Palm Beach Style: Cheery and Chic

Room with tropical leaf wallpaper

The décor in my oceanfront home looks tired.  I’ve had a beachy theme with pale blue colors for a very long time but I’m tired of seashells and starfish.  Can you offer some other ideas for a fun coastal look? JoJo

How about a tropical air with Palm Beach style?

You don’t need a prestigious address, socialite neighbors, or a Rolls Royce in the driveway in America’s first resort destination for the wealthy to pull off this beautiful coastal style.

With influences from British Colonial, Modern Baroque, Hollywood Regency, and even Moorish and Asian décor, Palm Beach style blends many of these elements.  Whether preppy and playful or lavish and sophisticated, the look is always cheery and chic.

The cavalcade of colors contributes to the joyful vibe.  Start your transformation with the walls; choose a stark white paint to make the accent colors pop, or go for grasscloth or banana leaf wallpaper on one wall, or white latticework over a green wall to bring the outdoors in. Then choose the perky signature colors of pink grapefruit, emerald or lime green, aqua blue, and sunny yellow. White lacquered, wicker, or rattan furniture suits the style perfectly as do gold accents, glistening chandeliers, natural grass rugs, and indoor trees and plants. Choose linen, floral (think palm leaf!), lattice or large-scale gingham fabrics for window treatments, upholstered furniture, or pillows.  Incorporate white ceramic lamps and statuettes of dogs or birds to complete the look. A bamboo or shell-framed mirror and a flamingo art print are de rigueur, too.

So ladies, don your Lilly Pulitzer shift dress and flat sandals, and gentleman put on your navy polo shirt, khakis, and loafers (no socks, of course!) and head to the home goods store with a copy of this column and start shopping!

Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering creative solutions at reasonable rates. Learn more about her decorating, downsizing, decluttering and home décor sewing services, decorating workshops, and quilt programs and shows at and enjoy her art quilts on Instagram @secretaryinteriordecorating. You can reach her at 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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