All posts in Seasonal Design

3 Tips for Tasteful and Functional Beach House Interior Design

It’s summertime again! Think watermelon, warm weather, and tans! Many families travel to the beach at least once during the summer and some are even lucky enough to own a beach house. A challenge for beach house or condo owners is how to make a functional and tasteful beach house. Here are some tips to help you design your beach house!

Light colored living room

Image: ElleDecor

1. Easy Clean Fabric

You need an easy-clean, low maintenance condo or house! Be realistic, this is a place where sand is tracked in all the time! DO NOT use a fabric that is hard to clean. Think about using kid-friendly fabrics! Outdoor fabrics work best and are easy to whip off without ruining the fabric! Check out this nautical outdoor fabric design:

Premier Prints Cadence Deep Blue

Premier Prints, Cadence Deep Blue (UK-067) |

2. Waterproof Flooring

Many condos have tile throughout. While this is a great option to provide the waterproof beach house floor that is a neccessity, there are other waterproof options. Wood laminate floor is a great option for a more classic look. Make sure it is 100% waterproof!

3. Don’t Go Shell Crazy!

Many beach condos go overboard with the “beach theme”. To avoid looking cheesy, try a more toned down nautical theme. Try using a blue/navy color scheme or classic nautical accessories: anchors, sailboats, coral, etc.

Elle Decor Living Room Blue

Image: ElleDecor

In the screened porch we designed for the Charlottesville Design House we used some shell accessories. Use accessories like these and combine them with diversified nautical accessories to achieve a more timeless nautical living area in your beach house or condo!

Charlottesville Design House

Sunroom in the Charlottesville Design House

Unique Gift Wrapping from Our Virginia Interior Design Office

Every year for Christmas I try to be a little creative with my gift wrapping.  It started a few years ago with investing in nice ribbon and has recently become more outlandish. 


Last year, I wrapped everything in the Wall Street Journal as a tongue-n-cheek homage to the financial crisis.  I might have thought it was much more clever than my gift receivers judging from their responses.  They probably thought I was being cheap!


unique gift wrapping


This year, I wanted to do something creative with the paper again so I ended up using old wallcovering samples from the Gibson Design Group office library.  I think that they turned out well, although it was not an easy task. 

If you struggle with wrapping using normal wrapping paper, this may give you fits, but if you’re okay with corners and edges not being perfect you should try this application.

A few things I learned:


  • Wallcovering is obviously thick so cut the pieces allowing for very little extra to be on your packages.  This reduces bulk in your folds.
  • Tape does not affix to walllpaper as it does to wrapping paper.  You can fix this by using hot glue or, like I did, add some reinforcement to the seams with the ribbons and bows.
  • Pay attention to the repeat on the wallcovering and center your gift to show the patterned parts of the paper.  In a couple of cases, when using paper that had a small pattern on a large amount of field (field is the background color on any paper), I ended up not seeing the design as well. 
  • Don’t be a perfectionist.  This will be frustrating if you try to make each part perfect.  Your gift recipient will be looking more at the creativity of your wrapping and not at every edge so don’t sweat it.

You can see more shots of the wallcovering wrapped presents in our Flickr album.


What have you used that was out of the ordinary for wrapping gifts?