Design ideas: St Ives

For a relaxed coastal feel, take inspiration from an artist's St Ives studio and the blues of the Cornish sea and sky with the latest design ideas from Homes & Gardens. For more design ideas and expert decorating advice, visit

White enamel cutlery creates a relaxed, informal atmosphere for a lunch break between brush strokes.

1/8 Create an informal feel

white enamel cutlery and cobalt blue artists paint

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

The cutlery is from Cachette and the artist’s oils can be found at Green & Stone

2/8 Accent with blue

white and blue studio

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Enlivening a neutral room with hints of vibrant cobalt, marine blue and indigo gives a fresh, uplifting feel.

The distressed tin trolley is from Beautiful Modern Thing and the chair is from VG&P. The curtain fabric is Howard Hodgkin Brush in Indigo from Designers Guild, and the hanging lamp is from PR Home

3/8 Choose simple furniture

relaxed and informal white coastal dining room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Reclaimed wood and woven textures are a perfect way of creating a seaside flavour and sense of relaxed informality.

The dining table is from Gubi and the dining chairs are from Conran at Marks & Spencer, while the wood box shelf and white ceramic bottles are from Akiko Hirai

4/8 Mix and match tableware

blue and white tableware

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Mismatched tableware, both ceramic and enamel, will add style when using the same colour theme

The metal tray and blue etched tumbler are from Ben Pentreath, and the Linea blue stripe bowl and linen napkin are both from Toast. Find the blue and white enamel teapot at The Conran Shop

5/8 Create a unique display

white hallway with oversized clock

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Collected finds artfully arranged will impart character and interest to a white-painted space.

The navy and white stripe rug is from French Connection and the metal distressed trunk is from Beautiful Modern Thing, while the metal clock and the basket bag are both from Bloomingville

6/8 Add texture

simple white living room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Tactile elements, such as a painterly artist’s dust sheet used as a wallhanging, bring depth and personality to an otherwise pared-back room.

The sofa is by Bensen and the cork stool is by Jasper Morrison for Vitra, both from Viaduct, and the Bradie cream floor lamp is from Laura Ashley

7/8 Opt for statement accessories

simple white room with large scale pieces

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Choosing a few large-scale pieces of furniture is the perfect way to introduce a sense of drama. Here, oversized artist’s brushes, a striking lamp and arresting artworks offer a theatrical edge.

The white leather Zeffirelli chair and stool are both from Ochre and the oak floor lamp is from Roussel Creative at Designers Guild, while the large glass jar is from Jensen & Ballantine and the long-handled brushes are from Green & Stone

8/8 Choose decorative fabric

washroom with round mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Whimsical fabric designs like this naïve Cornish townscape are guaranteed to add a playful note.

The fabric is St Ives in Indigo cotton from Sanderson and the mirror is from Icons of Denmark, while the grey enamel tumbler is from Falcon

Were you inspired by these relaxed design ideas? Take a look at our guide to coastal living. Visit our dedicated ideas page or, for the latest from the team, follow us on Facebook and Twitter


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.