The New Coastal

Put the anchors away! For these waterside homeowners it’s all about the vibe

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Visit the coastal decor section of most home furnishings stores and chances are good that you’ll find the typical trappings: navy and white stripes, anchor motifs, and perhaps signs in wood or canvas about life being better at the beach. However, not all lands’ end dwellers have the same interpretation of what it means to provide location cues indoors. For homeowners Gail Greenwood of Little Compton, Nancy Rafi of Wickford, and Nancy Chace of Bristol, living by the water means having digs where it’s okay to enter with sandy feet, comfort is key, views are unobstructed, and color signals all the feels of an endless summer.

A common thread for this spin on coastal is that functionality is as crucial as design and ease of use. “It is important to me that a space be practical and stylish, durable and fun – where a balance exists between beauty and comfort,” says Chace of her historic home. “In a cottage most everything is touchable and somewhat bullet proof. There is a certain resignation to sandy feet on the floor and the embracing of imperfection that comes with a livable home. Often cottages have a collected feel where its belongings take on unique personality and meaning over time. A happy place where memories are made, and form, function, and fun reign supreme!”