When I first discovered blogs, sometime around the end of university, I read home decor blogs. They were written by women who liked to create and took ownership of their spaces, often up cycling old things and making them new again. This was right around the time "DIY" entered our vocabulary and before Pinterest existed. I always loved crafts as a kid and those women inspired me to try making things again too. I imagined painting over wooden side tables and turning curb-side furniture into something new and fresh. But returning from university and moving into my childhood bedroom, I didn't have much space to hold new projects, and my parents wouldn't let me paint the antique wooden tables I'd been eyeing up. I ended up tackling a sewing project instead, and a new passion was born. I started reading more sewing blogs and fewer home decor blogs, waiting for the day when I had my own space to decorate. Having recently purchased and decorated my house, home decor has been on my mind a lot in the past year. So when I was recently contacted by real estate firm Douglas Elliman and asked to design a "Florida Room," the challenge came at just the right time. I was asked to design a room that evokes a summery and beachy feel, no matter the season or where you live.
I'm lucky to live on the water now, on a small lake in Central Ontario, Canada. We just finished a hot and sunny weekend, with the temperatures reaching 31 degrees Celsius, which is unusual for this time of year. So right now it's easy to envision myself on a beach property in Florida, like one of these Florida homes
. Come January, however, with the western winds blowing snow over the frozen lake, it might be a little harder to conjure up the memory of summer and beaches. So incorporating Florida style into a room's decor is a great way to bring the warmth and calm of the beach into your home.
When I think of Florida, I picture sandy beaches, foamy surf and dazzling blue skies. I imagine playing in the waves and then relaxing in a lounge chair. Alright, I also picture palm trees, bright pink flamingo lawn ornaments and cheap rental houses for college students on spring break - ha! But that's just stereotypes speaking, so let's go with the first image, shall we?
Going with relaxing, beachy vibes, I think a living room is most suitable to incorporate some Florida style. I think my own living room has a beachy feel, so I'm going to pull many elements from it, using pieces that are available here in Canada. For paint, I'd go with my living room choice of Behr's Beach Foam
, a pale aqua blue with just a hint of green.
I'd also stick with my white IKEA Hemnes
bookshelves and TV stand. The white looks crisp against the blue and brightens the room. Its shelves offer plenty of space for both function and decor. For function, I'd start by finding a spot for my novels, then store papers and magazines in white magazine files and photo boxes. I often find beautifully styled bookcases in magazines unrealistic, as they often don't hold any books! I was happy to find that after moving all of my books, there was still room to display photos and souvenirs from my travels. I'd recommend displaying artwork in brightly coloured frames, whether it's personal snapshots from beach vacations, professional prints or paintings. I would also add some flameless candles, a lantern and maybe souvenirs from travels.
I love these prints by Clare Elsaesser, which you can find on Etsy
. She has so many beautiful paintings I'd love to put on my walls. Small prints would look good framed on the bookshelf, while an oversized print or a set of three would look good above the couch.
I'm loving my sectional
from the Brick and I think it would fit in a Florida Room as well. This is a different model, but in a similar fabric. The grey serves as the perfect neutral backdrop to brightly coloured quilts and throw pillows. In general, the pale blue, white and grey serve as a nice backdrop to create a calm mood for the room and allow for bright accents - throws, pillows, and other decorative objects. Having the main pieces in neutral colours also allows you to change up and experiment with different accent colours without costing too much.
Here's a rough example of everything thrown together.
I hope you enjoyed this post. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for posting. To see photos of my own living room, check out my previous post here
. Coming soon, you can expect to see another baby quilt (it's arrived - yay!) and more house projects.