09/24/2014 09:46 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Colorful Vacation Home Decorating Ideas

The trick to mastering a look that is really chic and totally comfortable? Limiting each room to a lean, primary-studded trio.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

By treating every room to a strict, high-contrast palette, fashion designer and decorator Josephine Sasso gave her old-school Nantucket vacation home au courant drama.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

Josephine Sasso has mastered the art of creating clothes and furnishings that are preppy and traditional--with a dash of glitz. So it's fitting that her 1920s Colonial Revival on historic Nantucket Island has its own Hollywood Regency-esque flair.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

"Using bright colors has always been my thing with clothing, and it transfers easily to interiors," Sasso explains. In the living room, white walls (found throughout the house) and long curtains with thick black borders frame black and white furniture accented with pops of blue--a silk lamp shade, ceramic figurines, a few pillows.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

Sasso is rigorous about color and devoted to symmetry, but her fondness for playful silhouettes and electric hues keeps the mood light and punchy. In the dining room, she extends the living room's graphics by uniting two laser-cut chinoiserie mirrors, a couple of antique bureaus and a bevy of secondhand chairs in nearly black Benjamin Moore stain.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

"I like mismatched shapes--especially in a summer house. It looks too much like a hotel if everything's perfect," she says.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

Josephine Sasso rattled the New England-y neutrals with vivid red accessories: bulbous glass vases, mirror-framed drawings of coral and a chandelier she found at a flea market and had wired for electricity and spray-painted scarlet.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

Josephine Sasso and Juliet on the back staircase.

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

Intent on crafting a feminine room for her daughter, Juliet (while avoiding standard issue purple or pink), Sasso used cotton-damask Scalamandré fabric on custom headboards as the starting point for the black, white and yellow formula. Lots of flounce tempers the glare and injects a little froufrou: The coverlets are embroidered in white eyelet, and the cotton-piqué curtains feature two trims (observe closely--the yellow ruffle is edged with polkadot detail).

photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

In the guest room (a mix of elegance and beachy nostalgia, the dominant red is kept in check by a range of textures--from wool to silk taffeta--and a light-blue and white background. Simple twin beds are dressed up with damask bolsters and matching custom benches.

The Ultimate Kids' Room Makeover
Small Bedroom Decorating Ideas
A 6,00 Square Foot Dream Home Gets A Makeover
Decorating With Gray