Shutters On The Beach in Santa Monica goes straight to the top of our list when it comes to coastal hotels; situated right on the sand with a boardwalk weaving between the surrounding palm trees, the property is large yet has the feel of a much smaller boutique hotel. The lobby is open and airy with views over the balcony direct to the ocean; the corner suites have an expansive aspect across the sand to the famous pier. The decor is a palette of dark wood and white, accented with blue – large round bedside tables, white louvre shutters on windows and doors, easy chairs upholstered in double-width stripe fabric, blue and white soft furnishings, rugs and ceramics, vases of white hydrangeas dotted around. This hotel was originally redecorated in indoor/outdoor style by famed Californian designer Michael S. Smith after a major refurbishment; his has work influence many of my own schemes…

The Martinez in Cannes is another spectacular beach-side hotel; the only feature separating the property from the sand is the famous ‘La Croisette‘, walked by Hollywood stars stepping on to the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, held only moments away at the Palais de Festival. Last May, the Martinez reopened after extensive refurbishment – the decor is by renowned designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. With entertaining spaces in very high demand, each of the suites was reconfigured to give even more room for private parties and events – the vast 1,670 square meters penthouse styled by leading French actress Isabelle Huppert also has a wraparound terrace with private sunbathing garden and sea views that span all the way from the new port round to Le Suquet – spectacular sunset cocktail parties are high on the agenda. *An outdoor garden and spa is still under construction and is due to open in time for guests arriving this summer.

Hotel du Cap Eden Roc near Antibes is a favourite of high quality furniture designer Alexandra Davidson of Davidson London, located on the first floor of the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour in London. Pieces of Davidson London furniture have been used by designers all over the world, including in residential and hotel properties in and around Monaco; the Davidson London style works perfectly with the highly polished look required – often when there’s a deco edge to the scheme.


Most coastal properties are decorated with the vernacular in mind, therefore sand and shell colours, ocean greens and blues, whites to reflect the clouds and sails of passing yachts with highlights of sky blue, deep azure or aqua are good choices. I like driftwood also, which lends a relaxed, rustic, weathered vibe and ties in well with most colour schemes. Here are a few excellent resources; many can be found at the Design Centre Chelsea in London, others regularly exhibit at the Maison & Objet trade exhibition held twice a year in Paris.

REFURBISHMENT: For refurbishment works, we recommend Phinesse Concepts – a quality supplier working on high end properties (see all bathroom in the video above). Read our recent piece with the founder in this issue of

SHUTTERS FOR WINDOWS AND DOORS: In my opinion, shutters immediately give a room a relaxed, beachy vibe. In a world with many different suppliers of blinds, curtains, shutters and other window treatments, we tend to stick with those who are reliable, friendly, quick off the mark and produce excellent work – this goes for all our recommendations listed here. So, for shutters we suggest Rob Mann at Kent Bespoke Shutters (installations seen below), who’s team will design and fit any window (or porthole) to your exact specification.

FABRICS: Fabrics with an ocean/beach vibe – striped, patterned, floral or quilted – can be found at Andrew Martin, OKA and Ralph Lauren – depending on the budget available…

FURNISHINGS: For terrace furnishings with a super-yacht vibe, I suggest chairs (above, right) from the Marine collection by Tim Gosling Design; Tim is on the judging panel of the annual  Boat International Design & Innovation Awards and is more informed than most about the specification of furnishings to be used outdoors, including the upholstery in indoor/outdoor fabric (for which I personally recommend Sunbrella).

Interior Loft London holds a unique collection of vintage pieces that look perfect in a glamorous coastal setting.

Charles Roper Designs produces fantastic one-off pieces including mirrors and tables that are sculptures in their own right – perfect for UHNW residences, hotels and super-yachts.

Davidson London produces gorgeous high quality sofas, curved chairs and cabinets (see all furnishings below) that look almost identical to those installed at The Martinez.

WALL FINISHES: Sandy, textured wall finishes in neutral colours by Clayworks (below) for hotels and high end residences

WALL PAINTS: We always suggest and use Graphenstone (below, left and right) whenever we can; the properties of the paints make ecological good sense and the natural colours produce a beautiful backdrop to the furnishings

Beautiful relaxing colours are key to a wonderful vibe, of course; just as important however, is the freshness of the air you breathe. Graphenstone paints are not only rich in minerals and pigments, with none of the toxicity or pollution of plastic paints, but are also Air-Purifying, absorbing CO2. What a difference that makes to the perfect vibe!” 

Patrick Folkes, Graphenstone Organic Paints

WALLPAPER: For grass cloth wall coverings in neutral and marine tones, we suggest the collection by Schumacher (above, middle)

RUGS & CARPETS: For bespoke quality hand-tied rugs, we recommend Matthew Wailes (above, second from left) located in the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour; for wool carpeting in aqua colours and sisal – creating an immediate beachy vibe – we recommend Robert Clements (above, far left); detail from artwork installed at The Martinez (middle, right); bespoke carpet by Tania Johnson Design (above, far right). Bespoke carpet installed in the suites at The Martinez (below, left and right).

LIGHTING: Vaughn Designs produce beautiful vintage style lamps; the collection by Haberdashery Lighting features contemporary lighting pieces that form sculptural installations and an interesting focal point in any space.

STAIRS & BALUSTRADES: Above, left created for a private residence by Archimet; above right, the famous 1920’s staircase at The Martinez

OBJET: Objet Luxe (above, left) located in Lots Road, SW10, near Chelsea Harbour stocks a collection of beautiful glass bowls, cigar ashtrays, jewellery boxes and ceramic boxes similar to the pieces used to accessorise the suites and public areas at The Martinez (as above right).

ART: We find the selection of art available at Trowbridge is perfect for the decoration of hotels, beach residences and yachts. The gallery on King’s Road, London, stocks a range that includes old Hollywood monochrome images (similar in style to those hanging in the corridors of The Martinez), colourful deco prints (above left, installed in the lobby of The Martinez; above right, a Matisse print from the collection at Trowbridge) and large scale photographs of shells and marine life (below, left from the Trowbridge gallery; below right, original artwork installed in a suite at The Martinez.

SCULPTURE: ‘SOLACE’ (above), a 2.5 mtre tall sculpture of two wings made from glass feathers by Layne Rowe and Ryan Harms will make the perfect installation on a super-yacht or in the spa area of a hotel…

BATH LINEN: Stranos provides a wide range of embroidered bed linen, towelling robes, bath towels, beach towels and accessories to hotels and yachts; the company also provides a monogram service so logos or initials can be applied in whichever thread colour you desire.

FLORAL DECOR: For beautiful, statuesque white orchid arrangements, hydrangeas or tulips (as seen in the suites at The Martinez and Shutters On The Beach), we recommend RVH Floral Design; for blue and white Delph vases (as seen used at Shutters On The Beach), we recommend RVH Home (below, left).

PLANTS: Hospitality designers focus just as much on the outdoor gardens, terraces and balconies of the property as the indoor areas. Thoughtful planting creates an ambience suitable for relaxing with a drink or entertaining friends and family. Pool areas, super-yachts and ocean-front terraces often require quality faux planting and grass, to prevent the installations being damaged by the salt in the air; for this element, we recommend Easigrass and sister company Easiwall for highly realistic (biodegradable) plants and ‘living wall’ schemes that are low maintenance and look as good as the real thing, if not better (above, right).

GARDEN/TERRACE DESIGN: We recommend Bartholomew Landscaping (below) for exquisite garden and terrace design, often including water features and sculpture in their designs.

CUISINE: Alessandro Verdenelli is a private chef specialising in seafood dishes (below) who has a remarkable pedigree that includes working with Antonio Carluccio, the Soho House Group, launching Chuck’s Restaurants and running the food and beverage department at KX Private Members Club in London before launching his own restaurants ‘Sushi Cupcake’. Alessandro is available to cater private dinners and events on yachts or at venues on shore.

DRINKS & ENTERTAINING: For celebrations throughout Spring and Summer 2022, we recommend Champagne Arlaux (below, left), the hoteliers favourite and the perfect base for champagne cocktails and/or enjoyed direct from a crystal flute at sunset; below right, the perfect entertaining space using furnishings produced by Davidson London…

ROOM SCENT: Nicky Summer Bougie produces three scented candles with an ocean theme – ‘ST TROPEZ – voile blanche’, ‘MONACO – voyage’ and ‘MALIBU – the beach’; all are made from natural wax, come in biodegradable packaging and bring a relaxing outdoors sea breeze vibe to a room.


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