10 Essentials of Modern Casual Style

California designer Tim Clarke shares his advice for outfitting a beach house with a fresh, laid-back look.

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LIving Room
Photographer David Tsay

Essential #4: Super-soft Slipcovers

Nothing says coastal casual like the untailored look and feel of linen slipcovers. They’re less formal and lower maintenance than tightly upholstered pieces. For the living room sectional, where everyone (including the dogs) hangs out after long afternoons at the beach, Tim chose a chocolate brown slipcover. “The dark color hides everything—plus the whole thing can be washed!” he says. For the chair, he had a slipcover made using the “wrong” side of the striped fabric for a more faded, muted look.

We love: one or two overscale pieces, like the extra-long sectional, to keep the vibe casual and inviting.

Shop the look: Vine drapery fabric in Ebony, Schumacher. Custom sofa, ottoman, chair, and teak TV cabinet, Tim Clarke. Rogers & Goffigon Shaker sofa fabric in Peat, Pacific Design Center Consulting & Buying Services; 310/360-6418. Bavella Stripe chair fabric in Driftwood, Calvin Fabrics.


More Ways To Get Coastal Living



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100 Comfy Cottage Rooms 

Develop your coastal cottage’s style by following these simple tricks.

Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.