The reason that beach decor is so popular is because bringing a bit of the seashore into our home is immensely relaxing. When we go to the beach we are calm, the fresh salt air invigorates us and fills us with a sense of well-being. The colors and textures of the shore are deeply connected with those feelings, so by using them in our decor, we are bringing a sense of calm and space into our homes. There are many different beach decor styles, and while there’s some overlap, mixing them up completely doesn’t quite work, so you need to think about which one you want to create and stick to it.
We will go through some different styles throughout this article. They should help you get some ideas and get inspired to create a new design in your home.
- Sand and Sea
- Beach Hut
This is the main area of difference for the different beach theme styles. For Sand and Sea, think about sunshine yellow, topaz sky, turquoise and aqua sea, white surf, golden sand and coral pink tones. For Coastal, look for the colors you’ll see at dawn, or on a stormy or misty day – the palette is more beige, antique white, aqua, mist blue, teal and grey. A Beach Hut style can be a bit more bright and funky – yellow, beige, white and blue are still in there, but you can add some brighter contrast tones with surfboard and deckchair colors in orange and red. Nautical Style is sailor colors – you still have white, beige/grey and some yellow, but you’re adding navy blue and red too.
You can have a lot of fun with furniture in a beach decor sitting room. Natural wood, white painted wood or painted and distressed wood all work well for coffee tables, side boards and other occasional furniture. Chairs and couches look great in neutral tones, and rattan furniture works well too. You can get or make some fabulous one-off pieces with driftwood or other found flotsam – a beautiful piece of large driftwood as the base for a glass occasional table for example, or shelves made from wooden boxes or an old cabin door. If you’re going for a Nautical style decor then dark polished wood with leather upholstery and brass fittings, such as you might find in the Officer’s Mess would also look the part. For the Beach Hut style, you can add folding deck chairs too.
Window dressings should be light and airy, white, neutral or pale blue muslin or linen would look great, with some horizontal wooden blinds if required for privacy or light exclusion; or curtains with some vertical stripes to fit with the color palette. Simple natural sisal rope tie-backs really carry the theme through. Striped rugs add some softness to flooring (described below). Printed cushions and throws add interest to the mostly plain decor – you can get beautiful fabrics in muted beach colors with deckchair vertical stripes, beach huts, surf boards, sailing ships etc. or you can add seashell or starfish prints. How about having some fun with a pirate cushion or two for the children?
To get the beach theme right you need to think carefully about your flooring. In a real beach house you’re unlikely to see wall-to-wall carpet because it doesn’t work with the sand. Natural wood, white painted wood, tiles or even bare or stamped concrete all look great, and you can add some warmth with large sisal or sea-grass rugs or blue and white striped rugs.
The extra decorative details are what really make the beach decor into a theme, but don’t go overboard. While you want to evoke the feeling of the ocean and the beach, you probably don’t actually want to recreate a beach in your living room. A little collection of sea-shells looks nice – and they can be artfully displayed in a storm lantern or a decorative fireplace to great effect. For the Coastal style think about driftwood picture frames or driftwood sculptures, and seashell wind-chimes hanging in a corner. For the Nautical style, a wooden ship’s wheel, a sailing ship in a bottle, a brass anchor or a pair of vintage binoculars, an old port-hole, model sailing ships, storm lanterns etc all look the part. If you’re aiming for the Beach Hut style, you could add some bright colored model beach huts or surf boards to the mix and hang some colored fairy lights.
Whether you choose to evoke a stormy ocean spraying salty sea mist over the dunes, a neatly shiny yacht deck, or a bright sunny day in the beach hut, you can be sure that your beach decor sitting room will add an air of calm and tranquility to your home.