Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coastal Decorating With Style

What is considered coastal decorating varies depending on what area of the country one references when thinking of the coast. The United States contains rocky shores, smooth beachfronts, mountainous areas, and a combination of all on some coastlines.  Whatever the homeowner’s preference, these areas can provide inspiration when decorating.

The color schemes found in most coastal areas are white, blue, green, and brown.  All are present in varying degrees in shorelines throughout the country. They can be separated or combined throughout the home according to the decorator’s preferences.

Using light colors on the walls of rooms will lend the home an airy look.  Some prefer stark white walls throughout, but that is not necessary.  While a neutral color, white can lend an institutional look to the home, so that should be kept in mind when decorating.  Whatever color is chosen, it can always be painted over if it doesn’t come out as desired. However, making the right color choice from the start is recommended.

When selecting pieces of furniture for each of the rooms, decorators should not be afraid to use their creativity.  Some prefer the “shabby chic” look of mismatched furniture, while others like the consistency of matching pieces. The main idea is to match sure that the colors in the furniture don’t strongly clash with each other or the walls and floors.  The eye should not be drawn to a specific item in the room as an “eyesore” whenever viewing a room.  If the room will be utilized often, it is important to fill it with comfortable furniture.

Some decorators like to purchase furniture containing nautical stripes. All furniture in one room should contain stripes that go in the same direction. Too many stripes can provide a dizzying “zebra-like” effect, so that should be taking into consideration before purchasing any furniture.

If window coverings are desired, they should be kept simple and use muted colors.  Blinds fashioned from bamboo, rattan, or light-colored wood are a nice choice.  If fabric blinds are desired, they should be either white or another light neutral color.  Tropical rugs made from fabric or bamboo may be spaced throughout the room.  Many area rugs may be hand or machine-washed for easy maintenance.

Potted plants add a nice touch to any coastal-themed room.  Plants in the palm family provide that beach-like feeling.  Simply flowering plants such as orchids also add a nice touch when placed in the proper lighting.  Designer magazines frequently showcase cattails in a large jar in many featured homes. Garden stores can recommend additional foliage that will look appropriate and follow the coastal theme. 

As far as room accents go, select those that correspond with the room’s theme.  Small row boats, ship’s wheels, and ship lights are appropriate for nautical-themed rooms.  Rooms with beach themes may be accented by shells, sand dollars, or coral.  The possibilities are endless and vary with the decorator’s style, but all will yield an end result that is pleasing to the eye and creates a relaxed atmosphere in any home.

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