Coastal homes are sought-after for their magnetic charm, calming colors, and elements that leave you feeling relaxed. But a beachy home doesn’t have to have swaying palms, soothing waves, and sun-soaked sand. In interior design, it’s all about capturing that adventurous spirit and serenity.
Whether you live in a loft in the heart of the city or a suburban home on a reverse mortgage, there’s no reason for you not to have a beach house design. If you’re a beach person who loves to soak up the sun and immerse in its dynamic energy, a nautical-themed home will let you live your dream vacation.
From a breezy layout to oceanic elements, here are decorating tips that will bring the beach to your house:
Start with an open layout
Coastal homes are all about the view, and one way to make the most of that view is to open up the main floor. That means having your kitchen, dining area, and living room in one open room with a seamless flow. It’s also important to free up the ceiling by not installing a vent and bulky cabinets over a center island. An open layout inspires that spirit of communal living that makes beach living even more vibrant, and you can replicate that in your home with a few design tweaks.
Match neutrals & bold colors
Beachy homes start with a neutral palette of off-whites, beige, cream, tan, coral blues, and other soft hues. You can settle with this or mix and match bolder contrasting colors like lime green, canary yellow, fire-engine red, teal, or tangerine orange.
Let the light in
Coastal living is all about soaking up the sun, so if you’re aiming for this vibe, it’s essential to bring plenty of natural light in. You can achieve this with floor-to-ceiling windows and installing skylights and cathedral windows. If privacy is an issue, you can build a courtyard or indoor/outdoor space lit by skylights or install wooden slats against your windows.
Load up on rattan and natural fibers
Beachside homeowners use plenty of natural fibers and materials like rattan as they hold up against salty breezes and moisture. But they’re also beautiful and organic, which helps complete that laid-back ambiance. Rattan can be found in many decorative pieces, from armchairs and light fixtures to rugs and planters. But try not to go overboard, as too much of anything will look tacky.
Invest in big, plush furniture
Comfort is a big factor for seaside homes. It’s common to see beach cottages and even modern homes with expanded seating, plush cushions and poufs, swings, lounge chairs, pillows, and fuzzy blankets. But pay attention to scale. It wouldn’t make sense to add big furniture in a small space to make the room feel cramped. To achieve scale, coordinate furniture pieces with various styles (i.e., wood and metal).
Keep it cozy
While you could never tire of open, airy spaces, it’s always good to have a warm space to retire to. Be it a cozy bay window to curl up in a book and enjoy the view or a breakfast nook for intimate breakfasts. It’s good to have space where you can enjoy some privacy or quiet time.
Layer your neutrals
Coastal interior design has that relaxed simplicity about it. But oversimplifying could result in a dull, one-dimensional space. Create a layered look by matching different but coordinating patterns and textures. Dress up your living room with ornamental rugs, drapes, wall accessories, and lamps.
Bring in some greenery
Plants are a mainstay in nautical-inspired homes. Place the pot on a rattan basket, and it will make any corner a focal point. Plus, plants are natural air purifiers, which helps add to that light and airy atmosphere common in beach homes.
Don’t be afraid to use wallpaper
Nautical-themed elements can be easily found in nature and your neighborhood home depot. But if you’re aiming for a specific aesthetic or something bold and show-stopping, wallpaper is your best bet. Wallpaper has made a comeback in recent years as interesting prints and color combinations add a different dimension to any space.
Build an outdoor shower or tub
Nothing beats having a relaxing bath or shower in the great outdoors, where you can look up at the sky and hear the birds singing or trees rustling. If that’s what you’re aiming for, you can build your own personal sanctuary. If privacy is a concern, you can put up a privacy fence or a natural one with tropical plants and bamboo.
Creating the coastal-themed home of your dreams is possible with careful planning and research. Be sure not to overdo it, though, as overly themed homes don’t age well. Mix up your accessories and accents from time to time to keep things interesting.