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Steal the look: Westhampton casual decor

This family room in Westhampton is just for

This family room in Westhampton is just for the kids. Credit: Melabee M. Miller

This oceanfront home in Westhampton was designed for an active young family seeking plenty of space to relax and have fun -- so designer Lisa Melone Cloughen of Melone Cloughen Interiors dispensed with formality: Where a more typical floor plan might have included a dining room, this one has this second family room, just for the kids.

The warm tones were inspired by the home’s beachy environs. “They obviously wanted to bring the outdoors in,” Melone Cloughen says. “The entire color concept for this house was predicated on the fact that you have sun, sand, dune grass -- so the color palette reflects that.”

What it takes: This room was budgeted as part of a whole-house design project. To create a room of similar size and design caliber, Melone Cloughen estimates it would cost about $25,000, including the designer’s fee, labor and materials at trade pricing, which differs from retail. (This estimate excludes the architectural work.)

Following are five fabulous features, plus the designer’s tips for creating your own luxe look for less.

McGuire Chairs in Lee Jofa fabric

$4,795 each (retail)

Why it’s worth it: “I really wanted a beach feel and relaxed elegance, and those chairs fit the bill,” Melone Cloughen says. “They’re special because they always hold their value; people know the brand. And a lot of ratan is not particularly solid. This stuff is made classically, like true furniture...And they’re a great size.”

Do it for less: “I think what I would try to copy is the overall style of the chair, and you can fudge a less expensive fabric in great texture and color, given the explosion of Sunbrella-style fabrics,” says Melone Cloughen.

Iron coffee table with glass top


Why it’s worth it: The slope of the legs and the brass claw feet of this glass-topped iron occasional table evoke the klismos chairs of ancient Egypt and Greece. “You’ve got the curve in here against the regimentation of the ceiling and chairs. It’s a nice foil to the whole thing,” says Melone Cloughen.

Do it for less: For a similar warm sheen and curvy appeal, try an Asian drum like those found in home design stores, Melone Cloughen suggests. “It’s got some shine, it’s got some depth of color, it’s got an architectural feel to it that creates a little drama.”

Ceramic garden seat

$450 (estimate)

Why it’s worth it: The designer chose this shapely stool for its vibrant hues and uncommon heft. “It has shading variation in the glaze, and on the very top there’s a whole center that’s a blue and white splatter that made it really unusual. I also love the shape of it and the intricacies of the detailing on it.”

Do it for less: Even if you can’t splurge on such a grand statement piece, do find an actual garden seat, Melone Cloughen says. “You can use them to great effect...They add an element of interest in pretty much any space.” (Above, see the Quarryville Drum Garden Stool, which features lion head handles and a medallion motif. Available at, $89.99.)   

Rug and Kilim Persian rug

$9,800 (estimate)

Why it’s worth it: This 9-by-12-foot handmade Persian wool rug was vegetable dyed and then washed to soften the color. The subtle flowery pattern offsets the room’s more rigid elements, such as the stripes and rattan. “The colors are beautiful, and it’s a soft rug that feels good on the feet,” Melone Cloughen says.

Do it for less: For this look, size is most important, followed by design, Melone Cloughen says. So choose a less costly material, such as cotton dhurrie, sisal or jute, and cushion it with a carpet pad. Try Serena & Lily Design Shop in Wainscott.

Imported Chinese porcelain jar


Why it’s worth it: The Asian zen motif in persimmon and white was “a perfect fit for what we were doing,” says Melone Cloughen. The sizable piece has “presence...It becomes almost a focal point on the table.”

Do it for less: Find a zen-inspired piece that’s substantial but not too ornate, such as a foo dog in a solid color, Melone Cloughen says. “What you want is a pared-down design...Fussy would be a dealbreaker in this space.”

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