A Breath of Fresh Air

by Erica Bauwens | Sep 8, 2014
A Breath of Fresh Air …From the pages of House & Home…

Adding color to your Shore home can turn your seaside escape into your own personal resort.

Your Shore home is your escape from everyday life. Whether you’re retreating for the entire season or looking for a place to kick back and relax on the weekend, there’s just nothing like settling into your own personal Shore space all summer long. But an outdated and under-designed dwelling can make your home-away-from-home seem unwelcoming and unfamiliar.

“That’s your retreat and your getaway; it’s not where you live all the time. It can be a little more creative,” says The Fabric Loft’s Lisa Shull.

Interior designers all over our area have found the secret to capturing that Jersey Shore essence and bringing it into your beach home: loads of color in unexpected places.

“Bright colors and lots of light can make it a feel-good place, and color is so stimulating to your senses that it can help make your home a retreat,” says Shull.

So what does it take to turn your home into that breath of fresh air that only the Shore can provide? We consulted the experts to see what colorful steps you can take towards a new and happy beach house.

Find your fit
Before deciding on a concept or idea, you want to think about just what purpose your Shore home will serve.

“You have to ask how you want to use that house,” says Jere Bradwell, interior designer and owner of European Home Collection. “How is this going to be different than your home? Are there going to be a lot of guests, or is this going to be your private family retreat?”

Different uses and even the location of the home itself can make all the difference in what fabrics, colors and pieces you want to include in your home. “If you’re close to the water, you want to think about what the sea air and the elements will do to your fabrics and décor,” explains Bradwell.

“Is there going to be a lot of seating? Are you going to be using your kitchen a lot? Will you rent your home out during the season?” says Shull. “You want a high-performance fabric that does a lot, especially if you rent your house out. It should be water resistant, stain resistant and sun resistant. And you can be a little more aggressive with it, which you need for a Shore house.”

And then there’s the inevitable sand from little feet coming and going to the beach.

“Nothing creates dust like sand. Just seeing it could cause stressful feelings,” says Ever After interior designer Lara Breuche. Breuche suggests opting for light fabrics and wood tones to hide the sand and dirt that often goes hand-in-hand with summer fun. “You want to be on vacation and feel like it,” she says.

Play up ocean tones
When searching for design inspiration, look no further than the nearest beach.

“The scenery at the Shore is so different that it allows you to create a whole retreat that is different from what you get at home,” says Shull. “You can do all blues, reds and whites for a nautical theme, or do all pastels and have a tropical theme. There’s ways to make a theme out of your colors that you might not be able to do in a normal home.”

“Blues are a nice variation, particularly ones that are right between blue and green, like the colors of the ocean and the colors of the waves,” says Bradwell. A bright turquoise or blue with a purple hue can hint at the beauty of the beach while still making your look unique and original. “And another color that is really fun is something in the coral color. That adds a really nice vibrant color, and you can match the colors in nature that surround you at the Shore.”

Of course, some beach trends can appear outdated and overused, but moderation and an eye for detail are key when working with ocean inspirations.

“Using organic elements and a few pieces of furniture with an organic frame and fabric will make the home feel more fresh and beachy,” says Breuche. “Rather than a house filled with rattan furniture that will feel more like grandma’s old cottage.”

Embrace clean living
The biggest trends to hit home design this year are clean and bright colors, as well as streamlined design, concepts that seem built for a Shore home.

“After Sandy, many people have decided to rebuild, but in a more streamlined approach to keep things light and casual,” says Holly Williams of Inviting Interiors. Williams says she sees Shore design focusing on “clean lines, light colors and easy living.

“Shore homes represent relaxation and that carries over to how people approach the design and livability of their home.”

“The style right now is very modern and minimal and your pillows become the real source of color,” says Shull. She adds that Moroccan and geometric fabrics can add some shape and color without overpowering a room. “The market is focusing on bright colors with a modern touch. With a couple of trendy accessories you could really transform the room.”

“I like the main pieces of furniture and walls to stay neutral. I add splashes of color in the walls, accent furniture, pillows and area rugs,” says Breuche. “I add interesting finds and accessories, but keep them minimal.”

Define your budget
The difference in your home upgrades will depend on how big your budget is. According to Williams, creating a budgeted plan with your interior designer can make all the difference in the final product.

“Many times the difference lies in the budget. All clients should enter into the relationship with open minds and some idea of what the priorities and budget might be for each aspect of the project,” says Williams. “When working with larger budgets, you can introduce color elements in a more dramatic way via dramatic artwork, colorful lighting elements and fabrics.”

For those working with a healthy budget, Bradwell suggests adding some accent colors with bright new furniture. “Right now, I’m seeing a lot of painted furniture in bright colors like Key Lime pie or lemon,” he says. “I love the way a piece can really pop in a neutral room and can be switched out with the trends.”

But a smaller budget can still transform your space, especially if you know where to start.

“When working with a smaller budget, I can still make the space look fresh and feel new by painting walls and or woodwork doors and moldings to add interest,” says Breuche. She suggests focusing your attention on a smaller amount of really unique pieces—like a driftwood centerpiece or bold artwork—as opposed to buying loads of inexpensive accessories. And above all, avoid clutter.

“You simply need less stuff in summer. Less clothes, less make-up, so I believe in less furniture and less clutter,” she says.

But no matter your budget, don’t forget to embrace your Shore home’s purpose—and just relax and enjoy.

“The final product should reflect the homeowner’s own personality and offer a fun and comfortable spot to hang out and enjoy the summer,” Williams says. “If the client can enjoy the space and relax, then I consider it a job well done.”

“Interior designers love working on Shore homes,” says Bradwell. “They’re like an escape from the job, a breath of fresh air. I always get excited when I know I get to work on a Shore home because it’s like a whole new experience. How can you not get excited about a trip to the beach?”

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 15, Issue 2 (August, 2014).
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Author: Erica Bauwens


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