California casual style, once the height of fashion in 2015, is back in the zeitgeist again. This time, the laid-back, yet luxurious aesthetic has gained popularity for its ability to successfully – and beautifully – combine comfort and style.
'Light' and 'airy' are the buzzwords for this refined look, it’s the epitome of cool – think Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt – their relaxed Californian retreat hits all the right notes for this quiet luxury trend. There’s very little to dislike about it, it’s lived in but edited – minimalist yet warm.
But how easy it is to achieve the California casual look in your home? The answer is surprisingly simple – just look to the calming influence of nature.
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It is this affinity with nature that has shaped Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt's beach bungalow. For the interiors, the power couple chose to decorate with a predominately white and off-white color palette.
It's the simplest of colors but, as anyone can attest, also one of the most tricky to get right. However, when chosen well, white can be an impressive multi-tasker.
Just like any other color, the variation in white tones ranges from cool through to warm. When looking for the right white for a room, always buy a range of tester pots and paint large sheets of paper so you can see how they look in different lights throughout the day. Warm, south-facing rooms can bleach out gentler shades, so a stronger white would work well in these areas. In cooler, north-facing rooms either emphasize the coolness by selecting a crisp white – ideal for small kitchens – or, to warm up a living space, choose a white with a hint of red pigment.
You don't have to paint your whole house white to make an impact either. 'Small accents of white are a wonderful way to lift and freshen any color scheme,' says Katherine Pooley, founder, Katherine Pooley. 'Accessories made from mother-of-pearl, white candles and white flowers will elevate the whole palette and draw the eye.'
It also pays to consider other warmer colors to contrast the starkness of white. Taupe, burnt orange, ochre, and sand – are all colors inspired by the lush, rugged landscape outside.
Another way to channel the easy-going California Casual look is through the use of natural materials, such as wood, stone, jute, leather and wicker. Pale or dark, old or new, the warm and tactile nature of timber, and other raw materials, will ensure your home remains true to this relaxed coastal style.
Textures and beautiful tactile pieces are really at the heart of this look. Hand-crafted beechwood mirrors – circular is good – earthenware pots, artisanal baskets and unique chairs made by skilled craftsmen will all create the desired effect.
Natural materials, and plenty of texture, are used throughout and enhance the harmony of the scheme. They are, like everything else in Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt's home, perfectly pitched and poised.
Shop the California Casual edit
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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