To create visual interest, the designers utilized extreme proportions and contrast. In this casual dining nook, oversized sand dollars make a splash on the dark gray walls. Red stools deliver a shot of energy.
A top trick by designers for making a living space feel more homey is adding a fun rug to the flooring, even when you already have carpet. You don't have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on an area or antique rug to fill the entire space. Instead, look for one in a pattern that adds pizzazz, like this cowhide rug that designer Michelle Mentzer with Miles Design Group in metro Atlanta picked up at Ikea. She also got the pictures of landscape art and the chevron and plush accent pillows on a discount at HomeGoods.
Large pieces of art are dramatic and create a center point for a design. Stephanie Andrews of Atlanta-based Balance Design suggests looking through thrift stores for a painting that’s within your budget. She stumbled upon this one at a consignment shop for a couple hundred dollars.
Framed sand dollars make for a unique piece of minimal art while also adding a subtle coastal element. Flower arrangements with lots of greenery provide a single pop of color in this beige-toned dining room. The beaded chandelier, jute vases and bamboo Roman shades introduce tactile texture so the room doesn't feel flat.
A natural wood dining table adds beautiful raw shape and warm color against the cool tones of the gray dining room. Smoothly sanded wooden chairs compliment the table while creating a slight textural contrast. A stone chandelier gives an older feel to the design while the wall art brings a more contemporary feel to the room.
This inviting guest room invokes the nearby ocean in a sophisticated way with the use of indigo blue and white tones in the bed linens. The motif is carried further with pillows featuring prints of sea life, coral placed on the nightstand and prints of sand dollars on the walls above the beds.
The light sand color of the walls in this beach house warms the space; yet keeps that crisp shoreside feeling. Furniture is minimal and clean-lined, allowing the art in the space -- both the painting and the unique area rug -- to take center stage.
Driftwood accents and wall art that's as subtle as seafoam trailing over sand tie this coastal living room to its seaside setting and layer it with interesting texture. Window treatments and furnishings are neutral, drawing the eye to the peaceful ocean view beyond. Sheer draperies add to the room's ethereal feel.
This third-floor home office takes advantage of the beachside property's sweeping views. The traditional space features a beamed ceiling and built-in credenza that add architectural interest. The homeowner is an avid outdoorsman, so art and accents in this space have a rustic, woodsy feel. The walls feature a sand texture wall treatment, and matchstick shades filter light without blocking the view.
“The trick to tackling a huge room like this is to divide it up into zones and that's just what this design trio does so well,” says designer Candice Olson. “There is an area to take in the view; a sprawling wall shelf that doubles as both display and seating; (great for those big LA parties); and a main conversation grouping that floats in front of the fireplace. I think the wall art is the strongest element in this space. Large tree-motif panels suit the grand scale of the space, as does the ingenious bubble-wrap wall hanging backed with a very current fretwork graphic — someone’s going to Design Heaven for that move. And can we talk about the pink ducks?! The 3-D element of these wooden sculptures animates the massive fireplace wall but this team doesn’t stop there. A quart of neon-pink paint has these ducks kicking sand in the feathered faces of their pink flamingo cousins. It’s this touch of the unexpected that prevents a serious room like this from looking too somber and that can make a good design a great one. As strong as the wall art is, I feel the decorative elements placed along the wall shelves and mantel are suffering from a case of "Honey, I shrunk the accessories." Big rooms need big accessories — lamps, candlesticks or pedestals, ceramics and mirrors — all large-scaled to suit. I would have opted for a huge, free-form, wood coffee table. Glass tends to visually disappear and is a better choice to help keep the feeling open and uncluttered in small spaces.”