Create Shade
Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Celebrate summer year-round, whether you live on the coast or inland.

By Elizabeth Raines Beeler and Allen B. Bunting

1. Lighten Up
Paint walls white. We prefer hues with a hint of creambecause they look less stark. Liven the results by paintingarchitectural elements, such as ceiling rafters, a bright shade.For added contrast, you can also paint windows, doors, and moldingsbold colors.

Whites we like: Decorators White#04, White Dove #06, Linen White #72 (all by BenjaminMoore)

2. Give a Lift
Make the ceilings above your porch or living spaces seemhigher with a hint of ocean blue. Remember, a little color goes along way. The effect is not meant to be dramatic, so choose adelicate shade.

Best blues: Homestead Resort SpaAqua #5004-5A by Valspar(available at Lowes), and Brighton Beach #108-E by AcePaint.

3. From the Ground Up
Paint wooden floors. The result is whimsical and fun,especially on porches or in kitchens. Paint floors solid, stripethem, or create a seaside mural underfoot, with faux sand, shells,and coral.

Designer tip: For durability, useinterior/exterior porch and floor enamel. Cover murals with clearpolyurethane.

4. Add Texture
Bring the outside in at a relatively low cost with naturalfloor coverings, such as sisal, sea grass, jute, or bamboo. Theyall make great area rugs, and sea grass and sisal can be appliedwall-to-wall or as stair runners.

Find it fast:,,

5. Create Shade
Replace formal sheers or metal blinds with woven, bamboo, orlinen shades to lend a casual feel to any room. Roman shades areinexpensive and fold up to let in loads of natural light.

Go to the source:,,

6. Give New Life to Furniture
Paint salvaged pieces an unexpected color. For inspiration,think of a summer icon, such as a beach umbrella or even aswimsuit. Look curbside or check out local garage sales for findsyou can reinvent. And remember: Imperfections lend character.

* Our favorites: Mountain View#583 (cool ocean hue), Marmalade #2016-40 (vivid sunset), LightYellow #2022-60 (warm summer sunshine), Hibiscus #2027-50 (ourfavorite mixed drink), Light Blue #2066-70 (clear skies), FrostedPetal #2089-70 (shade of fresh flowers), all by BenjaminMoore

7. Cover Up
Slipcover furniture to bring a lighthearted, beachy feel toany room. Fabrics can be changed with the seasons and easilycleaned. Linen is a natural fiber appropriate for both upholsteryand draperies. Its texture and neutral color provide a backdrop forhotter accents, such as pillows and painted pieces. Cotton duckcloth is a more durable option for upholstery.

Ready-made options: RachelAshwell Shabby Chic and LeeIndustries offer furnishings that can be matched with a varietyof fabrics.

8. Borrow from Nature
Comb the beach for treasures from the sea. When cleaned andbleached, sea stars, sand dollars, driftwood, rocks, and pieces ofcoral create one-of-a-kind accents at no cost. Shells always make agreat display, whether you cluster them in a bowl, let a singleshell stand alone, or use them to encrust a mirror, mantle, orchandelier. (Be sure to check local laws before removing seashells,coral, or other natural items.)

9. Accessorize Well
Create a scrapbook of beach memories, or look for coffeetable books that celebrate the shore. You can also add subtleaccents-such as coasters, paperweights, or hand towels-that areprinted with seaside images.

Items we love: Beach Wisdom: Life Lessons From The Ocean(Andrews McMeel, 2003), the ParadiseScrapbook Album, and Iomoi's coastersand paperweights.

10. Use Good Scents
Fill the air with sea-inspired fragrances. Mist linens orentire rooms with a delicate spray, light an aromatic candle, orset out potpourri.

* Olfactory favorites: The GoodHome Company's Beach Days Sheet& Clothing Spray, Lori Lori's Crystal BeachCandle Collection, Earth Elements OceanRock scented botanicals, and Cottage & Bungalow's HomeFragrance Collection in Beach, Salty Air, Skinny Dip, Seaside, SeaGlass, Beach Grass, Island, or Warm Sand

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