From Sydney to Santa Cruz: 4 Ways to Give Your Home a Beach Makeover

As winter finally (finally!) starts to retreat into hibernation, dreams of summer nights and beach days have filled our imaginations.

If you can't find the time to make it seaside, below are a few decorative ideas to give your own home a tropical twist.

Discover Your Beach Personality

First and foremost, you need to discover your individual beach personality.

Do you love a modern, glamorous space a la the Hamptons or do you prefer to emulate a laid-back surf shack in Santa Cruz? Maybe you love the quirky & colorful style of Curacao or the relaxed yet busy atmosphere found at Bondi Beach in Sydney? Regardless, there are a few common themes to help you bring the beach to your home.

1. Incorporate Architectural Details

Apply the character of the coast to your home's exterior with beach house accents.

Many seaside homes feature wide, wooden porches or louvered doors that easily transition indoor gatherings to alfresco oases. Canvas curtains to protect furniture from the elements and lend a texture of softness. Since beach houses tend to reflect their surroundings, take note of your own to find the perfect exterior paint color. Beach houses in California or the Gulf are often brighter than those found in Cape Cod or other eastern coastal towns.

2. Bring the Outdoors In

Re-create a serene getaway with wicker lounge chairs surrounded by lush plants, such as plumerias, tropical shrubs or palms, to transport you to the coast without ever having to leave your home.

For added decor, use baskets, woven rugs and lampshades in rattan, help or jute. If you have the luxury of over-looking the water, use minimal accessories to allow the outdoor views to become the room's focal point. (because it doesn't get much better than the real deal!)

For flooring, Freshome suggests using natural options instead of man-made flooring.  Options like wide-plank wood floors bring additional organic elements into your home. Try adding other outdoor cues such as photographs or objects of nature that you don't necessarily have on hand, including: starfish, driftwood, shells and smooth pebble rocks. For patio furniture, bring in chairs with a tree-like feel from a retailer like Wayfair.

3. Transform your Backyard

To provide an escape from the heat, day or night, construct an open-air pavilion.

It can serve as a place for your guests to freshen up from pool activities or enjoy a snack or drink. However, if you'd rather use it all four seasons, consider investing in a larger structure to serve as guest quarters. Or let's imagine you've got a sunroom or wrap-around porch. Consider adding an extra-deep porch swing to make the most of your lazy Sunday afternoons and re-create the coastal vibe by adding canvas curtains and bright accent colors. For those larger structures, add porthole-style windows, columns with tropical ivy climbing the sliding glass doors.

4. Subtle Indoor Tweaks

For subtle references toward a particular beachy region, consider adding just one seaside reference, such as a palm-patterned rug or seashell accents.

But, if you're in the position to make an interior design overhaul consider making larger changes. To channel the California coast, search for crisp white furniture (i.e. a couch or a dinning table) and add punches of bright colors like aqua to mimic the ocean and oranges or yellows inspired by the sun. Washed-out stripes or horizontal wooden slats on the wall in a living room or bathroom would be reminiscent of old Gulf-front houses. If you prefer to illicit cottage charm, use simple decorative details like nautical-inspired lamp shades, breezy draperies and bead board walls.

Lastly, choose eco-friendly materials for your home when available. Bedding, towels, throw pillows and even cleaning products and paint can come in earth-friendly varieties. You can even get reclaimed wood flooring for your home.  This will not only help you feel closer to nature, but Mother Earth will thank you!

Filed Under: Do-It-Yourself | Interior Design |

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