And by “beach house,” I mean summer house, cottage, country house, weekend house, or year-round house :) I’m just so desperate to think about warmer weather…I’d like to make every house feel summery right now.
1. Do a massive cleaning (even if you have a housekeeper). Whether we’re talking about the home you live in year-round or a house that’s been closed up all winter, there’s something extremely satisfying about doing a deep clean. Scrub the backsplash and kitchen cabinets. Mop wooden floors. Vacuum waaaayyyy under the beds. Use a magic eraser on the wall going up the stairs. Set aside as much time as you can — a few hours is realistic; an entire weekend is ideal — open the windows, enlist the entire family, and get down to it.
You don’t have to take my word on this; Apartment Therapy’s Maxwell Ryan is a great believer in the deep clean.
2. Put a new rug in the Foyer. Or mudroom. Wherever you first enter your house. Dash & Albert has beautiful striped cotton rugs that look wonderfully beachy. HOWEVER, cotton is a sponge. It absorbs dirt like nobody’s business. If you’re thinking, “But it’s cotton! I’ll just throw it in the laundry!” let me tell you: you won’t. And even if you do, the rug will never be the same. It will shrink, get lumpy so it doesn’t lie flat, and possibly fade unevenly.
Lucky for all of us, Dash & Albert has a huge, beautiful selection of indoor-outdoor rugs. Some are really ropey, which one of my clients loves, and some are nice and flat, which allows doors to swing over them.
3. Make sure all of your sheets are 100% cotton. I doubt that you, Gentle Reader, have ever purchased 50/50 sheets. But if you have a family house that’s been around for years, some things are slow to be replaced. Put sheets at the top of your list — not only because old sheets are grody, but because cotton percale is coolest in summer heat, the experts at Sferra tell me. Check out Peacock Alley’s Calypso sheeting in Egyptian cotton percale. Deeee-vine.
4. Use white accents. Despite all of the pictures you see of “beachy” rooms, you’re not restricted to navy blue and white when decorating for a country house feel. But incorporating some white makes a room fresh and summery…crisp white sheets, as above; a white lamp; white vases; or white in pillow patterns. Serena & Lily has a great selection of pillows that incorporate sharp white.
5. Paint a room — or a ceiling — super super duper light blue. Really, what better way to feel summery and beachy? (I recommend light blues especially for rooms that gets a lot of light — at least make sure you have ample table and floor lamps in a north-facing light blue room.)
I’ve had great luck with Benjamin Moore’s 1646 Lookout Point (my bedroom color), 2052-70 Ice Blue (my former office color and my daughter’s current bedroom color), and CW-585 Ewing Blue (at least one bossy color-designed bath). I also love Farrow & Ball’s 235 Borrowed Light.
If we do all of these things, Gentle Readers, together we can will spring — and then summer — into existence.
Bossy color | Annie Elliott interior design is an interior design firm based in Washington, D.C. We create outrageously beautiful homes for fascinating people — starting with color.