Sure, with winter only just setting in, you're probably enjoying a beautiful dusting of snow and the crisp, refreshing air. But soon, I bet many of you will be wishing for a little warm weather retreat. For that reason, I've put together my guide to getting a touch of sizzling South Beach style: tips you can use to warm up your decor all year round. Now there's no need to wait for summer to come around -- or even spring break!
1. Start with a clean slate
Harnessing the beauty of South Beach style doesn't have to mean starting from scratch, but it does usually mean starting with the brightest, freshest colour: white!
-For a dramatic, yet airy, and simple to put together home palette, white-on-white can't be beat. Start with one of my Benjamin Moore go-to paints, OC-65 Chantilly lace, and add subtly different tones of white and other breezy neutrals (such as sand, tan, beige, cream, and pale greys). You can also add white to an existing space to create a feeling of fresh air and a bright pop -- try applying it through a crisp surface like the Martini Side Table I found at West Elm. The key to using white is to then add drama through texture, setting the scene for a spicy statement to come later (keep reading!)
Get the Look: Refresh a sofa with pale neutral pillows, and brighten a bedroom with strict white bedding, with a singular sherling sham to invite you in.
2. Get in touch with nature
Sizzling Miami might be known for its wild artists and even wilder nightlife, but it is also prized for its beautiful natural settings. This is why South Beach style draws so heavily from the textures and tones of nature. and why you too should look to sandy beaches and crystal clear waters for inspiration! Wood is an important ingredient both for tapping into nature and adding a sense of warmth. Rediscover aged and weathered woods that look like they could have drifted ashore (like this intricate coffee table), and contrast it with summery sea glass. Cowhides and sheepskins (real or faux) are a great way to interpret this style in any climate, adding a new texture underfoot or draped over a seat. And don't forget supple fabrics and sumptuous leather -- great neutral basics you can accessorize any way you like. Woven and cane furnishings are a trend on the rise, and another staple of light and effortless South Beach style. Perfect for a friendly dining atmosphere or stress-free deskchair!
Get the Look: My seemingly seamless floors are actually over-sized tiles grouted to match the hue for an edgeless effect.
3. Colour outside the lines
Once you have a beachy palette put together, the final key to the South Beach attitude is a splash of fun -- and colour! How much colour you crave will of course suit your personal taste, and it's also worth considering the colour that naturally bursts in from the view outdoors. My Miami condo is blessed with many windows overlooking bright blue waters and skylines, so I let them become the focal point in the main space. In my master bedroom, I included colourful acrylic artwork (inspired by beach umbrellas), so I can wake up to good vibes every day. Using a lot of neutrals puts the emphasis on any colour. The eye is naturally drawn to vertical surfaces, so fall in love with a punchy painting or print. In the main space, I went for the unexpected with the whimsical Hula Girl lamp from CB2 -- after all, the point of following strict designer rules is so that you can occasionally break them and just celebrate something you love!
Get the Look: I invested in the fixed finishes and big ticket items (and some unique art that I will carry with me forever), but didn't break the bank on noncommittal accessories. Mix high and low, sophisticated with fun, and express your own take on South Beach style. It's your staycation!
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: