Beach House Colors Schemes for an Updated Look.

Sometimes we box ourselves in creatively meaning a beach house must be blue/yellow/green…a kitchen should be neutral, and a bedroom should be soothing. Why not mix it up a bit and create the unexpected?? These two photographs from Elle-décor ( Top Photo, Bottom Photo) showcase a renewed beach house look using tones of apricot, magenta, and burnt russet. I know, your mother (and mine) always said not to put orange tones with red/magenta tones…. but that was in the fifties!!! Today we have the color freedom to combine tones, tints, and colors as we see fit. We are now given the freedom to create our new color combinations.


And with that new gift, let’s look at a new environment for our monthly featured pillow “Folk Art Fantastic!” These two photos show a beach house on New York’s Long Island. The designer has forgotten about the usual “beach” colors and created a new look using peach, magentas, and burnt orange tones for a new and updated beach house look. Although this is an eclectic space, it comes together replicating colors throughout the space which create a warm and cohesive feel for anyone entering the guest house.


The two photos show different views of the room…. the sitting area and the sleeping area. Apricot wallcovering on the wall panels and the upper slanted panels create a warmth for the room and a cohesive setting for the apricot color. Accents for the apricot are purple/magenta and burnt umber…. all coming together creating a unified environment. Go ahead, be creative, let your imagination run wild.

Too Much Green…What can I do????

A blog reader e-mailed me (see “Contact” on the website) this photo from Elle Décor Magazine where the reader wanted to use some of these ideas for her vacation home. Loving green on the walls and upholstery pieces she had concerns might be too much of a good thing and what other options could she consider?

Photo from Elle Decore Magazine

This is such a great room with many wonderful design elements…just a little tweaking is needed. Let’s begin with the “envelope” of the room which includes walls, ceiling, and flooring. Beginning with the walls there is the upper green wall in two sections and the ceiling which we are not able to see. The lower wall wainscoting and solid surface flooring are light in color/white while the upper walls and sofa are medium intensity green making the room feel a bit top-heavy …the green color visually “weighing” more than the white. The upper wall white trim piece could be removed making the upper green wall visually one piece with the lower white wainscoting in better proportion to the green wall area….and rather than a stark white paint color…a softer warmer white tone will act as a backdrop enhancing the green color tone.

It is difficult to tell if the floor is painted or has a laminated finish over it. Regardless, the bright white as currently shown is very strong plus having a shiny finish reflects not only the exterior sunlight but also the lighting in the room. If you change the floor material/color why not add an area rug with texture and additional color tones. Bringing in your favorite colors which might include terra cotta, golden colors or rich lavender/plum tones adds warmth and interest to the space.

Lighting is so important for reading and just to create mood to the room. The small end table next to the sofa might be taller with the lamp being more “artful” …adding an element of texture and surprise to the space. How about taking the green throw from the sofa and casually tossing it over a corner of the upholstered ottoman/coffee table?
Now we have a wall behind the sofa that is tall (we previously deleted the top trim piece) and ready for some wall art and creative design. Larger art pieces above the wainscoting (lower white wall trim area) will be more impactful than many small pieces. Since the wall area is quite large several pieces and sizes could be relocated here. Why not add the small art pieces currently on the green/art wall to the top layer of the “squared” wainscoting?? This acts as a transition from the larger pieces of the upper wall to the smaller sections within the wainscoting. Be certain to put pieces about the same size and scale in this location.

A client of mine asked, “Where should I put pillows in my room?” The answer is EVERYWHERE!!! Reviewing the pillow grouping on the sofa additional pattern and color could be included along with those currently on the sofa. Pillow Galleria has two wonderful selections…Animal Whimsey and Brights and Stripes would add drama and color to the space. Should these selections not be right for you, add pillows and accessories with color brights and drama that work for you!!!

Go ahead, be creative, show your inner designer!!!

Living Small: How Can I Live in a Small Home?

Photos from House Beautiful

Many of us think of a small space as a studio apartment. And now, however, small can be an entire home. When I saw the photos of this small space it gave new meaning to the phrase “space planning.” And being a bit of a pack-rat myself I realized how little I really need. Although you may not want to par down to this extent, have a look at the creativity of this warm, wonderful home and its efficient planning efforts. Enjoy and ask yourself… ”how much do I need.”