House Decorating: A Citrus Color Scheme for a Family Cottage

An art-inspired palette with juicy pops of color gives this vintage cottage a punchy beach style.


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Contemporary Cottage
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Contemporary Cottage

    Bright white paint, blue-gray shutters, and a breezy wraparound front porch give this coastal cottage a vintage beach style. But look a bit closer and you'll notice the home's tangy twist on tradition; the punch delivers the moment you knock on the tangerine door and experience its interior's fresh-squeezed color scheme.

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Fresh & Fun Living Room

    With four kids and two dogs, this family cottage sees a lot of hustle and bustle -- and its color palette is just as lively. An abstract painting above the mantel was the inspiration for the interior color scheme. Punctuated with colors that resonate with the outdoors, the painting's tropical blues and greens turn up throughout the home -- on a vintage coffee table, glass bottles, fishing floats, and even a bedroom ceiling.

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Well-Loved Comfort

    With soft textures, washable slipcovers, and seagrass carpets, the living room has a fresh-and-easy feel that invites the whole family to pile in for a movie or spread out with a jigsaw puzzle. The home doesn't have a bonus room or basement, so every space is meant to be lived in and comfortable.

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Back to Basics

    Neutral, steadfast sofas and chairs make a cost-effective foundation for the living room's decor. The pieces can remain without looking out of place if accessories and wall colors were to change down the road.

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Fresh Display

    With its timeworn turquoise paint, a vintage farm table (used as a coffee table) fits right in with this home's relaxed attitude. The color also happens to perfectly match the beloved family painting that hangs above the fireplace. A bright vase brings a touch of the tropical green from the painting to the coffee table and creates a place to display fresh flowers.

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Welcoming Entry

    Functioning as entryway and main traffic artery, a wide central hallway makes this home a welcome place to step into. Built-in bookcases tucked under the stairwell serve as a both focal point and a place to showcase photographs, while area rugs define the space and soften the architectural space.

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A Twist on Tradition

    A feel-good blue keeps dining room walls fresh and bright, while a traditional dining set is shaken up with vivid touches of color. Stationary curtain panels were stitched from horizontal strips of coral and white linen. Dark wood tones found in the table and chairs ground the light hues.

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Savvy Seating

    Beyond the dining room, a stylish built-in bench offers a spot to relax in the hallway. The unexpected nook is a comfortable place to read or catch up on the day's events. Graphic-pattern pillows create a common tie between several warm hues; the space blends red tones from the dining area with the living room's orange accents for a warm, zesty look.

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Tabletop Collection

    Even in the smallest details, tropical blues and greens are played up throughout the home. Here, a collection of glass bottles creates an elegant assembly on a vintage wooden table. A mirror hung behind the display reflects light and multiplies the bottles' sparkle.

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Light & Bright Kitchen

    Be it casual dining, entertaining, or socializing, a white kitchen becomes an instant canvas for whatever's going on. Texture comes from wavy glass cabinet fronts, a tongue-and-groove backsplash, counters made from crushed oyster shells, and a beaded-board ceiling.

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Energy Eatery

    Wrapped in an uplifting tropical palette, bold bursts of vivid color form one energetic eating area. The extroverted hues are tamed with warm woods and calm neutrals. Cushions and pillows sewn from recycled coffee bags beckon guests to pile onto the banquette, and barely-there acrylic chairs balance the heavy wood table.

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Bold & Beautiful

    In the master bedroom, the homeowners' love of bold color is balanced with a desire to create a soothing space. A teal stripe on the drapery panels and table skirt mirrors the painted ceiling. Lying in bed, the color seems calm and not too busy, which is exactly what a bedroom should be.

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Color Connection

    Using pillows and accessories is a smart way to tie in colors that don't match perfectly, and just a small dose will do the trick. A richly detailed throw pillow in the master bedroom introduces playful color variations based on the home's citrus palette.

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Outdoor Living Area

    Facing west, the screen porch is the family's favorite spot to watch sunsets and catch the evening breeze. A high ceiling gives the space an airy feel, while its almost-enclosed walls extend its use into cooler months of the year. A vintage German biergarten table and benches wear their original orange paint and fold for easy storage.

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Personality-Packed Accents

    Style-setting elements, such as an eclectic lighting piece, cozy seating, and vibrant throw pillows, make the screen porch feel like an extension of the living room. A wicker chair and wooden sculptural elements offer worry-free maintenance and eye-catching texture to the outdoor space.

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