Nothing can compare to the joy of living on an island. Breezes carry a touch of salt, the sunlight twinkles like diamonds dancing atop the ocean waves, blue skies with clouds as fluffy as cotton candy and everywhere you look there’s crystal blue water. Yeah, life’s a real beach when you live on the water. Time miraculously slows, temperate breezes blow year round, people are more relaxed, and you can walk most anywhere. No where is the tropical coast lifestyle more accessibile in the U.S. than in the Florida Keys, a string of emerald green islands strung from the southernmost tip of Florida.
Regardless of where you live, a coastal style is possible to achieve as a state of mind and as a style for your home. So string up a hammock, kick back and I’ll walk you through a few key points for adding coastal style to your island home.
What is life without texture? Smooth, flat and boring, that’s what. Coastal style pulls from the elements at hand using sea grasses, bamboo, and rattan. These items are not only environmentally friendly, they are strong, can withstand weather, and add texture and comfort to indoor and outdoor spaces. Take a look at the sea grass wing back armchairs in the picture below. The color variation and thick woven cable pattern give the room a warm look. Walls are painted in a light color with rolled arm slip covered chairs near the fireplace. Large windows and glass pane doors allow a smaller space to look roomier. Accessories above the fireplace include coastal elements such as the starfish, dried grasses, and flowers. Ovals, circles and squares of differing heights also add interest. This is a wonderful conversation space and a great place to hang with family and friends.
There are so many reasons for living on the water. Number one on the list is, no doubt, a love of the outdoors and everything it has to offer – opportunities for boating, diving, fishing, swimming, walking, bike riding and more. Also, with the temperate weather you can use an outside space as a private getaway when needed or a place for entertaining when you have people over. Outdoor living spaces are highly desireable in a waterfront home.
This beautiful patio space overlooks the water providing a breathtaking view and a welcoming area for enjoying sun, conversation, drinks and dining al fresco. And the wall of windows across the back of the house allows us to segue into the next must-have for coastal style.
Windows on the World
Windows – lots and lots of windows to usher in light and take in the million dollar view. Open windows allow the ocean breezes and salt-tinged air to enter your home. Inside you can cover the windows with soft and floating sheers, blinds, valances, or shades. Anything that will allow the sun an open invitation.
Is Happiness a Color?
Just as you would imagine, color plays a big part in coastal style. Color can be found literally everywhere – whether it’s the many blue hues of the water or the sky, the white of the cotton clouds, the green leaves of trees and bushes, even the yellow of the sun. It all works to bring the essence of the coastal lifestyle from outdoors into your home. Even bright colors that resemble a montage of beach umbrellas are a welcome touch. Light walls as a backdrop allow the room to pop with these bursts of color.
Nautical themes are an obvious choice for coastal living furniture. Whether that means adding a ship’s wheel to your wall, blue and white striped seat cushions, a telescope, ship in a bottle, or a porthole mirror these are all pieces that add personality. Seashells, sand dollars and the like are appropriate anywhere – smaller ones in a bowl display, larger ones set on a shelf, these are the treasures of the sea and each has a story to tell.
Island life puts the focus on slowing down a bit and enjoying life as a journey and all it has to offer. Here, “fun in the sun” is not just an expression! The author Dina Janicke loves to find treasures and high quality furniture that reflect coastal style that you can see when you visit her store Custom Furniture World. Find us here: www.customfurnitureworld.com.