It’s the holiday season. A time to gather with family and friends. We love stools and poufs for extra seating when entertaining guests. These are so easy to tuck under a console or pull up to a coffee table. They also work well as side tables that do not take up much space. Add a decorative and practical element to any room!
A house really isn’t a home unless it’s a welcoming space for children and grandchildren.
But can you create (and maintain) crisp, clean interiors while keeping the needs of kids in mind?
By its very nature, coastal-inspired design evokes feelings of relaxation and connection, comfort and convenience — weekends at the beach, reunions at the shore, an easy, breezy lifestyle regardless of the street address.
From its preferred hardwood or tile floors to its unfussy window treatments, coastal style is well-suited to the youngest members of your family tribe. For proof, check out the glorious “Living with Kids” posts on DesignMom.com, where many of the featured, family-friendly homes are located on or near the water.
Want to make your beach-chic retreat more inviting to children? Dip a toe into these tips:
Coastal-style floor coverings for busy families: Think cleanable
Natural-fiber rugs like those woven of jute, sisal and hemp are a natural fit under feet, whether they’re sandy or not, but cleaning sisal of spills can be a nightmare.
For those areas of your home that are either high-traffic or near a highchair, indoor/outdoor area rugs offer a fashionable, functional solution. They add warmth and texture to a room, as well as a softer spot for kids to play (and land).
Sturdy enough for patios and verandas but pretty enough for dens and casual dining rooms, Dash & Albert indoor/outdoor rugs are a Pineapple Girl favorite. Available in African-inspired geometric, vintage tile and classic stripe patterns, these lightweight, reversible, indoor/outdoor rugs can be vacuumed, lightly brushed with water or even sprayed clean with a hose.
Kid-friendly coastal furniture? Invest in quality
It may seem counterintuitive, but until your kids grow out of their “the floor is hot lava” phase, investing in high-quality furniture will save money in the long run. Unlike cheap pieces, heavy, solid furnishings will stand up to years of abuse. As a safety measure, opt for furniture with soft, rounded corners when possible.
Another family-friendly furniture solution is woven strongly into the coastal chic aesthetic — slipcovers, a look that derived from the tradition of draping sheets over beach-cottage furniture at summer’s end.
Thanks to slipcovers, your family can enjoy a stunning white sectional – just machine-wash fabric as necessary, and replace when you’re ready for a change.
Make space for kids’ activities in your coastal home
Kids need dedicated spaces to do kid things – from homework to art work, from board games to video games:
- Set up a study station in the kitchen so kids can tackle schoolwork where Mom and Dad are close at hand. Keep the area neat with clear glass jars to hold pens and pencils, scissors and rulers.
- Create a kid-friendly mudroom near the back door by positioning a bench, baskets and hooks there. Kids will have a place to prepare for whatever activity they’re engaged in – ice hockey, beach volleyball, snowboarding or soccer.
- Anchor your family room with a large, low coffee table made of reclaimed pine. Kids can gather their friends around the table for coloring and crafts, and the whole family can convene there on game night.
Got kids? You need smart storage solutions
One of the signatures of coastal design is, of course, a clean, uncluttered look.
Savvy storage is a must, but built-in bookcases, window-seat storage benches and shelves lined with plastic bins are only the beginning.
Wicker and Nantucket-style baskets, stiff canvas hampers and rustic crates tucked around the house serve as catchalls for toys that are handy, portable and nautical in nature.
Beach chic décor is naturally kid-friendly
So many of the finishing touches you typically find in an ocean lover’s home are hardy enough to withstand occasional handling by kids:
- Dramatic pieces of driftwood
- Gorgeous, oversized conch shells
- Coral sculptures and centerpieces
- Exotic sea fans
- Purple barnacle clusters
Those found (or purchased!) objects not only serve as eye-catching seaside accents, but they also bring the outdoors in and can serve as a teaching tool.
For more delicate pieces, like Jamie Dietrich’s dazzling, one-of-a-kind bottles and vintage floats, simply follow the 45-inch rule: display the item at least 45 inches off the floor, to keep it beyond the reach of little hands.
Looking for more coastal style inspiration?
This “Coastal Living” video features several kid-approved bedroom ideas to steal:
Instead of major renovations to give a room a new, revitalized look, try freshening the room with something simpler. This is a great way to give a space of the home a makeover, without the toil and grief of major refurbishments. Often times, simple strategies are the most effective at making the room completely different, yet still comfortable.
Some ways that you can freshen up any room include:
Giving your interiors a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in augmenting and transforming any space in the home. Look for natural, organic colors that reflect the beauty of the surrounding sea. Benjamin Moore’s Simply White is a great option that will make your room look fresh and new. Paint your ceilings in the same light color to make the space appear taller and larger.
In addition to paint, another inexpensive way to freshen up a room is with pillows. These can be used as accent pieces and will add a little pop to your room, especially if larger pieces of furniture are not in the budget.
Natural Floor Coverings
Feel the Rug under your feet; is it comfortable and cohesive with your room? Try using natural colors to bring a clean, contemporary style to the space. For instance, the Natural Jute Woven Rug is a simple yet sophisticated way to revitalize any room. The nubby texture provides depth and interest, while the natural materials provide just the right comfort underfoot.
Treat yourself to a new piece of furniture to give your space a fresh face. A new sofa, chair, or cocktail table can inspire a theme or color palette for the room; update a quality piece of furniture that reflects your natural surroundings and that coordinates with your style vision. Add a light-colored sofa or the above-pictured Nantucket Sectional to a family space, or bring a unique and vibrant occasional chair to your bedroom for a pop of color.
Freshen Up Your Home
Whether your space is a simple studio or a stunning house by the sea, you can freshen up any room with these three suggestions. Find cohesive and coordinating furnishings, fixtures, and accents to bring your style inspirations to fruition. Try these simple strategies and give your home a fresh face for the coming season.
A beach house should offer a magnificent feeling of freedom and openness in your home, while providing a comfortable, convenient space for you and your family. Even if your property isn’t right on the water, there are some intriguing must-have items that are suited to coastal living and that bring the sand and surf to mind whenever you enter your home.
Outdoor Slipcovered Sofa
The durability of an outdoor sofa makes it a natural choice in a beach home, and these furnishings can be warmed up for the indoors with a slipcover. Consider covering your sofa with something that is neutral, to maintain the open, airy feeling of the space. An outdoor slipcovered sofa also makes it easy to clean and launder. A great choice that brings a coastal vibe to the home is the Cabana Outdoor Sofa, which is as stylish and comfortable inside as it is out.
Shatterproof Wine Glasses
Everyone enjoys beautiful barware but this may be impractical on the beach. Consider using our Govino Shatterproof Wine Glasses to provide plenty of glasses without worrying over broken glass goblets. These stemless wine glasses demonstrate that you don’t have to compromise beauty for function, and our exclusive pineapple design is a welcoming symbol for your guests and melds with a coastal-inspired table.
Coastal Accent Items
A few personal and pretty accents bring your own flair to the home; consider some sea – inspired accents to stick with the oceanic aura. Keep these pieces to a minimum and select those that really speak to you and reflect your sense of style.
Some great choices include simple Whale Tale bookends for displaying your favorite reads, the rustic ‘Jump in the Ocean’ Crates for stylish storage, or the Anchor Away Sculpture, which brings a modern chrome finish to a timeless conversation piece.
Textiles and pillows are a great way to bring the colors of your space together. If you are using white on the walls, these items will provide you the opportunity to add some of your favorite pops of color in the home. The Custom Coordinates Newport Stripe pillows are perfect for creating your color theme, bringing just a bit of oceanic blue to your interiors. The personalized coordinates printed on the pillow add an intriguing detail reflecting your chosen location. Textured floor covering and neutral-toned rugs can also make a room seem larger, while providing the cozy comforts of home.
Use ambient accents to provide lighting in your home, while also bringing a coastal atmosphere to your interiors. Nickel lanterns are the perfect accent that provides ample ambient light for daily living, while bringing a vintage-style rusticity that complements clean, modern décor. Consider using dimmers, desk, and floor lamps to augment your ambient fixtures, and to add an additional layer and mood to your home.
Beach Home Must-Haves
A beach house embraces clean, light features which helps to create the open, airy atmosphere that reflects a home on the water. Avoid weighing down the space with clutter, and choose your accents and fixtures carefully. Keep a color palette in mind that reflects the sea- pale blues, greens, and whites. Be choosy and add a few favorite accents that will elevate your casual, coastal vibe into an elegant and sophisticated space that you are proud to show-off.
More and more people are working from home and reaping the rewards of home-based business endeavors. Even if you only use your office space for a side-job, the kids’ study space, or a guest room, spruce it up with a few modern amenities that will create a functional, stylish area of your home.
Some must-have fixtures for your modern at-home office include these suggestions:
The Modern Office Desk
The focus of every home office is a modern desk, and there are many stylish options to suit your distinctive work needs. If you prefer a simple desk, without a lot of added storage, the Piper Desk is an elegant option. The sleek navy façade, chrome legs, and crystal drawer-pulls make this desk appealing enough to be a focal point in your office.
If you prefer more storage space, the Bungalow 5 Valentina offers several roomy, lacquered drawers that compliment the glass topped lacquered texture grasscloth finish to address your additional storage needs.
It is important to have enough light in your office since you may spend extended periods of time in this space. Metallic or industrial-inspired lighting gives your home office a modern, contemporary look. Consider using something like the Robert Abbey Bristol Adjustable Floor Easel, which allow you to amply-light a work space or display area for artwork, projects, or documents.
For more storage needs, cubby-style shelving in the office works well and provides quick access to necessary work supplies. For instance, the Bungalow 5- Franki Textured AV Cabinet offers cubbies and drawers, but it does not sacrifice style. The unique chrome- finish hardware gives the cabinet a fresh, modern appeal that will meld nicely with other contemporary office fixtures.
Use a modern rug on your home-office floor for cohesion with your other furnishings and comfort under-foot. The Lakehouse Stripe Khaki/White Indoor/Outdoor Rug is a viable option, offering a neutral toned, floor-covering that is easy-to-care for, too. Made of superheroic polypropylene, this indoor/outdoor rug is perfect for bringing in the other accents of your creative space.
Modernize Your Home Office
Some other tips when making over or modernizing a home office are:
- Segregate and seclude your workspace with some sort of divider, door, or partition for optimal privacy.
- Keep your office space clutter-free to avoid visual distractions when you are trying to work.
- Putting time and effort in your workspace is worthwhile, and it may make you more productive and more apt to spend time in your home office.
A home office is much more than a mere convenience; for many, it is an integral part of their family’s income. Money spent on making your office more convenient, functional, and comfortable is a prudent investment in today’s working climate.
White is a shade that never goes out of style or fashion. You can elevate and enhance your own interior design simply by incorporating this crisp, clean color in the home. Give your home a fresh, sophisticated makeover with some white schemes and design ideas that feature white as your focal point.
Some snazzy ideas for white interior design in the home include:
First things first, what color are your walls and floors? While white furniture looks stunning against a contrasting shade, consider opening up your room and making ceilings appear higher by painting the room completely white.
Once you have this blank slate, so to speak, you can begin to pick and choose the elements that suit your style best. Not everyone is comfortable in a completely white space, from fixtures to furniture, but a white backdrop can be a subtle change that makes a world of difference. Echo the white with tastefully selected accents such as white ceramic vases on the table.
Bring sophistication to a sweet spot.
There is something inherently elegant about white living room furniture, and these pieces can comprise the perfect conversation area for the home. Whether you are recreating a family den or a four-season room, find your sweet spot and transform it with white features.
Consider white slipcovers for your furnishings or invest in a contemporary sectional or white living room furniture with crisp chrome hardware. Add your own personal flair to the white design with a few pops of color or fun accents that give the room warmth, while still being a sophisticated spot.
White can be whimsical.
Take a fun approach to white interior design with whimsy; create a space around your favorite white accents, collectibles, or furnishings. For instance, if you love being on the water, take inspiration from a simple seashell. Create a coastal vibe by reflecting this throughout with shades of white, unique textures, and pale pops of color. Add a mirror to bring that sunny sparkle of the water to your space. Wicker feels natural and exudes a coastal feeling; add some wicker furnishings with plump, white cushions, and drape white wool throws casually over the back of your chairs.
The wonder of white.
White is such a versatile color in interior design, but it never seems to lose its timeless appeal and sophistication. Create a dynamic space that you want to spend time in by giving it a white makeover; invest in some white living room furniture, seek out white fixtures and accents, or give the space a fresh coat of paint, from floor to ceiling. Bring white into the home to give it a contemporary, invigorating transformation that will both calm and stimulate the senses.
The color of the year for 2016 is Simply White; simple, clean, and contemporary, white gives any space an open, airy feeling. Whether you are planning to paint the rooms of your home, or if you are looking for distinctive furnishings in a fresh color, White is always a great choice. This hue will meld with your existing furnishings, or can be used as the color palate for a makeover that will give your home an instant update, creating a fresher, lighter look.
Try these ideas when integrating 2016’s Color of the Year Simply White into your interiors:
Fresh focal points.
New lighting is a great way to pull together the colors or style of your room cohesively. In a white makeover, opt for modern white ceramic lamps or cool vintage pendant lights with white or chrome accents. Remember to consider the type of illumination you want in your rooms, too. Choose either warm white bulbs for a soft glow in the space, or a cool white bulb when you want an invigorating, energizing type of light.
Reclaimed wood beams and furniture.
Combining hand hewn beams, or reclaimed wood furniture will add interest and texture to your white walls and white slipcovered furniture. Be sure to paint the ceilings and woodwork with a complementary shade of white for a clean, linear look in your space.
Lots of layers.
With so many different shades of white to choose from, you can create a layered look using various whites in your fixtures, furnishings, and floors. From creamy ivory canvas to crisp white cottons and linens, bring in different variations of your white color scheme to bring depth and dimension to the space, which can warm up stark white interiors.
Fun and functional furnishings.
Furniture is so much more than simply a place to rest and recuperate after a long day; the type of furniture that you have in your space says a lot about your style. White furnishings- sofas, chairs, and sectionals- can become a blank slate for you to add pops of color, intricate patterns, or sumptuous throws to create an alluring seating arrangement.
Some other ways to integrate white in your interiors include:
- Lighten up the room with white window treatments that allow natural light into the home.
- Integrate shiplap millwork and custom trims around your room, such as moldings or hardware, and paint them white to provide a distinct border to your space.
- White washed pine wood flooring can look crisp and fresh, and provides the perfect foundation for your white room scheme. Use bold striped rugs or carpets to protect natural wood floors, and provide a pop of color to your space.
Love white? Check out this book, Brilliant White in Design, that examines the spectrum of colors and talents inherent in white, exploring how it is used, and viewed, in art, design, architecture, and nature.