Spring is with us, and so it’s time to unbatten the hatches and rediscover the joys of our coastal homes, says coast interiors writer CAROL BURNS.
The clocks have gone forward, and the bedroom is no longer simply a place to hide from the inclement weather with a good book or three (or is that just me?). So as the lamps go off and the blinds and shutters are opened, that lovely peninsula light can throw a bit too much of a glow on the interior, showing up anything shabby.
While a major refurbishment of your bedroom every spring is too much, each year should bring a refresh. The primary elements of most bedrooms are the bed and the window dressing (and maybe a Berger rug or two). All three are easy to update: think complimentary or contrasting, but never matching!
Your first job is a highly satisfying one. Nowhere else does the light change as much as by the ocean. So waste no time swapping your curtains and blinds. As winter passes, the need for insulation gives way to the need for maximum light. Removing window dressings will immediately show your room at its worst (or best), so it’s an excellent time to consider if it needs redecorating (or a really good clean).
Consider sheers (if you are not overlooked or concerned about privacy) and lighter fabrics for your spring clean. But don’t assume a light room needs pastels. Solid tones and oversized patterns can create a more interesting interior – go bold with a rainforest theme or classic stripes. Add gold and silver thread that will catch the light. Take down and store (might I also suggest a clean?) your heavier window coverings. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
Roman blinds will open up your room more than traditional curtains; pulling them up and down will usually allow more flexibility than pulling back curtains. And forget the net curtains and go for night and day blinds that filter light and offer privacy without compromising style. I’ve been testing them through the winter and find they maximise light throughout the year.
I’m a big believer in making the bed the star, but a luxe upholstered chair is a great addition – you might never sit on it, but it makes a great showcase piece – and a handy clothes horse.
Your bed linen is probably on a rotation of designs anyway. I’m a lover of white cotton or unbleached linen (a bonus is that linen bedding is not supposed to be ironed), but if you are clumsy with your morning coffee, this can be stressful and not restful.
Geometric patterns are the most common choices, but try alternating with a block colour, which will add some real drama. Think inky blues, deep reds and vibrant greens – all should be matched with sheets of the same colour. Avoid anything with beads or elaborate embroidery, as you can end up with interesting demarcations on your skin in the morning.
Fluffy rugs and a spot of hygge (a Scandinavian interior style) bring comfort in the winter, but you might want to roll up the sheepskin and put them with the winter curtains.
And if you still need to figure it out? Book yourself into a posh hotel room and bring a notepad and pen. Good hotels will have interior designers who have given their expertise to the size and style of bedrooms. Don’t be afraid to ask at reception if anything catches your eye. After all, the guest is always right.
Looking for coastal inspiration for interior design? Check out our article here.