Nautical vision

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This seaside condominium's design pays homage to the ocean through innovative use of color and materials
view of the colourless master bedroom featuring vinyl bathroom, bathroom accessory, furniture, home, interior design, product, product design, room, shelf, shelving, gray, black
view of the colourless master bedroom featuring vinyl walls, mirrors, hanging lamps and asian budha statues

The physical location of a house or condominium can be one of the most influential elements for an interior designer when devising a home's new look. Seaside locations in particular provide inspiration for designers to throw caution to the wind and create fun, playful interiors.

The influence of the ocean can clearly be seen in interior designer Billy Beson's penthouse condominium on the Florida coast. Beson says having a vacation home right on the ocean is rare in the United States, so he made the most of it.

"Every time I go down to the beach I cannot believe that I live on the edge of the United States. I've always been a fan of the ocean I'm mesmerized by its power," he says.

He was drawn to the condominium because it has high ceilings, good-sized rooms, a balcony that runs around the condominium's entire perimeter, and of course, it has a great view.

"The view is killer it's on the 20th floor," Beson says.

Many of the colors Beson has chosen have a direct relationship to the outside environment. The wall color in the living room, for example, was taken from the sea on a stormy day.

"I stood outside on my balcony and mixed paints until I'd matched them to the color of the sea," he says.

Likewise, the living room sofas are upholstered in suede the color of sand, and the pink chairs are inspired by sunrise and sunset. The blue furniture in the lobby which Beson also designed was chosen to match the sky on a clear day.


view of sthe lobby featuring pale blue furniture ceiling, furniture, interior design, living room, lobby, room, table, wall, gray
view of sthe lobby featuring pale blue furniture influenced by the colour of the sky, tiled flooring is also used in the lobby

Other color choices are not related to the outside environment the lime guest bedroom, for example. Beson says he chose this color for a bit of fun, and also because he likes the combination of blue with acid green.

Conversely, the master bedroom is almost entirely devoid of color, playing up Beson's desire for what he calls tongue-in-cheek glam. The only color in the entire bedroom is found in three pale blue vases on the bedside table.

"I wanted to use only blacks, greys and whites, because the rest of the condominium is so colorful," Beson says.

Rich, dark walnut floors throughout balance the bright colors, and help to bring the condominium together as a whole.

Other references to the ocean can be found in the use of materials. Reflective materials, such as stainless steel and glass, were chosen to mimic the reflective nature of the sea.

To echo the white caps of the ocean, Beson chose U-shaped countertops finished in white cambria. A lamp in the living room is made from clam shells, and an abalone shell box sits on the living room coffee table.

Striped fabrics and wallpaper are a common theme throughout.

"Striped fabrics seem really nautical to me. I love stripes they seem sort of beachy and remind me of outside umbrellas and beach towels," Beson says.

view of the living area featuring chairs the furniture, home, interior design, living room, real estate, room, window, window covering, orange, brown
view of the living area featuring chairs the colour of the sunset and sofa the coulour of the sand and walls the colour of the ocean on a sunny day

Much of the furniture is custom-made by William Beson Interior Design. Following the trend of furniture becoming more simple, furniture shapes are rectilinear with softened edges.

The accessories in the condominium are arranged in groups of three. Grouping ornaments in twos is more common, but Beson feels that groups of three give a more contemporary feel.

Humor also plays a role in Beson's interior design choices. A print of a dodgy-looking character in a suit was chosen for the bar, as Beson thinks he looks like he's waiting for a drink. The quirky EAT sign in the kitchen was chosen as Beson saw it in an episode of Six Feet Under.

Because the condominium is Beson's vacation home, it gave him the opportunity to make color and style choices he wouldn't dare to do in his own home.

Above all, he wanted the condominium to be a relaxed, happy place. Beson says too many people try to design their Florida homes the way they would in the Midwest, but dark walls and heavy carpets don't work in Florida.

"My condominium is the way Florida should be," he says.

Nov 17, 2005
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