Seaside Inspiration

Over the years, my design style has grown and evolved.  I learn a little with each house project; what I like and what I can live without.  I often notice that I dress the same way that I decorate.  Everyone is different (just go to the mall and people watch for a few hours!) and a home should reflect its owner.  Since our closing in April, I've been thinking about the Beattie House and what I want it to look like after the construction dust settles.

I think about personal values and the things I want to be reflected in the home that most represent our family.  First and foremost, I want the home to be warm and welcoming.  The house itself is very grand and a bit formal for my taste.  Don't get me wrong, I love the exquisite detailing and gorgeous architecture; complete with high ceilings and original windows that are to die for!!  However, I also want it to be approachable and inviting.  Because I have five young children (and in efforts to keep my sanity), the house needs to become more fun/functional and less event-venue, museum-like.  Color scheme and simple, uncluttered design will play a huge role in achieving this overall vision.

Speaking of color, I recently took a trip with my husband to the gulf coast of Florida.  I was blown away by the beauty of nature.  I often don't slow down enough to notice!  The water, sand and shells; I was inspired by the neutrals, blues, greens, metallics and whites.  The sand provides the perfect neutral background (of color and texture) for the layers of shells washing in from the ocean.  There are grays, whites, taupes, tans that all work beautifully together... I love that!  Not too "matchy matchy" either; the imperfect mix of neutrals can be very soothing (in my opinion) and a great place to start.  

For the Beattie House, I envision neutral walls, white trim with bamboo shades layered into the design. The hardwoods will be dark (possibly stained Jacobean); drawing from the wood on the beach and darker shells.  

The upholstered furniture (think couches, chairs and ottomans) will add another layer of neutrals to the room.  I'm thinking animal prints, houndstooth, stripes and possibly metallic fabrics.  I have some chairs from my E Park house that will work nicely with this design and I am currently on the hunt for fabrics (inspired by this shell) to bring new life to some of my older chairs that are in need of a makeover.

Our current couches are pretty worn out (to put it mildly) but have served a great purpose.  For 7 years, they have provided functional seating and weathered the stains and spills from an often chaotic life with children and a dog.  That being said, I'm ready to say goodbye to these ugly couches (I think we have finally graduated from the puppy/baby stage!) and am looking forward to picking out a couple of new neutral couches to bring style and continuity to the living spaces on the main floor of the Beattie House.  I haven't purchased anything yet, but will most likely be looking at Pottery Barn, 4Rooms, Rowan Company or Carolina Furniture & Interiors.  I like a couch with clean lines and lean towards a more "transitional" style. These couches (once I find them!) will be used for the screen porch, den/family room, and formal living room.  

We do have a West Elm gray sectional (a great find at the Pottery Barn outlet a few years ago) that will be making the move with us.  I see this piece of furniture at the top of the landing where we'll have a mini-den/kids hangout area.  Fingers crossed that it's the right size!! 

I also have an older Victorian couch (purchased at Southern Housepitality consignment store) that is currently in our sunroom on E Park.  I'm planning to recover this and find a spot for it in my little girls' bedroom upstairs.  Over the years, I've realized that it's so nice to have a couch (or even an extra chair) in bedrooms; mainly so that you don't have to feel like you have to sit on the bed... AND as an added bonus, it encourages my children (and me!) to sit down to relax at the end of the day with a good book or just to chat.  Lots of sweet conversations have been had on our bedroom couches.

The pottery barn rugs from our current house will be used in the five bedrooms at the new house, bringing warmth and texture without being too distracting.  Call me boring, but I don't like a bedroom to be overly "busy." 

Downstairs, however, I'm thinking about using oriental rugs to bring some pops of color to those rooms.  I'm planning to work with two local ladies at Floored & Knotted Turkish Rugs to find just the right color schemes.  Once again inspired by the beauty on the beach, I am hoping to find some rugs that have pinks, purples and grays as well as blues and greens; reminiscent of the water of the gulf.  I also love the idea of using vintage rugs in a historic home; a nod to the old surrounded by the new.

Lastly, my favorite thing in a room is lighting.  New lighting can drastically change a space!  Once again I lean towards neutral lighting, but am not afraid to mix metals with wood or crystal.  I also like a unique design; a good conversation piece.  This shell inspires my current search for lighting. 

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I'm excited to see what I'll find.  Thanks SaleebyJean for helping me find these two so far.

The Women's Club left some crystal light fixtures (chandeliers, pendants and sconces).  Many of these are dirty and some need repair.  On the main floor, it is my opinion that these lights made the rooms seem overly formal.  My builder has (very carefully!) taken them down for me and now they are hanging in the laundry area.  I'm looking forward to  using these fixtures in less traditional areas of the home (think closets, bathrooms and girls' bedrooms) to bring an element of glamour to the space. 

The crystal reminds me of the clear waters of the Gulf and is my final inspiration for the day... until next time!

Jori Magg