Dining Rooms with a Coastal Touch
The great thing about beach-house style is that your rooms can be as casual and relaxed as you are on the coast. Feast your eyes on these dining rooms, then invite their easygoing looks into your home.
Rustic and modern styles blend easily when painted the same bright shade of white.
Less is more. Use a few carefully chosen accessories with large proportions to make an instant impression.
To bring the beach into your dining room, hang a shell-crusted chandelier. Keep the sand-and-sea theme going with neutral table linens and blue dishes. At dinner parties, forgo matched settings for ones that look thrown together on a whim.
Scatter several small items, instead of one large centerpiece, down the length of your table. Keep conversation flowing by choosing shorter arrangements that guests can easily see over.
There’s something serene about a white-on-white dining room. When you feel like adding color, try a splash of turquoise, such as this pair of paddles propped just so in the corner.
Transform everyday objects into accents that become eye-catching works of art.
There’s no doubt a beach house draws a crowd. Prepare for an influx of friends and family by doubling your tables―one for inside, one for outside. Connect the two spaces with a glass garage-style door or a pair of French doors. On fair-weather days, your party guests can easily mix and mingle.
Use vintage or reproduction lighting to lend a sense of history to a new space. If you find an antique fixture at a flea market, take it to a lighting store and have it rewired. For new fixtures that look old, shop at circalighting.com and rejuvenation.com.
Illuminate a large table with pendants rather than a single chandelier. They’ll not only cut costs, but also evenly distribute light. Hang fixtures 28 to 36 inches above your table.
For a feminine look, let your wardrobe inspire your design details. Tailor the look of the slipcover by adding buttons, contrasting piping, pleated trim, or ribbon ties. Or add a monogram for a personal touch. The result is flirty and fun, but every bit as functional as a standard slipcover.
Look closely at this dining area and you’ll find several ideas worth stealing. First, slipcovers in two colors fit over the chair backs. (The big buttons are just for show.) Mixed seating looks like it was collected over time―one chair has barley-twist legs, and a dark wood bench sits along one side of the table. Distressed wood and weathered paint finishes impart a subtle coastal look.
Trade in your chandelier for an oversize lantern to keep a pattern-heavy dining area from looking fussy. For unexpected flair, customize it with a splash of color. Look for spray paint specifically made to adhere to metal.
Give your eating area a laid-back look with bistro chairs in different colors.
And who says a china hutch has to contain china? At the beach, use it to store games, kids’ artwork, and seaside collections.
Double sets of French doors provide a breezy alternative to al fresco dining when opened to the outdoors.
When upholstering dining chairs, choose textiles in darker hues that will disguise spills. Or better yet, select indoor-outdoor fabric. Search for options at sunbrella.com, clarencehouse.com, seacloth.com, and kravet.com (look for KravetSoleil).
Create a colorful backdrop by repeating the same pattern on fabric wall panels and draperies. The uninterrupted print allows the eye to take in the space as a whole, rather than drawing attention to individual pieces. Try stripes or simple motifs to prevent the look from becoming overbearing.
Set off a room’s entry. Use tie-back draperies in lieu of doors for a softer, more romantic effect. To double your style, select two different fabrics, one for each side.
Enlist your dining room to serve double duty. Select a table and chairs that are casual enough for everyday activities―breakfast, shell sorting, or putting together puzzles―but can be easily dressed up for entertaining.
Keep it simple. A linen table runner, tall glass pillars, and treasures from the sea are all you’ll need to transition from family dinner to fabulous fete.