How to Plan and Decorate a Beach House

Originally Published on February 22, 2020. Last Updated on June 11, 2024.

Your sunny summer days relaxing at the beach are just around the corner. You’ve been dreaming of owning an oceanfront property your entire life, and now that you’ve closed the sale, it’s time to set sail towards bliss.

Whether you plan to stay at your beach house for family vacations or snowbird getaways, you’ll need to decorate your home. Casual yet elegant, contemporary coastal style is known to reflect the slow pace of living life along the shore. With this decorating guide, you can effortlessly create a laid-back atmosphere in your seaside home.

Wave Collection 4-Piece Adirondack Chair Set
Wave Collection 4-Piece Adirondack Chair Set

Treat the Walls with a Fresh Coat of Paint 

Before you begin bringing in the furniture, brighten up the walls with a fresh coat of paint to symbolize a new, easy-going chapter in your life. From cool tones to earthy hues, there are a variety of shades you can use to set the overall atmosphere of your beachside retreat.

Vineyard 3-Piece Adirondack Rocking Chair Set
Vineyard 3-Piece Adirondack Rocking Chair Set

Breezy Blues

The color of the sea, blue is known to have a calming effect on the mind. Give your living room a turquoise accent wall and allow yourself to feel centered, balanced, and at peace while sipping your morning coffee.

Off-White Hues

Although refined white walls are guaranteed to illuminate your space, there is a risk that they are more likely to show dust and appear unapproachable. If you want a laid-back look, lighten the room with a coat of eggshell or ivory.

Shades of Green

This calming color will remind you of the palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze. The color green symbolizes prosperity, encourages a clear mind, and provides a charming contrast against the sparkling water.

Experiment with Shiplap

No matter the color palette you chose for your home’s interior, you can’t go wrong with a charming shiplap wall. Whether you splash a few boards beneath your kitchen counters or along your staircase wall, shiplap paneling will give your coastal abode that cozy, lived-in feel you’ve been longing for.

Try Colorful Furniture

If your home is decorated with mostly neutral colors, add some contrast with a few colorful statement pieces. This will make a huge impact on your beach house’s style. Mix in vibrant pops of orange to transform your beach house into a bright island hangout. A rainbow of Adirondack chairs lining your deck will immediately add a playful vibe to your space.

Classic Folding Adirondack
Classic Folding Adirondack

Add a Few Nautical Accents 

From sailor stripes to rope knots, subtly placing a few nautical knickknacks around your vacation home provides an overarching style. The idea is to infuse your personal decorating preferences with tasteful maritime accent pieces rather than overdoing an outdated ocean theme. Gone are the days of seashell-laden bathrooms and fishing nets in every room. Simply pile a few striped pillows onto the sofa and install a porthole mirror over an entryway table and you’re done! It’s all about the ambiance, not the décor. 

Upcycle Your Furniture

Did you upgrade your bedroom set or dining table before you bought your beach house? If you have a spare nightstand, end table, or china hutch tucked away in storage, give these pieces a new home on the coast. Use chalk paint and vintage door pulls to give your old furniture a new lease on life. Reminiscent of colonial ships, antiqued pieces give your home the effortless charm of coastal style.

Choose the Right Outdoor Furniture for Your Deck 

There’s no better place to admire the view than from your waterfront deck. Create an outdoor oasis where you can keep your eyes on the horizon. Whether you want to spend your time basking in the sun or sipping cocktails at the outdoor bar, choosing the right furniture for your beachfront deck is vital. Avoid warped wood, rusted wrought iron, and mildewed cushions when you select the best material for your deck.

Coastal 3-Piece Wheeled Chaise Set
Coastal 3-Piece Wheeled Chaise Set

Move Your Dining Room Outdoors

If you have a deck, patio, or balcony facing the water, move your dining room outside to enjoy dinner with unobstructed views of a sunset sky filled with striking colors. Listen to crashing waves and chirping seagulls in the background as you gather around the outdoor dining table with your loved ones. Dress your dining set with plush outdoor cushions to segue comfortably from dinner to game night.

Vineyard Adirondack 5-Piece Nautical Trestle Dining Set
Vineyard Adirondack 5-Piece Nautical Trestle Dining Set

Warm-Up Winter Nights with a Fire Pit Table

Being on the beach means that many nights can be filled with cooler temperatures. However, with a stylish fire pit table, you can warm up any time you want. Equipped with an adjustable flame, fire pit tables provide the heat of a crackling beach bonfire without the hassle or hazard. Surround your fire pit table with cozy chairs to accompany your fellow snowbirds.

Modern Curveback Adirondack 5-Piece Conversation Set with Fire Pit Table
Modern Curveback Adirondack 5-Piece Conversation Set with Fire Pit Table

When decorating your beach house’s outdoor space, opt for furniture with gentle curves and slatted backs to reflect the barefoot luxury that coastal living is known for. If you’re still not sure how to decorate your vacation home, draw some inspiration from these waterfront spaces.

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