Monthly Archives: February 2014

Escape Winter with Seaside Decor

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In the dead of this dreadful winter we’ve all been enduring, let us reflect upon Seaside style. It could be that many readers might be lucky enough to escape to their second home in a warmer climate. Just looking and thinking about the coastal style is bound to wipe the winter blues right away. Avoid the cheesy traps often seen when it comes to appointing a beach house. Here are some elements we love, that will safely provide sophisticated seaside decor appropriate for any interior space.

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1. Nautical Maps – There’s something obvious about, say, sailboat wheels or anchor motifs. But the subtlety of nautical maps is a sophisticated way to pay homage to the ocean. Homeowners Harriet Maxwell MacDonald and Andrew Corrie framed a local map of Shelter Island in their modern scandinavian beach house a nice way to incorporate a sense of location within their space.

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Or you can pair a modern table with a technical chart for a light and airy aesthetic.

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2. Palm Fronds – Your locale doesn’t have to be in the Caribbean in order to utilize palm plants or cut palm fronds. For a dramatic look, do what India Hicks did in her Harbour Island residence and put large cut palm fronds in over sized vases.

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We love the example of adding tropical flare to your space by grouping an over sized bunch in a vase on your mantel.

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3. Coral – It’s a trend that’s still going strong in the design world. Adding touches of natural curiosities to your tablescapes bring an organic, uniquely seaside aesthetic. And coral is slightly less blatant then shell collections, which can verge into tacky territory. Joan, from the blog For the Love of a House, intentionally adds fan coral to her mantel in the summertime.

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If displaying coral on the mantel feels too overt, casually incorporate it into your coffee table display.

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4. Straw Hats – Chances are you own a few straw hats that you only really wear at the beach or in the garden. Why not put them on display? Either stagger a few choice hats on the wall or pile a bunch of them together in an artful grouping.

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5. Seascapes– There is nothing like an actually well painted oil of a seascape. Especially the more subtle depictions of serene beach or lake scenes. Hang them in groupings, or on their own.

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Form Meets Function with Case Goods

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Having spent the past week with a personal organizer who helped wittle down the ever-accumulating amount of wares a house aqcuires, the need for storage in our lives remains of the utmost importances. You should never have to sacrafice design or a pleasing aesthetic sensibility, when it comes to adding function to the home. In comes the case for case goods (pun inteneded!). Above, a stunning example of appointing a gorgeous chest, the work of the iconic Frank Randolph.

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Case goods are pieces of furniture that are essentially built like a box, such as cabinets, a chest of drawers or a breakfront. These pieces are generally meant for storage, and so their construction often incorporates drawers, doors and shelves. In recent years, the category has extended itself somewhat to occasional tables that you might put in a hallway or foyer. The point is, in the home, having a surface to place things either for display or function, is often overlooked but most imporantant.

Above, an example of form meeting function is aptly exemplified in the image from Ann West Interior’s living room: on the surface, two lamps and an array of perfecly placed object d’art. Underneath, she stores her china, wares and serving platters.

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We’re always a bit partial to the Swedish, Scandinavian look. It’s clean, light and airy, sure to brighten the heaviness of any room.

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Let There Be Light

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One of the things most overlooked when it comes to the well appointed space is lighting. Often times, the focus on placing furniture in the right place, the flow of the room or hanging pictures correctly, dominates the conversation. And yes, placing furniture and accessories cohesively is an accomplishment.
 
The best way to highlight this accomplishment is with the correct lighting for both atmosphere and function. For all your efforts, nothing will sabotage your hard work faster than a lighting program that hasn’t been well planned!

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On Lamplight

Technically, there are different lamp lighting: task lighting and overall lighting. The former assists us in accomplishing specific tasks that require congtrolled illumination like reading or writing, cooking, etc. The latter, overall lighting, is the absolute opposite. It’s all about creating atmosphere and adding visual weight to a tablescape. There’s tremendous opportunity for decorative touch, in the base you choose.
 
“For many of us, the most agreeable way to light a room is with table lamps,” Mark Hampton

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Above are some examples of using one lamp to create a dramatic statement and illuminate a scene in a room.

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Of course, there is nothing more striking than a pair of significant lamps greeting a visitor in an entry way of someone’s home. Mark Hampton famously said in his book On Decoration:

“It seems to me that the act of leaving a lamp lighted on the hall tabe for those who have not yet returned for the night is rather like the ancients leaving lamps on the altars of their favoritie deities. It is a warm, loving gesture and a welcoming sight to the one who is returning. Somehow, leaving a recessed ceiling ligh on doesn’t quite evoke the same cozy feeling.”