Category Archives: Decorating

How to Do Coastal Style Right: Q&A with Designer Tim Clarke

Decorating, How-To | | | Leave a comment

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Few people understand coastal style better than designer Tim Clarke. His Santa Monica, California-based office creates work that defines coastal living today. Whether it’s a small beach house on the California coast, or a celebrity mansion in the Mediterranean, Clarke understands that what makes a home look coastal is less about the aesthetic and more about the vibe.

Read on for this amazing designer’s top tips to bringing a coastal look into your home.

Photography: Noah Webb 

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Q: A lot of people are under the impression that coastal style has to involve a lot of rope, coral and nautical motifs. But does it always have to? How would you define coastal style?
A: I think coastal style is more about a feeling than actual objects and motifs. There is this feeling that’s created when you live at the beach, and it doesn’t have anything to do with shells, anchors, or red, white, and blue. It’s more about easiness, comfort and a laid back casual style.

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Q: What are some easy ways someone can bring a coastal feel into their home, even if they don’t necessarily live on the coast?
A: • Stripes: Whether large scale cabana or smaller scale multicolored stripes, nothing says coastal more.
• Bohemian flair: Add a little boho with Indian printed fabric or indigo batik fabric in pillows and curtains. Sometimes I even use it on the wrong side so it feels more faded and hippy.
• Natural fabrics: Solid, textured, natural fiber fabrics like chunky linen for upholstery.
• Barefoot friendly floors: Whether wide plank unfinished wood or slightly antiqued chalky limestone, the floors should make you want to take your shoes off.
• Gallons of white paint: Both matte and glossy. Maybe it’s a reference to boats or just that it looks clean and fresh with the blue ocean, but it always works.

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Q: What do you think the 5 most important elements of coastal style are?
A: 1. Easy: Nothing should be too precious, or fussy. No one should be ever be worried they are going to mess something up or that they can’t touch it.
2. Communal living: One giant room with multiple areas for gathering and activities that includes cooking, eating, playing games, and watching TV. Beach houses should encourage togetherness, not solitude.
3. Light: Natural light is a must and plenty of it. Coastal style should embrace nature, not keep it out.
4. Durability: Use outdoor fabrics, natural brass or stainless steel, and wood surfaces that look good as they age. The ocean climate is very abusive and you don’t want to be constantly doing maintenance.
5. Sense of place: Coastal style should come from the coast you are on, not one you visited on vacation. The light, landscape, and views out of the windows are completely different in Hawaii than California and color looks completely different because of that. A house should feel as though it grew from the earth it is on, not plopped on the lot by a helicopter.

In the Spotlight: Erin Gates from Elements of Style

Decorating, How-To, Inspiration | | | 5 Replies

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This season, we asked interior designer, stylist and blogger Erin Gates to share her expert tips and tricks for bringing bright colors, bold patterns and rich textures into our homes. Erin Gates is the founder and principal designer of Boston-based Erin Gates Design, and the author and editor behind the popular design blog, Elements of Style. From large homes in the suburbs to small condos in the city, she knows what it takes to design gorgeous spaces that blend new and old, high and low, and modern and traditional.

Be sure to check out her first book, due out October 7, 2014. Read on for some of our favorite bits from Erin’s interview, and snaps from her design portfolio.

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Q: What’s your favorite new hue for this fall? A: After a long, long love affair with grey, I feel like tans and taupes will be back. I’m doing my new master bedroom in tan and white instead of grey and white and it feels revolutionary for me!

Q: What’s one of your favorite ways to use texture? A: I absolutely love using grasscloth on walls — it works perfectly with traditional or modern style.

Q: What are your tips for mixing patterns? A: You need to consider the pattern type and make sure you aren’t combining too many of the same- a good balance is to mix a geometric with an organic pattern (florals, for example) and then a very small scale print or a solid. Putting two geometrics together looks too busy and harsh in my book.

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Photo by Michael Partenio

This month I can’t wait to … Complete the addition on our house — it’s been a long time coming!

The item at the top of my current wishlist is … A huge, pale, faded Oushak style rug for my bedroom.

Favorite fellow blogger … Emily Henderson is both funny and fantastically talented.

Interior design icon … I think Steven Gambrel is a genius. He can decorate my house anytime.

Most prized possession … My dogs. I’d do just about anything for them.

Signature cocktail … A nice cold glass of Pinot Grigio in summer or Cabernet Sauvignon every other season!

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Home We Love: A Small Bedroom with Big Style from Lonny Magazine

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Small spaces can have big style! That’s we we love this bedroom from Lonny Magazine — bold splashes of leopard and pink, multilayered art on the wall and floor and clever mirrors in the built-in dresser expand this room’s visual space and style.

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The effect is sophisticated and feminine without being the least bit fussy — a perfect fit for the chic Manhattanite who lives here.

See the full story here.

Mix & Match: Upholstered Chairs

Decorating, How-To | | | 3 Replies

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You know that feeling when something’s missing? That happens in design all the time — a room just feels off until the right accessory, lamp or piece of furniture finds its place.

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Above: Radcliffe, Bristol, Lincoln

That’s why we love our upholstered chairs (including four brand new designs from our Fall collection!) — they’re designed to complement each other and the rest of our furniture collections, despite their distinct styles.

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Each of these chairs can mix and match with each other for a complementary seating set-up, or can thrown into virtually any room, in any style, to stand as a statement piece.

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Above: Cardiff, Thatcher, Salinger

Our favorite part? Each and every one of these chairs can be upholstered in a multitude of our beautiful fabrics for long lasting, custom style.

See all of our upholstered chairs here.  

How to Style a Console Table: Part 1

Decorating, How-To | | | 2 Replies

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This post was written exclusively for Inside & Out by Jana Bek of Jana Bek Design

Styling is my jam! From consoles to bookshelves, I love creating vignettes in my home and clients’ homes. But it’s more difficult than it looks — and I’ve found that a lot of my clients find it daunting. My first tip is to relax and have fun with it! Start by gathering up things you already own, then practice, be patient and play!

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A console table is a great place to start, since it serves multitude of functions. Here’s one of my favorite ways to style a console table — stay tuned for parts 2 and 3, soon!

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Sofa console tables are a great way to hide a sofa back or provide a perch for a book or beverage. When styling sofa tables I make sure items aren’t too high — I don’t want to obstruct the view looking into a space.

In this Salt Lake City client’s home, I used a beautiful grapewood branch to add interest. Its light visual weight doesn’t distract from the view to the living room. In any piece with shelves, like this Tanner Media Console, you’ll want to vary the shapes and textures of pieces.

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Here, you have the organic wood, bone box and ceramic bowl. The light colors contrast with the dark iron table beautifully. Also, by staggering items, the vignette feels airy instead of cramped. The glass shelves allow light to disperse through the piece, too.

Items: Tanner TableBone BoxInteresting Bowl

Photos by Jylare Smith

Stay tuned for more of Jana’s tips to styling consoles, soon!

Home We Love: Cooking with Glamour in a Gold, Black and White Kitchen

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 3 Replies

Today’s kitchens are more than just cooking spaces. Unlike the kitchens of the past, the modern kitchen is a dining room, bar, homework space and entertaining area combined. But even though it’s one of the hardest working rooms in the house, that doesn’t mean it can’t be glamorous!

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This stunning kitchen from Lonny Magazine proves our point. Showstopping Lucite and gold light fixtures take center stage against a bold black and white palette.

Read more about this kitchen here.

Trend! Metallic Accents: Gold, Silver & Brass

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Trend alert! We’ve spotted glints and glimpses of metallic accents in the home. These hints of glamour add warmth and sparkle to any interior. Take a look at our top picks from the season, below!

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1. Gilt Charger/ 2. Vince Accent Stool/ 3. PB Gilt Frames/ 4. Lily Task Lamp/ 5. Decorative Star Mirror/  6. Theroux Mirror/ 7. Celia Jewelry Box/ 8. Meredith Brass Lantern/ 9. Perfect Shot Jewelry Hanger