Beach Home Decor

“Beach home.” What an evocative phrase: the sun shines on it; a breeze blows through it; you could hang a hammock from it and nap, guilt free, all afternoon. We often have fond memories of the beach: feeling carefree, no stress, casual living and space, and lots of light.

It's about plenty of light, plenty of space and enough time to do anything - or nothing. And while decorating a beach house used to mean white on white on blue with white, these days beach decor is less about how things look and more about how they make you feel.

Bring the Outside Inside

Whether you have an oceanfront home or not - and the majority of Americans live in close proximity to a coastline - you can always decorate like you do. The key to beach home decor is bringing the outside to the inside. Sliding glass doors give way to swinging French doors. Wool carpets get paired with sisal or cotton. Sea shells, a chunk of driftwood, a bowl of beach glass all bring the sea inside.

You don't have to start from scratch, and you don't have to spend a lot of money. You can bring the beach ambiance indoors with a gorgeous painting of the ocean combined with a collection of natural or nautical articles.

Beach houses work best when they draw from their surroundings and are a perfect showcase for collections that come from the area. Let your decorating be whimsical. Because a beach house is often a second home, you can be more relaxed in the decorating style you choose. A beach house filled with whimsy is wonderful.

Use Color and Texture

One striking beach home design bypassed the traditional white-and-blue palette, and instead filled the house with the rich range of colors found in the sunrises and sunsets. The garnet and wine tones stood their ground against the saturated blues of the ocean vista visible from every window in the house.

Textured fabrics and bold carpets were combined with polished woodwork and a glass table, an echo of the play of silky water against rough sand.

Introducing a contrasting color can give a beautiful complement to what's going on outside a window. Complimentary colors form a rich contrast and give balance. Balance is what you're after, in any house, really. Balance the indoors with the outdoors in a beach house, and you're on the right track.