European Interior Design

Written By Lesley Canter on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 | 2:04 PM

Chances are you do not reside in a beautiful house on a white sand beach with gentle waves lapping into your front yard. That doesn't mean however, that you can't bring the seaside to your home! A coastal theme is a very modern and beautiful way to decorate your home from the inside out and will give you and your visitors the sense that the sea is just outside your front door. The phrase "coastal" varies in meaning from region to region and can refer to many different types of architecture, furnishings, themes, and overall design styles. 

You can find common threads in these different styles which make it possible to combine these different elements together into one design scheme with complementing wall paper, fabrics, wall hangings, metal wall d├ęcor, or laser wall art. From the golden coast of California and the beaches of Florida to the beautiful New England coastline, coastal influences can be brought to architecture, decoration, and the overall style of any home. The principal colors that make up modern coastal interior design schemes are typically shades of greens, blues, and neutral browns, pinks, and beiges. 

These colors conjure images of the ocean, sky, clouds, sun, sand, shells, and vegetation. White is the ideal color to tie everything together, giving the living environment a bright, fresh, open feeling. Suggested areas to use whit as a foundation color include fabrics (curtains, blankets, carpeting, and upholstery), wall paint and borders (laser cut gifts, laser cut metal wall art, and ornate wall hangings), kitchen appliances, and general home accessories. When picking out a color scheme an all white theme is certainly feasible, but if you have children or pets it may not be the best idea. 

Consider using white as a foundation with a mixture of other colors that are more conducive to a busy lifestyle. The lighter the colors, the more open and airy the room will appear. A light background with blue, green, or coral accent pieces is a great possibility. Another option to employ to open up a room is to use a blue or green as the primary wall color and then to use white paint on the trim, crown molding, and baseboards. The lighter the main color is, the better, but combining dark colors with light colors will make the room more interesting and complex.

Furniture

When selecting furniture in a coastal themed room, the designer will be faced with a large variety of choices. It can be fun to mix regional influences even from different continents! Asian, African, and European pieces can make a room eclectic and fun, turning an otherwise boring room into a masterpiece. Furniture in coastal decorating has a wide range of possibilities, as it is not necessarily tied to regional or historic boundaries. That being said, an eclectic mix in the decor is expected.

In a single room you may find accents, laser cut gifts, cold rolled steel wall art, or even metal souvenirs or hangings from Asia, Africa and Europe, spanning antique to modern, all within a few feet of each other. One common trait that you will find in coastal decorating, however, is that sofas and arm chairs are puffy, overstuffed and extremely comfortable. 

Upholstery for these larger pieces typically falls into one of several categories, including, being solid in color, bold stripes in two colors, thinner stripes with multiple colors, or floral patterns. Rattan and wicker furniture are staples in the seaside themes. Virtually any piece of furniture can be purchased that is made of rattan (which is a plant similar to bamboo, but not as thick). Known for being lightweight, durable, flexible and easily stained, rattan can be woven into a very sturdy mesh which makes it an ideal candidate for stylish couches, chairs, tables and ottomans.

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