Create a West Coast Vibe

Louis Says…

This project blended both the organic, natural qualities of West Coast, with some of the daring vibrancy of Mid-Century Modern. I always have so much fun when I get to work with my clients closely and really identify what makes all the important decisionmakers tick. If I’ve done my job correctly, the usual outcome is a completely unique design because we’ve had to find a way of melding two distinct design perspectives. Here are my five tips to create your own West Coast Vibrant blend.

Natural Base Notes

Choose natural base notes for the foundational pieces of the space. The couches are in a soft beige while the armchairs add warmth through the leather. Adding in vibrancy becomes a lot easier when you have an overall palette that is grounded in classic neutrals and earth tones.

Think About Transitions

I managed to add a bit of dazzle through the gold pendants on the main floor. What makes them work is the unique ombre effect on the shades. By having a piece that wasn’t just a solid accent metal, it gave us a little more leeway in transitioning the accent into the rest of the space.

Use Colour Theory

Whenever I get a little stuck or don’t know what direction I want to take a space, I often get back to basics and think about complementary and contrasting colors. There are certain pairings that just work. Blues/greens look great against rich yellows, oranges, and golds. This is why we ended up choosing such a dramatic upper cabinet and paired it with a bold metallic pendant. You can often solve your own design challenges by going back to the basics.

Remember Your Sightlines

When you come across a great space created by a designer, there is often an overall fluidity that makes everything sing and adds extra polish. It’s not always something that is tangible or something you can directly articulate. This is often because designers are always thinking about sightlines. You want to make sure you always have something visually appealing and interesting to look at.

An easy way to ensure this is to literally stand in the middle of the room and start turning at various angles. This is where you can figure out the perfect place for a missing piece of artwork, drapery, or accent piece. It’s a great way to ensure your design is balanced and fluid across the entire room, which was really important for the open concept living/kitchen area of this project.

Trust Your Gut

Venturing into something bold or dramatic can be scary. As most of us progress throughout the design process, it’s very natural for your brain to play tricks on you and start to second guess every choice you’ve made. Great designers have managed to tune out the negative voices in their heads and really hone in on their gut. You usually can tell whether or not you like something within the first 5 seconds of seeing it. It’s visceral. Now I’m not saying to just go and do the first thing that comes to mind everywhere in your home, but use that initial reaction as a temperature gauge throughout the process.