California-living is all about sun, light, and plenty of greens. In the sunshine state, the outdoors are just as important as the interior of the home—often, seamlessly blending within the decor. Since the majority of us on the East Coast don’t have the luxury of living in a space where the lines between the interior and exterior are blissfully blurred, it’s all about bringing the outdoors in with a variety of inspired decor elements. We caught up with interior designer natalie myers who has seriously mastered the aesthetic, for a few tips on how to bring Cali’s signature element of effortless cool to the East Coast. Take a look.
Begin with white walls.
If there’s one tell-tale element most Californian spaces have, it’s the total whitewash. At its simplest, it allows decorators to view rooms as a blank canvas, waiting to be layered with vibrant colors, rich patterns, and dynamic textures. Find it too snoozy? Think again. A brilliant white can go a long way, especially when it comes to spaces filled with an abundance of natural light.
Natural materials are key.
Woven seagrass rugs, maple wood, or woven pieces that emulate a feel of authenticity are the way to go. The perfectly-imperfect pieces, typically hand-crafted, lend a personal element that can offset even the most rigid of contemporary schemes. We love the idea of decorating with natural dried palms or clay-based ceramics, to bring in that earthy vibe that’s so effortlessly cool.
Graphic statements are essential.
Myers suggests implementing “some large graphic statements to break up the white with abstract art or modern geometric tile.” Here’s your opportunity to get creative with unique pattern and color combos. In lieu of the standard subway tile the kitchen, swap in a graphic tile that’ll steal the show. Line your entry with bold Moroccan tiles, or splurge on a contemporary piece of art for the living room.
Bring in beautifully crafted lighting fixtures to highlight the space.
Lighting is not only crucial in its most fundamental point of functionality but, a well-chosen option can also double as a statement piece often filling in as the unifying aspect of a decorative scheme.
Opt for clean lines and no-fuss furniture.
Streamlined is the name of the game here. Think: Scandinavian-inspired and beautifully minimalistic. Work along the lines of “less is more” and opt for pieces that are not as ornate or distinguished as most traditional designs are. Instead, embrace sleek lines which, can have a higher impact in contemporary design.
Implement subtle textural moments.
Textile art, such as macrame, is a surefire way to make this one happen (plus, it’s very on-trend). Amidst all the white and streamlined furnishings, a space can run the risk of lacking life and character. Aside from decorating with saturated hues, intricate textures are an easy way to bring in an additional element of warmth to a space. Bonus points for exotically-sourced rugs with a vintage flair.
Opt for bright wall art.
Rethink that gallery wall in the hall with an outdoor-inspired aesthetic. Swap in imagery that emulates the quintessence of California: beach, flowers, surfing…the list is endless.