creating casual california coastal

Capturing casual California coastal style in a living room is more than just an exercise in alliteration (although I couldn’t resist). It’s all about “getting it right” with the colors of sand, sea, foam and sky - while avoiding cliches (like lighthouses).

Madison Modern Home had a lot of fun making over this living room, and taking it from blahhhh to spahhhh… All with a sophisticated beachy aura that positively glows. We started with a shade of blue-green from Benjamin Moore called Water’s Edge. The home already had wide, white diagonal paneling on one wall and a pitched ceiling, topping out at 13 feet. It also boasted a cute fireplace with a paneled insert that just begged to be painted a darker shade of blue. We added a warm tan geometric area rug and a sofa in the same butterscotch tonal range. Two cozy slip covered armchairs with dark brown block print pillows say “beach house” loud and clear - as do the two glass lamps outfitted with coral displays.

We painted two end tables semi gloss black and positioned them flanking the sofa, with the glass lamps atop. A wicker coffee table was treated to an ebony stain and a dry brush technique in one shade of blue lighter than the walls.

A vintage book featuring scientific illustrations of shells yielded large photocopies that we framed in black and hung over the sofa. A dated console table got a fresh coat of white paint and now stands proudly in the entry way, with a vintage trunk underneath. All in all, a warm and snug beach house — minus the kitsch!

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How we got there: Here’s our color scheme — blue-green, tan, white and navy with hits of coral and black.

Intrepid Madison Modern Home designer Rachel Moore paints the fireplace.

Shots of the room during the painting phase.

Details, details…