Coastal Consideration

Melissa Freeman, lead designer at Hurlbutt Designs, uses color to create the perfect atmosphere

“My design process starts with getting to know my clients. We talk about what inspires them and what they have been thinking of. I like to have them create a Pinterest board, and I ask if they have any saved articles, or I see if they respond to rooms in my portfolio. I then create a design plan for a room that is completely unique to them by combining those elements while taking the architecture of the space into consideration.

“This particular room has two focal points—the ocean and the fireplace—so we broke up the room into two distinct seating areas that allow the owners to enjoy both. It’s always a challenge to design a space when you have multiple focal points; you want to create intimate spaces where people can gather and where they can sit and enjoy the view. This room has a spectacular NanaWall (a window wall system) that folds and stacks flat against the wall, creating an indoor/outdoor space. In that space, we created a seating area with four swivel chairs and a table. The chairs allow people to sit together while taking full advantage of the view.

“When decorating a home on the coast, I select materials that are durable and low-maintenance. I slip covered the chairs near the windows in Perennials Fabrics in neutral colors so they are easy to clean and fade-resistant. The sun on the coast is intense, so special attention must be paid to fabric selection and placement. I used vibrant-colored fabrics on the furniture on the opposite side of the room so there’s less potential for fading. You learn so much from working in a coastal area. I love that I can make selections that will withstand the environment and keep my clients’ home beautiful.

“This room has a nod to all the elements. We painted the interior in a soft, beautiful blue to create a welcoming environment. The coffered ceiling is very dramatic, so we painted the panels in the same soft blue. The color of the walls and the coffered ceiling is reminiscent of the sky; the colors of the fabrics, draperies, and area rug are reminiscent of sand; the stone fireplace gives a very natural and organic feel to the living room. When the fireplace is lit, the fire makes the room incredibly cozy. Decorating for the holidays, we chose colors and decorations that were coastally inspired. On the mantel we hung beautiful custom-made stockings using Thibaut Fabrics. Each one is unique, but they are all created in coordinating fabrics. A limited-edition collection can be found at Hurlbutt Designs this holiday season.”

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