A tropical garden wraps the front of the home in lively colors, acting as a preview for what's inside
A lush tropical garden wraps the front of the home in lively colors, giving a taste of the interior.
The front door welcomes Judi home from her frequent travels, and guests in for entertaining with a seashell wreath for all seasons.

There are few places as relaxing as the beach. You can visualize it now: the warm sun and sand, the meditative sound of the crashing waves, a cool drink to sip on and the company of good friends. But you don’t have to settle for just imagining yourself there. With the right design, you can bring the tranquility of the beach right into your own home.

For Judi Burson, bringing this happiness to herself and her guests was the top priority when she moved to Corona Del Mar, California. Using Feng Shui principles to guide the look, Judi and interior designer, Mary Jayne Barnett, turned the house into a peaceful retreat that pays homage to its close neighbor, the Pacific ocean.

The contrast of the heirloom rocking chair and coffee table pull the eye toward the center of the room, encouraging conversation and togetherness during gatherings.

Feng Shui designs a flow for homes that begins at the front door. Judi placed a wreath clad with seashells, starfish and driftwood on the entrance, bringing the warmth of the inside out.

Clutter is the antithesis of Feng Shui, so the first step in creating the look was to remove anything unnecessary. “It’s the art of placement. Everything in the room has a purpose or is placed on purpose,” Mary Jayne says. While accessorizing is still encouraged, like these artful pieces of coral displayed on the mantel, it’s important to thoroughly consider each piece so as not to overwhelm a space.

A weathered coat of white paint gives the hutch a bright presence

“Take everything out of the room except for furniture. Sweep it and add things back—but not everything goes back. Release things with love and thanksgiving, and give [them] away in generosity.” Through this process, Judi kept only the coffee table she inherited from her mother and the rocking chair she used to soothe her children to sleep when they were babies. The dining room table and chairs were refinished to match the floor, while the sofa got a cheery green slipcover that can be changed for the holidays.

feng shui beach cottage bedroom
Judi’s dog, Charlie, loves the softness of the bed, which is situated near a rug Judi brought back from a trip to Greece.

Feng Shui philosophy also divides a home into nine centers, each associated with different elements of life. “They are wealth and prosperity; fame and reputation; love, marriage and relationships; health and family; center (Earth); creativity and children; knowledge and self-cultivation; career and life purpose; and helpful people and travel,” Mary Jayne explains.

Every center has colors and materials that promote the best influence the space can provide to inhabitants.The concept of centers, or guas, influenced the design of all the rooms, including the family room where representations of trees, wood and growth are most important. The tall wooden hutch and green hues were intentionally used for the purpose of honoring the center.

In Judi’s bedroom, comfort is the goal, which is accomplished with coordinating pastels, cotton fabrics throughout and custom curtains by Mary Jayne.

feng shui beach cottage garden arbor
When Judi moved into the house, the backyard arbor had only white roses draping over it. To match the style of the rest of the house, she added an eclectic mix of flowers to give it a more organic feel.

Judi travels often but when she comes home, she revels in the beauty that surrounds her. Spending time in the garden is one of her favorite spots to relax after a long trip.

“I love to travel, but I also love to come home to my peaceful place,” she says. “I could see myself staying here for the rest of my life.”