Where Whimsy and Elegance Cohabitate (and they’re drinking margaritas!)

I stopped by my upholsterer’s shop yesterday to sneak a peak at the pieces that he’s making for a current project.  He had collected everything together in one room — barstools, 3 sets of dining chairs, benches, headboards, beds, large upholstered chairs and more than 100 pillows.  Taken together, the colors and patterns formed a visual cacophony that took my breath away!  As I was admiring his handiwork I heard him and his wife giggling.  Clearly over the months that they had been sewing and crafting and constructing with these bright, bodacious fabrics, they had been wondering (and no doubt discussing amongst themselves) one thing “What the hell is she thinking?”

“It’s for a beach house project and we want it to be colorful and whimsical” I offer as explanation.  But then I wonder, “Why am I feeling the need to justify?”

I’ve been working on the design for this large, new construction house for almost a year.  The client and I have spent hundreds of hours sorting through thousands of fabrics and furnishings, starting from scratch and designing spaces that haven’t yet been constructed.  We’ve designed a kitchen, and bathrooms and bedrooms and a bunk room and too many decks and porches to mention.  Our design is absolutely brimming with color.  Aqua blues are threaded throughout the house as a tribute to its ocean and bay views but there are also liberal doses of pinks, corals, oranges, yellows and greens.  Even our often-ignored friend raspberry makes a couple of appearances.  The design is beautifully and unapolagetically colorful.  It is full of warmth and sunshine and the good times to come.

But it is also utterly and undeniably elegant.  Not in a fussy, over-done, “don’t even think about sitting on that sofa” sort of way, but in a “come on in and have a margarita” sort of way.  Now you tell me, which would you prefer?  I’ll take mine on the rocks with just a little salt.

The house is scheduled to be completed in mid-August and I’ll post photos as soon as we complete the installation.