Critzos furnished an outdoor pavilion on the South River with a stone-topped cocktail table and an indoor/outdoor rug on the limestone floor.

Ask the Pros: Interior Design

Advice on designing the perfect home by the bay

How do you design a waterfront house to evoke its setting without it becoming overdone or trite?

The best rule of thumb for any design—including those on the waterfront—is to stay classic.  Keep the major pieces you select simple and straightforward; you can always add touches and reminders of the moment through decorative elements. For example, change up accessories and pillows to reflect your current flair or preference.

I have designed many waterfront homes over the years and have found that people make the mistake of being afraid to cover even one inch of their windows. Water views can be framed by window treatments, and in fact, they will actually warm and enhance them. It’s like looking at a beautiful green lawn for years and years until it becomes monotonous. Even a water view can become like that, eventually.

—Arlene Critzos, Interior Concepts, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland