The Ultimate Guide To Beach House Decor

Whether your home is landlocked or located just a few steps away from the ocean, it should wake up all your senses. Using sea-inspired decorations in your interior design will give you the immediate feeling of being near an ocean. Aquatic objects, colors, and patterns will allow you to enjoy a serene marine paradise around the clock.

However, decorating with beach house style isn't as easy as you might think. It takes decor knowledge and an eye for detail to style it to perfection. Moreover, coastal designs can range from relaxed luxury to bohemian or even coastal rainbow. The ultimate idea is to achieve a laidback combination of shape, material, comfort, and function. Southern Living explains that sailor stripes, beach-themed ornaments, and aquatic motifs are essential parts of the beach house style. If you are looking for some decorating inspiration, here are our nautical ideas for a perfect beach home.

Use natural materials and textures

Start by focusing on incorporating natural materials you'd probably find at the coast, like seagrass and rattan, for an instant coastal feel. Decorate with seagrass on headboards and footboards around the house. Items like wicker hanging swing chairs will add a marine vibe to the place due to the rope-like texture.

Woven wicker or bamboo chairs are inexpensive, lightweight, and durable options. Combine these chairs with ocean-inspired ornaments such as shells, starfish, and sea glass pendants for an authentic beach house style. According to Wayfair, sisal and jute are popular choices for cottages by the sea. These fabrics are perfect for rugs and flooring. Besides being easy to maintain, they are low-cost and eco-friendly. Finally, the natural, earthy texture fills the room with incredible versatility.

Lastly, don't forget about stone and wood. Along with rattan, these create a relaxed and cozy feel. Different textures will ooze character and charm in your beach home. For practical reasons, ensure chair cushions are weather-proof to withstand sand and wet bathing suits.

Add sea-inspired motifs

What would a beach house be without a few nautical elements? The easiest and least expensive way to achieve a marine look is with chair cushions and throws. However, you must pay attention to patterns and colors when decorating. You can also install shore-inspired light fixtures and pendants to create a more dramatic coastal style.

Recycle items like bamboo and driftwood to make wall art or lay them over the mantel. You can also use driftwood as a coffee table base for a modern coastal vibe. According to The Spruce, you should make the most out of your morning walks and head to the beach to collect pieces for your beach house decor.

Besides ornaments, no aquatic motif is complete without layers of blues, stripes, and woven materials. Spruce up the place with furniture and decorative items in blue and white, or get a navy-stripped sofa to make the ultimate beach-style statement. A coral replica can be the finishing touch to turn your place into a mesmerizing hideaway. Finally, if you are keen on art, why not invest in seascape paintings? You can hang a massive piece of art in a central position or group a few together for a gallery wall ready to set sail.

Incorporate coastal hues

Blue is the key color in beach house style. Whether you go for light blue, seafoam, turquoise, or a combination, the result will be equally stunning. However, if you pursue a high-end coastal style, give indigo a try. Though similar to navy blue, indigo is more saturated and aligns perfectly with wood tones, black, gray, and white.

It's also essential to add a few navy or turquoise accents to unusual places like baskets, chests of drawers, and built-in bookcases to instill the tranquility of the sea into your home. According to designer Annie Selke, using colors from your surroundings is vital. She claims that a harmonious, three-color palette is a perfect choice. However, blue shades are not mandatory. Sandy tones like ivory, cream, soft pink, and beige can also contribute to a restful beach style. You can create a coastal vibe by introducing natural wood hues, whites, and lime greens (via The Spruce). Yellow tropical prints and wallpapers can also stimulate beach-like sensations.

Set a dining place with a view

The place where the entire family gathers for dinner has every right to be your home's focal point. Set the scene by having your dining room table overlook the sea or sunset. If this isn't viable, you still have a myriad of options available to achieve a similar impression.

According to Country Living, you can invest in glass sliding doors or floor-to-ceiling windows with breezy tie-top curtains in light shades. Hang a lightweight lantern above the dining table for a more casual look, or use vintage barkcloth pillow throws for elegant decoration. You might opt for a dining nook with braided rugs for contrast. A colorful rug can help disguise the sand you and your guests carry in. Finally, add a few mismatched painted chairs and oars leaning in the corners. Finish with crates filled with glass bottles as a base for a floral arrangement.

Decorate with slipcover furniture for a modern touch

Naturally, you want your beach home to have a laidback and carefree vibe. However, this should not mean sacrificing practicality or damaging furniture. Fortunately, you can achieve comfort and function by using slipcovers on sofas, armchairs, and even chairs. For the best outcome, go for tailored slipcovers. According to Completely Coastal, striped patterns give the house a classic seaside look that feels like a day at the beach. Plus, you won't have to worry about frequent washing since it hides stains and signs of wear.

White, beige, or khaki slipcovered furniture can also do the job. If you choose cotton or linen, remember that regular maintenance is essential. Sprinkle around a few beach-themed pillows in indigo or navy blue for a more coastal look. As for dining chairs, select white cotton for a relaxed beach fashion. Finally, consider using heavier fabrics to replace lightweight covers during colder months.

Make your own candles and lanterns

Are you trying to bring the scent of the ocean into your home? In that case, beach-inspired candles and lanterns are a must-have essential. You can arrange them in sets or spread single candles throughout the house. According to Homebnc, green or blue Mason or other jars are a great beach house decoration. These colors symbolize ocean depths, and what you place inside will resemble the sea bottom. Consider spreading a sand layer before playing with multi-shaped shells, oysters, and candles. Or leave the jar empty, except for a white candle, and embellish the exterior with cargo nets or twine entangled with seashells.

Glass decorative lanterns are a great item to DIY (via Completely Coastal). You can use glass containers filled with sand and shells or metal lanterns embellished with rope and driftwood. Using natural twine evokes images of seagrass swaying underwater. Inside the cylinder, arrange shells and starfish meticulously and secure them with glue if necessary.

Enrich the place with tropical vegetation

Homes full of plants can inspire positive thoughts and a feeling of serenity. For beach house style, the perfect solution lies in palm-inspired decorations. According to Homebnc, it's best to decorate with palm plants. Arrange a few in translucent vases so the rich green color can make a natural statement. Palm plants boast sharp lines which look amazing against any surface. You can also place tall grass in a cylindrical vase to add height and contrast to the room. If you want to go with flower bouquets, choose tropical blooms and fruit in seashore-themed vases.

Individuals with green thumbs should introduce potted plants for the ultimate tropical feel. Palm trees and Ficus plants are the pinnacles of tropical vegetation, and they grow naturally in coastal environments (via The Spruce). If you prefer colorful blooms, pick orchids, peace lilies, and anthuriums, as these flowers thrive in warm, humid environments.

Lay a beach-themed dining table

A nicely set dining table with carefully combined details will bring the coastal spirit to every gathering. To create a sea-inspired dining experience, compile a marine tablescape. Start by finding various tabletop elements that pair well with your everyday silverware and plates. According to Homebnc, starfish decor, striped or natural napkins, sea-inspired napkin rings, ocean trinkets, seashell candleholders, sea glass wine glasses, and table cloths with coastal motifs liven up your table. Use netting material as a table runner or opt for solid-colored fabric with a coastal hue. Linen napkins will also add a natural touch to place settings.

Setting the table with beach house decor will make your mealtimes feel more summery and relaxed. Choose beige and white accents for a sandy color and match the look with coastal-themed starfish, corals, and seaweed. You can always invest in plates with sea designs or patterns for your dining table (via MyMove).

Go for wood-paneled walls

When used inside, reclaimed wood panels instill a feeling of relaxation. To infuse your coastal home with a weathered feel, combine them with distressed furniture. According to Homes & Gardens, wood elements are durable, eco-friendly, versatile, and have a timeless feel. Think about unfinished oak wood paneling for stairs, walls, and ceilings to give your place more warmth and serenity.

Provided you want to keep wooden decor to a minimum, install an accent wall in a room. Place it behind the TV, in a hallway, or behind the headboard to elevate the interior. Use weathertight shiplap to create a relaxed, rustic-like space that resonates with the summer sun. Reclaimed wood is often considered the best option for a wall cladding finish (via LuxurySoCalRealty). However, wall cladding should match other items like chairs or coffee tables. As for colors, choose pastel hues like beige, seafoam, cream, or light blue.

Introduce whitewashed accents

Whitewashed furniture, walls, and textiles add a sophisticated yet beachy touch to any space. These pieces are natural, calming, and versatile. To create your own whitewashed furniture, add translucent white stains to furnishings. Unlike painted items, whitewashing is see-through, looks authentic, and instills a natural coastal vibe. It accentuates natural light, making spaces appear bigger and brighter. Pale nuances typically work best, while waxing and dragging are the most popular techniques. According to MyMove, a whitewashed oak console or coffee table are great pieces to add to your beach house.

Transfer the whitewashed color scheme to the rest of the house by decorating with natural linen curtains (via Ideal Home). Go with an airy palette of natural textiles, whitewashed linens, and ocean-inspired drapes. These materials let sun rays in and are easy to maintain. Finally, consider laying lightweight blankets, cushions, or bedding alongside windows to create the perfect reading nook.

Play with nautical maps

What can bring marine life inside better than a map? Map-themed wallpaper, gallery walls, and frames are all great options for beach house decor. Nautical charts are often colorful representations of maritime history and blend perfectly with traditional and modern-style homes. According to LuxurySocalRealty, nautical maps covering an entire wall are ideal for hallways and kids' bedrooms. If you're decorating a room, go for wallpaper that fits the room's unique dimensions.

An art gallery wall adorned with nautical maps is another idea. You can frame and hang a few smaller maps of the same kind to get an impeccable yet playful beach look (via Caron's Beach House). For a DIY frame, use fence boards or decorative molding. If you want your chart to be specific, consider framing your exact location on the map. You can also incorporate nautical maps in your dining room with map-inspired tablescapes.

Upcycle old pieces

If you want a unique and timeless beach hideaway, add upcycled furniture. However, don't go overboard and avoid over-cluttering. Check whether you have outdated furniture worth refurbishing. If you can't find usable items, head to the nearest thrift shop on your hunt for old-fashioned treasures. You can also find aged pieces that complement your interiors in flea markets or secondhand stores. The upside of this venture is that you can alter used furniture to your specific taste.

According to LuxurySocalRealty, you can upcycle items by painting wood and metal. Bolder individuals can upcycle armchairs and sofas and embellish them with sea life motifs or stripes. Alternatively, invite the beach inside by upcycling a one-of-a-kind dresser. Find an old piece and paint it a weathered shade of turquoise or light blue. Once dry, decorate drawer fronts with seashells and starfish. Instead of classic handles, use boat rope to give the dresser the ultimate coastal vibe.

Bring the sea mood to the kitchen

Your place will be incomplete if you fail to match the kitchen with the rest of the home. Savvy designers rely on white and navy blue tones to bring a coastal feel to the kitchen. According to Style By Emily Henderson, white shades are a staple for beach house kitchen designs. White upper cabinets and counters go well with white walls and beamed ceilings. As for the island and the lower cabinetry, choose vibrant colors like green or navy blue. Golden finishes for handles and fixtures embrace the luxurious side of nautical decor.

However, whitewashing the entire kitchen isn't the only way to achieve coastal style. Open and glass-fronted cabinetry are equally impressive for airy, laidback spots. Use open shelves to display tableware, glasses, and wicker baskets. Elevate the seaside feel by combining a few rattan lanterns and driftwood ornaments. As for seating, white bistro counter chairs are a solid choice.

Similarly, all-white kitchens add a coastal touch to summer homes (via Real Homes). In this case, you can do the painting yourself and arrange a focal display of ocean-inspired crockery and decor. Finally, incorporate a wooden countertop to lift the look and opt for kitchenware in bright colors like yellow or blue for contrast.

Spread the coastal spirit to your backyard

It's not only the interior you should invest energy into when decorating. Remember to take the beach vibe outside by planting beachy trees and flowers, adding a few marine life stands, or creating an entire living room outdoors. According to Real Homes, stringing up a hammock or adding a cozy hanging chair will instantly add coastal vibes to your yard. Throw a few striped picnic blankets on it, set up some lights and lanterns, and dig a tiny pond.

You could also go one step further and arrange an entire living room outside. The concept of a backyard sitting area has been popular for a few years, and it looks incredibly gorgeous surrounding a fire pit. Remember that any outdoor furniture must be durable and water-resistant. An outdoor bar is another fantastic idea. Whether you have a patio, porch, deck, or lawn space, transform it into a coastal sanctuary. Think functionality, comfort, and charm.

Upgrade the bathroom with sea-themed pieces

It's easy to get the beach spirit flowing in the bathroom. Whether you decide to play with color, furniture, or ornaments, your options for creating the perfect look are endless. Even a few pieces like anchor motifs, coastal style towels, or marine wallpapers can do the job. However, Real Homes advises against overcrowding your bathroom with too many knickknacks. Often it takes nothing more than a few palm fronds, a maritime porthole mirror, or rope baskets to add a calm and chic touch.

Another idea to bring the coastal spirit into the bathroom is to create a shell-encrusted mirror frame. The more impressive the mirror, the more authentic the beachy focal point will be. A navy blue soaking tub will also make a nautical statement in any bathroom (via Country Living). Add sea-inspired wall art, a metal light fixture, and nautical sconces. Now you're ready for some seafaring!