Our decorating columnist, designer Meg Braff, is ready to tackle your beach house design dilemmas.
In our October issue, a reader presented Meg with a question about her dining room:
“Our beach house has amazing oceanfront views, particularly in one L-shaped corner area that’s lined with glass doors. We’ve always used this as a casual den, but we’re thinking of turning it into a dining area that takes better advantage of the views. Any suggestions?” — Barbi Dickison, Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas
So what does Meg say?
“Though L-shaped rooms can be a challenge to decorate, this one pays off big with those water views—I cannot imagine a more sublime spot to have my morning coffee! Start with a circular dining table, which will soften the angular nature of the room and give most everyone a spot with a nice view (as opposed to a rectangular table). But I wouldn’t banish the living room seating altogether: By placing a smaller sofa and chairs on the opposite wall from the table, you can create a pair of gathering areas that face each other and the ocean. You can visually unite the two spaces by layering in identically patterned area rugs and repeating similar colors and materials. (For example, banana leaf chairs by the sofa relate well to the table’s bentwood bamboo chairs and rattan pendant.) Talk about a great room!”
Check out Meg’s dreamy vision for Barbi’s dining area:
Meg’s Makeover Tips:
1. In the Caribbean especially, I suggest using lots of natural materials. The trick to keeping your look modern and fresh is using different types of straw, rattan, and bamboo in the same tones and shapes.
Get the look: Currey & Co. Antibes Pendant
2. Leaf-patterned draperies (hung from bamboo-style curtain rods!) add tropical color and continuity to the dining/living area without appearing fussy. Layer rattan shades to help filter the bright sun.
Get the look: Meg Braff Designs Beverly Hills Fabric in Green on Sky
3. Dash & Albert has great-looking indoor/outdoor rugs that are ideal for the durability demands of a tropical home.
Get the look: Bunny Williams for Dash & Albert Cleo Blue and White Graphic Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug
4. Paint the walls, ceiling, and paneling soft blue to unify the open space and create visual continuity with the water.
Get the look: Try Sassy Blue by Sherwin-Williams.
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