Brenda Eastman is an interior designer and a partner with Susie Mitchell in Les Interieurs, a design firm and shop in Newport Beach. For this home, they launched a nautical theme that is child- and budget-friendly, smart, stylish, functional, and, most of all, comfortable.
Touches of red keep the color scheme from being too predictable and boring.
Vary the height of objects in a display to add interest and keep the eye moving.
Lots of textures -- old wood chest, vintage suitcases, bamboo frame, and sea-grass chairs -- give a neutral corner depth and dimension.
Traditional Chinese export porcelain in blue and white is paired with a shell-framed mirror against walls of midnight blue.
As casual as the furnishings are, the house takes a surprisingly dressed-up turn in its art and accessories, including a few English and Asian pieces. The formal style of the dining room table and chairs contrast comfortably with the more casual-looking Capiz shell chandelier and bordered linen draperies.
The sea is elegant, not cliche, thanks to the duo's choice of sophisticated accessories. There's but one boat model -- an antique -- in the house, and it's an important piece. Not only is it beautiful sculpturally, but it was a special gift from Brenda Eastman to symbolize the family's connection to the boat business they own.
The designers gathered vintage and new prints of shells, coral, and sea life, then unified each grouping with matching frames. The images appear fresh in each room because every grouping features a different context, size, and scale.
Look for accent pillows that take a classic, elegant approach to sea-theme design. The Eastmans' pillows are patterned with boats, fish, and shells and include motif embroidery.
Mirrors, lamps, and boxes are candidates for application if you're handy with a hot-glue gun.
Set off matte painted walls with high-gloss trim. Wainscoting and beaded-board ceilings contribute depth as well as sheen.
Whether thin pinstripes or wide railroad ones, contrasting bands add pizzazz.
White slipcovers against ebony wood, or navy teamed with natural wicker, make a dramatic combination.
Fabric elements were accentuated with dressmaker details, such as piping and monograms. This plain white slipcover has been given a dash of style with crisp navy details.