Coastal Décor Truth: If you are drawn to a certain look for your home’s interior décor, but are concerned that it isn’t consistent with the exterior design of your house — no worries — it can still be accomplished and look great if you approach the theme you desire in a strategic and personal way.
Décor Magazine, Fall/Winter 2013
Many people have a difficult time breaking away from a “matchy matchy” look in their home. They get caught up in an “all or nothing” mindset, thinking they have to specifically match everything from the furniture patterns to the accessories, thematically speaking, or not include that genre in their home at all. I have found that the most interesting and unique homes are the ones whose creators broaden the scope of their theme. They implement a variety of related elements so the effect does not come across as too contrived or predictable – in other words, they create an “eclectic” look. In the dictionary, the word eclectic is defined as “deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.”
Cottage Style Magazine, Fall/Winter 2013
When desiring to incorporate a decorating theme into your home, it is important to note that there is a significant difference between capitalizing on a trendy theme and selecting a timeless theme – timeless because it is a personal reflection of you and your interests. I think it is important to design the living spaces of your home in a way that tells guests something about you and your passions, with only a sprinkling of trendy items here and there.
Personal collections are a great way to introduce a desired theme into your home and help to create that eclectic look. Perhaps you enjoy collecting items of one particular genre that is meaningful to you in some way, such as seashells from various beaches where you have vacationed over the years. If you have many small items, like seashells, instead of spreading them around in various places throughout your house, consider displaying them together in a curio cabinet, a shadow box or arranging them on a large tray or in a pretty bowl. I am personally very fond of collections. They give guests a glimpse into the lives of their hosts and can create a great basis for conversation for first time visitors. If your collection consists of larger pieces, you will need to be a little more creative in displaying them. If possible, try to group a few of the large “like” items together in one area. A one-of-a kind statement piece can often hold its own as a unique focal point of a room.
To introduce coastal design elements into a house that does not naturally lend itself to the look, it is helpful to begin with a neutral backdrop of upholstered pieces in solid fabrics. Select a variety of light to medium wood tones for the case goods to add interest to the space. Choose thematic artwork that appeals to your senses, such as a beautiful sunset at the beach or colorful sailboats docked in a harbor. Display a personal collection or place a few coastal themed accessories amongst your own belongings. Even a simple, large piece of bleached coral looks beautiful when placed on a displayed coffee table book. A bookcase is the perfect opportunity to add diversity and a thematic touch to a room. Coastal themed decorative trays, colored glass vases, seashell embellished picture frames and so on, can easily be nestled in with your other accessories and books on the shelves.
So, if you love the sea, water, beach, sun, or sand, but are afraid to dive into the world of coastal chic design…take a deep breath, think eclectic thoughts, and plunge on in!
By: Sandi Wallace