Color, Light, Water and Sky

by Pamela Hughes

In an earlier article, we wrote about all things that speak of our beloved Florida: glorious sky and sand, lush flowers and foliage, striking sunsets and sunrises, and most importantly, our beautiful and abundant waters.

Almost everywhere that one drives, bikes or walks in this beautiful state, we are blessed with incredible water views. It is an element that makes Florida so special and unique, and which instantly relaxes the visitor as well as the long-time resident.

We’ve talked about how, in our work, we like to celebrate the place we’re in. So how does one celebrate our gorgeous Florida water views and vistas? We do it in several ways. First of all, whenever we’re designing on or near the water, our focal point is always the view. Window treatments, if used at all, frame the windows and rarely cover the glass. Furniture is low or pulled back from windows, allowing a closer look. With a beautiful view, one is naturally drawn to it. So, our space planning insures easy access to windows and especially doors.

Color is so obviously important when working with water. Exquisite water offers us an infinite palette, changing as to the time of day, weather and light. Capturing the sparkling azure blue, clear aquamarine and effervescent sea green hues is essential. We accomplish this by using fabrics that echo the water tones, keeping patterns minimal and subtle, and using texture to create interest. Our belief is that nothing in our design should compete with the water, but rather only enhance it.

Wall and ceiling color is important also. Soft neutrals and creamy whites mimic the gentle tones of sand and beach, allowing the aqueous colors to be played out in the fabrics and other furnishings. A light palette speaks of warmth, and a casual, open and easy mood.
Flooring is usually a large element in any design. Again, a soft, light and casual mood is appropriate. Honed stones with a matte finish,”tumbled” marble and gently sanded wood speaks of the beach and a relaxed atmosphere.

So what about the sky? We all know how the color of the sky is reflected in the water. And, needless, to say, our Florida skies can be as exuberant as Chagall or Monet. Look for sensational lavenders, bright white in clouds, and breathtaking, palest turquoise spectrums. Grab these spectacular hues and use them in art and accessories to further engage our magnificent surroundings in your own personal environment.

Hughes Design Associates