The Anatomy of a Classic Coastal Room

My sister-in-law is getting ready to re-do her bedroom and sent me the room I am using for this weeks Room of the Week as inspiration. Designed by Jeffrey Alan Marks, this room is a fantastic example of a classic coastal room (in Nantucket).  It’s equal parts put-together and completely casual…which is most likely a mix we would all like to achieve in our own busy homes, no matter what your design preference is.anatomy-of-classic-coastl copyLAYERS
Not an empty space anywhere in this room.  Grasscloth over walls, a blanket draped over the headboard, a patterned rug atop a larger one, pillows layered on pillows.  All the layers create an enveloping affect perfect for a casual cozy bedroom.  Plus adding lots of layers allows you to have lots of texture within a minimal color palette.

In this bedroom, and maybe in every bedroom, the bed is naturally the emphasis.  And, everything in the room works together to keep it that way.  The side tables are large, but their subdued colors keep them on the sidelines.  The artwork frames the bed.  The lighting overhead draws your eye toward it.  And, the only contrasting color in the room, that bright orange lamp, is next to the bed and actually faces the headboard (for function of course) which keeps your eye on the bed. When your bed is this pretty why would you draw attention anywhere else.

This room displays a playful mix of furniture and accessories arranged both symmetrically and asymmetrically.  All symmetrical and this room would lose its casual feel.  All asymmetrical and it would look messy or too eclectic for this classic coastal style.  But both styles of balance are used in just the right ways for a very successful classic but casual room.

Symmetry is especially nice here to ground the center of the room…the bed sits balanced on top of the rugs and is home to a symmetrical mix of throw pillows.  The asymmetrical balance found throughout the rest of the room brings cohesion to the eclectic mix of lamps and side tables.  Symmetry makes the bed look easy on the eyes and easy to make each morning.  While the asymmetrical table vignettes means that nothing has to be put exactly just so, so you can spend your time worrying about how quickly you can get to the beach for the day.

Already wrinkled linen, large vases of messy foliage, a sand-colored rug that will hide actual sand…all little details that make a beach house function well at the beach. The pieces you choose to fill your home with determine the amount of upkeep you want to be engaged in on a daily basis.  I don’t know if this home is solely a vacation-home or someone’s primary residence (lucky!), but the pieces that fill this space suggest that they don’t want to spend a lot of time keeping this home spotless.  Even the grasscloth on the walls is hardy and calls for low-maintenance.

I’ve explored this sand, sky, surf color palette before, since it’s a personal favorite, and it works in so many locations especially when the room is near a large body of water.   I can imagine using different tones of these colors for a lakehouse, a home near a river, or even a house in the woods with just a stream nearby.  But, I think it would be equally successfully in place with wide-open skies and fields, or a sandy and hot desert home.  Since the colors of sky and sand are found universally its a color palette that feels relevant almost anywhere…just use sand and sky tones specific to your location.

A simple way to add coordinating patterns without being too matchy…pick textiles that share the same line, like this trendy chevron rug paired with the pair zig-zag patterned throw pillows.  Your eye automatically connects the lines, helped along by their shared colors.

Do you have a favorite part of this room that I might have missed?  I’d love to know!  500-daisy-upholstery-nails-brass-furniture-studs-tacks-[2]-436-p copy

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