The Look: Sophisticated Coastal

Everyone is drawn to Southwest Florida for a reason. The weather, family, a life change like retirement—each person has a unique story they bring with them when they move. Most people are also looking for a different kind of design. While they may have loved (or still love) their Northern home, they want a more airy, coastal feel in here. Open concept living, light colors, and an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living are all elements frequently requested by my Naples clients. Sophisticated coastal design can be somewhat tricky to achieve and there is a fine line between coastal and kitschy. While every home I work in is unique, here is my basic take on sophisticated coastal design. 


First, I lay a foundation with durable and beautiful flooring. Hardwood is popular, but now there are great tile floors with the look of wood and they have become one of my favorite choices for a Naples home. These floors are easy to clean and maintain, but you still get the look of wood in your home. While greys are still common, I suggest using warmer tones. Colors in the “greige” family lend themselves to our coastal environment and provide flexibility to use greys or browns in your home.  
Next, I like to use a base of neutral colors and natural textures for soft goods and rugs. Natural fibers like wool and jute can be woven in tone-on-tone patterns which brings texture to the space but doesn’t compete with the floors you’ve chosen. I also use high performance fabrics to help facilitate the casual, hassle-free lifestyle people enjoy here. These fabrics repel liquids, are stain-resistant and easy-to-clean, making them great for couches and chairs. Furniture is an ideal place to bring in some mixed metals as well—another trick I like to use to keep a coastal vibe elegant. Table bases, chair legs, and hardware allow you to add in satin nickel, chrome, and bronze finishes. 
I use accessories to usher in color and depth. Accessories bring out personality and a final, polished look to your home. It’s important to accessorize with things you really love—it’s better to leave a shelf empty while you look for the perfect item. As a book lover, I think interesting and antique books are a great way to inject color and character. They also provide insight into the people living in the home. I also like to include unique lighting details throughout. Your lamps spend most of their life unlit so they should look beautiful on or off. Lighting also plays an important role in how your accessories are showcased, especially your artwork, so it’s important to hang and light even non-original works well. For new builds and remodels, I suggest you add an extra A/C vent or two per room so you don’t feel the need for ceiling fans in every space. This will give you great airflow and allow you to add chandeliers or other fixtures throughout your home.

Molly Hoover design group is a boutique interior design firm whose work is recognized for effortlessly combining crisp, clean architecture with custom upholstery, antique and classic furniture and modern and contemporary art. 

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