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How can I add a striped cabana poolside and make it look tasteful?

Beach-side stripped cabana.

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The question

I am thinking of adding a striped cabana next to my pool. How do I make sure it looks charmingly Mediterranean and not circus-like?"

The answer

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It is all in the details. Beautiful, crisp designs with elegant, understated stripes are the way to go, conjuring up 1920s beach scenes and their rows of striped, square change houses with pitched roofs and square valances. The way to prevent a circus-like look? Avoid round tents with loud stripes, scalloped edges and multicoloured flags on top. For the city cabana, I prefer a black and white stripe with the furniture draped in white linen and accent pillows in orange or grey. The lighting in the tent should be as simple as candles under hurricane domes or a polished-nickel candle-stem chandelier. Avoid the Egyptian-tent feel by eschewing oddly shaped draped lights – just too dusty a look.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace appears on The Real Designing Women, which airs Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET on HGTV. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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