Coastal style is a light, fresh décor style that many clients love. It is easy to live with and still looks great with a little everyday living (dare I say clutter) added. Stuck in the city, working hard to get ahead, but dreaming of better things? Even if you can’t get away physically, or can’t afford to own a place in cottage country, you may be able to enjoy the fresh and charming décor style know as coastal, or beach, style in your own home. It’s a friendly look because it’s a little worn, a little “found object”, and it’s easy care and quite forgiving.
Artwork is fresh and often scenes of the lake or seaside define the look. Draperies are simple and flowing. Light coloured and light weight fabrics are part of this look. Fabrics can be made into simple draperies, and hung from driftwood rods with shell finials. They can also be hung from beautiful commercial rods with rustic finishes. A leaded hem rather than a heavier folded and sewn hem allows light to traverse the drapery all the way to the floor. Draperies should also be full and generous, rather than skimpy. They look beautiful blowing in a sea breeze…or even a city breeze.
Very contemporary homes located near water will often have coastal elements in their interior design. It’s one of the few looks that really lends itself to slip covered furniture. The slightly rumpled appearance of the fabrics is acceptable because it is an element of this style. Older furniture pieces may be painted white to achieve this look. Softly brushed paint finishes are often part of this look. Inherited furniture items can play a starring role here also. Serviceable but worn pieces can be charmingly refurbished by taking the seat out of an armchair, recovering it, and painting the frame white. A sanded paint finish conveys the feeling of age and wear. Fabrics tend to have a simple, natural look, but may, in fact be very expensive vintage or French fabrics.
Relaxed, bathed in natural light, light reflecting off found glass or old mirrors or chrome, this look suits even our northern climate. It is quite different from the cottage or lodge look, because it is not about plaid or knotty pine. It can be done in all white and still be easy care! It can also be done with a couple of colours if you are a little white averse. The rules are not hard and fast, but you can go off track if you do not grasp the essence of classic coastal style. White washed greys look wonderful with this look.
The seaside homes in North Carolina are anything but budget dwellings. In fact, many of them are rustic mansions. Their weathered wood exteriors are perfectly suited to the local landscape of sand dunes and wind blown grasses. It’s the natural light that achieves this look so effortlessly. In our northern climate, we crave light in the winter months. Not to mention warmth. Reflective surfaces can bring us this same effect, even though we start with a bit of a disadvantage. Glass is a key element of this look, and often, it may be in a blue or blue/green shade. It brings us sparkle and translucence. Furniture pieces may be constructed from found driftwood. Often, a room design isn’t entirely coastal style, but may have a flavour of the style embodied through the accessories and furnishings used.
Mirrors, mirrored furniture, chrome, silver, beach glass are all things that we do have in abundance. We just don’t make use of them as much as we should.
Colours used in this style tend to be very pale pastels if they are not white or cream. This reinforces the airy, relaxed feeling that embodies the coastal style. Found objects are some of the fun accessories to this look. Be environmentally aware and do not collect excessively, nor take anything endangered. The shells should be empty and not wasted when you tire of the look later. Sand art is another do it yourself project for this look. Do it on a large scale, rather than a lot of small items to avoid tackiness. Have a plan in mind first so your project is successful. Or purchase a beautiful framed beachscape print if hands-on is not your thing. Very large stone or stone look vases would be great accessories for room designs in this coastal style. Artwork tends to be dreamy or soft focus landscapes, tablescapes, seaside scenes and the like.
This is a lovely, slightly worn look for the relaxed home owner who loves light, space or the feeling of spaciousness, a relaxed lifestyle, and simplicity.
Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.
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