beach houses range from large mansions to the tiniest fishing cabins. All have one thing in common, however. They are used primarily as a place for their inhabitants to get away from their normal routines, and to give them a place to rest and relax. The decor in a beach house should focus on that purpose by using whatever materials, designs and colors put the owners in vacation mode.
Beach house decor should reflect the taste and style of those who will inhabit the house, be functional for them while they are there and provide a relaxing atmosphere. The decor should also be easy to care for so not much time is spent on housekeeping, but spent on recreation and relaxation instead.
Some beach houses are spacious and contemporary with large walls of glass overlooking the water. Others are more like a lakeside bungalow cottage, and still others are even more casual like a fishing camp cabin. Their interiors should complement the style of the house. No matter the style of the house, the toys of those who use the beach house should be a prominent part of the decor, whether they are nautical items, fishing gear or scuba gear.
Choose canvas slipcovers for furniture, striped sofa and floor pillows, and raffia floor coverings. Formal dining gives way to eat-in kitchens, screened-in porches and outside beach cook-outs. Washable cotton linens and lightweight, simple curtains add to the airy summery effect.
Light summer colors and lots of white, sailboats, rowboats, fishing creels, lobster pots, seashells, white wicker, hammocks and plenty of paperback books geared to inhabitants’ interests all evoke thoughts of the beach, as do whimsical touches like antique children’s metal sand pails.
One of the benefits of decorating a beach house is that those who stay there have a chance to live surrounded by colors and styles that are different from their main house.
Beach houses in Florida, Hawaii and various islands, such as those off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, typically have more tropical decor incorporated, such as palm trees and coconuts, while beach houses in New England would more likely feature lobster fishing gear and brass sea lanterns.