Home Decorating: Beach-Inspired & Color-Filled

A reinterpretation of beach decorating and plenty of color splashes in bold, trendy shades create a cottage that's both inviting and stylish.

Reimagined Style

From the outside, this house looks like many other traditional Colonial-style homes. But step into the entryway and you'll see colorful patterned pillows that hint at the home's fresh beach-cottage style.

Splashes of Color

Color goes farther when it's used in small pops against a neutral backdrop. With its beach-inspired color scheme -- featuring splashes of chartreuse, aqua, and pink -- this home is a perfect spot to relax and unwind. Vibrant artwork in the living room provides character and adds color to a neutral backdrop.

Casual and Comfy

In the living room, a winged chair upholstered in a graphic print adds an unexpected bit of color and pattern to spice up the neutral fireplace area. Art casually propped on the mantel reinforces the effortless character of the space.

Playful Patterns

This home's tropical color scheme looks beachy but not theme-y. A Moroccan bench and a yellow-painted antique rocker contribute to a cozy and informal sitting area. A playful mix of patterned fabrics in vibrant colors prevents the more neutral furnishings from blending in with the light walls. And with such a wide variety of patterned fabrics, little artwork is needed to adorn the walls.

Formal Meets Functional

An eclectic mix of furniture and accessories reinforces the laid-back atmosphere of this home. The beachy wooden dining chairs, complete with plush seat cushions and bright pink accent pillows, make the formal dining table and chandelier look more casual. The large area rug adds a splash of pattern without looking too busy.

Open and Sunny

Large skylights in the family room's vaulted ceiling contribute to this home's cheery atmosphere. A bold aqua patterned rug grounds the space and serves as an anchor for the furniture arrangement. Dark wooden furniture contrasts with the neutral walls, furnishings, and fireplace surround. In a house with teens and pets, light-color upholstery might seem like a no-no, but this homeowner simply has them sprayed with fabric protector to keep the chairs and sofa looking like new.

Consistency Is Key

In the breakfast dining area, the chairs carry the aqua hue from the adjacent family room, and their modern lines blend perfectly with a sleek glass tabletop. A drum shade hanging above the table is wrapped in patterned fabric that repeats in the kitchen's window treatments.

Lively and Livable

One of the kitchen's two islands provides seating for eating and chatting with the chef. A glossy ceiling, although white like the cabinets and backsplash below, adds contrast thanks to its reflective finish.

Double Duty

To add character to an almost entirely white kitchen, the homeowners chose to paint the inside of their kitchen cabinets chartreuse. The glass-pane doors on the upper cabinets put the snappy green color -- and favorite dishes and serving pieces -- on display. In another space-harmonizing move, the fabric used on the kitchen window treatments also wraps the drum shade in the breakfast nook.

Spread Color Around

Dark countertops and cabinet hardware provide much-needed contrast to a white kitchen. Small pops of color in the cabinet interiors and a splash of pattern on the window treatments play into the beachy character of the home.

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