Originally Published on January 8, 2020. Last Updated on May 9, 2023.
You’ve poured your passion into finding your new beach house. At long last, the sale is final, and the construction work is complete. You can’t wait to invite friends and family over to enjoy the breathtaking view of the bay from your new getaway.
However, the final details are just as important as the big picture. If you rush into buying furniture for your beach house, you may end up with warped wood, rusted dining furniture, and cushions that have been ruined by mildew before the summer ends.
Protect your private beach retreat by investing in outdoor furniture designed for the particular challenges of sea living. Not sure where to begin? Follow our guide to discover the best fit for your beach house.
Identifying Outdoor Spaces at Your Beach House
The first step is to determine what furniture you need based on the layout of your beach house and the way you want to spend your time.
Most beach houses feature a stunning view of the water. Your top priority is likely a relaxing outdoor living room filled with deep seating furniture, sofas, rocking chairs, and accompanying coffee tables and end tables to soak in the sunset and breathe in the sea air. If you have a deck or balcony facing the water, measure off a space for relaxing.
The second-most-common outdoor space at a beach house is a dining area where you can enjoy a hearty meal surrounded by the soothing sights and sounds of the sea. Choose a dining set for four to accommodate a small space, or expand to a large dining set and a few counters to transform your entire patio into food central.
Enjoy a mojito or a Mai Tai while working on your tan when you stretch out on a supportive chaise lounge. Any deck space with unobstructed sun is perfect for a chaise set, especially if it’s right by a pool or steps away from the coast. Chaise sets don’t take up much space and add functionality to any beach house outdoor area.
Fire Pit Table
Being situated by the coast can mean colder temperatures and biting winds at night. If you have a secluded patio or small deck by your kitchen, a smart option for that space is a fire pit table where you can carry on conversation late into the night warmed by a glowing, crackling fire. Shop for a fire pit table that requires minimal maintenance so you can head to bed when you’re ready to call it a night.
Need other ideas for your beach house furniture? Check out our blog featuring potential uses for your outdoor spaces.
Weather Considerations for Outdoor Furniture
When shopping for beach house outdoor furniture, you should consider your climate and the common weather issues that come with living so close to the ocean. Here are the top concerns you should keep in mind:
Salty Sea Air
Metal is a durable and popular material choice for long-lasting outdoor furniture. However, in coastal environments, the combination of salt in the air and elevated moisture will cause metal furniture to corrode quickly.
Materials like HDPE lumber prevent visible discoloration and rust. Higher-quality materials can withstand seasons of continuous exposure to salty coastal air without degrading. Coastal-ready furniture can be cleaned with an occasional wipe down using gentle soap and warm water.
Beach homes in warmer climates are optimal for nonstop sun. This is great if you’re looking to catch some rays, but not if your outdoor furniture and materials are susceptible to fading. The extra work of covering furniture and moving cushions to keep them out of the sun can put a damper on an otherwise blissful holiday.
To avoid this problem, opt for materials that won’t fade in the sun. Options like HDPE lumber are more expensive, but they contain UV-inhibitors and stabilizers to protect furniture from environmental degradation. Be sure to look for all-weather performance cushion and umbrella fabric that is optimized for outdoor use.
Rain and Moisture
With guests splashing around the pool or spending time in the ocean, all of your outdoor furniture is bound to get wet even when there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Furniture for beach houses should be crafted to repel moisture with minimal fuss.
Wicker, plastic, and wood furniture can crack, split, or peel in wet environments. HDPE lumber, on the other hand, won’t crumble or warp. Again, shop for all-weather performance fabric to repel bacterial buildup and mildew due to seawater.
Beach House Furniture Style Tips
When choosing your beach house furniture, follow these expert style suggestions to narrow down your options.
Best Colors for Beach House Furniture:
Beige and White — For practical purposes, beach house furniture like rugs, sofa cushions, and chaise lounges benefit from resembling the color of sand. This color palette blends your space into the surroundings. Beige, tan, grey, and white hues help your furnishings appear clean after your family has gone for a dip and spread out on the outdoor living room furniture to dry off.
Blues — Bring the color of the ocean into your design by incorporating vivid blues in your outdoor furniture. Try an air blue cushion on a deep seating chair or a royal blue sling on a wheeled chaise set. These accent colors can add depth to a neutral-toned outdoor area and provide a natural focal point for the eyes.
Coastal furniture has a distinct style that’s casual yet crisp. For beach house furniture, lean toward slatted backs, gentle curves, and generous spaces that characterize the iconic coastal deck furniture style. This will infuse your beach house with New England flair or the elegance of the California coast.
The color palette of the coastal style matches what we suggested: lighter colors like beige and white complemented by vibrant blue tones. For your deck or patio, use cable rails and glass barriers for an unobstructed view of the sea. Furniture with beachy or nautical elements is a great starting point.
Do you have other questions about furnishing your new beach house? Sound off in the comments!
To help you plan your space, check out the POLYWOOD Outdoor Furniture Planner. We’ll ask you about the size and shape of your space, just a few quick questions, and then provide you with some furniture set results.
Blog Post Updated June 1, 2021