Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Kristy Kay

The daughter of a skilled builder and craftsman, Kristy was exposed to all aspects of home building and renovation since childhood and decided to pursue a career in home renovation and design. Her passion for design developed while living in Europe, where she had the opportunity of gaining international design experience. Kristy honed her residential interior design skills working between Boston, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. Kristy also spends time working for celebrity clients, as well as appearing on various TV and Internet outlets as a lifestyle design expert. Kristy's signature style incorporates creativity, practicality, and a timeless quality to create a sophisticated, yet accessible design. She spends her time in Boston and Nantucket with her daughter and husband.

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  • Design: Kristy Kay
  • Coastal style is all the rage right now, but it can be difficult trying to figure out how it fits into your home. Here to help is designer Kristy Kay. She's answering difficult questions about color selection, kids' spaces, and how to get this look even if you don't have an ocean view. Keep reading for tips on all things coastal!
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    Design: Kristy Kay
    1. What are the top three must-haves for a coastal style space?

    My top three must-haves are soft fabrics, lots of texture (like baskets, trays, and woven Roman blinds), and the addition of some fun elements like porcelain garden stools and bright throw pillows. The key is to not take the space too seriously, regardless of the budget or color scheme. Coastal style is all about a relaxing vibe.
    2. Does it always have to be blue and white?

    Definitely not! My favorite coastal combo right now is turquoise, coral, and white. Coastal should be inspired by the sea, but there are no rules! Create your own interpretation as long as the result is a space that makes you feel calm and relaxed.

  • Design: Kristy Kay
    3. How can you incorporate a nautical feel into a kids' rooms?

    Kids' spaces can push the boundaries and be really fun. I love mixing in great nautical fabrics that are bright and fun, and décor items like rope lamps, vintage oars, and of course some fish or whale motifs.
    4. What are some ways to be inspired by the beach without using the expected seashell and anchor motifs?

    I love creating a space that is layered in whites and tans to give that relaxed, beachy feel. Soft slipcovered large furniture pieces mixed with eye-catching accent pieces—like sea grass wingbacks—are a great base. Then try adding in your favorite coastal color combo as an accent wall such as, navy and orange, teal and coral, or a timeless favorite, navy and white.

    5. How can this style work in a home without an ocean view?

    Anyone can have an ocean view with art! A lovely coastal painting (found at any budget) is the perfect coastal detail for a space. Use the colors in the painting to round out the room's design and help you select your accent colors.

    See more from Kristy Kay in our Shop the Look gallery.

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