Life's a beach in this easy-living California bungalow. Steal these ideas for creating a laid-back style in your home.
By Judy Prouty
Every room in Michele Trout's home glows with a summery vibe, from the serene, sun-bathed living room to her husband Chuck's surfer-theme study. She gets her decorating inspiration from whatever catches her eye: a bowl of turbo shells or a swatch of tropical-print fabric. "In the living area I used the brown, turquoise, white combination of the shells as a neutral backdrop and added a hit of apricot for contrast," explains Michele. Such easygoing strategies are a hallmark of her style, both in her own home and in the work she does for clients as a designer with Bonesteel Trout Hall Interiors. "I like clean lines, restful colors—nothing overdone," she says. "Richness comes with textures—nubby fabrics on furniture, grass cloth on walls, or pillows with a fuzzy trim." Some might say her Southern California bungalow, at 1,900 square feet, is on the small side. But Michele saw the size as a perfect fit for the couple and their two kids, Daisy, now 13, and Charlie, 11. "I'm not a collector so I appreciate that there's no room for anything that isn't functional," she says. "It's comfortable and cozy, the way a house near the beach should be."