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Beach House Bliss

If you love bright and bold, never fear, you can absolutely incorporate brightly colored accessories, artwork and more into your seaside retreat.  This gorgeous home was featured in House Beautiful and is bursting with modern art and bold colors. Designer Krista Ewart added plenty of pop to this fabulous California bungalow and we think it's fabulous!

A Happy Mix . . .

Vibrant colors, a mix of patterns, and flowers everywhere — real, painted, and printed on the sofa's Clover Poppy, from Hable Construction — make the living room "cheerful, bright, and playful," says Ewart.

"Smiley" and "happy" can easily cross the line to "saccharine" in a cozy cottage. How did you avoid that?  All the upholstered furniture has clean lines. It's tailored, not swoopy and sweet, but still squishy and cozy, so you want to curl up and get in! Simple styles like the sofa and stools help offset the old-fashioned architecture and the bright, busy fabrics. Those simple white armchairs calm down that screaming sofa on the other side of the room. And the large-scale patterns — the whale wallpaper, the sofa flowers, the leaf pillows, the tablecloth — keep things less old cottage-y and more contemporary. All the white everywhere — walls, ceiling, woodwork — allowed us to have fun with the fabrics.

A Sunny Summer House . . .
In front of the 1938 California cottage is a Liberty of London bicycle from Target; it belongs to designer Krista Ewart's sister Laurie Thiel, the home­owner. 

Colorful Cushions and Tablecloth . . .

Dining chairs from the 1960s are painted semigloss white. "White makes them disappear into the walls — it's less busy and helps open the space — but still lets you see their super-cool design," Ewart says. White coral almost fills a bookshelf: "One big accessory has more impact than a bunch of miniatures."

Do you always have this much fun?  I don't think I'd be able to do one of those beautiful, calm interiors. I can admire the look, but I can't do it. I don't over think pattern and color. I didn't try to make all the greens go with the sofa. If the greens aren't totally matching, it doesn't bother me. They all move and work together. And a tightly edited palette is important to make all the patterns work together. You have to have harmony. I mean, you see almost every room in one moment. You get a peekaboo of color from room to room that wraps it all up.

A Model Beach Home . . .

A boat model, shells, and coral reflect California seaside life.

Surfer Girl's Patio . . .

"I was driving by a store in L.A., saw this 1960s patio furniture, and screeched to a stop," Ewart says. "It's modern without being stark, and petite — there's not a lot of room out here." The pattern on the surfboard is a fabric print from a friend's handbag line.

View this entire beach house at House Beautiful.

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle


  1. I love the sunny summer house! I want to live there. After reading this article I went to House Beautiful website and surfed around.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great pictures! I love the surfer girl patio!! What a fun place to visit with friends!

  3. This house is great! I love the tips on how not to go too overboard, will definitely be using them in decorating my place. Thanks!

  4. the bike in the front of the cottage love it! homes like this always seems so peaceful to me.


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