Our Favorite Coastal Looks of 2012

It would be impossible to choose a favorite, but we did compile the rooms, paint colors, and decor ideas that inspired us throughout the year.

Favorite Homes: Preppy Green Kitchen

Photo: Eric Piasecki

Go Green

The playful preppiness of this grass-green gingham ceiling made it an instant favorite. “I love to cook, so kitchens are the first thing I drool over in any of the homes we feature. I don't know if it's the wallpapered ceiling, the spacious island, or the fun assortment of mismatched plates, but this one instantly drew me in. I could picture myself cooking here for hours with a cup of espresso or a glass of wine nearby.”  –Marisa Spyker Associate Features Editor

Favorite Homes: Midcentury Style

Photo: William Waldron

Harmony on High

A recent face-lift preserved this 1948 British Colonial home’s chic midcentury style, along with a few hallmarks of a classic Caribbean getaway. “It’s elegant, but comfortable at the same time. After a long day on the beach, I want to build a fire, make myself a mojito, curl up on that cushy white sofa, and read Ernest Hemingway.”  –Jessica Drake, Editorial Intern

Favorite Homes: Classic Beach Style

Photo: Tria Giovan

Blue & White, Just Right

Interior Designer Jarlath Mellett called on classic beach colors such as aqua, ocean, and sky, but paired them with bright white walls and interesting shapes to give this family home a dose of sophistication. “The colors of this room make me happy! I love the crisp white bedding mixed with the natural, textured rug. The navy-and-white patterned pillows and the sky blue-and-white striped window treatments liven up the otherwise simple palette.”  –Tempy Segrest, Senior Designer

Favorite Homes: Long Island Preppy

Photo: Tria Giovan

Inside & Out

This chic yet whimsical home on Long Island offers a fresh take on coastal style. “Everything about this Amagansett home rocks—the preppy-casual style; the use of whites, blues, and tons of stripes; and all the airy spaces. The indoor/outdoor dining area is my favorite—the color palette is so cheerful and bright. I love that this room can be multi-seasonal; removable glass panels allow you to eat on the porch all year long.” –Kristen Felder, Associate Photo Editor 

Favorite Homes: Sporty Chic

Photo: Tria Giovan

Living Large

The interior designer describes these homeowners as “cheerful, sporty, and chic,” and that combination is reflected perfectly in the home’s upbeat and stylish furnishings. “I love so many things about this room: the blue velvet sofa, the natural wood end tables, the curvy chair, the chunky white lamp, and the beautiful soft blue oversized prints hanging above the sofa. This room is eclectic, fun, and soothing all at the same time.” –Jamie Barnhart, Production Manager

Favorite Homes: East Coast Dining Room

Photo: Dominique Vorillon

East Coast Polish

This de Gournay-clad dining room by Connecticut-based designer Lee Ann Thornton is just one of the divine spaces in this Pacific Palisades home. “It has a warm, lived-in look—and despite the home's new construction, it looks like it's been here for years and years.” –Caitlin Miller, Copy/Production Assistant

“I love featuring low-key, barefoot-casual homes in the magazine, but when sophisticated design is done right, it can feel every bit as warm and inviting. Finally, a space pretty enough to distract from my questionable cooking!” –Brielle Ferreira, Homes Editor

Favorite Homes: Stone Cottage

Photo: Dominique Vorillon

Romanced by the Stone

We first covered this home in our inaugural year, 1998, when the house lacked modern amenities. Now in new hands, the home has undergone extensive renovations, but has lost none of its original charm. “The home feels like it’s been there forever; a natural part of the rocky coastline. The walls almost disappear – it’s as if you’re living within the landscape surrounded by breathtaking views,”  —Mamie Walling, Office Manager

Favorite Homes: New England Cottage Style

Photo: Dominique Vorillon

Homage to the Past

This small Victorian cottage is full of clever small-space ideas and coveted coastal artifacts. “I love the nautical touches—they add just the right amount of fun without going overboard. The whale painting above the curved doorway and the bright anchor pillows are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.” –Jacquelyne Froeber, Travel Editor

Favorite Homes: New Classic Beach House

Photo: Annie Schlechter

Nod to Nautical

The dramatically oversized copper-and-brass pendants nearly steal the show in this Massachusetts home, but the more subtle details—the shiplap walls and gently curved island corners—give the space a distinctly nautical vibe. “I love that the kitchen design was inspired by a sailboat. And the striped rugs in that beautiful blue!” –Antonia van der Meer, Editor-in-Chief

Favorite Homes: Ultimate Beach House

Photo: Tria Giovan

Broader Appeal

The appeal of the boys’ bunk room in our 2012 Ultimate Beach House certainly went beyond the bunks. “In my own home, I'm turning to gray as my neutral; I painted two rooms the darker shade and two nightstands in a lighter variation. The soft hue is reminiscent of well-aged driftwood, and blends well with the blues and greens already in my home. I might even go bold in the guest room by pairing gray with eggplant-colored accessories.” –Julia Rutland, Senior Food Editor

Favorite Homes: Cozy Nook

Photo: Tria Giovan

Cozy Haven

In this Nantucket cottage, a tiny room is made more functional with the addition of built-in beds with storage beneath. Crisp white paint and charming quilts enhance the comfort factor. “I am a total sucker for nooks. This one makes me want to cuddle up with a good book.” –Jessica Krampe, Editorial Intern

Favorite Homes: Nantucket-Style Home

Photo: Miki Duisterhof

Mix It Up

An oversized print from Natural Curiosities defines the entry of this Nantucket-style house in New Jersey. ”It's an overly coastal image—but so beautiful, it would work in any home. The steel-topped console with rustic wood legs is an example of contemporary mixed with traditional, which I really respond to.” –Amber Furst, Assistant Lifestyle & Beauty Editor

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