This post kicks off the Inside Story series, where we’ll show you how we design the beautiful rooms in our ads and magazines. Here, deconstructing one of our most popular living rooms so you can see for yourself how it came to be—and how you can create one like it.
We call it Nautical by Nature because there’s just no getting around the inspiration: We went coastal, in a big way! But the room is proof positive that you don’t have to live at the shore to create the perfect seaside retreat (shhh … we shot it in our quite landlocked Connecticut studio). It has all the trappings of a fresh, inviting, and effortlessly composed cottage. It’s a relaxed, easygoing space that looks like it could live anywhere; it just feels like it’s steps from the beach.
Don’t worry if you’re not started with the same “canvas” we did (whitewashed beadboard paneling and painted floors, not to mention the sliding barn door), you most definitely can build your room around a timeless, crisp blue-and-white palette. Stay true to these hues and you’re halfway there.
Here’s how to get the look:
- Keep seating relaxed and summery. Here, the Marina sofa is casual, comfortable, livable, and made to order. It’s covered in denim blue ticking for a beachy-keen vibe. Clara redefines the classic wing chair with its soft, gentle curves, and it looks even better in cool, white pairs.
- Embrace the weathered look. Our go-anywhere Beam coffee table and end table—with knotty white oak planked tops resting on sturdy, rustic iron bases—are both pretty and practical.
- Act naturally. The Glass Plum Jar lamp is mouth blown by a skilled artisan; a burlap shade gives it rustic charm. Dense bulrushes that grow in the Philippines are twisted into rope and woven over a metal frame to create our sturdy Bailey Island floor baskets and Wilsby woven bowls. Made of eco-friendly mango wood, Dillon white candleholders are lathed, sanded, and finished by hand.
- Choose nautical accents, natch. Our Denim Anchor print was faithfully reproduced from an actual worn denim jacket with an image of an anchor bleached into it. The Triton Shell in Cloche was inspired by curiosities of the natural world. The Oxton oars were repurposed for a whimsical, preppy, summery touch, and Coastal View is a fine art giclée depicting an elegant shoreline view designed to soothe the senses and create a calming aura.
- Show your soft side. Bring on some texture with mostly blue-and-white pillows (neutrals are welcome, too). Add lightweight cotton throws for a cool look (and a warming touch) to complete your restful (and refreshing) sea-worthy space.
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