Encinitas-based interior designer Cindy Courson has decked out the homes of pro athletes (Tony Hawk) and award-winning cult-hit eateries (Death by Tequila). Now, her new line of furnishings has helped inform Oceanside’s latest arrival, The Brick Hotel. She decidedly skipped over familiar boho design tropes in favor of Tropical Modern’s sumptuous, breezy glamour.
For this historically reimagined property, built in 1888, Courson played with contrasting patterns, larger-than-life florals, and color combinations inspired by her muse Dorothy Draper.
The new queen of pink-and-green dreamt up custom rattan headboards upholstered in Christian Lacroix fabric, soft sculptural curved side tables, and wallpaper inspired by the art deco movement and 1960s prints. Plus: No room is complete without her trademark greenery arrangements.
“It looks like a vacation, and I love evoking that feeling of something chic and exuberant,” says Courson. “Draper believed that bright colors have a vital effect on our happiness.”
Built for warm climes and lush island environments, Tropical Modern is an anti-minimalist approach that embraces laid-back glamour, an awareness of balance, and a feeling for light. The movement is rooted in balmy locales such as Sri Lanka, Brazil, Hawai‘i, and Florida. Architects like Geoffrey Manning Bawa, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Vladimir Ossipoff, and Paul Rudolph pioneered the built environment, fusing the relationship between exterior and interior—the home and the natural world.
“Interiors can still be clean, purposeful, and neutral while the tropical elements add so much texture and punch to a space,” says Courson. “Clients come to me for that coastal-cool aesthetic but with a throughline of unexpected playfulness.”
Courson’s new line, available through her website, features wallpaper, headboards, side tables, and pillows. The wallpaper at The Brick, for example, is emblazoned with Cattleya orchids and pink-and-black Monstera. It absolutely sets the tone for happy hour at the hotel’s Cococabana rooftop.
Meanwhile, for another client, she paired custom fan palm wallpaper with a cane-and-tubular-steel chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
“When done right, overlaying patterns, textures, and greenery can create this harmony,” she says. “It has the modern expressiveness of a jungle.