Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Beach Girl At Home and how the boutique came to be? What made you decide to focus specifically on coastal-inspired home decor?
At its core, the foundation for the daily inspiration at Beach Girl At Home is to put forward an all-new and encompassing vision of a lifestyle brand for the Gulf Coast community that evokes coastal living at its finest, most vibrant, and most unique to our region and its people. We are turning long standing ideas and ingrained patterns of coastal design for the home on its head by presenting exciting, self-reflecting color, pattern, artwork, and the interplay of different styles and genres, to inspire our customers in reimagining their inner “selves,” and to reflect that “self” in their homes and into the ways they live, work, and play in our stunning environment at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. The general feel of our brand symbolizes the modern Beach Girl and how she curates the spaces she lives in, where she goes, and what adventures she gets herself into! Color is ingrained into the human psyche … it is universal, speaks to each person – different colors for different reasons to each person – therefore, color in design is essential to every person, in every region, for every reason. We are founded on adding bold color, pattern, and a mix of genres, to the coastal design lifestyle. To that point: Beach Girl At Home is all of us, she’s everyone, she is you! She is at once modern, edgy, eclectic, and savvy. But she loves tradition, classics, and the cool-factor in coastal haute vintage and the occasional antique. She travels, she writes, she collects, and she decorates with flair, all inspired by her life at the beach, her imagination, memories, future, goals, her own mindset, and likes and dislikes – all of which she has developed and cultivated over the years. She lives outside the box but loves the relaxed and breezy nature of her coastal surroundings. She’s active. She’s laid back. She’s colorful and full of life but values the importance of kicking back at her fabulously and colorfully-appointed home on the Gulf Coast, entertaining her circle of best friends. She rides her rattan bicycle along the Beach Road and zips around in her ‘68 Jeepster Roadster convertible. Beach Girl At Home has a mind of her own -- quirky, zany, and a little bit offbeat. But she knows who she is and what she wants, and she is you! Come into our showroom, meet her, and see yourself in her.
What sets Beach Girl At Home apart from other decor boutiques? How do you curate your collection to create a unique and cohesive coastal aesthetic?
Our customers consistently tell us what sets us apart from other design boutiques, which is both exciting to us and validating in that we are on the right track in our vision. Customers routinely reflect to us what we are trying to present to them. That is, our boutique is a full-on “experience,” an explosion of color and happiness, vibrancy, imagination, fun, quirkiness, and playfulness -- where the imagination and the senses are fully engaged. The collective experience of walking in our showroom has been described as “creative chaos,” “overwhelming but in a good way,” “out of the box,” “completely different from anything else in this area,” “so fun,” “Palm Beach on steroids,” “I can’t see everything in just one spin around the store,” and “every time I come in, I see something new,” just to name a handful. We also hear from customers, at least two or three times a day, that our showroom, designs, ideas, and collections, “makes me happy.” Our customers and clients consistently tell us that Beach Girl At Home makes them “happy,” which is unbelievably gratifying to us, and so appreciated! With this said, we are consistently curating, 24/7, a wide variety of design objects, ideas, and themes for our design vignettes in the showroom from a myriad of sources that meld the cohesive but very fluid idea of presenting the “experience” of these twists we can affect with color, pattern, classics, traditions, and the newest and modern trends. In imagining and creating all of this every day, we are showing our customers very different ways to start thinking about how they really want to live authentically (as well as coastally) in ways that are individual and personal to them.
The driving aesthetic principle of BGAH is two-fold:
1. Mixing, layering, and adding smashing color (including eras and genres) into the coastal home that reflects the customer, their own experiences, their own memories, their past, present, and futures, and the kinds of objects and design that, again, reflects who they are, rather than what is necessarily trending.
2. We believe that cohesiveness, which can morph sometimes into “cookie cutter” design (regardless of how beautiful that can be) should not necessarily be the aim in our homes. Rather, design should be about slowly and carefully choosing pieces separately, collecting items over time, mixing in your own pieces, adding in the newest trends (of course), and using color in ways that evoke feelings and how they see themselves. We show our customers how to mimic their personalities in their homes. This can be done with fun, playful, riotous color and pattern layering throughout the home, or with dashes of that in each room that pull together the “cohesive” idea in different ways, or to create for themselves a serene, peaceful, and easy feeling – whatever it is that speaks to their mindset and the personality of the customer and their families.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends in coastal home decor? Are there any specific sources or platforms that you rely on for inspiration?
We stay up to date with current trends by continually poring through all our sources, fabulous vendors, social media, local and regional magazines and design sites, and attending all the major design markets across the country. We collaborate with a wide body of other high-end design companies and brands and nurture those relationships to stay current, but stay focused on setting our own trends and showing our own ideas on our own sites. It is a multi-pronged model for us, really. We absolutely take in all the content and elements of coastal design everywhere. We are constantly watching, tracking, and digging, then carefully decide which outlets are a fit for our own foundational inspirations at BGAH. Sourcing and platforms for inspiration is critical for our customers. We want to offer the latest and the best and the coolest new items in modern coastal design, including our high-end vintage pieces and elements. At the same time, we are absolutely rooted in imagining and creating our brand literally out of our own hearts and minds. For this reason, we make it a point not to visit all the gorgeous home décor and design shops around the Gulf Coast area! We want to maintain our own personality and the inspiration of our gut vision for what we are presenting, uniquely.
If you work with a team, can you tell me about your design team? Backgrounds of the team, etc.?
Our design team is me, Jill Rhodes, owner of
BGAH, and Heidi Webb, who is a dynamo designer and curator. Together, we partner equally in creating, designing, displaying, merchandising, and imagining and reimaging every day what we present to our customers, and building the experience in our store for our customers. We are
constantly reinventing, adding, shaping, plotting, and planning – while always keeping to our core inspiration for why we opened the store, which is number 1. And that is, … to invite the customer and client into our world and to see their own in it.
Beach Girl At Home has a mind of her own -- quirky, zany, and a little bit offbeat. But she knows who she is and what she wants, and she is you!