Whether you’re oceanside or landlocked, life can be beachy with these three coastal room décor essentials.

A Palette of Sand and Sea

Anchor your coastal room décor in the essential colors of the beach: blue, white, and sand. This palette can take on a range of personalities, depending on how colors are used. A space dominated by contrast – navy and crisp white, with touches of sand – tends to be invigorating. A more neutral space – sand and white with hints of sky blue – feels more serene.

Touchable Texture

Use natural fibers with variations in surface feel: a sofa slipcovered in cotton, baskets woven from abaca or seagrass. Add grooved wood and smooth metal pieces that take you back to the boardwalk. Then, bring it back home with cozy blankets, plush pillows and a soft rug that feels good underfoot.


Coastal Accents

Choose a range of accessories, from those that are clearly nautical by nature to those with a more subtle seaside vibe. Here are a few options:


From table lamp bases inspired by coral to rope-wrapped chandeliers that can go formal or casual, you can use lighting for much more than ambience in a coastal space.


Create your own ocean views, depending on your taste. Large-scale abstract seascapes, 3D pieces crafted from shells or pressed seaweed, and beach photos can all set the scene.

Objets d’Ocean

Finish with accessories that are from the sea or inspired by ocean life, or collect pieces that tell tales of ocean voyages.

Need More Coastal Design Ideas?

Ethan Allen’s designers are always available to help you create your personal coastal getaway. Bring things that inspire you, like magazine pages and photos, to one of our Design Centers, or schedule an in-home appointment with one of our designers (their help is always free).

Next steps:

Summer: time for long, lazy days, gentle breezes and sunkissed afternoons. Time to take the good life outdoors.

A cat-like stretch on a chaise under a canopy of trees. Welcome splashes and the sunny sounds of kids playing in the pool. A midday meal gathered from the garden, juice from a just-picked tomato running down your chin. Time spent in the open air is one of life’s great pleasures. Creature comforts and good company make it even better.

This season, no matter your style, your budget or the size of your yard, porch or patio, we’ve got your outdoor experience covered. Need some patio inspiration or outdoor decorating ideas? Get the party started by choosing from seven distinctive collections, all with the quality construction and durability you expect from Ethan Allen. (The invite list is on you!)


Vero Dunes delivers resort-worthy comfort and style, in all-weather wicker with a sleek onyx finish. Its resin-wrapped aluminum frame has the look of genuine wicker, but it’s lighter and rust-free for durability. Vero Dunes has a modern vibe, classic notes and exceptional versatility.




Design a more decked-out deck with Bridgewater Cove, a strikingly simple, relaxed and refined collection crafted of sustainable Plantation Teak. It has clean lines, tapered details and unmistakably modern notes. Its durable cushions are as comfortable as any you’ll find indoors.




Picturing a prettier patio? Biscayne is a classic that invites you to unwind elegantly. Its timeless style (transitional, with arm scrolls, gracefully curved chair stretchers and a double-X back) is at home in any outdoor space. Need shade? The tempered glass top is available with an optional umbrella hole.




Proving style doesn’t stop at the French doors, Millbrook delivers refined good looks and timeless style to any outdoor space. It’s crafted of sustainable Plantation Teak, with a look that’s part West Indies lanai and part English garden; its generous scale and beautifully carved arms and legs lend it a formal feeling.




Lounging around never looked so good, Redding Ridge is a stylish, inviting, fully upholstered collection made to weather the elements. With clean lines, deep, comfortable seats and a strong, durable frame, this gorgeous collection blurs the lines between indoors and out. Our modern concrete fire table adds warmth and ambience at the flip of a switch.




What better way to start the day than under the summer sky? Serve up breakfast or brunch on a dining table from the Nod Hill collection. With an interlocking circle design and gently curved arms, the coordinating chair is simple and stylish. Indoor/outdoor aluminum frames are powder-coated for good looks and generously scaled for comfort.




A pretty spot of shade on the lawn is the perfect place for Willow Bay, a graceful, all-weather woven collection with a fresh, updated look. A cool, contemporary, tightly closed weave gives the collection the look of genuine wicker. The rust-proof aluminum frames are durable, so Willow Bay will last year after relaxing year.


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Find your favorite? Good. Now mix things up! Many of our styles can sit seamlessly alongside others, so you don’t have to furnish your dining, lounging and conversation areas with just one collection. (Wood and all-weather wicker look great together, for example.) Use color, pattern, even greenery, to tie them together and create a cohesive look. Select from dozens of our fab performance fabrics, and add pillows, rugs and umbrellas, to create outdoor rooms you can really live in.


See what’s new! Fresh looks inspired by midcentury modern style, updated for the way we live today.

Allow us to introduce our new introductions! They’re easy-to-live-with pieces inspired by timeless designs—from midcentury chic to Scandinavian fresh. They all have the same modern, polished vibe, so we’re showing them together, in rooms imagined for today’s lifestyles. But they play well with a variety of design aesthetics; you might be surprised at how seamlessly mid-modern can fit into more traditional spaces.

With that, we invite you to mix things up; you can do a whole room over if you like (how awesome would that be?) or meld something new (a slipper chair? glam bar?) with the things you already love. The options are endless.

THINK FORM, NOT FORMAL. Simple, comfortable. All that, plus sleek and streamlined. We call it new modern, but you just call it home.

You’ll love:

  • The Marcus sectional, hand-upholstered and available in two Quick Ship fabrics, delivered in thirty days or less.
  • The minimalist Mira chair, with a barely there frame that embodies modernism.
  • The hand-knotted wool-blend Jahnu rug, an exclusive design with a fresh geometric pattern that looks carved but isn’t.

HOME IS A MIRROR OF YOU AND YOURS. It’s as unique and familiar as, well . . .  family. To you, decorating family style is like breathing.

You’ll love:

  • The Hazelton dining table and comfy Vera chairs, with their fab midcentury curves. They invite gathering in the dining room (or nook or corner).
  • The Nolita sofa and Marcus chairs, low to the ground and high on style. They just made the great room greater!

ALL THE COMFORTS OF COUNTRY, BUT FRESHER. When every piece has a story to tell (and they’re not all antiques) you want modern country, pure and simple.

You’ll love:

  • The new Rinna pedestal table, artwork, wall sculpture, and graphic pillows, all new introductions that add modern notes and visual interest to an already up-to-the-minute space.

Coming soon: A Nod to Mod: Small Spaces, posting later this month. We’ll be highlighting new pieces designed to suit—and wow—scaled-down living and dining rooms. Never miss a new introduction: Subscribe to The Art of Making Home and check us out on Instagram @ethanallen.

Decorating with Abstract Artwork

Which of these is a painting of a train station?

The correct answer is that both are—at least, according to the artists.

Continuing our World Art Day 2018 celebration, let’s pull back the curtain on abstract art and how you can use it in your space. Whether you love it, dislike it, feel intimidated by it, or find it intriguing, abstract art provokes an emotional response.

World Art Day Theme: Abstract Art

According to Wassily Kandinsky, one of history’s first and most prominent abstract artists, abstract paintings are about using color to provoke an emotion. They have no physical subject; instead, form and hue are the focus. Instead of re-creating an object from the physical world, they bring the artist’s interior world outside.

The train station paintings illustrate Kandinsky’s point perfectly. The piece on the right, States of Mind II: the Farewells by Umberto Boccioni, is an abstract artwork painting designed to show what’s in the minds and hearts of people at a train station. Instead of showing people’s facial expressions to explain what they’re feeling, like the painting on the left does, Boccioni uses shape and color to show the feelings people experience in a train station.

For the departure of someone they don’t see often enough, sadness.

For the loss of someone who’s saying goodbye forever, grief.

For the beginning of a first journey to a new place, anticipation.

And for sending off a relative who has overstayed their welcome, relief!

Abstract painting can be gestural or figurative, geometric or fluid. What it is not is a rendition of something from the physical world. Monet’s impressionism, Dali’s surrealism, and Picasso’s cubism are predecessors of abstract, but they’re not part of the abstract movement.

Because they don’t have a clear subject, abstract paintings can be a little hard to label. They can be Jackson Pollack’s spattered action paintings or Mark Rothko’s color-field paintings. But good news: The same qualities that make abstract artwork hard to talk about also it make perfect for decorating.

Secrets from the Pros

When you purchase furniture, we recommend making a long-term investment in something that will last, with timeless fabrics and finishes that can translate in any décor. Then, you can use artwork to change the vibe of a room whenever you feel like it—no redecorating needed.

Here are some more of our favorite tips:

  • You might think abstract artwork in a traditional space would add unwanted energy or even chaos. We find that it actually relaxes the feel of the room by providing a colorful focal point. In a more monochromatic palette, it gives your eye somewhere to rest, so don’t be afraid to use it.
  • Don’t worry about making your artwork match your furniture. Your art choices should speak to We recommend choosing artwork that highlights the undertones in your room’s palette, but always let your heart guide you.
  • Instead of going with one large abstract art piece as a focal point, you can also create striking gallery walls by mixing and matching abstracts. Here are two examples that we love:

For the Transitional Space

For transitional spaces, we recommend abstracts with a tonal palette. Paintings like these are comfortable in any design, and they tend to be soothing and restful to the eye.

Here are three of our favorites:

For the Modern Space

In modern spaces, we love bold, contemporary abstracts. These beauties don’t shy away from color; they’re large in scale and big on drama. Here are some examples:

For the Traditional Space

Think abstract can’t be traditional? Think again! See how we’ve showcased abstracts in these three traditional and updated classic spaces:

Learn More

  • Have you ever wondered where Ethan Allen finds the paintings we keep in our collection? Get the secrets from our first World Art Day 2018
  • You can also find out about the hands-on process of framing and presenting artwork. Go behind the scenes at our wall décor workshop in Passaic, New Jersey.
  • To get a notification whenever we publish a new post, subscribe to The Art of Making Home.

Happy World Art Day!

World Art Day is a day to appreciate the richness that the visual arts add to your life.

It’s also a day to appreciate the artists in your life: the kid who covers your refrigerator with hand-drawn comics; the friend who can’t resist scavenging fallen branches or discarded fabric remnants to make an art piece; the person who’s always sketching or painting in the park; or your partner who’s always covered in ink, clay, or paint spatters from evenings and weekends spent in their studio. Art is ultimately about seeing the world through their eyes, whether you’re browsing in a museum or hanging a painting on your wall.

For World Art Day, we’d like to give you a peek at the 2018 artwork trends and 2018 wall décor trends we’re watching at Ethan Allen. We’d also like to give you the inside scoop on how we choose works to add to our collection and how we connect with great artists.

2018 Artwork Trends

As we wrap up the second decade of the twenty-first century, we’re inhabiting a world of rapid technological change. As the world becomes more digital, we see the art world trending toward the corporeal: the organic things we can touch and feel.

At Ethan Allen, that means working with artists like Dawn Wolfe, who creates gorgeous papercraft artwork. She works with beautiful paper she discovers all over the world, such as handmade gold foil paper from Nepal. She meticulously folds things like vintage-inspired maps into beautiful shapes, from fans to dresses to swimsuits and more. She also adds paper art as a sculptural element to her prints, giving the work a 3D boost.

Another one of our favorite 2018 artwork trends is a renewed exploration of abstraction and distortion. We have an in-depth post coming on decorating with abstract art (stay tuned!) but for now, take a look at this piece we’ve recently added to our collection, Black and Blush by artist Milton Coppo.

In this work, bold black leaps forward while blush, surrounded by negative space, retreats into the background. You can see it as a symbolic work for a boisterous age, where big personalities around the edges tend to dominate the social conversation.

Or you can just like the colors and the bold brushstrokes—art appreciation doesn’t have to be deep.

One of our favorite 2018 wall décor trends involves materials and framing—these details become an extension of the work. We love this work by artist PC Ngo; it’s an abstract that we print on watercolor paper, trim with a fine, hand-drawn blue pen line, and mount in a champagne frame, adding both metallic color contrast and shine.

How Ethan Allen Artwork Comes to Life

When we’re looking for new works and new artists, we look to the art world. We visit shows. We hang out in artists’ studios. We also commission artwork that fits current home décor trends.

Our process often starts with a style book that we create. It’s a collection of images, text, and other things that inspire us. According to Ethan Allen director of wall décor and outdoor living, Margaret Francis, artists who like the style book and who are interested in working with us then generate unique, proprietary designs. We select the works we like and then add them to our collection, using mediums from giclée prints on specially chosen papers to frameless canvases.

When artwork does need framing, it’s done by hand by artisans in our Passaic, New Jersey, workshop. They choose or custom-build a frame that complements and supports the artwork’s look. Then, they might add mats and add hand embellishments, like fillets, pen lines, and more before sending it along to you.

Happy World Art Day!

Today, we encourage you to take a moment to salute the sculpture you pass in the park every day (you know, the one you walk by but barely notice). Spend an hour or even a day at a museum, immersing yourself in a world filled with masterpieces made by hand.

Buy a sketch book and some colored pencils. Doodle something wonderful in your notebook during a meeting. And explore the art of making home with us by subscribing to the blog.

Take a (blue) note and discover ways to get a cool, coastal look—no matter where you live. Ethan Allen designer Tia Ortiz shares her secret: a beachy blue palette.

It’s a palette that gives a room movement—and repose. It’s inspired by surf, sand, and glistening blue-green fragments of sea glass that wash up to shore. We call it beachy blue.  It’s a favorite of EA designer Tia Ortiz, of our Rockville, Maryland, Design Center. “I work with a lot of clients who lean toward modern, livable spaces,” she says. “So I recommend enduring styles and a sophisticated mix of patterns. And if they like cool, versatile colors, I almost always turn to a palette of sea and sky.”

People gravitate toward beachy blue because it’s both serene and uplifting. It’s the mainstay of coastal décor, of course, along with warm white—and the go-to palette for anyone who’s ever dreamed of living at the shore. It’s very approachable, ideal for a casual presentation. “It’s a cool color combination I absolutely love,” says Tia.


Beachy blue offers an ocean of decorating possibilities; it can swell (when used as a painted background) or be still (when used sparingly).  We adore priming a canvas with it. No matter the furniture style, it creates a calming mood.

Our evocative Glacier prints stand out against a wall that leans toward green-blue.

This transitional space owes its casual good looks to a cool aqua and soft white palette.

White pieces pop against subtle blues, proving negative space can have a positive impact.


Go coastal with blue hues in a sophisticated mix of patterns—whatever makes you feel most at home, advises Tia. Beachy blues can tone down bold patterns and accentuate subtle ones. They’re the common thread that makes so many fabric collections click.

An antique white finish on a Giselle chair is the perfect foil for a watercolor-inspired floral.

Beachy blues rise to the occasion when playing with lively, large-scale patterns.

Graphic, small-scale patterns create a singular sensation—especially when you use pieces in pairs.


You don’t need a serious commitment to live with beachy blue. A pop here and there is all it takes to pull together a casual space with ease. When used sparingly, it serves to complement, not consume, a space.

A hand-loomed rug in rich, tonal turquoise goes over to the dark side, in a good way.

Here, there, and wherever you like, beachy blue accents make a splash.

One of the things we like best about a beachy blue palette is how ambience altering it can be—even when it’s barely there. Start with a whitewashed Quincy bed to set a romantic mood, and complete the serene scene with a hand-loomed wool rug, a bedding ensemble that stars the lovely Foulard Block Print Quilt in sea glass, and artwork that evokes a sense of the French countryside.

Like this summery palette as much as we do? Explore our inspiration rooms for even more fresh ideas at ethanallen.com. To see more beautiful rooms in every palette under the sun, subscribe to The Art of Making Home.



Garnets and rubies and sapphires, oh my! Such precious stones. Such rich colors. What a  way to add a glint of gorgeousness to a room! Decorating with jewel tones instantly infuses a space with sophistication and luxury, but it can have a cozying effect, too. Warm hues naturally give a room an intimate feel. From topaz to tourmaline, jewel tones create a stylish palette with tons of potential. We love using deeply saturated shades to define a room; think vivid emerald walls (not just one, thank you). But even a single piece, like our mouth-blown Lucira emerald vase, can add a lavish touch. Nothing lights up a room faster than jewel-toned accents, from lamps and throws to pillows and trays.

All jewel tones are gems in our book—but two of our favorites are emerald (surprise!) and amethyst. They’re the stars of our new national advertising campaign—just take a look at our TV commercial and the stills we’ve captured here. See for yourself how the gem-inspired colors we love can embellish a room. Do try this at home.




At Ethan Allen we’ve been on the move, to bring global design home to you! We call it Passport.

At Ethan Allen, we’ve been on the move, exploring new places and styles, new colors and finishes, new fabrics, and fresh, new pieces designed to bring the world home to you. We call it Passport, home furnishings and accents inspired by the rich tapestry of cultures from around the globe.

Passport is drawn from looks past and present, near and far—from India’s hand-knotted rugs to campaign-style dressers, from Ming Dynasty-inspired display cabinets and occasional tables that hint of pagodas, to woven rattan chairs designed in the rich tradition of British Colonial style.

Passport is exotic yet warm, collected, authentic, and livable. There’s something for everyone to love, whether you’re an armchair tourist (by the way, have we got an armchair for you!) or an intrepid traveler. Passport is your license to live adventurously, anywhere in the world.

We invite you to indulge your wanderlust in the comfort of your own home. Take a look—and come along for the ride!