Ask a Designer: Nina Liddle

Nantucket designer Nina Liddle dishes on bold design and bright color.

By Madeleine Frank

Known for combining contemporary and classic elements to create timeless style, Nina Liddle offers design advice and five inspiring products.

What are the most essential pieces of furniture in a beach home?
NL: A really large dining table surrounded by comfortable chairs. It invites friends and family to gather and linger over meals for hours.

How do you mix patterned fabrics in a room without it appearing busy?
NL: I make sure there is at least one similar color between them, and bring in something in a solid, as well.

How do you create a calming bedroom?
NL: Lighting is key. I always put dimmers on bedside lamps to create a more subdued atmosphere.

Is there a foolproof formula for great-looking bedding?
NL: Use white sheets and covers—they are easy to toss in the wash with a little bleach—and then add gorgeous, colorful pillows and a complementary throw.

What's your top pick for storage?
NL: By the beach it's important to install plenty of hooks. Wet towels and bathing suits need a place to hang.

What's popular in beach houses now?
NL: I find that people are asking for a finished lower level where the kids can congregate at night. Ping-Pong tables and pool tables make great additions.

TAKE FIVE

1. Sweet Dreams (pictured left): "I love mixing Bohemian-style prints with contemporary furniture." John Robshaw Textiles Kishore Duvet, from $360, and Euros and Shams, from $85; johnrobshaw.com

2. Luxe Light (pictured left): "Chandeliers bring a touch of glamour to a more relaxed space." Ro Sham Beaux Carmen Chandelier in Brass, $3,120; ro-sham-beaux.com

3. Fine Fabric: "This is one of my favorite color combinations." Christopher Farr Cloth Fathom Fabric in Hot Pink, available to the trade; christopherfarrcloth.com

4. Playful Packyderm (pictured left): "It's a fun accent piece that can work just about anywhere." Serena & Lily Ellie Side Table, $150; serenaandlily.com

5. Bold Beads: "These malas bring positive energy and are handmade on Nantucket." Clay Twombly Amazonite Mala, $150;

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