This month Interior Design expert Toks Aruoture talks about adding freshness to your home using inspiration from the coast.
This past bank holiday weekend we went to Botany Bay to gaze at the sea and to feel the sand beneath our feet one last time before the season comes to an end. On the drive there I marvelled at the calmness that enveloped us as we passed through the little coastal towns. There was a nostalgic feel, everywhere seemed to slow down to a leisurely stroll. We spotted a couple of windmills too. This led me to dwell on coastal decor. There is a freshness that comes with coastal decorative styles, and thankfully, there are simple ways in which we can recreate that ambience in our homes.
Coastal decor is fresh, airy and relaxed. This is one style where pure, white paint will feel very much at home particularly if paired with the right accessories. The choice of paint for coastal decor can range from white to light blues and greens or even pale yellows, but can be created with warmer colours too. Soft colours are serene and restful and give a feeling of space and fresh air. An alternative to paint is carefully chosen wallpaper with decidedly coastal themes like large bands of blue and white. These mimic deckchair stripes and beach huts which are synonymous with the seaside.
Your aim is to create a seamless flow and an ambience that mimics the unobstructed views of the coast. By the sea, the eye can see for miles ahead in every direction and I think that uninterrupted feeling really does help to relax us, it does for our minds what walking out of a noisy classroom does for our ears. We can easily achieve this in an open plan house, but by using some simple tricks we can make it happen in a relatively small home.
Paint all walls the same colour to create an uninterrupted flow, the same goes with the floors. Laying different carpets in different rooms will emphasise the borderlines of each room and draw attention to its size. Keep the floors light and continuous, sticking with either wood, parquet or hardwearing carpet throughout. Skirting boards, doors and coving in a similar shade will help increase the space visually.
Choose light coloured furniture. Upholstered chairs and sofas in creams, beiges or even white allow you to be flexible in your choice of decor, this means when you get bored of your colour scheme, you can switch things around easily. On the other hand, light colours may not be practical if you have young children, in which case choose darker shades for furniture and dress up with cushions and throws for an instant burst of colour. The same rule applies to bedrooms, bedlinen in pale blues or green instantly add colour and a bit of drama to the room.
As we enter into the rich, colourful season of autumn, we have to be more practical and use heavier curtains to keep the warmth in. Still, you can also choose to use autumnal shades for accessories and cushions.
Natural accessories will complete your coastal decor. From the obvious sea shells, driftwood and corals to creative elements like sailor’s ropes and themed pieces like compass, natural decor always warms up a cool space. To give an even cozier effect, use warm colours like reds, browns and oranges.