In summer house, light and air are welcome guests

July 11, 1993|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Contributing Writer

Q: We're about to furnish and decorate a summer house near the ocean. What kind of styles and colors should we choose in order to give the place a sunny and breezy look?

A: Since cool and bright is your wish, the basic idea is to make it possible for light and air to travel freely throughout the house.

And the best way to do that is by keeping the interior design plain and simple.

Choose a shiny white as a background color, accompanied by beachy accents such as shrimp and coral. Or, if you have a fairly good sense of color, you might try building subtle variations of shades of something like aquamarine blue.

Perhaps the photo will point you in a direction you'd like to take. In this summery interior, the walls, woodwork, wicker chairs and ironwork coffee table were all painted in glossy white. The room, meanwhile, was given a contrasting base in the form of a darker vinyl sheet flooring. This particular aquamarine surfacing is one of six brights recently added to Armstrong's popular "Color Passions" line.

The blue-and-white striped sofa, suggestive of a breaking ocean wave, combines the two color themes while extending the seaside motif.

The coordinated cushions and pillows add some bounce and variety to what might otherwise be regarded as a two-note tune. If you are a regular reader of this column, you already know that glossy white is not the least bit monotonous since it reflects all FTC the other colors in a room.

A house near the ocean is no place to install heavy or obstructive window coverings, though light control is an important consideration in such a locale. Simple shutters and filmy pull-back curtains, as shown in the photo, should be sufficient for functional purposes. Alternately, you might hang a Roman shade in a light fabric or perhaps some woven-grass coverings.

Cottons and linens are the logical choice for whatever decorative fabrics you may wish to add. They're appropriately soft to the touch and light in appearance.

Please remember to include durability and ease of maintenance among your criteria as you shop for furniture and accessories. No one wants to spend summer vacation cleaning house and worrying about wear and tear.

Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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