Photo: Ray Kachatorian

Designer Windsor Smith of Windsor Smith Home Design in Brentwood, California, dishes about color, countertops, and casual coastal design.

By Stephanie Gibson

"There is an undertone of the beach in all I do. I love the water, air, sand—even the iridescence of the interior of a shell."
—Windsor Smith

What's an easy way to get a casual seaside vibe?
WS: Hang baskets and straw hats on a long row of hooks by the door.

What are the biggest coastal trends you're seeing?
WS: Custom Ping-Pong tables, and nostalgic photographs blown up—always a sure thing.

Beach house front door: natural stain or a bold paint color?
WS: Bold! A tangy citrine or strong pink or aqua instantly announces it's time for fun.

You love pink! How do you keep it from feeling totally feminine?
WS: Keep the shapes more masculine and restrained, and invite your sons' college buddies to hang out in the room in deck shoes and surf shorts! Works like a dream.

Do you have a favorite kitchen countertop material?
WS: Caesarstone in Pure White or Blizzard.

At the beach: TV above the mantel, or something fabulous?
WS: A mirror to reflect the ocean. I love a painting or collection of paintings, too. No TV at the beach; it's counterproductive to the cause.

Best houseplants for coastal homes?
WS: Nothing too thought-through: Wildflowers, lavender in boxes, berry bushes outside a kitchen window, lemon or lime trees in big baskets.

I absolutely adore...
WS: ...awnings over windows.

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