Cal­i­for­nia dream­ing

Catch the next de­sign wave now, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - TREND - More earl­y­set­

Take some coastal style, add a lit­tle bo­hemian in­flu­ence, mix in some nat­u­ral fin­ishes and you’ve got what could be the next wave in dec­o­rat­ing — Cal­i­for­nia Cool.

This laid-back dec­o­rat­ing look of­fers an im­me­di­ate sense of ease through its com­bi­na­tion of neu­tral colours, nat­u­ral fi­bres and hand-picked pieces with a vin­tage vibe.

Early Set­tler buyer Mon­ica Porter says it is about cre­at­ing spaces with a re­laxed feel in­spired by the ca­sual, cool life­style of the US state of Cal­i­for­nia.

“This look is also heav­ily in­flu­enced by the in­for­mal and eclec­tic na­ture of bo­hemian styling, tak­ing its de­sign cues from boho fash­ion,” Mon­ica says.

Home for the hol­i­days

The idea be­hind Cal­i­for­nia Cool is cre­at­ing spaces that make you feel like you’re on hol­i­day at home.

“The over­all look is light and bright and cre­ates an am­bi­ence that is clean, airy, wel­com­ing and very re­laxed,” Mon­ica says.

“It’s that de­sire to calm our in­te­ri­ors and con­nect with na­ture as our lives be­come in­creas­ingly busy.”

She sug­gests choos­ing fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories in nat­u­ral tex­tures, such as linen, leather and can­vas, and team­ing them with plants, hand­made ob­jects and sen­ti­men­tal items, such as one-off pieces from markets or fam­ily heir­looms.

For hard sur­faces, such as ta­bles, side­boards and beds, con­sider tim­ber, metal and mar­ble in their raw state, and in­tro­duce soft­ness through chunky cush­ions and throw rugs.

But al­ways keep the mix eclec­tic to get the best re­sults — that way the ef­fect won’t be pris­tine and per­fect.

“And stay away from any ma­te­ri­als that look too man­u­fac­tured,” Mon­ica says.

For Cal­i­for­nia Cool to re­ally work, you need a light and bright space, so open up the blinds and let in the sun­shine.

Lighten the look even more with pieces that cre­ate an airy feel, such as so­fas, cof­fee ta­bles and side­boards with ex­posed legs. “You could in­tro­duce a Mid Cen­tury-style couch or oc­ca­sional chair, then mix in a tribal rug and plenty of tex­tured fur­nish­ings, such as woven ot­tomans and cush­ions,” Mon­ica says.

“The Cal­i­for­nia Cool look is so­phis­ti­cated, un­clut­tered and lends it­self to our great sum­mers, but is still comfortable and cosy, so it fits in well with our win­ters.”

Rat­tan bas­kets and chairs, wool and jute rugs with knot­ted fring­ing, and ta­ble lamps with sim­ple linen shades and glass bases also work well. If the bud­get stretches, con­sider tim­ber-beaded chan­de­liers and woven-fi­bre pen­dants, along with macrame wall-hang­ings and prints of trop­i­cal plants, such as palms and mon­stera de­li­ciosa, and an­i­mals, such as yaks.

Nice shades

Stick with nat­u­ral tones and sub­dued pal­ettes for your walls and larger pieces, Mon­ica says. If you’re strug­gling, look to the muted tones of na­ture for in­spi­ra­tion, then in­ject some bright colour with cush­ions, throws or art­works, which are easy to up­date or move around the house.

Soft greys, warm whites and tans are good op­tions for a base pal­ette. You could top those with bold pops of mus­tard, deep green or blue.

Just keep the colour pair­ings “calm and com­fort­ing” says Mon­ica.

Eclec­tic but un­clut­tered

It’s easy to get car­ried away when you’re af­ter an eclec­tic re­sult. Avoid fill­ing every last nook and cranny, or blend­ing too many dif­fer­ent styles to­gether, says Mon­ica, oth­er­wise the space will be­come over­whelm­ing.

“Aim for some empty space so the room can breathe — you’re go­ing for Cal­i­for­nia Cool, not Cal­i­for­nia Clut­tered,” she says.

She adds the look shouldn’t be too struc­tured or for­mal.

“When your space starts look­ing too per­fect and too con­trived, you know you’ve prob­a­bly gone over­board.” Cal­i­for­nia Cool is flex­i­ble enough to adapt to dif­fer­ent colour schemes from warm leather, jute bas­kets and brick (top) to soft tex­tured tones of grey and blue (above), all from Early Set­tler. You can never go wrong by adding in­door plants.

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