start getting inspired to plan my next big thing and I LOVE that instead of going out and redecorating and spending tons of money on brand new “things” to make it feel different when I get restless, moving it around is enough for me and although it feels refreshed, it feels like the same cozy little coastal salt box cottage office. It feels like home. 

If you have a TINY room to work with as an office, but you kind of want it to double as a spare room for people in town, be able to paint there, have your special little chair to journal in and have a desk and office space you love, too…this may show you how to make it work! 🙂 Even though it’s not spacious, it’s CLEAN and keeping it neat doesn’t make it feel cluttered or jammed up at all. But what do I know? We live in a sardine can compared to so many people we know and we freaking love it 🙂 

I don’t have links for everything, but LOTS of things below have an Amazon, Target, Simplified or Cultivate What Matters link for you at the end of the post! I hope so much you enjoy the room that means so much to me and it inspires you to make a space (no matter how small – this is a SMALL room!!!) your own!!

Repurposed desk by the AMAZING Susie at Cottage Chic in Kitty Hawk!!

The water view is everything. Literally my heart.

Love this shelving unit from Homegoods in Nags Head! 

Gold art cart also from Homegoods in Nags Head but you can find these everywhere from Amazon to Target to TJ Maxx, they’re wonderful! 

Love these plastic drawer organizers from Amazon and this Amazon, Emily Ley And Cultivate washi tape! Links below!

All of my other books are in my nightstand, but the favorites stay here 🙂

My Powersheets Word of the Year…and boy have I restored ALL the things. Loved this word for 2019!

That’s my ocean painting. I LOVE abstract, colorful, weird and FUN.

Again, Homegoods in Nags Head for this GLORIOUS desk lamp! The perfect baby pink!

I can’t stand my handwriting on a hard surface… I never knew what a difference a desk pad would make for this! LOVE this one! (Link below)

More necessities from Simplified 🙂 (Links below) 

Blue rock paperweight from Seagreen Gallery in Nags Head

Having a timer will DEFINITELY keep you focused and valuing your work minutes! If you hate rules/discipline, look at it as a way to just count down until your next break to get up from the desk, LOL!

I was so surprised to just find these binders from Staples (in Nags Head), I NEVER see them in these pretty colors! These two are new and this week they’re getting workflow lists set up in one and ongoing projects/brainstorming set up in the other 🙂 

I’ve had these magazine files from Target for a while and I LOVE them! Link below! Also, those little notebooks are from Shop Denik with my friend Megan’s BEAUTIFUL painting on the cover!! LOVE! 🙂 

TJ Maxx simple and small letter board to share the mantra of the month.

Letter tray from Target, too! 

Keep your eye out for the blog post coming up explaining why we have TWO Simplified Planners now! Hint – three kids in school, three ballet classes and another extracurricular activity just isn’t going to fit into my beautiful daily spaces in my own planner reserved for THREE businesses, LOL!

Also – this white drawer they hang out on is from the Martha Stewart Collection at Staples! You can shop them on line or find them in stores! 🙂 

Oh I am totally a planner accessories kind of person. Not TOO all-out and crowded, I just want color-coded, joyful and SIMPLE. I can’t wait to share that post so soon!!! 🙂

Other necessities for me (and the girls) – stapler, tape dispenser and automatic pencil sharpener.

You know you love your kids when you’re an Enneagram One who likes things neat and you allow their little jellyfish drawing to stay on your desk (at least for a little while until one day I go on a cleaning binge and wipe it off LOL) 🙂 

The most cheerful yellow office chair from Homegoods in Nags Head!


This Vera Bradley backpack has SAVED ME this summer! It’s the perfect size to be able to carry around my laptop, planner, stuff for the kids, food, essentials. Perfect pockets on the side for drinks, too. Game changer! (Link below) 

Mermaid hook from Seagreen Gallery in Nags Head (beside Surfin Spoon)

The perfect place to journal and look at the water, my little TV nook (getting a small mounted TV was SUCH an awesome idea for the office/spare room), my PAINT and art stuff, tower fan and plants 🙂 (Links below) 

And this glorious shelf!!! MAN I love these oils. I love diffusing Highest Potential, Clarity and/or Envision during office time and White Angelica when it’s time to wind down and Joy when I need to pep up and get excited about a project. I think oils have made a major shift in the feel of every room of our home, but they add a TON of value to my office environment especially! 🙂

And my little paint cart. Painting (abstract/abstract expressionism) has been one of the biggest joys of my year. I finally stopped saying no (two decades later after falling in love with the weirdest and best art styles) and said YES – DO IT. And my heart has been singing ever since!

This rattan chair from Nags Head Homegoods was the BEST FIND!! I have been so desperate for something like this! Paired with a chair pad from World Market (online) – it is the BEST. It sits back a little so it forces you to relax which I pointed out to Mike in the store, LOL! It’s GREAT to sit with a lap desk in and journal away. My Young Living Desert Mist diffuser is on the stand beside it, my bible, journals, devotionals, tissues, a basket with a roller bottle of oil, chapstick, some books I love, etc. 

The canvases are from images that are available in our Five Waves Shop! The hanging lantern was inspired by the ones hanging in the trees in the movie The Choice. The futon isn’t anything special but it was on sale at Target right when I needed something for people to be able to sleep on when we converted this room into an office/guest room. One day we will most likely switch it out with something else, but for now – it WORKS. The rug is from Amazon (and was SO cheap compared to the other ones I had looked at!) – I LOVE this little nook! We have so much fun over here!

I won this cup recently from participating in a Live Facebook video from Emily Ley! SO proud to be a part of the launch team for her new book – When Less Becomes More! (Pre-order link below!)

Reminds me so much of the scene when Gabby and Travis meet and the lanterns are just glowing in the trees. The movie the Choice totally inspired us to find a home by the water.

This print is from my Five Waves Shop! Filled with Outer Banks prints (digital AND print available!) and at a wonderful price so everyone can enjoy Outer Banks images in their home 🙂

Ummm…I love Oprah, LOL! And Coastal Living (which we’ve been featured in TWICE!) and Magnolia (Joanna Gaines magazine!)




Quarterly Calendar for Creatives (Frame: GOLD, Size: 30×24, the smallest one they have for this and it fits PERFECTLY in my tiny office, and it’s still beautiful and big! YAY!) 

Tip: Sign up for her email newsletter and get 15% off toward your purchase!

New coastal loveseat is from Homegoods in Nags Head along with a lot of other items shown above that we don’t have links to! 


Blue rug next to futon
Pink desk pad 
Gold cup pen holder 
Papermate Flair pens 
Precise V5 Pens 
Precise V7 Retractable (NEW FAVORITE)
BIC Pink highlighters 
BIC Blue highlighters
Pastel Pilot Frixion highlighters 
Small office clock with gold 
Kitchen timer 
Furry ottoman
Hanging lantern (they don’t have the same available anymore, but this is a similar option!)
Sandstone coasters (BEST I’ve ever used!) 
Tower fan 
Clear shelves for oils 
Gold lava lamp with sparkles 
TV Stand 
Plastic drawer organizers 
Metallic washi tape 
Colored washi tape
Hot pink stapler 
Baby pink tape dispenser 
Electric pencil sharpener
Rose gold Pop-Up Sticky Note dispenser 
Really pretty phone case 🙂
Seaglass lights hanging from curtain rod


Refills for Pop-Up Sticky Notes
Hot pink envelopes
Printer paper (3 pack)
Self-laminating paper pack (This is PERFECT to print important info/schedules and put in front planner pocket!)
Self-inking stamp
Amazon Legal Pads
Candy Pop Papermate Flair (SO PRETTY)
The BEST tiny bookmarks (use in books, planner, notebooks, Powersheets, etc) 
Tabs (I use in notebooks to divide between subjects of what I’m taking notes on like different books, projects, etc) 
Pilot Precise V5 Color Pack
Label Maker
Happy Light

From Target: 

Gold magazine file
Gold letter tray 
Pineapple Pen Cup (Emily Ley + Target collab)
Pink floor pillow (not the same one, but similar!)

From World Market: 

Natural chair cushion (for rattan chair) 

From Vera Bradley:

Iconic XL Backpack in Mint Flowers (I signed up for newsletter and waited for big coupon and got mine for under $100!!!)

From Simplified:

Washi tape 
Weekly academic year planner in Navy Blooms 
Daily calendar year planner in Thin Happy Stripe 
Stickers, stretchy bands, etc 

Click here to pre-order When Less Becomes More

From Cultivate What Matters:

Goal Setting sticker book 
Write the Word journals 

If at any of the time, the links don’t work because of the items being sold out or the retailers not being available on Amazon anymore, I’m sorry! I would try to type something similar into Google and you will most likely find the same thing somewhere else OR something simliar! XOXO




Hi pal! I’m an Outer Banks photographer, mom of three little mermaids, wife to my absolute best friend, founder of Homeless Looks Like (501c3 nonprofit) and I also run Outer Banks oils! I’m a Type One (Ennegram) and I make time for what matters most while soaking up all the salt air with my family. Thank you for stopping by the blog! 🙂



One Comment Add yours

  1. Amanda Greer says:

    I LOVE LOVE your desk!!!!! It’s so you!! Perfect desk for a mermaid momma!

Leave a Reply