Color It Coastal
Blue & White
This timeless combination never goes out of style. Handsome stripes paired with nautical prints and hand-rendered accents impart a sophisticated edge to any outdoor room. Choose your blue hues according to the mood you want to set. Darker tones create a more serious, tailored look, while softer shades lend a playful air. Layer varying shades to give depth, and try pale blue on the ceiling-the color not only recalls the sky, but also is rumored to deter insects.
For a look that's purely coastal, turn to the colors of the ocean. Layers of blues and greens―in shades ranging from royal to periwinkle―create a style that works either dressed-up or casual. These sea-glass hues dazzle when set against a white backdrop, and lend a whimsical air when used on trimwork or architectural accents.
For a fresh look that's sure to wake you up in the morning, look to tangy yellows, oranges, and greens. In a room that lacks natural light, these hot hues radiate their own. Use citrus sparingly and daringly: A little goes a long way. Try sisal and woven materials to balance the vibrant color scheme.
Allow textures to bring interest to muted earth tones, such as beiges, browns, and sandy shades. When choosing natural (or natural-looking) furnishings, mix it up. Woven pieces work well with rattan and wood, even if they're not a matching shade. Complement the look with pieces slipcovered in natural fibers, such as linen or bark cloth.
Show your softer side with a pastel color scheme. As long as you choose colors of the same intensity, you can pull in a wide variety of patterns and prints. In fact, the broader your selection, the more sophisticated the look becomes. Painted pieces are a natural complement, so spruce up unfinished furniture or even flea market finds with a fresh coat of your favorite pastel shade to complete the look.
For a bit of island flair, opt for zany color combinations in saturated hues. Avoid predictability: The more outrageous the combo, the more pleasing the result. Look for complementary shades (those located opposite each other on the color wheel) and toss in a few white accents to give the eye space to rest. To ease into the look, consider painting a small portion of a room or exterior with the chosen hue. Live with it for a few days before committing.
This clean and classic look works well in any room of the house. Perfect in a coastal environment, the lack of color creates a blank canvas for ocean views. Whites reflect changing light throughout the day, constantly transforming the overall mood of the room. Whenever you want to open up a space, choose white. It lends a bright and airy feel to even the coziest quarters.
Red, White, & Blue
A few accents go a long way in this classic color combination. A painted floor, punchy upholstery, and a striped accent pillow are just enough to play up nautical appeal or patriotic pizzazz without overwhelming a space. When pairing reds and blues, choose shades with comparable saturation to prevent one color from dominating the scheme. Natural materials, such as wood and brick, soften the intensity of the colors.