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by Kate Smith

A childhood love of color turned into a college-age fascination with the interaction of colors, then into a career of color trend forecasting and product development. Today, Kate Smith, CMG, CfYH, is president and chief color maven at Sensational Color, a company that provides color knowledge and know-how to corporations primarily in the home industry. Kate is an inspirational keynote speaker and seminar leader, blending color theory and psychology into entertaining and informative talks that bring color to life.

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  • beach inspired colors
    Photo: Kate Smith
  • Summer has finally arrived and the ocean beckons. Sea and sand offer natural color palettes that can easily be incorporated into your home. Beach-inspired design is light, airy, and informal. Color plays an integral role in creating the perfect seaside-casual vibe. Here are some tips for bringing a hint of the beach home with you.
  • Easy Breezy Color

    Beach design elements are built around carefree, subtle colors. Don't be afraid of an all white or cream space with only the subtlest of grays or tans as accent colors. These sandy rooms have a relaxed, comfortable feel. They're just right for cooking up a clambake or kicking off your flip flops and cuddling up with a summer read.
  • bold beach decor
  • Bright Bold Color

    Rooms inspired by the shore can also be bold when the fabulous blues of the ocean are highlighted. These striking colors against a crisp white trim will have you running for your beach towel.
    This seaside retreat swathed in sky blue (above left) inspires beach-themed dreams. Simple accessories, like starfish and potted plants, add to the design built around vivid color.

    Turquoise walls and sea glass accents bring the ocean into this living room (above right). Bright colors are offset by the deep, rich wood floor, the warm stone fireplace, and the sandy-colored seating.
  • beach accents
  • Don't Forget the Details

    Adding focus to architectural features in your entryway, like this beautiful azure blue doorway (above left), will begin soothing you right as you enter your home.

    Just a hint of beach decor in your space can be enough to make you long for days filled with warm sand and cool waves. This beautiful oyster shell mirror (above right) is a wonderful way to integrate the ambiance of the ocean into your decor without overdoing it.

    Beach-inspired design is a wonderful way to bring the outside in, every day.
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