WHAT IS PALM BEACH CHIC?
HOW TO DECORATE IN THIS COLOURFUL STYLE

southern living

Having shared the beginnings of my interior design schemes for the study-cum-snug and the living room, tomorrow I want to share the ideas I have for the guest bedroom. This is the last room scheme that I’ll share with you for a while, because even though I know how I’d like to decorate the other rooms, I think decorating three rooms is quite enough for now! And you’ve probably had enough of me going on about schemes that I’ve not even started yet. I can’t help it, I get excited. But before I bang on about ‘Palm Beach’ this and ‘Palm Beach’ that, for those of you who haven’t got the foggiest what I’m talking about (and if you don’t, it’s no biggie, it’s a decorating style rarely used in this country), I thought it might be best to explain this colourful decor first, before moving on to how it’s influenced the design of my bedroom.

As an aside: I’m secretly hoping my husband will read this post. We used to identify this room as the ‘garage bedroom’ (it’s above the garage; we’re geniuses, I know), not to be confused with the ‘spare bedroom’, incredibly important when asked by the wife to take something upstairs. But recently I have requested him to call it the ‘Palm Beach bedroom’ and he just keeps exasperatedly exclaiming, “What the bloody hell is a Palm Beach bedroom???”. Read on hubster, read on.

absolutely beautiful things

Well, as the name suggests, this style is pure Florida coast. Think white-washed clapboard houses, palm trees, drives along the coast, bright fresh colours, sunshine all day long, and you’re almost there. It’s a playful, fun and colourful look and just by adding in a few of the following key components, you can bring a bit of sunny Florida to your home and nail the look:

• A bright bold colour palette of turquoises and blues, fuchsia pink, emerald and lime green and bright sunny yellow. You might also notice an abundance of coral, a colour that most Brits would run a million miles from, but somehow, in the sunny climes of Florida, it works. These colours are often offset agains a backdrop of white which makes the colours really pop.

house beautiful

• Palm tree wallpaper or lamps is where it’s at. In fact, palm tree anything. The Florida coast is warm and tropical, and Palm Beach style is all about bringing the outside in. Expect to see lots of references such as coral shaped chandeliers, seashell mirrors, turtle bookends (I’ve never seen turtle bookends, but I’d like to), trellis fabric, big blousey florals and a bit of animal print for good measure

banana leaf

• You will NOT see a Palm Beach room without seeing some form of bamboo, wicker or rattan furniture. It’s the Palm Beach Law. I love this law and it’s a law I’m more than happy to obey. And if the keeper’s of this law wouldn’t mind, I’d like to take this bamboo/wicker/rattan furniture and lacquer it in turquoise please!

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• That leads me to the next thing you might see, lacquered furniture. American decorators love lacquer, especially when it comes to Palm Beach style. It’s harder to get right (as opposed to painting with other types of paint) as you need to paint so many layers with loads of sanding in between, as lacquer’s quite unforgiving, but it looks amazing when done

pink desk

• There are two other major decorating styles that are incorporated into the Palm Beach look, Chinoiserie and Hollywood Regency; :

Chinoiserie – but not the serious kind, this one’s all fun and flamboyant; think oriental wallpaper or a large ornate Chinoiserie mirror

pink clutch
Hollywood Regency – this is another completely American style, and one of my all time favourites. If you’re not familiar with it, I’ll be covering it soon, but for now just think 1940’s Hollywood glamour. Some of the items mentioned above, such as a palm tree lamp or a piece of bamboo furniture, might be considered Hollywood Regency if made in that particular style. But to give you an idea, the wall lamps in the image below are pure Hollywood Regency; glamorous, decadent, and highly decorative.

hollywood regency

So, hopefully that’s given you a good idea of what the style is all about, and tomorrow I’ll share with you how this very sunny Floridian style has influenced the decor ideas I have for my dark, 1930’s British bedroom! But in the meantime, if you’ve discovered you rather like a bit of Palm Beach chic, or you already knew it, but want to know more, check out the following links:

MY FAVOURITE PALM BEACH CHIC BLOGS:
The Pink Clutch
The Pink Pagoda
The Glam Pad
Chinoiserie Chic

palm beach dining room

MY FAVOURITE PALM BEACH STYLE DECORATORS:

Jonathan Adler – I’d say he’s more influenced by Hollywood Regency for most of his projects, but he can definitely pull out some Palm Beach Chic when he wants to

Anna Spiro – although her projects aren’t pure Palm Beach Chic, this Australian designer definitely has elements of it in her super colourful, bright and light, highly creative rooms

glam pad coral bathroom

MY FAVOURITE SHOPS FOR PALM BEACH STUFF (not the most comprehensive list you’ll ever see, but I spend so much of my life on eBay, that my knowledge of actual shops is very limited!):

Jonathan Adler

1st Dibs – sadly, for most of us, this is a look but don’t touch website, but great for ideas

Good old trusty eBay – once you’ve been inspired by 1st Dibs, head over to eBay and try to find the same things at a bargain price!

green pink bedroom

(Images, from top: Tropical pool beach retreat via Southern Living; Pink living room by Anna Spiro via Absolutely Beautiful Things; Fashion designer Liz Lange’s dining room, designed by Jonathan Adler, via House Beautiful; Nicky Hilton’s banana leaf dining room, via The Glam Pad; Turquoise lacquered mirror, via Chinoiserie Chic; Colourful work area with fuchsia pink desk, via Better Homes & Gardens, Turquoise chinoiserie bathroom, from The Pink Clutch; Coral sideboard in an interior by Wendy Valliere, via The Glam Pad; Colourful dining room by Kate Schintzius, via Mix And Chic; Coral bathroom by Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch, via Ends In Style; Green and pink bedroom, via Chinoiserie Chic)

If you’ve liked today’s post, please do share with your friends on Twitter or Facebook, and I’ll see you tomorrow for more Palm Beach inspiration.

Rx

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