Trends 2007: Beachy Keen

Surf's Up! We kicked off our trend report with and , but with so many other hot looks out there, let's explore a few more. For this trend, think beach parties, palm trees, and lots of California cool, and relaxed interiors. You can even support the environment by incorporating pieces that are eco-friendly, especially with Beachy Keen because so much of the look is based on what's au natural. We're talking more Denmark or coastal Maine faded vs. preppy.

The Look: Serene and subtle, natural shapes and finishes, sun-kissed. Images of sea, sand, pebbles, driftwood, and raw raffia come to mind. The look incorporates light and medium wood tones, and plenty of organic materials and fibers. Try to find sustainable, durable products when you can. Beachy Keen can be relaxed and soft (slipcover sofas, for instance), or streamlined and contemporary (a chair in wicker and chrome). Look for pieces with clean lines and uncomplicated, organic patterns. Bring the outdoors in to immerse yourself in a total resort-like atmosphere with lots of found objects neatly arranged. It's all about personal preference.

As with any look, don't lay it on thick... You want your home to function and breathe and it can't if smothered to death. Think of the coast when it is quiet - a few people, some gulls in flight, you, the sand and surf. Nice vision, isn't it? Now think of the beach during peak season with wall-to-wall bodies, so packed you can barely see the sand. Not as rela a thought. Same with your home. Packing a room with too much visual clutter isn't the goal here, Beachy Keen is about good organization and well thought out displays and a smart floor plan. Lean on having too little over an abundance. If you have collections you'd like to use in the room, pottery or jars of shells that you collect, group them together in one place so they can be appreciated. Scattering them doesn't show them off nearly as well. It's hard for the eye to appreciate any one object in a room that is too busy. Examine the images below for further confirmation. Aren't they soothing?

To create your very own peaceful escape, here are some beautiful pieces to get you started, from lighting to linens. Have fun!


Furniture - Wood, wood, wood! In blonde or acorn, monkeypod, walnut, bamboo, driftwood, teak, elm, wicker, rattan, or painted in white or pastel. Lacquered works if it's pastel, acrylic if it's clear, and glass top tables with a wood base work fine as well. You can mix periods - think fusion bohemian. Lines can be raw and natural, traditional (mid century European pieces, such as Finnish or Scandinavian pieces) or clean and contemporary. Here are some examples. In addition to options below, try for some painted wood furnishings that may suit your tastes. I'm more of a clean, contemporary girl myself, so most of what is featured in this post are items I would own or suggest to my clients.

Beautiful teak from in Boston's South End.
Furnishings from

Furnishings from

Furnishings from

Chairs: Top row: from Anthropologie, from Anthropologie, Driftwood chair from , from Pier 1. Bottom Row: from Pier 1, from Inmod (a real deal for $114, free shipping, and 10% until 2/23) and the from IKEA.

Clockwise from top left: from Z Gallerie, from Pier 1, from Bleu Nature, from Bleu Nature, rolling table from showroom.
Benches and tables, clockwise from top left: from Viva Terra, from Anthropologie, and the from Branch Home.

Plenty of sun-washed hues - Blues, greens, sand, grey, pale pink, pale yellow, lavendar, cream, white. Visit the coast for inspiration, snap photos, open your eyes to the sights and sounds. Pay attention to the colors so you can bring similiar hues into your space. (If you'd like to spice things up a bit, incorporate deeper tones of these hues, add a burst of teal, for instance.)

Prints range from organic shapes to wood grain, palm branches, stripes, sea fans, and bamboo. Keep metals to a minimum, although a little silver or gold goes a long way, especially hammered or in a matte finish.

Textiles from .
from West Elm add color and texture.

Top row: from Jonathan Adler on sale for only $29, and Curvature pillow from . Bottom row: via Angela Adams.
Pillows from

from Mirror Mirror and assorted pillows.

Bedding: Let's look at a few bedding options. I'm sure most of you can figure this out on your own by now, especially with all this visual inspiration, but here are a few of my favorites.

from Judy Ross and the from Anthropologie.

and the , both from Crate and Barrel.

Cozy throws add warmth in more ways than one. from Nate Berkus at Linens 'n Things, and the from Anthropologie.

from Sweet Felt Goods in Rhode Island.

Contemporary and clean from West Elm. A great gender neutral option.

For flooring I suggest hardwood or bamboo, berber carpeting, creamy white shag rugs, stone, anything made of natural fibers, really. If you want modern, opt for most of Angela Adams' rugs. She's from Maine so her designs are inspired by times spent on the shore, and they are made of 100% New Zealand wool. If your budget won't allow an Adams splurge, look for similiar patterns at a big box store, like or . is another one to visit.

West Elm and .

Roost and Roost via Velocity Art + Design.

Rugs from Angela Adams via .

The
or the from Anthropologie.

Paint suggestions? Try soft, barely-there hues for paint (Bright and Early #834 is heavenly) to lend a sense of spaciousness. If you fancy texture, add grasscloth wallpaper (I love the papers from shown below) or papers made from another natural fiber. If it's drama you crave, paint your walls in a dark blue-gray (like Sea Reflections #1664) and trim everything out in pure white, like Decorators White, or trim things out a few shades darker than your wall color. This works well in a formal dining room. Another gorgeous blue is Palladian Blue, it's one of the most beautiful Robin's Egg ever. (Colors are from Benjamin Moore.) You can also try Farrow + Ball's "Elephants Breath" #229, it's somewhat of a grey and beige combined, aka greige. It's subtle and gorgeous.

Walls: Never forget the power of wallpaper! Grasscloth is ideal. Think of non-tacky ways to bring the sea home without it becoming a theme park. You can do it!

from Twenty2.
from Rollout, and via Velocity Art + Design (I love this in white, makes a terrific, airy room divider).

Windows: Keep it simple, fresh, and no frills. If you can find something with texture, or made from natural materials, all the better. Linens, cottons, bamboos... You get the vibe. This isn't rocket science, so don't stress. Trrain you eye and develop your taste. We all make progress as we complete projects, so keep at it when you decorate!

from Smith + Noble and 3-D Gap laine felt blinds from (love!), and the and curtains are from Anthropologie.

Now let's move on to lighting. There's a lot out there that works with this look. Good lighting is one of the most important features of a well-designed space, but so often neglected. Here are some good options...

Surprise! These light fixtures are from .
I'm so impressed with their selection this season.

Surprise! More beauties. I love these.

Think tactile. The felt loop lighting by is gorgeous, as is the via Zia Priven.

Pendant love! Top row: from Moth, and from Bleu Nature.
bottom row: (hey, why not?) and Galbraith and Paul from Room + Board.

Clockwise from left: Zia Priven , from Pier 1, from Horchow, from Anthropologie, from CB2.

Accessorize! Now let's move on to some accessories that fit this look. Colored glass may be on trend right now, but it's also timeless, so you can feel confident in your purchase. Patterned glasses (especially etched), serving plates in pastels, dinnerware in interesting shapes, ceramics (textured, cut out or pierced designs are in), and plant orbs. Who doesn't love plant orbs?

from Angela Adams, from Lekker, from Crate and Barrel.

Medium Teal , , (great for succulents), , all from Sprout Home.

Clockwise: , , , and the from Pier 1.

More great tabletop options from Pier 1. , , and the .

from Viva Terra and from Greener Grass Design.

from Rare Device, from Hable Construction (sweet to hang around the neck of a pretty glass bottle), from Loop in London, and from West Elm.

from Papa Stour in Scotland.

from West Elm

Soap, soap leaves, and candles from

Pretty from Rock Paper Scissors, Hable Construction from Rock Paper Scissors, and from See Jane Work.

One point to stress... We're not talking theme-y looks here with starfish and sea urchin everything. Try to not 'go there' when you decorate your space. You're simply bringing your favorite place indoors by creating a spot that brings you peace and joy, using what happens to be a trend, so it's easy to pull together. Please avoid shopping yourself into a coma (or debt!). There's more to life, like stretching your imagination and getting creative with what you already have. Mix in smart, new finds with your current space to freshen the mood. You're smart and confident, you'll pull off something gorgeous!

Hope you've enjoyed this trend report. I'll be adding a few more trends in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Psst: I highly suggest picking up the current , it's all about going green. You can even find their that Graham from pulled togther for them. It's packed with resources from furniture to rugs, many of which would fit nicely with your new ocean-inspired decor.