Ask the Pros: Interior Design

Advice on decorating the perfect home by the bay

How do you create neutral interiors that will complement and enhance a waterfront location?
There are a few ways to work with neutral interiors in a waterfront setting. It is definitely a good idea not to distract from the views with bold colors, though when I am working with a neutral palette, I will often use blue accents that speak to living in a coastal setting. To keep the neutral décor interesting, I may enhance it by adding architectural detailing through columns, paneled fireplace walls, built-ins or shiplap siding, for example. I also rely on texture and low-key patterns on the furniture, drapes, pillows and rugs. To complete a room and also to impart more interest, I’ll pick out oversized art and accessories with coastal flair. —Gina Fitzsimmons, ASID, Fitzsimmons Design Associates Inc.


While designing the interiors of an Annapolis home on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis-based Fitzsimmons Design Associates instilled a sense of quiet and serenity in an en suite bedroom (above). Principal Gina Fitzsimmons honed in on a neutral palette that would not compete with the water views. Principal Gina Fitzsimmons compensated for the quiet, understated style of the space with millwork and shiplap siding that add pizzazz, as well as accents of strong blue in the artwork and bedding.