Ea r t h tones and texture can work together to create a casual yet elegant space, giving a room the look and feel of a beach house in a warm climate; something we could all use right about now. And the best part? It’s easy and inexpensive to achieve. All it takes is two great colours
The colour palette of brown and white in the photograph is appealing. With only two colours, the room manages to have balance and visual harmony. While most of the wall space is white, it’s a creamy, warm white that is soft and inviting. Painting the window, door and ceiling trim in a similar tone makes the entire space flow. The white backdrop makes the focal wall of rich brown really pop. This colour, which reminds me of cocoa, mimics the wood tones of the table top, shelves on the shelving unit and the floor lamp in the background. As well as adding colour to the space, the darker wall also helps define the dining area.
The natural elements are the finishing touches in this space. Handmade crockery pieces line a simple shelving unit which provides a nice backdrop of shape and form. The square modern vases in a creamy colour create a nice contrast in shape, colour and style. A container of tall twigs provides some height and texture, and additional texture is added by the large round wicker charger basket which holds a vintage metal cooler.
The decorative canvas on the wall, in similar tones to the rest of the décor, reminds me of an abstract earth and sun which suits the feel of the space. The size of the painting is appropriate for the wall. Any smaller and it would fade into the background.
In a back-to-basics décor like this you need lots of texture, also provided by the brown chenille throw on the bench and the pillow in a loose crochet weave. The medium-pile white rug beneath the dining table is highly textural and most likely very cosy on the feet.
GO FOR COMFORT
What adds to this space is what I like to call the comfort factors. The soft surface of the bench beckons you to have a seat while the chenille throw, pillow and tea service invite you to stay awhile. One could grab a book off of the bookshelf and read while lying on the bench; pillow under head with a soft throw for added comfort.
The large window allows lots of natural light into the room and having a simple pull shade instead of full draperies allows the sun to shine in.
I had said that the look of this room was easy and inexpensive to achieve. Basically, the room has one good dining room set, a long bench, a plain open shelving unit, a vintage floor lamp, area rug and some simple accessories. You don’t have to go out and buy these exact items to achieve a similar look. A plain wooden shelving unit could be painted to match your décor. The upholstered bench could be replaced by a large, wooden storage trunk, two or three inexpensive cube ottomans or a less expensive plain wooden bench that you could refinish and/or upholster yourself. If your current dining set doesn’t fit the look you are trying to achieve, consider purchasing chair slipcovers in an earth tone and a tablecloth or runner that suits the overall colour scheme of your particular space. Area rugs can be expensive so wait for a sale. You could always make a canvas floor cloth which can be left as is for a more rustic look or painted in colours to match your space. A large remnant of off-white fun “fur” would also work. Chenille throws and decorative pillows can be found in many stores or purchased from places like Sears for delivery to a Sears outlet near you.
A simple décor is anything but simple. It’s beautiful.
– Connie Oliver is an interior designer from Winnipeg