Even though the winter got a late start in our neck of the woods, I'm already quite fed up with it. The persistent grey skies, snow and frigid temperatures have me dreaming of sun, sand and sandals. I know where I would want to go and escape the season. Do you?
You can extend your stay indefinitely by bringing the spirit of your favourite happy places back with you. But breezy beach means different things to different people. There are so many beautiful locations to chose from. Here are some fabulous spots around the world and the key elements which define them.
Consider translating and incorporating these features into your own homes. Strap on your seatbelts, check your overhead baggage, and lets jet off to some really amazing places around the world!
Our first stop is the stomping ground for East Coasters wanting a get away from the hectic pace of the city. This might be "as good as it gets" when it comes to comfortable luxury in the Hamptons. Who needs the beach when you have this stylish cottage with large doors to lead you out to a fabulous pool.
The main idea is to keep things light and airy, always bringing the outdoors in with large windows and dressings which are not too fussy. Keep your walls perhaps an off-white and contain the contrasts. Keeping things looking homogenous allows for the eye and mind to be more calm. The style is contemporary with a splash of traditional.
I would say that the architecture of the home should somewhat dictate your interior style. However, if you live in a modern loft and long for Hamptons beach house, there is no reason why you couldn't bring in these elements to create that setting.
KEY ELEMENTS: natural textures, wainscoting, statement lighting, shaker style cabinetry, elegant exterior - sort of formal and grand, manicured landscaping and elegant outdoor furniture blurring line between in and out.
The next leg of our journey takes us to glamorous South Beach, Florida. Here the sun isn't the only thing glittering. It's Miami Vice meets coastal vibes with a splash of Cuba mixed in. Here it's all about the views and echoing the gorgeous skies and sea. Furniture sits low, ceilings are high and the soothing palette helps to convey the relaxed yet majestic feel of the interiors. The star of the show is always the vista.
KEY ELEMENTS: sparkling white, transparent materials, pale neutrals applied to most surfaces, blues to match the sea, pops of fun pastel colours, leaf motifs, sand washed woods, and of course, a lot of bling by way of lighting and hardware.
Now we're jetting to the Caribbean islands where spicy food and rum drinks are aplenty. Here the use of local materials are integral in their interior design. It's stately but very tactile and natural. Ceilings are high to allow for the heat of the day to rise. Exteriors are light to deflect the the sun's rays. Unlike South Beach interiors, there are bold, cheery colours, which reflect the people and culture beautifully.
KEY ELEMENTS: vibrant colours inside and out, rich textures, cool textiles, wooden accents - rattan or bamboo, woven natural colour to contrast with crisp white walls, tropical greenery, ceiling fans, lots of handmade pottery.
Bonjour. Bienvenue à la Côte D'Azur! Welcome to the French Riviera. Here seaside homes have old world flavour. The historic homes are rustic on the outside. Inside, people feel free to mix old and new, traditional and modern.
KEY ELEMENTS for traditional interiors: Old world architectural details (Neoclassical style), herringbone or chevron wood flooring, textured plaster walls, furniture pieces which are carved and weathered, floral fabrics, quintessential blue and white on large furniture pieces. Also traditional chandeliers and classic art pieces.
KEY ELEMENTS for contemporary interiors: Open plan design with a lot of glass to let the light in. Somewhat minimally furnished, a lot of white or light coloured upholstery, a lot of clear pieces to let the light shine through. The authentic French Riviera interior has elements of both traditional and contemporary design.
Part 2 to come, around the world!