7 signs California Casual interiors is your low-key obsession

Do you have wide plank boards, oodles of white and oh-so-tactile textures? Are you using wood and leather accents, slubby fabrics, and do you adore rattan? If you answer ‘yes‘ to these then you may already be slightly California Casual-obsessed. 
Light‘ and ‘airy‘ are the buzzwords for this fabulous style, it’s the epitome of cool – think Gwyneth Paltrow – her stunning kitchen hits all the notes for this trend. There’s very little to dislike about it, it’s lived in but edited – minimalist yet warm.  

Oh and did we mention white? White is key, so you may see it mentioned rather a lot.

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1. YOU’VE DITCHED COLOR AND IT’S WHITE WALLS ALL ROUND

California casual diner
(Image credit: Jen Samson Design)

Based in California, Jen Samson Design is a boutique design firm specializing in creative services rooted in passionate, inspired design. The use of white acts as the most perfect blank canvas, it creates the light and airy feel that’s synonymous with this look and enables you to add in ice-cream shades with black accents without them feeling out of place. 

We asked Jen her thoughts on what California Casual style is all about:

It’s a vibe… a state of mind. California Casual epitomizes the mix of a playful, chic, and eclectic design and is effortlessly collected and relaxed. In this particular home,  we chose to use a bright sorbet-like palette layered on top of a foundation of black and white. A delightful design combination that naturally exudes a sunny California spirit!

Channeling your inner art collector? Frameless and versatile, canvas prints can be hung on your walls or showcased on a flat surface. There’s just something about the canvas that feels so much artier. Canvas prints available in three sizes.

<< More Canvas Artworks >>

2. YOUR WHITE KITCHEN IS TEXTURED WITH WOOD ELEMENTS

California casual kitchen
(Image credit: Brooklyn Home Company/Michael Williams)

Navy kitchens – or any large-scale dark surfaces – are a no for this trend, unless it’s a grey slate worktop. So if you’re tired of colored units and want to lift your kitchen visually then paint them white, and don’t forget a white range too. 

Another key feature for California Casual kitchens is open-shelving, and if they can be supported by brass brackets, even better. Textured wood in the kitchen is the other important element, as tactile and as raw as you can get – cut sections for tabletops, wooden bowls, and rough-edged chopping boards, like in this kitchen by The Brooklyn Home Company.

Declutter your space with design. Crafted with 100% eco-friendly bamboo, our serving trays are a versatile accessory—perfect as a coffee table platter, bathroom organizer, or plant holder. Featuring a high-quality print with a glossy finish, available in three sizes.

<< More Serving Tray Styles >>

3. YOU CAN’T STOP BUYING BASKETS AND RATTAN

California casual living room
(Image credit: Joyce Downing Pickens)

Textures and beautiful tactile pieces are really at the heart of this look. Hand-crafted beechwood mirrors – circular is good – earthenware pots, artisanal baskets, and unique chairs made by skilled craftsmen will all create the desired effect. Breezy yet grounded, think calm and welcoming with a color palette of ochres, off-whites, and dusky tones, like in this room by JDP Interiors.

It’s time to kick back. Our folding stools offer a lightweight, yet a style-forward way to get your lounge on. There’s no better way to experience the outdoors than with your feet kicked back and a cold drink in hand, add in your unique sense of style and you truly can have it all. The woven polyester top is spill and splash resistant so you can take and use anywhere you feel like lounging.

<< More folding stool Styles >>

4. YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH BLUE

California casual bedroom
(Image credit: Kate Lester Interiors)

California Casual isn’t all white – you will find spots of very subtle colors – mainly neutrals, but you’ll also see tan, grey, the odd pastel shade, and the gentlest of blues. Inky tones and a hint of aqua mixed in, this California blue is really the main color for this look. 

It acts as an antidote to the neutrality of the rest of the colors and you can use it to bring in stripes and checks in the form of cushions and throws and finish off with an antique rug. We love the calm created by the look in this bedroom by Kate Lester Interiors.

You’re getting verrrrry sleeeeepy. (But someone needs to tell Netflix to chill. Yes, we’re still watching!) It’s easy to get lost in sleep in our warm yet lightweight natural cotton comforters. The natural fibers offer a breathable option to keep you cool in the summer and toasty in the winter. Plus, just like your favorite pair of jeans, our cotton bedding gets softer after each wash! Available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, and King sizes.

<< More Comforter Styles >>

5. YOU’VE INTRODUCED SUBTLE TWO-TONE PATTERN

California casual dining room
(Image credit: Graham & Green)

California Casual style is effortless, or rather that’s how it needs to look. There are no bold color statements with this style, it’s all about subtleties and light, as Lou Graham, founder of Graham & Green explains:

‘California Casual style is minimalist yet cozy. Its use of light and texture means that, despite the minimalism of this style, it never feels cold or uncomfortably modern.  

The way you achieve this is by using neutral wall colors and light wood to bounce sunlight around the room. Incorporating natural textures, such as woven rattan and beautiful geometric rugs, also adds warmth. Plants will bring pops of color, while a trestle table gives off a vibe of casual elegance.’

Our outdoor floor cushions are the super comfy and style-forward option for the boho side of us all. They’re UV coated to protect against fading and water-resistant so you can avoid scrambling to bring them inside whenever there’s a touch of weather. Grab a few to have on hand whenever seating is hard to come by or for a fun option for kids to use out in the yard.

<< More Outdoor Floor Cushion Styles >>

6. YOU LOVE MARBLE AND BRASS

California casual bathroom
(Image credit: Brooklyn Home Company/Michael Williams)

Be it in your kitchen or bathroom, marble is one of the main players, and of course, it looks fabulous with crisp white. Warm it up with brass fixtures and fittings, hand-crafted baskets, and fluffy white towels. Greenery is also a big part of the California Casual style – forage for some budding stems, they will lift a room and fit perfectly with the lived-in and natural look that this style encompasses. This beautiful bathroom is by The Brooklyn Home Company.

Stop neglecting bathroom decor – our designer Shower Curtains bring a fresh new feel to an overlooked space. Hookless and extra long, these bathroom curtains feature crisp and colorful prints on the front, with a white reverse side.

<< More Shower Curtain Styles >>

7. YOUR FURNITURE INVITES LOUNGING AND LINGERING

California Casual
(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

California Casual may be laid back, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be smart,’ says Lucy Searle. ‘The key to its success is its muted color scheming, which is effortlessly elegant, and the lines of the furniture you choose – low-slung pieces can have neat lines that enhance space but still invite you to want to lounge.’

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

WHAT IS CALIFORNIA CASUAL DECORATING STYLE?

California Casual – also known as California Cool or just California Style – is a decorating style that majors on neutral, soft colors on furniture and walls, furnishings that are inviting and comfortable, a relaxed boho feel enhanced by natural materials and fabrics, such as leather, wood, wool, cotton, and stone. 

There is a definite coastal feel to California Casual, too, and the outdoors and indoors is blurred, with leafy plants indoors and the outdoors set up for living and lounging, dining, and entertaining.

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