10 Beach-Style Decorating Ideas to Make Your Home Feel Like a Coastal Retreat

Seating shouldn't be limited to club chairs and sofas. Utilize benches, ottomans, and odd side chairs to accommodate more people.
Photo: Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

Can't find time to make it to the beach? From color to accessories, add some of these coastal twists to your home for a seaside feel. A traditional white and blue color palette is an easy way to make any room in your home feel like it's on the coast, especially with plenty of natural light peeking in. If you prefer to decorate your home with dark wood tones, balance those pieces with airy colors and decor elements that allude to a seaside origin. For all practical intents and purposes, a screened-in porch or spacious deck serve as ideal spaces for beach-style decor. Whether you simply style a few adirondack chairs on your deck or go all out with an outdoor seating area fit for a crab boil, there are so many ways to decorate any outdoor living space with beach-inspired elements. Pull inspiration from the natural, sturdy fibers often used to decorate beach-front homes by pairing wicker chairs with a fluffy cushioned sofa for a still formal, yet relaxed feeling. We've gathered some of our favorite coastal-clad homes that we've featured to offer just a bit of inspiration for your seaside vision.

01 of 10

Keep It Light and Bright

St. Teresas, FL Beach House Entryway and Stairwell
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Frances Bailey

An emphasis on color and light enhances this entryway's coastal feel. Don't be afraid to use strong color in big, unexpected ways such as on your bar cart. So that the cart doesn't seem stark and alone in the room, the same color was repeated on the picture frame. Plenty of sunlight and the dark blue stairs balance the heavy essence of the cart.

02 of 10

Choose White

Florida Cracker Style Home Blue and White Kitchen in New Old House
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

If color isn't your thing, take your palette to the other extreme by keeping all of your surfaces, from ceiling to floor, a refreshing white. Details like the matching wooden, stained countertops and floors add casual beach house styling. Blue and white accent pieces, a navy blue island (Sherwin-Williams' Indigo Batik SW 7602), and a heavy-duty stove add a simple layer of color and texture that gives this Florida home's kitchen a sophisticated look.

03 of 10

Pick Coastal Motifs

2009 Southern Living Texas Idea House Living Room
Laurey W. Glenn, Robbie Caponetto / Styling: Matthew Gleason

Adding just one seaside reference, such as coastal artwork, is all you need to give a subtle nod toward the region. We designed our 2009 Idea House in Port Aransas, Texas, with the beach in mind. Shiplap on the walls gives a new home a lived-in feeling and mimics the sun-worn surroundings of beach homes.

04 of 10

Boost Natural Textures

Beach House Outdoor Dining Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Decorator Phoebe Howard wanted a mixture of natural textures for this family's Sea Island, Georgia, home. Wicker, stone, and wood combine for a relaxed, yet cheery look that's ideal for hosting in a summer-inspired home. Chair cushions could even be made with weather-proof fabric to withstand wet bathing suits and sand.

05 of 10

Imitate the Shoreline

2011 Ultimate Beach House Living Room
Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck

Don't be afraid to include contrasting blues and yellows that are often associated with beach houses. For a more sophisticated approach, choose a darker blue, like the sailor striped armchairs in this beach house. Pops of yellow add warmth to the space. Nautical decor like palm fronds, a bowl of seashells, woven baskets, and sea-inspired wall art tie the theme of the room together.

06 of 10

Mix Dark and Light Tones

Beachy Beauty
Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

We're all for a bold accent piece. This entry table and chair are a stark contrast against the light vases and seashell decor. The table and chair meld with a beach-inspired theme because of the coastal carvings on each piece.

07 of 10

Embrace Informality

Seating shouldn't be limited to club chairs and sofas. Utilize benches, ottomans, and odd side chairs to accommodate more people.
Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

Vacation homes are often decorated in the "kick-your-shoes-off-and-come-on-in" style, so beach-inspired furniture should also embrace some of that mindset. This cozy seating area with matching reclaimed wood end tables feels like a tropical retreat in front of arched doorways that let in an ample amount of sunlight.

08 of 10

Use Shell-Inspired Pieces

Beau Clowney Architecture Bay Window in Mount Pleasant, SC Home
Marili Forastieri; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

Designer Jenny Keenan had plenty of antique pieces to choose from when designing her parent's home in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. With Lowcountry inspiration outside every window, it only made sense to incorporate a few beachy elements. The shape of the light fixture, pattern on the chair cushion, and color of the wood flooring all match the home's coastal surroundings.

09 of 10

Take Advantage of Outdoor Living Areas

St. Teresa, Florida Beach House Outdoor Dining Area
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Frances Bailey

There's nothing more coastal than enjoying a meal al fresco on a sunporch. This Florida family maximized their seating potential with a long buffet table and matching benches. The hardwood is a durable option for withstanding wear from wet bathing suits, sand, and any rainy weather.

10 of 10

Stay Neutral

Maison Studio WaterColor, FL Beach House Family Tree Artwork
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

If there's a piece in your home that's meant to be a focal point, play off it. For Nikki and Britton Colquitt, their unique family tree painting served as the inspiration for the rest of their neutral-toned Watercolor, Florida, home. The room's neutral pieces direct guests eyes to their treasured piece of art.

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