|You don't have to live along the shoreline to enjoy the airy peacefulness of a beach decor in your home. Even if you are located inland, miles away from the sea, you can create the laidback atmosphere of a shore house with a little creativity and craftiness. If you are considering redecorating your home to invoke the essence of the beach, this guide will provide you with some tips to create a shore-inspired haven you can enjoy all year long.
Natural FabricsBeach houses are designed for relaxation and easy living. This means simple, no-frills decor that is low maintenance and effortless to clean. Rough-textured materials like wicker, sisal, sea grass, jute, bamboo and coir add an authentic beach flavor to any interior, and are perfect for chairs, tables and rugs. Linen and cotton are airy and soft natural fabrics that are well-suited for your draperies and couches. If you don't want to purchase all new furniture, a slipcover is an easy way to create a beachy feel for your sofa.
Simple Window TreatmentsGauzy linen or sheer curtains in white, beige or cream are perfect for a shore motif. Avoid heavy, dark draperies that won't let in any sunlight--you want to give your rooms the warm, sun-kissed feel of a day at the beach. However, for times when you want some privacy, bamboo shades or wooden blinds have the casual flair of a shore home and easily fold up when you want to let the light back inside.
Beachy ColorsMuted and understated shades of sea-inspired colors such as oyster, coral, sea-green, pearl, sunny yellow and sandy beige work well for a beach decor. Layer multiple shades of one hue to keep the room from looking overly monochromatic, or contrast natural colors such as white, cream or beige with accents of vivid turquoise or ocean blue. Paint the walls pale shades of ivory or cream and choose an accent color for the ceiling, trim or one wall for a bold pop of color. For a more nautical appearance, try navy blue and white with a hint of red.
Distressed WoodAvoid using wood furniture that's varnished--the slick and shiny surface is all wrong in a beach home. Remember, the idea is to create an organic and unrefined ambience. Decorate with pieces that are unfinished, with distressed paint or natural wood. You can create the distressed wood look yourself easily, with some paint, wax, steel wool and a little sanding. Simply sand the piece, paint it with your base color, rub a little candle wax on the areas you would like to show through, paint it with your top coat, then rub off the candle wax with the steel wool. In a few short steps, you can instantly create a table or cabinet with beach charm and character.
PlantsNothing rounds out the earthy, natural feel of a beach house like a little greenery. An indoor palm will instantly invoke beach flavor, a tall, tree-like fig-leaf plant adds a tropical touch with its large, petal-like leaves, and exotic succulent plants are easy to care for and give the appearance of aquatic plant life.
Seashell AccentsNaturally beautiful shells make the perfect decorative accessory for your beach-inspired motif. Collect an assortment of seashells, sand dollars, colorful rocks and pebbles, starfish, and bits of coral and arrange them in a dish or vase in your home. Large, standalone shells or pieces of driftwood also make excellent centerpieces. Use these accessories sparingly--they make great focal points, but overdoing it can turn your look from chic to cliche.
Sea ScentsOnce you have created the look of the beach, you will want to mimic the aroma! Sea-inspired fragrances are available in candles, sprays and potpourris that will fill your home with the scents of salt water, ocean breezes, or coconut suntan lotion. After lighting the wick or spraying a light mist in the air, you'll be able to close your eyes and feel as if you are walking right along the sandy shore.