Ocean view in Positano

I’m sure you are like me when it comes to inspiration while on vacation. Things have a way of looking so much more interesting or exotic while we are away from our day to day existence.  A trip to Santa Fe may inspire you to buy and display woven baskets while a weekend in Lake Arrowhead may convince you that a carved bear toilet paper holder is just the thing you need to complete your master bath.  

Italian Living Room

While I was seriously kidding about the bear, things seem so fabulous on a trip but rarely translate to our everyday homes.  That said, I hope to change all that.  On a recent trip to Positano, Italy, I realized how some of the interiors I saw can truly cross oceans and work in most homes.  I say most homes as I am based in Los Angeles where the climate is like that of the Amalfi Coast year round and thus can work well.

View from Le Sirenuse Photo


What struck me was the ability to marry sophisticated, somewhat formal design touches in such a casual setting and environment.  Additionally, what I loved was the simplicity of the white interior wall juxtaposed with the brightly colored exterior building colors found hugging the mountains.  Heaven knows designers will tell you to banish the white walls for depth of color, but if you want to create this delightful, sunny design scheme, reconsider swapping out your plain white walls.

Print Display in Positano Bedroom

Yes, it’s true, as much as we designers try to convince the world to be fearless when it comes to painting walls, most of us do stick with white.  How superior do you feel now to have not listened to us?  Especially now when I discuss the merits of white walls in creating a breezy Amalfi Coast scheme?

Master Bedroom in Positano

What works so well in this warm climate is the simple walls, tiled floors, and the unexpected propensity to use antiques.  Whether old prints, ornate gold mirrors or colorful lighting fixtures, it all seems to work.  There is an element of romance from the baroque details, but there still remains the notion that nobody cares if you go barefoot or toss a damp bathing suit on the back of a chair. Bellissimo!

First room scenes courtesy of fivestaralliance.com.

First photo courtesy of sirenuse.it.