I don’t think I’ve met one person who doesn’t want to live at the beach.
The air with its heavy moisture and pungent aroma combined with the sound of the pounding surf is one of the most relaxing combinations I can think of.
Most things seaside are washed and faded from sun and surf and the light in beach areas is as bright as it can be soothing.
The influx of ‘beach’ themed materials has made these washed, soothing colours and textures in everything from flooring to fabric. Some people are breaking away from the cold and intense colour palette of modern interiors to favour a more relaxed and organic colour scheme.
Furniture manufacturers are offering more distressed, brushed looking fabrics for you to build that perfectly cozy retreat.
Bedding is getting back to basics with quilted cotton duvet covers making a huge comeback. White is an influential colour choice for many interiors and is being combined with weathered wood for a beach inspired cottage look.
And now you are thinking, I live in Central Alberta and not on the water but I adore the coastal feel in my home…what do I do?
My first piece of advice would be run, move, winter is coming!
But I’m supposed to keep to giving design advice not travel and relocation services!
The coastal design feel is all about your desired locale, are you east or west? Go west and you are met by an abundance of warm colours and natural earth products while on the sunrise side you will encounter the blanched, weathered timbers and fabrics.
The coastal vibe is one of clean lines and bright (meaning white) fabrics. It is a homey, cottage type feel that comes from well-loved items and heirloom pieces which invite visitors to travel through your memory banks as they remember those well-loved times by the water. It is about warm days and cooler evenings as you collect driftwood and have a restful evening around a crackling fire.
Inspect pieces of your furniture to see if they can be repurposed and given a more weathered appearance.
Often a thin coat of paint or stain and some elbow grease is enough to turn an existing piece of furniture into a statement piece.
Go on the hunt at antique shops for old shutters and window panes that you can add your own personal touch to and don’t forget the sprinkles of colour using blue and green glass that may have lived nestled in the sand on a sunny coast.
Even if you can’t live by the ocean you can dress your space up to mimic the look and feel of a beach front property.
Before summer winds down have a coastal inspired party with lots of seafood, try for an outdoor party where you boil large pots of lobster, corn and potatoes and serve them in the traditional way by dumping the whole thing onto a picnic table while your bibbed guests dig in with their hands.
Someday some of us will get there, we will retire in that coastal community we have always dreamed of but until that day we can bring those elements of a beautiful seaside retreat into our current homes. All it takes is a little seafood and some well-chosen decorative elements to bring that vibe to the prairies.
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.