Thursday, March 19, 2015

Exploring Coastal Design Styles

Island-inspired, coastal motifs have long been a favorite decorating style. Whether you opt for sea glass colors, soft whitewashes or bold stripes and solids reminiscent of nautical signal flags, there is definitely more than one way to do it. Have a look at the most popular types of coastal decorating styles and their defining elements. Does one stand out or do you favor an eclectic mix? The good news is, there are no rules!

The Islands

Bright, clear colors play a central role here-think hibiscus pink, vibrant greens, mango orange, Caribbean blues, and pineapple yellow. This style is carefree and probably the most whimsical. Wall art or upholstery fabrics filled with leafy ferns, frolicking fish, dancing crabs, majestic parrots or naughty monkeys are all possibilities. That's because florals and animal prints pay homage to the lush tropical settings so many of the world's islands are known for. Textiles and textures also go hand in hand with island style. Furniture made from wicker, rattan, and bamboo paired with woven, natural fabrics and decorative items of clay, wood and glass are easy to find and fun to decorate with. A hammock strung up in a shady spot enforces the island mantra: "No hurries, no worries".





Cape Cod-Nantucket

Defined by the practicality of New England's rugged seafaring communities and their preppy summer visitors, this style has been a design mainstay for decades. Whitewashed shades of creams, beiges and grays allow nautical colors, like navy and Nantucket red to pop. Furniture is typically no-nonsense and sturdy and upholstery is often slipcovered for easy care. Decorative items tend to be firmly rooted in centuries old traditions such as scrimshaw, woodcarving, lobster pots, spyglasses, anchors, sailor knots, and the coveted Lightship baskets.

Lowcountry

Incorporating a few more upscale elements, Lowcountry is an easy blend of casual and formal interior design choices. Soothing sea glass colors or deeper shades of greens, blues, and a touch of coral are often used against a backdrop of light, bright vanillas and creams. Chintzy, rich fabrics and traditional furniture styles such as Chippendale and Queen Anne lend an air of sophistication to this coastal design scheme. Accessorize with large, perfect shells, plants, landscape plein air paintings, watercolors and prints of seaside motifs and botanicals.


Carolina Cottage

Comfortable and casual, a typical coastal Carolina cottage will be an eclectic affair. This style option easily pulls ideas from a variety of sources, including, traditional cottage style, Cape Cod and farmhouse. The look should appear effortless and stir memories of bygone trips to the family beach house. Chalk painted furniture, colorful quilts and pretty pieces of pottery make way for a rainbow of color choices. Of course the predictable decorative choices are framed seascapes, mermaids every way, mason jars filled with shells and sea glass, antique fishing tackle and vintage surfboards. However, the great thing about any design style is that you can make it your own by deviating from the norm and letting your unique personality shine through!

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