Create your own coast-inspired haven with ideas from designers in Southern California, Hawaii, and the Marin Coastline
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Find your beach decorating style
Beach style No. 1: Natural and simple
Molly Wood, owner of Molly Wood Garden Design (pictured) in Costa Mesa, CA, is inspired by Southern California's simple beach lifestyle.
To create her look:
Infuse decor with natural materials, like gravel, shells, sea grass, driftwood, and beach glass.
Contrast wild nature and clean, smooth architectural furniture against a crusty stone wall for richness.
Mimic the ocean’s tranquillity by choosing a palette consisting of shades of one color.
Use a restrained “palette” with landscaping by limiting plant varieties.
"I have seen this color used to paint a floor -- it was beautiful," Molly Wood says. "I would also use it on cabinetry for a nautical, old-school feel. It works well with natural materials like a sea grass rug or a wicker chair."
Artist Kaypee Soh, owner of So’Mace boutique in Honolulu, puts a new twist on traditional Hawaiian and Asian beach style.
To create the look:
Use furniture made with materials that add a beachy exotic flair—like rattan, bamboo, and porcelain.
Bring in nature through art and fabrics.
Enliven with color. Kaypee loves color: It turns a dull room into one that is energetic.
See his ideas and accessories next.
11 of 31Photo by Jeffery Cross
Modern pacific: linen hibiscus pillow
Textiles decorated with island motifs. 20- by 20-inch; $120 with insert.So’Mace
12 of 31Photo by Jeffery Cross
Modern pacific: porcelain stool
Small enough to fit almost anywhere, adding a blast of color quickly. Kaypee keeps many colors on hand. $245.So’Mace
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Modern pacific: Koa bowl
Inspired by the outdoors with natural materials like koa, native to Hawaii. From $200;simplywoodstudios.com
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Modern Pacific: Sona lounge chair
Rattan is a Hawaiian staple. If new is too pricey, find a vintage piece and reupholster. $1,295;selamatdesigns.com
Christopher Downs, owner of Christopher Home (pictured) in Tiburon, CA, creates a boathouse chic theme inspired by Northern California culture. Create the look:
Hang buoys, yacht pennants, and old lighthouse lanterns to telegraph nautical charm.
Choose rough-hewn materials, like jute for a rug. And use bits of sailcloth or canvas for throw pillows or upholstery.
Give walls a slick of bright white paint, which “instantly brings a light, summery feeling to any interior.”
Limit your palette to three or four colors—a neutral base with graphic hues “like navy or red, to make things pop.”
INFOItems from Christopher Home (415/435-0111), unless otherwise noted.
19 of 31Photo by Jeffery Cross
Boathouse chic: Farallon chair
The rattan is casual but the shape regal. $445;wshome.com
20 of 31Photo by Jeffery Cross
Boathouse chic: nautical pillow
Nautical colors, throwback style. Aid to Artisans pillow; from $60. Christopher Home (415/435-0111)
21 of 31Photo by Jeffery Cross
Boathouse chic: marine candle
A crisp scent (with a hint of cuke) recalls the sea. Lafco New York House & Home Marine candle; $55. Christopher Home (415/435-0111)
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Boathouse chic: wall art
Ring buoys make for great wall art. $70 for 24-inch ring;westmarine.com
23 of 31Photo by Jeffery Cross
Boathouse chic: ginger vase
Pair classic old-lady fancy with Americana beachy for a surprise. From $65. Christopher Home (415/435-0111)
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Boathouse chic: recycled bottles
Sea curiosities topping bottles are a quirky touch. From $40. Christopher Home (415/435-0111)
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Boathouse chic: the right shade
"The end of summer is always a little sad for me. I’ve tried to keep my summer vibe going by painting the inside of my closet a bright sea blue. It’s a fun little surprise every morning."