Ways to Bring the Seaside Home
There are many ways to bring the seaside into your home, here are some ideas including fabrics and fittings right through to flooring and furnishings.
1. Key features
Natural materials are in the heart of the look — believe whitewashed woods having the look of seaworn substances, shaped and softened from the components. Or attempt painted wood in colors of blue, white or watery green, with strikes of bolder colour. Seaside-themed accessories will instantly conjure up a coastal sense — a set of oars or a weathered sign, possibly — but avoid using too many or the appearance might become clichéd.
Choose plain, textured heavyweight linens or homespun designs which have a traditional look, such as striped linens and cottons. Checks and utilitarian tickings are amazing options, or opt for published patterns with beachfront or nautical motifs. Fabrics such as denim (another fantastic utility alternative for drapes or upholstery) or faded florals are a trendy way to introduce color to a light scheme. Lightweight sheers also work well and come in many different designs, including embroidered or printed.
Use a blend of cool whites, greys and off-whites as a background, then introduce more attention, heat and life with sandy shades or smallish steps of stronger colors, such as coral, red, aqua, seaglass green or blue. For the best effect, start looking for tones which are slightly faded and look somewhat aged or bleached by sunlight.
Driftwood pieces are fantastic for this style but can be tough to discover. Instead you can opt for things in reclaimed wood with a distressed paint or limed finish to make a beach coastal furniture feel. Woven things in wicker, rope, rush or jute look the part or integrate elements into seat seats or backs. Outdoor furniture, such as bleached teak or timber or folding metal fashions, used inside can have a similar impact.
Wooden boards which were sanded back and treated with pale wax or lye soap to give them a silvery, worn look are simple but trendy. Porcelain tiles, that are stronger, are now available to mimic this appearance. Strong painted planks in whites, creams and greys (use floorpaint for best results) are another great alternative but are less hardwearing. Natural coverings — seagrass, sisal, coir and jute — have a textural appeal and are perfect used wall-to-wall or as bound rugs.
Aged, distressed and worn, or chalky, matt and rough — furnishings with these qualities are an integral part of the look. Rope, woven cording or hard sisal all talk of the seashore. Pick furniture or lampshades made from woven materials or include design features like a rope bannister. Use chalky matt emulsion paints or a reclaimed stone flooring or worktop for lots of surface interest.
Rustic or older artefacts are great ways to present a coastal furnishings. Displays of shells, driftwood or storm lanterns work, as do marine artworks, seascapes and classic bird prints. A character table covered with gathered finds creates an evocative still-life, though a group of straw hats can muster holiday memories. Glassware arranged on shelves, a mantelpiece or windowsill includes a watery appeal — attempt blown-glass buoys, demijohns, bell jars or storm lanterns. Other components that hit a nautical note include maps and postcards, carved shorebirds or model ships and boats.
For authenticity, go for styles which have a nautical heritage or resemble boats’ designs. Pick utilitarian fittings, enamelled pendant sunglasses or floor lamps and metallic finishes with a rocky aesthetic. Tripod lights, according to a theodolite, in brass and timber seem effective. Woven lampshades, and those covered in raffia or burlap, have a textural quality. Otherwise, opt for industrial-looking styles based on ships’ bulk-head table and lamps lighting with glass bases in watery tones.