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In The News - Capital Gazette

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Sunday, February 9, 2014
Coastal Homes: Decorating for Annapolitans
By SHARON O'BRIEN Correspondent

Whether you live in a cozy coastal cottage, bayside townhome or waterfront estate, shore living has a style all its own -- and some unique decorating challenges too.

Dragging sand and dirt in the house can be an every-day occurrence and a real nuisance to clean up. Not to mention the occasional basement flood after a heavy summer downpour!

Donít stress yourself out - be proactive and design your home for your lifestyle. Incorporate a few of these smart design tips so you can spend more time doing what you really like best -- swimming, boating, crabbing, or enjoying a drink on your patio overlooking the bay.

Select flooring that can handle water -- lots of water! I love Duraplank by Congoleum because it looks like real hardwood, but holds up in high tide. It has lots of color and grain choices -- from maple to bamboo -- and built-in Scotchguard protector to repel stains and soil. It's perfect for every room of the house.

Use solution-dyed acrylic fabrics, like Sunbrella, on your seating. Because these fabrics donít fade or mildew, your furnishings will last longer even with constant sun exposure and wet bathing suits. Itís made for the outdoors, but looks just as great indoors, too.

Treat windows with 3M Window tint to help protect your floors and furnishings from sun damage. Itís like sunglasses for your windows and it keeps rooms cooler in the summer without changing the view outside.

I use large outdoor area rugs and runners in high-traffic indoor rooms. They come in traditional and contemporary patterns and even with deep pile so theyíre soft underfoot. When they get dirty or sandy, take them outside and hose them down. You canít do that with a wool or nylon rug!

PVC resin or synthetic wicker is weather resistant, good looking, comfortable and so easy to keep clean. You won't even have to store it away in winter months. It gives the look of real wicker but at a lower cost with lower maintenance -- and that's why I recommend it for decks, porches and even interior spaces that call for the look and feel of wicker. Nothing beats the style or comfort of a (synthetic) wicker rocker on your deck at sunset... except that bay view!

Sharon O'Brien is the principal designer for Designing Solutions, LLC -- a full-service interior design firm with offices in Annapolis, Silver Spring and Chestertown. You can email Sharon and see her work at www.mydesigningsolutions.com.

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