To celebrate summer, we’re taking inspiration from the all-American tradition of a cross-country road trip. We’ll be making our way across the USA and exploring some of our favorite cities and their signature design styles along the way. Buckle up and get ready for some major destination design inspo. Final stop: Nantucket, Massachusetts!
You’re probably familiar with our love of California coastal style by now. But right now we’re equally smitten by the crisp and breezy look of Nantucket’s charming cottages. The island has long been a quiet escape for East Coasters during late summer and a peek inside its homes shows us why it makes for the perfect getaway. Rooms exude a sense of serenity and ease with their laid-back white upholstered pieces, natural-fiber rugs and artisanal accents, and classic stripes and nautical nods. All of which are set amid a coastal blue-and-white palette. For us, these elements add up to a feeling of pure barefoot bliss.
Nantucket itself is also known for its artisanal spirit. It’s home to textile makers and weavers who still work on traditional looms, ceramists putting out hand-thrown pottery, and painters and artists capturing the island’s gorgeous landscape and quiet beauty. All to say, Nantucket, with its distinct blend of island and coastal charm, has a design aesthetic that we find simply irresistible and endlessly inviting.
To provide you with some quick inspiration, we dreamed up our idea of the perfect Nantucket home with a few stylish tips to help you translate the look into your space. Read on to find out the simple elements that make up Nantucket’s classic coastal style.
Start With a Cozy Layout
Nantucket homes are first and foremost guided by comfort and warmth, and their furniture arrangements often play that up with a sense of coziness. The easiest way to capture this vibe in your space is by opting for furnishings and accents in pairs. Yes, you heard that right: Twos of pretty much everything. The idea is to establish a symmetrical layout which instantly creates a cohesive look that also instills charm and coziness.
Begin with your biggest pieces. Place sofas to face each other and then do the same with your other side furnishings, such as armchairs, side tables, and lamps. All of this will transform your space into an intimate conversation spot that appears layered but also elegant.
The only exceptions? You’ll want to choose a blue-and-white area rug that functions as a neutral anchor to the space, and the same applies for an airy looking coffee table as well as a light fixture that will draw the eye up. They’ll also serve as focus pieces that will help to balance out the one-to-one symmetrical look.
Keep To Classic, Clean Lines
The trick is to keep your furnishings simple and classic. That means nothing too modern or sleek. But look for sofas and armchairs that have clean-lined appeal, such as a standard boxy framed piece and high-back armchairs. Nantucket style leans more traditional but it’s not overly formal or fussy, so you’ll want to match these pieces with pristine white upholstery and slipcovers to give larger furnishings an airy, relaxed look.
Bring In The Perfect Coastal Palette
Like any other coastal home, there’s no going wrong with a blue and white color scheme. What gives the palette an East Coast feel, however, is the different shades of blues that are used. Think specifically navy, cerulean, and ocean blues, all layered on to a consistent bright white – meaning skip the off-whites and beiges. The effect is an elevated blue-and-white coastal look that looks polished but feels none too precious.
And speaking of what really sets the Nantucket palette apart, try to incorporate a wide range of blue-and-white stripes in impactful ways. Pile on pillows featuring stripes in different sizes and styles (wide, narrow, multi) and make sure to work the motif into some of your upholstery as well. Nothing says Nantucket nautical like a mix of pillows in navy and sky-blue stripes!
Add a Consistent Pop of Color
While we love the crisp look and unifying effect of blue and white, we believe that every space needs a bright burst of color that provides a playful punch. With blue and white, one of our favorite contrast colors is yellow. Whereas a touch of pink can give the palette a boho vibe and a dose of red offers a lakehouse feel, mixing in a sunny yellow hue is in keeping with Nantucket’s charming aesthetic. Reason being yellow maintains the sea and sky theme, and it also lends a decorator-like element of fun to the sophisticated approach to blue and white here.
Nod to Nautical
Last but not least, Nantucket’s coastal style brings the outdoors and its ocean surroundings in through various nautical motifs. We’re talking everything from starfish and shell patterned pillows, to jute door mats and seagrass rugs, to rope lamps and glass floats as accents. These are the finishing touches that will bring together the whole Nantucket look, which combines elegance and whimsy. With nautical accents, don’t be afraid to go big – the more nautical the motif and accents, the more cozy and charming your space will end up feeling.