Stephanie Simmons outfitted a pretty alcove with its water view in mind. © Geoffrey Hodgdon

Ask the Pros: Interior Design

Advice on designing the perfect home by the bay

What is your philosophy on using prints versus solid textiles when there are water views in a room?
I like to design with a combination of prints and textured-solid textiles, and this holds true for rooms with a water view as well. I take the outdoor vista into consideration when choosing the style and placement of the window treatment so that it frames, but does not obscure the view. I am also mindful of selecting prints that are not busy and incorporate colors that complement the setting.

In the breakfast room pictured here, I designed side panels from Robert Allen fabric in a blue-and-white arabesque pattern to frame the water view while adding softness to space. Walls are painted in Silver Lake by Benjamin Moore. The chair seats are upholstered in textured, light-blue Romo fabric, while the detail on the back references rippling the water. The round area rug, which follows the shape of the alcove, is a neutral wool that works well with the textiles. —Stephanie Simmons, Allied Member ASID, Karen Renée Interior Design, Severna Park, Maryland. Architecture: Thomas Davies, Jr., Architect, Annapolis, Maryland.