Born for the Beach


May 23, 2004|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

The sun. The surf. The sand. That's the life for you. You're a beach lover. A beach baby. A beach bum. When you're not "downyocean," you're planning your next jaunt there. And you're always looking for decorative, beachy items to put in your Ocean City condo or your regular home. There are lots of new and nifty, fun and functional, summery and stylish items to find for decorating the beach place, for using at the beach or for incorporating that beach feel at home.

Endless Summer Percale

Surf's up! It's always summertime with these Garnet Hill Endless Summer Percale sheets ($28-$55), comforters ($75-$95), shams ($25) and cases ($25-$30), adorned with colorful surfboards and made with 200-thread-count cotton. Available in flat or fitted, twin, double, queen and king sizes. Somewhere, you know, the Beach Boys are smiling. Purchase on the Web site at, or call 800-622-6216.

Backpack hammock

Setting up a hammock is supposed to involve a couple of people, a couple of trees, rope and lots of struggling, right? Not anymore. The Portable Backpack Hammock ($99) from Brookstone, a full-size, eight-foot-long hammock, is, well, a breeze to set up. The 22-pound hammock can be comfortably carried in its own backpack to the beach, to your backyard or anywhere, and set up in a snap. And it easily collapses again for repacking. The hammock is made of durable nylon on a stainless steel frame, and can support up to 250 pounds. Visit or call 800-846-3000.

Tropical umbrella

Carry it down to the sand, and you'll be the talk of the beachgoers. Or set it up on your beach condo patio or your home deck, and you'll be the envy of your neighbors. Unique and exotic, the Tropical Umbrella ($249) from Frontgate will have people buzzing. With the look of an alluring palapa hut, this sunshade features a polyester canopy with simulated raffia on a wooden pole, and tilts to two positions. The durable umbrella weighs 16 1/2 pounds and measures 86 1/2 inches in diameter, 100 inches in height. A cast-iron base ($95) is sold separately. Call 888-263-9850 or visit

Shell Shadow Box

Call it a curio cabinet for crustaceans. A shadow box for seashells and starfish. Or a display case for tiny beach treasures. The Shell Shadow Box ($59) from Eddie Bauer makes for a most appropriate piece of beach-condo or beachy-home decor. A sea cucumber, starfish and various other shells are included, displayed in a wood and glass case. The shadow box measures 12 inches in width, 1 1/2 inches in depth and 13 1/2 inches in height. Available at or by calling 800-625-7935.

Hamptons picnic set

Big coolers are great. They have their place. But for a more lightweight (and stylish) picnic adventure, a clunky cooler just won't do. The canvas Hamptons Backpack for Four ($98) from UncommonGoods holds a complete service for four picnickers, with four place settings, cutting board, knife, salt and pepper shakers, corkscrew and cork, and a detachable wine pouch, insulated cooler section and storage compartment. Also available are the canvas Hamptons Insulated Tote ($22) and the canvas Hamptons Travel Hat ($18), which is reversible and foldable to fit in the tote. Visit or call 888-365-0056.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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