Colin and Justin set foot on the sand to bring the vacation vibe closer to home
Ah, we love the beach. Whether lakeside in cottage country, picnicking on the Atlantic coast or up to our knees in Caribbean surf, the vacation vibe (with as much sand as possible) always floats our boat.
That’s why, when asked by Fiona, our Cityline producer, to compose a room set with ‘just a whiff of summer plage, we jumped at the chance. And so, one eye trained on comfort and the other on texture, we set to work. All the time remembering our maxim: don’t go overboard…
The holiday vibe central in our minds, we lavished an accent wall using ‘Yellow Brick Road’ by Benjamin Moore, which we reckon delivers a summery feel. But take a tip: a ‘big’ tone like this on every wall could easily over power. Unless, of course, you have sufficiently sunny south facing windows to ‘restrain’ bolder specifications. Otherwise, limit application to feature walls or accent zones.
Picking up on the yellow tone, we specified a rug from IKEA. Sure, the tufted treat is another overt decorating ‘point’, but floors are often a good place to make big statements, as they’re not the first place the eye goes when ‘appraising’ balance.
For the record, IKEA carpets, we find, are very well made: in our Glasgow home we have a jute rug bought from the Swedish retailer when we were still at university. Aye, those halcyon days: a time when TV was still in black and white, Victoria still on the throne and dinosaurs roamed the earth. Anyhow: three decades later and the woven beauty is still going strong!
To further balance the yellow wall, we employed our ‘safety in numbers’ principal, the essence being to use something you like (an accessory, for example) but lots of it – at one time – to amplify the drama. In this case, we gathered a collection of African and Indonesian woven bowls, whose texture is redolent of beach mats and seaside baskets. In isolation, each is lovely, but clustered as a wall feature they really come alive.
Next up, we added a collection of leather upholstery from the ‘Colin+Justin’ decor line, available in stores like Homesense, Winners and Marshalls. We’re particularly proud of the toffee toned hide collection as it speaks to the ‘cowboy’ trend that’s currently lassoing its way across the design landscape, and also the beach trend (think Ralph Lauren’s ocean side hideaway) that’s similarly huge this summer.
To moderate retail cost, we actually designed our sofas and chairs using half leather, half blue/grey chambray linen. The front sections (those that are most visible and ‘touchable’) are hide, whereas side and rear areas are fabric. Teamed with ‘C+J Home’ metal-framed leather chairs, the project has ample seating.
Next up? Storage. When it comes to this aspect, as we see it, there are two types – ‘display’ and ‘discreet’. Or as we like to call them: Double D. The former, ‘display’ makes sense for things you’d like to showcase (on open shelves or atop cabinetry) and the latter for stuff you’d prefer to stash out of sight.
Our coffee and side table specifications (beset with Hampton’s-esque shutter/louvre detailing) are practical and beautiful and boast drawer space that would gobble up magazines, remote controls and all manner of associated living room paraphernalia. Check out the range at Urban Barn for breezy inspiration.
Atop the side tables we added super cute lamps, again from Urban Barn. Interestingly, these unique lumieres have lights in their top and in their glass bases, each independently operable of the other. It’s always fun coming across kit like this that breaks with the norm. And that doesn’t break the bank.
Further storage and display are delivered via ash toned Stockholm wall cabinets from Ikea. We positioned two together to add further volume, and their height and width conspire a serviceable and attractive backdrop to our room set.
We guess, in summation, that it’s fair to suggest a beach vibe is easy to achieve, as long as you don’t make it all too ‘literal’. Aye, less – as we oft’ opine – is more. So forget jaunty anchors, lamps shaped like parasols and sofa throws designed to resemble deck chair fabric. Instead, be inspired by the colours and shapes of nature, and don’t throw yourself off the deep end. Paddle safely in your project’s shallow reaches until confidence builds. More from us next week…
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