Nav­i­gat­ing a sea of wa­ter-themed decor

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - KIM COOK

Sum­mer for many of us means re­con­nect­ing with wa­ter — lake­side hikes, pad­dles in the sea, lux­u­ri­ant floats in some re­lax­ing pool.

And that con­nec­tion isn’t con­fined just to the out­doors, ei­ther. Wa­tery hues and mo­tifs are all over home decor.

“Wa­ter im­agery adds a beau­ti­ful di­men­sion to a room,” says designer Ohara Gae­tano-Davies of Laguna Beach, Calif.

Her projects in­clude beach­front homes in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and Cape Cod. In a sea­side home in Laguna Beach’s Emer­ald Bay area, she painted the in­te­rior of some open cab­i­netry a serene pale blue, evok­ing beach glass. A col­lec­tion of white co­ral sits on the shelves. A large, con­tem­po­rary paint­ing of a woman div­ing fills one crisply painted white wall.

For a small pow­der room, Gae­tano-Davies went with Phillip Jef­fries’ Fade Sea Spray wall­cov­er­ing, a tex­tu­ral ren­di­tion of gen­tly rolling waves in soft blues. (www.phillip­j­ef­

“The gra­da­tion of colour and tone adds beau­ti­ful di­men­sion and move­ment to a rel­a­tively small space,” she says. “Your eye fo­cuses on the move­ment of the pat­tern, and not the scale of the room.”

For Trove’s new wall­pa­per col­lec­tion, de­sign­ers Ran­dall Buck and Jee Levin used Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s “Wa­ter” poem as in­spi­ra­tion. Their wa­ter­colour paint­ings evoke both the serenity and ex­plo­sive na­ture of wa­ter. In the three-pat­tern “Ode to Eau” col­lec­tion, the Drift pat­tern is a cool hori­zon of gen­tly lap­ping waves; Mazu car­ries us into a tum­ble of frothy waves; Es­tu­ary brings us right to the edge of a thun­der­ing water­fall, full of ki­netic en­ergy. (www.tro­v­e­

Some­times a styl­ized pat­tern suc­cess­fully brings the theme home in a sub­tle way. Momeni’s sim­ple geo­met­ric re­peat of a wave mo­tif works beau­ti­fully on an in­door/out­door rug at Tar­get. (www.tar­

An aqua-hued wavy scal­lop makes a chic and mod­ern tray at Home­goods. (www.home­

And then there are less sub­tle ren­di­tions of the wa­ter theme.

For Deny De­signs, Las Vegas artist Lisa Ar­gy­ropou­los’ vivid pho­to­graphs of sun­sparked oceans, bub­bly wave curls and crys­talline droplets make dy­namic throw pil­lows. (www.deny­de­

Aus­tralian pho­tog­ra­pher Beata Czy­zowska Young’s macro shots of rain, and of dew­drops on plant stems, are the stuff of fairy fan­tasy. (www.fin­eartamer­

Con­tem­po­rary artists ex­plore the aquatic in the ab­stract at Crate & Bar­rel; check out prints like Kelly Ven­tura’s “Pool,” Lau­ren Adams’ “Deep Wa­ter Rip­ple” and Deb Hau­gen’s “Tide Pools.” (www.crate­and­bar­

Gray Malin’s aerial shots of beaches filled with sun lovers, and reef-dot­ted azure wa­ters, are now avail­able on acrylic trays. The trans­par­ent frames give the il­lu­sion that the ocean vis­tas are be­ing held in place by the ma­te­rial. (www.gray­ma­

If you’re ready to make a big­ger com­mit­ment to the wa­tery trend, con­sider Luca Os­burn’s Tides ce­ramic tiles, part of Cle’s Water­mark col­lec­tion. Os­burn is a pas­sion­ate surfer, and his de­signs are in­spired by the chang­ing waves on the north­ern Cal­i­for­nia coast­line. (

Zaz­zle’s Wa­ter Ab­stract Sea Tile is a closeup, dig­i­tal im­age of a clear wa­ter pool, printed on ce­ramic. A dozen or so might make a pretty bor­der in a bath­room. Can’t quite dive right into the idea? The im­age is also avail­able on a mug, pil­low, wrap­ping pa­per, even a night­light. (www.zaz­


A sam­ple from the Tides col­lec­tion (far left) for Cle Tile on the wall, in­spired by Luca Os­burn’s favourite north­ern Cal­i­for­nia surf­ing spots. His Cronkhite pat­tern vokes a foggy, wave-churned lo­ca­tion near San Fran­cisco.


Trove’s new Ode to Eau col­lec­tion, left, cel­e­brates the serenity and ex­plo­sive­ness of wa­ter. The Mazu pat­tern shown here has the sense of a tum­bling water­fall.

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