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Nov-29-2016 16:30printcomments

The Best of Pacific Interior Styles

Themes that are comforting and contemporary, with a feeling of tradition and history running through them.

plantation shutters
Image: Interior designer/Stylist Kelly Hoppen

(SALEM, Ore.) - The Pacific coast of America has a great reputation for influencing the wider cultural landscape of the US in many ways, although it might surprise some residents to find that a unique approach to interior home decoration styles is one of them.

We all know that using different colors, fabrics and accessories can combine to create a particular feeling or atmosphere in a home to really help generate a distinct mood.

Now it seems that people all over the globe are catching on to the way things are done in this part of the world.

One of the very best things about this phenomenon is that the popularity of the style is booming, partly because it is something that can be done all around the home on a range of different budgets.

The very best of Pacific interior styles rely on a relatively simple mix of different approaches to the way materials, colors and history can come together to create themes that are both comforting and contemporary, but with a feeling of tradition and history running through them at the same time.

By taking various cues from the tips and tricks used by families for generations, a home-spun effect can be easily achieved in a way that avoids being chintzy or tacky. These are all factors that lie behind the increasing interest in knowing how to put such a great look together.

Warm and cool

Colors can be used to amazing effect when it comes to interior design, and that's one way that anyone can emulate a Pacific style. In terms of actual structural decoration, both walls and floors can be painted to specific color schemes quite easily.

Today's hard wearing vinyl paints allow even the most lived-in areas to benefit from looking good and being functional at the same time. Choosing a base of cool hues such as pale blues or grays can set a light and airy tone for rooms that don't even have much natural light coming in.

Balancing this with feature walls or sections using warmer colors such as orange, red or rusty shades can create a perfect complimentary mix that captures the warm and cool mix of the Pacific style just so.


Of course, color can be added in many other ways too, and one of the biggest influences on the overall feel of a home will be found in the choice of accessories that are used.

Furniture, cushions, drapes and curtains can all add splashes of color for dramatic effect in a particular room, or even unify a whole concept by being cleverly yet sparsely used throughout the home.

For an authentic Pacific style, a simply solution can be to choose items such as a blanket made from Portland or Pendleton wool, which is based on original Native American trading blanket designs.

These iconic items are easily recognizable due to their use of bright colors and attention-to-detail patterns, all of which come together to create a vintage look that also benefits from all the luxury that modern production values can provide.

As well as blankets, other similarly designed items such as pillows can add to the overall feel of a bedroom, and elsewhere in the home, towels or cushions on the same theme can easily administer the same principals to great effect.

Really rustic

The word 'rustic' can call to mind various design styles that sometimes come across as appropriation or simply as this year's chosen magazine trend of the moment. However, when used wisely, the idea of taking and incorporating rustic-inspired themes around the home can really work because of their intrinsic tried and tested nature.

Rough-hewn elements are a great example, as sturdy stump side tables marry both form and function well and just happen to be staples of the home found in the Pacific Northwest in particular.

Going further, wood-paneled walls are guaranteed to be a talking point feature while also giving a home that extra cozy charm.

Fixture features

Once a particular style is implemented in an interior design scheme, the range of possibilities becomes even more expansive. Many fixtures and fittings around the home can often be taken for granted, such as main lighting installations and doors and windows.

However, a serious attempt at utilizing the best of Pacific interior styles can take note of these items and make some additions that are not only great looking, but also extremely functional as well. For instance, plantation shutters can make your windows into a 'wow' factor feature while also giving added security and usability at the same time.


Natural materials are not only often harder wearing than man-made synthetics, but they are often far better in terms of environmental impact as well.

For anyone looking to emulate the best of Pacific styles in home design, this will come as good news, because leather is a natural choice to make for furnishings if you really want to get the authentic effect.

For the ultimate in a cabin or lakeside house feel, a retro design leather sofa will not only add a touch of glamour and luxury, but will also be one of the hardest wearing and longest lasting pieces of furniture that anyone can buy.

Likewise, slate or tile flooring can add a practical as well as an aesthetic touch, as it is hard-wearing and extremely easy to keep clean in kitchens or bathrooms.

Relaxed feel

One of the biggest concerns in choosing an interior design is how it will end up making you feel. The laid back and relaxed rustic style that is associated with the best of Pacific interiors is not only classic, but also a little bohemian, adding up to a style choice that actually says something about a home.

By mixing looks that take into account wood, plaid, warm and cool colors, a wide range of textiles and architectural tricks such as exposed brick, a familiar and comforting atmosphere can be created in any home without breaking the bank.


The Oregon coastline Photo by Bonnie King,

Source: Special Features Dept.

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