Easy Elegance is as much about the way you want to live as it is about choices in color, fabric and furnishings. We asked designer Sally Trout about how she approached this project.
CAROL TISCH: There’s such a relaxing quality to this home. What’s your secret?
SALLY TROUT: The Gulf of Mexico is the star. It’s calming, relaxing, let your hair down. Ninety percent of my work is waterfront, and I never compete with the view. But we do have some secrets. The Crema Marfil marble floors that came with the condo were formal and shiny—I had them honed to give a softer, casual feel. It completely transformed the texture. The color scheme is woven throughout the house, so there are no jarring changes from room to room.
The style of furniture is transitional, which is more relaxing than traditional or even contemporary. And the look of casual comfort has a lot to do with the human scale of the furniture—nothing is oversized.
The Gulf casts a glow on every room.
That’s another trick. I painted the ceilings a pale, pale, pearl aqua—you can’t really tell it isn’t white. But it creates the illusion of being outside. The light from the Gulf changes throughout the day and reflects off the ceiling, neutral walls, draperies and upholstery. We never paint dead white walls.
Who are the homeowners?
A semi-retired couple in their mid-60s who owned a beach property in Delaware for many years—they’re active up North and this is their relaxing getaway. The wife has a very sophisticated design sense. She knew the look and feel she wanted; I just painted the picture for her.
Tell us about her look.
It’s beachy but sophisticated. The color scheme is a little different from the standard blue and white you’ll find on Longboat. The palette was the client’s idea: corals for the sunset, marine blues for the surf and sky, pale almond for the sand.
What was their design direction?
They made a point that it shouldn’t be a museum you look at and never use. It’s relaxed for family use—a place to bring friends for casual get-togethers. They weren’t out to impress anyone—this home is all about what they love.
What was the biggest splurge in this project?
The client would say it’s the custom cabinetry by EuroTech in the den and living room. We did a lot of extra details on the molding and raised panels; everything is painted wood and there’s lots of storage. In terms of the most important pieces, I’d say the chandeliers and the art were splurges.