When decorating this Mexican hideaway, designer Myra Hoefer wanted the house to look like it had been abandoned years ago, and the sand and sea had swept over it. All of the items in the house would have been washed up from a shipwreck on the beach. "Spanish settlers would have brought these beds over with them," Hoefer says of this iron four-poster bed with an almost colonial look to it.
Furniture with any more detail would be too much in this simple, concrete-walled dining room with spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea. Simple khaki seat cushions, a wire hurricane lantern, a green glass vase filled with palm leaves, a pile of sea shells, and a bowl of limes are the perfect coastal accoutrements.
Concrete mixed with courtyard cabinetry paint adds a gritty texture to this stark kitchen. The homeowners scaled back on color and accessories to place focus on the jungle greens and ocean blues just outside their Mexican abode. This is shown in the kitchen where the focal point is a large bunch of freshly picked yellow mangos and a single green palm frond.
Sitting atop a rug reminiscent of a sandy beach, is a coffee table with a base sculpted out of driftwood. Paired with sea-foam colored walls, this coastal living room reflects the beach in the distance.
This efficient kitchen island is the homeowners’ central command station―it houses a dishwasher, microwave, two sinks, and nearly all of the room’s counter space. Designer Erika Powell lined the perimeter of this small kitchen with locker-style cabinets that function as a pantry. Industrial-style pendant lamps are an unexpected yet welcome contrast to the cottage style of this kitchen.
Ample brown barstools encourage kitchen visitors to linger. A copper vent hood makes the room appear taller by drawing the eye upward. A matching copper farmhouse sink is contrasted with a polished-nickel faucet and cabinet hardware.
This homeowner splurged on thick marble countertops. "They get the most use, so they need to be -- and look -- substantial," says designer Jill Johnson. A capiz shell chandelier and wicker barstools are perfect shades of white in this crisp kitchen.
Make the most of a tiny space with clever storage options and careful planning. This couple designed a wall-to-ceiling cabinet around their fridge to fit as much storage into their little galley kitchen as possible. All-white cabinetry and countertops make the room feel bigger.
This Charleston dining room is an inviting mix of old and new – seasoned with an emphasis on hospitality. Hostess Tara Guérard believes the key to achieving a welcoming dining room is to furnish it so that it’s ready for any occasion. A round table allows you to pull up as many or as few chairs as you need. Acquired family pieces surround the table for a personal look.
This living room embraces elegance mixed with comfort. Streamlined upholstery ensures the space is current and comfortable. Along with antique furniture, hand-painted wallpaper is a unique Charleston tradition.
In this Fort Worth, Texas Showhouse, white walls pair with sleek, intricately patterned marble and cabinetry to create the "epitome of elegant English bathroom design," says builder Trey Laird of Period Homes, Inc. Mirrors mimicking windows on either side of the bathtub infuse the space with extra light.
Inspired by tiger-stripe and paisley linens, Joe Minton, the Texas designer, limited himself to a completely neutral scheme of gray, beige, taupe, and white for the guest suite. "We wanted the drama of no color," he says. "The stenciled pattern on the walls, played down by the choice of muted tones, gives an exotic but not overpowering feel.
A custom-colored, silk chinoiserie wallpaper provides a beautifully bold backdrop for English antiques. A matching green glaze blends the woodwork with the papered walls, and the silver leaf ceiling reflects the colors in both. Striped silk slipcovers balance the room's formality. "I like the casualness of slipcovers," says Joe Minton, the Texas designer. "You could have silk coverings for the summer and a red wool underneath for the winter."
This neutral living room is serene and calm without being boring. Details in sky blue and light green, like a pair of accent pillows, a large landscape painting, and potted ivy, spruce up this cozy fireplace.
Offer guests a place to sit and take off their boots or place belongings when they enter your home with an antique, green bench. Link the indoors with the garden outside by grouping butterfly prints above a sitting area.
A group of plant prints creates a focal point in this entryway. Complete the neat look with a few coffee table books and a large hurricane vase filled with fresh clippings. For added structure, try putting a pleated skirt over a console table.
Family is the focus in this spacious living room. With plenty of seating, warm colors, and classic, easy-care pieces, this living room feels both traditional and modern.
Seeking the feel of a loft, this home leaves the rafters and roof decking exposed. The kitchen features industrial and natural elements.
Recover a pair of club chairs in crisp white linen for an up-to-date look. A large white lacquer tray allows an oversize ottoman to function as a table or extra seating.
This chic, simple entryway is packed with texture and personality. A soft turquoise enamel table lamp and a lavender enamel vase create pops of color against the brown wallpaper and armchair fabric.
This casual built-in bench sits plenty of guests or becomes a great place for a nap. A striped outdoor fabric and wooden coffee tables ensure this space will withstand weathering.
Wicker isn’t just for chairs – these statement-making Italian lamps add coastal style in a creative way. To keep the black mahogany cabinets from looking too dark, the interiors were painted white, and glass fronts were added to reflect natural light.
The rustic stone walls and open windows make this space an exotic outdoor dining area. Bright colors and greenery both inside and out create a tropical vibe perfect for entertaining.
A batik-style print such as the one found in this room has an exotic flair, the perfect complement for an island retreat. Repeat a single fabric on several surfaces in each room for streamlined color.
To ensure the ocean is always in view, walls of folding doors connect the living space to wide balconies. Jazz up a traditional dining room table with numbered throw pillows in striped slipcovered chairs.
Embellish simple white coverlets, shams, and bolster pillows with embroidered trim that lends a little graphic weight to the pieces by outlining their shapes. A box-pleated valance and contrasting piping on the drapery ties bring the cabana mood inside the master bedroom.