Monday, March 16, 2015

Beach Design Inspiration

I was recently asked by a designer to pick an inspiration photo and create a design board based on the photo. One of the first things I learned when I started school for interior design was that there are design themes and there are design concepts. A theme is as literal approach to a design, whereas a concept is not literal and has to do with the overall feel. Since I'm bad at explaining things, I'll give an example. If someone said they are looking for a design that would remind them of their vacations at the beach, you could do a theme and go all out with beach decor OR you could do a concept and pull colors and textures from the beach and use them in your design, with a few fun beachy accessories =) I decided to go with a concept for this living room design.

First, here is my inspiration photo that I got from the internet (don't remember what website I got it from):

And this is what I came up with:

As far as the furniture, I wanted to use a mix of rustic and refined. I went a little more formal with the tufted sofa and I love how the color picks up on the green of the rocks, but it still also looks brown. I chose a light finish for the coffee table and sideboard to pick up on the color of the sand. The finish on the coffee table is rustic, yet the form picks up on the shape of the feet on the sofa and chair. I went with a relaxed feel for the side tables, playing up the texture with the bumpy rattan side table and the smooth Chinese garden stools, which reminded me of clam shells. Both of the pillow fabric have a coral motif, but the pattern of the sofa pillows is more subtle. For the drapery fabric, I pulled the colors out from the inspiration photo, but I didn't want to do a literal pattern, so I chose a paisley, and paired it with bamboo blinds. The chandelier shape is a bit formal, but I felt that the capiz shells added a touch of whimsy. The sideboard has a big porthole mirror hanging above, and for decoration, I added a metal bin and some gold coral. When I saw the seaweed in the inspiration photo, it instantly made me think of brown glass jugs because the seaweed has a smooth, shiny surface. For the artwork above the sofa, I wanted to stick with neutral colors, so I found the antique print of sea urchins. I put some swing arm lamps on either side, but they looked plain, so I framed them and backed the frames with textural grasscloth, so now they have more presence. I wanted to keep the coffee table simple, so I added a giant, cast iron clam shell for decoration.

By Stephanie Lynn
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