With Hanukkah in full swing and Christmas just around the corner, my mind is fully occupied with thoughts of summer. And not just because the days are getting shorter and colder, but because now is the time of year when clients start thinking about their beach houses. With less than six months until Memorial Day (yeehaw!!), we are kicking it into high gear with summer construction and decorating projects and coming up with all sorts of fun, lively color combinations that might surprise you.
Last week I ran into an architect I have worked with who does quite a bit of work in the Hamptons, Stephen Wang. We both agreed that clients tend to have more fun and are much more relaxed when working on their beach homes than they are when doing their primary residences. As he put it, “these homes are their candy”.
With images of candy floating around in my head, I put together this deliciously sweet scheme that is a sharp diversion from your classic ocean-blue and white combo.
While I do love sea greens and soft muted tones when near the beach, I also think a second home is a great opportunity to be playful with color and use brighter tones that you might in the home where you regularly live. Here I chose Manuel Canovas’ Boheme in rose and orange as the starting point for my room. This textured linen print is ideal for a casual setting. While I would easily use this as curtains to make a dramatic statement, I could also imagine this fabric on a fabulous pair of large, comfy club chairs.
The remainder of the fabrics in this grouping are mostly cotton or linen in tweeded or heathered weaves which help hide signs of wear — the variation in color, even when slight, is more forgiving than a solid-colored fabric — something especially important to consider in a home where sand, wet towels and children abound! This Designer’s Guild herringbone in pink and sand would make an ideal sofa that you won’t have to worry about.
While I love the look of a sisal or seagrass rug in a beach house, many of my clients don’t want to walk on something that rough. The pattern on this chunky wool rug that I picked up from Carpet Trends, one of my favorite rug vendors, is reminiscent of sisal rugs made in a similar design, but it is so much more comfortable to walk on. And there is nothing easier to clean than 100% wool.
While it’s been done a lot, I never tire of grasscloth on the walls in a beach house setting, or rattan furniture. This dining chair from Curate Home is perfect with this pink and orange scheme, and would look great with bright orange seat cushions.
Also from Curate Home is this fabulous John Black-designed credenza with woven cane doors. I love this piece with it’s mix of rustic and modern sensibilities.
I would suggest either the chairs OR the credenza, not both — too many natural woven pieces even in a beach house can be too much of a good thing.
Whatever you choose, just remember that a beach house is a place to relax and have fun, and your colors can be a reflection of that and so much more than just a reflection of the ocean!