In a small walkable community on the Washington coast, we designed two houses (and one big yard) for a new kind of beach living. Read on for some great design tips we learned along the way.
Spaced to mimic the pines
Design for the view
The 12-foot-high Andersen windows in the living room, above, are spaced to mimic the shore pines outside and make the room feel like a treehouse. For an uninterrupted view, choose low spindle chairs from CR Laine rather than high-back ones.
Include creature comforts
A big square ottoman is reachable from every seat in the living room.
Weathered woods give the kitchen dimension. The gray-wash floor matches the cool walls, the reclaimed-wood on the island adds warmth, and the whitewashed beams bring a sense of airiness.
Enliven a smaller room with floral print
Be bold in small rooms
A wallpaper pattern that might overwhelm a large space can enliven a smaller room--like the den, with its floral print from Makelike.
Hang art close
In the stairwell, Seattle designer Brian Paquette hung prints by artist Jennifer Ament so tightly, they touch. This helps the display look like one art piece--and relieves a lot of measuring anxiety.
More art display ideas
Rethink the headboard
Paquette upholstered the bedroom headboard with vintage Japanese boro, an indigo patchwork. "Don't be scared of vintage fabrics," he says. "They add character." If a fabric is delicate, an upholsterer can back it so it's sturdy enough for most uses.
Other ways to add color to your home
Make the bathroom seem like a spa
Design for bare feet
Tile floors with radiant heating make the bathroom seem like a spa. The Kismet tiles are made of concrete that feels chalky soft underfoot.
More bathroom ideas
Make a scene
In the backyard, Azek gray-wash decking (a tie-in to the floors inside) creates a "room" near the fireplace. Whiskey barrels and galvanized farm-trough feed containers hold salad greens, blueberries, and salt- and wind-resistant shore pines.
More backyard design ideas
Think long term
A metal roof can last 50 years or more.
Reach great heights
What the master bedroom lacks in square footage, it compensates for with a soaring paneled ceiling. The deep aqua wall color makes the lofty space still feel like a cocoon.
More on incorporating color into your home design
Traditional lines and tufting meet beach-bright colors in the living room's CR Laine Chesterfield sofa. The color relaxes the serious piece, as do the chipped trunk and stool.
In the dining room, the mix of whimsical lighting from Rejuvenation, antique chairs, and a sleek table lends to the pleasantly unmatched look.
Keep one color uniform
Palm leaf green molding is a constant through most of the house, even while the wall color shifts from icy blue to chartreuse and back again. Bring molding down from the ceiling for a cozy, informal feel.
Surprise with detail
To add a sense of history in an unconventional way, Paquette enlarged black-and-white photos of clam diggers that he found at the local historical society, then decoupaged them to the stair risers.
Cedar wood gives the outdoor kitchen warmth
Bring the indoors out
Cedar wood paneling gives the covered outdoor kitchen warmth. The beams--painted green to match the home's trim--add enough architecture to make the space feel like a bona fide dining room.
If you liked these ideas, here are some more home design tips that we like.