Living in a beach house is some peoples’ idea of paradise. An airy, relaxing space where the cry of the gulls wakes you in the morning and the soft roar of the ocean lulls you to sleep at night, where nothing seems to matter the way it does in the city; it can relax you and give you room to really be yourself. Walking and swimming will leave you feeling invigorated, and the warm sun will ease away your cares. What could be better?
Getting away from it all â€“ at home!
Bringing the seaside experience into your home is all about recreating the sensations of that perfect space. To echo contemporary beach living you will really need to let the light in, and you should also think about sounds and smells. A simple oil burner with the right oils can create the salt smell of the sea right in your living room, and playing recordings of crashing waves quietly in the background can create the unconscious sensation of being back on the beach. You might even consider growing indoor palm trees, which is easier than it sounds. When you get home from a long day at work you can put your feet up and sink back into your own secret island hideaway.
Because light is so important, most of the colors that suit a beach-style home are pale, letting it bounce around freely. Plain, bright white can look fantastic with the right trimmings, with a roughly painted surface often suiting the theme better than wallpaper. For a stronger, sunnier look, try bright yellow, but be warned: it tends to look better on a feature wall than covering every surface in a room. Other great choices are baby blue and cotton candy pink. Try pink and white vertical stripes for a bedroom.
Natural wood floors are also great for making rooms brighter. If you choose carpet, opt for soft natural shades like cream, beige or taupe, which recall the soft sand you trod underfoot on your favorite vacation.
There’s one important exception to the light colors rule, and that’s navy blue. Used on a feature wall or to cover details such as skirting and doorframes in a white painted room, it can look very striking, and it instantly delivers the maritime look. To make it still more effective, add brass accessories such as clocks or barometers (or just door handles) and use pieces of worn rope as trimming for alcoves and lampshades or as tiebacks for your drapes. Pieces of rope net draped across the angle between wall and ceiling can break up lines and add a quirky character to a small room, such as a bathroom, where you don’t have space to do much else. Navy and white stripes are fantastic for things such as pillows and tablecloths.
Beach furniture tends to have a natural look, sometimes slightly scuffed, and often items complement each other without actually matching, so check out those thrift stores! Natural wood and wickerwork are perfect, and no beach-style home looks complete without a pirate-style treasure chest somewhere among its furnishings, whether it’s serving as a coffee table or simply clothes storage. Don’t forget to include a really comfy sofa set, so you can lounge around and imagine you’re floating in the sea.
Wish you were here
When the rest of the work is done, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your new-look home â€“ pictures of sailing ships and seaside views, framed photos from your vacations, and picture postcards. Sea shells on the mantelpiece or glued to the frames of mirrors add to that natural seaside charm, while tiles featuring fish and other sea creatures can brighten up your kitchen and bathroom.
The perfect beach-style home may leave you longing for the real thing more than ever, but it’s a place where you’ll be able to relax and daydream as you once did on the sand, a place where you can while away your time dreaming of the day when you can make it happen for real.