Tips & Tricks: How To Bring New England Charm to Your Interiors

byTeam GM

5 years ago

No matter what coast you live on, it’s pretty hard not to feel inspired by classic New England style. We love the mix of timeless heirloom pieces with nautical touches, and we’re firm believers that no matter where you live, everyone could use a dose of east coast décor in their homes. We were especially inspired by Gray’s brand new prints from Cape Cod, so we had one of our favorite interior designers, Prudence Bailey, share her tips for bringing New England charm into your home. Keep scrolling to see our favorite new prints and how to incorporate them into your décor…

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one would think that my dominant influence would be from that region. However, my parents are born and raised New Englanders, so I grew up in a home that embodied New England charm and style. As a result, that influence is at the core of my designs.

When I think of New England, I picture colonial and salt box homes surrounded by hydrangeas and manicured lawns, where dragonflies play during the day and fireflies dance at night, where watery hues and nautical influences abound inside, effortlessly blending European influence with the shores of Montauk.

Looking to add New England charm to your home no matter where you live? Follow these simple steps and you will be daydreaming of Nantucket even if you are in your Midwest living room…


To create a cozy New England home, make sure to have simple yet beautifully made pieces of furniture such as tailored sofas, spindle and Chippendale style chairs, and rustic pieces. Of course, no New England home is complete without that heirloom antique piece that has been passed down through generations. If you do not have such a piece, then the fun starts in looking for just the right one by visiting flea markets, small town antique stores, and even estate sales.

Color, Color and More Color

Color is definitely dominant in the interiors of New England homes, due perhaps to its roots in the days of early settlers coming from France and England and bringing their style aesthetics with them. Additionally, New Englanders live in true—and sometimes harsh—four seasons, each of which bring an array of vibrant and defining colors. Spring brings new life with bursts of yellow from the daffodils and pinks from Azaleas, and the emerging soft green of new leaves as they fill barren branches. Summers dazzle the New England coastline with gorgeous blue hues and bright umbrellas, while colonial homes are outlined by the blue, purple, and pinks of the hydrangeas surrounding them and crisp green manicured lawns. Fall’s richness of ombré hues, from yellows to corals and reds, and the brilliant whites of winter, are all influences in New England’s embrace of color. So bring color into your rooms and don’t be afraid to take risks with it!

Nautical Elements

Since much of New England is surrounded by the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s hard not to have a nautical slant in our interiors. However, think blue and white, and textures like rattan and sisal over nautical kitsch. Paint your walls a gorgeous blue like Benjamin Moore Hale Navy as a stunning backdrop to white (performance fabric!) furniture, or do the reverse; nothing is more lovely than crisp white walls as the canvas for beautiful blue and white furniture. Use lighting as another way to create a room that has New England charm with a nautical flare. Look for clear glass lamps with chrome or brass accents or sconces similar to those found in lighthouses. Try to keep the coastal chic to a minimum, and make sure to blend some other elements into the space as well.

Plaid and Stripes

Plaid and stripes are a New England staple and are found in most homes in some sort of way, whether it’s in upholstery, window treatments, wallpaper or even a throw blanket. If you do not have plaid or stripes in your home then add that to your to-do list for charming Northeast-inspired interiors. Think lazy winter weekends spent nestled under a warm wool plaid blanket with a roaring fire… Plaid (gingham applies here too!) and stripes are go-with-everything patterns and pair well with florals, chinoiserie and other multidimensional prints.


Décor is so important to bring your spaces to life. Think of it as the jewelry on your outfit. Once you have incorporated the Northeastern charm ingredients, look to décor accents for the win. It’s all about the mix here, so place coral with your chinoiserie and vintage items you picked up at the local thrift store or inherited. Remember, we East Coasters are steeped in generational history, so those treasures from your grandparents will fit right in on your shelves. Look to pretty lanterns to house a candle, or even flowers or a branch, and place it on your coffee table or on the floor by your fireplace. Add these things in amongst your books and art (hello Gray’s Cape Cod aerials!) and you will have New England charm in no time!

How would you incorporate New England décor style into your home?

Thanks to Prudence, we’re feeling extra inspired to add a dose of east coast prep into our homes, starting with one of these brand-new prints!

And be sure to follow along on as Prudence brings her signature New England style to more homes via her website and Instagram.

Xx Team GM

Photos: Gray Malin, Prudence Bailey