Ask a Designer: Kate Jackson

The Rhode Island-based interiors expert shares her top tips for seaside style.

By Madeleine Frank

Interior designer Kate Jackson of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, shares her tips for seaside living in style.

What’s the first thing that you notice about a home?
KJ: The front door, of course! It should have a coat of high-gloss paint and also a fun doorknocker.

What details make for an ideal back-
yard by the shore?

KJ: I like having a set of areas that are designated for different activities, like a dining area, a fire pit, and a lounging area with comfortable seating.

Can you give us your top tip for incorporating nautical accents?
KJ: I always suggest using authentic items—a vintage surfboard, brass lights repurposed from a ship—to help create a genuine sense of place.

Do you have any go-to favorites for window treatments?
KJ: Top-down/bottom-up blinds are great because they can be moved to show off the best view. I love using bamboo blinds for this, and coupling them with drapery panels for a layered look.

What are your favorite picks for stylish floor coverings?
KJ: I like to layer rugs, like sisal underneath an antique Persian. It adds color and texture and can make the statement rug really pop. —Madeleine Frank

TAKE FIVE
We asked Jackson to share the products and places she's loving right now.

  1. Statement Blanket (pictured left) “This throw is luxurious, plush, and practical.” Brahms Mount Cotton Herringbone Throw in Blaze, $243; brahmsmount.com
  2. Time Flies (pictured left) “I love the aging leather patina of the double strap.” Hermès Cape Cod Watch, $2,750; hermes.com for store locations
  3. Bonny Beach (pictured left) “Bonnet Shores Beach in Narragansett is my favorite. It’s such a treat to watch my kids play and surf in the water for hours.”
  4. Clean House “Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products are Earth-friendly and smell great.” Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lavender Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, $4; mrsmeyers.com
  5. Flower Power “Pink peonies add elegance and beauty to any space and make it feel like spring is coming!”

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