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How to Decorate a Beach House

Updated on August 19, 2013

Decorating Your Beach House, Cottage or Condo

You're among the privileged; you've a beach home. Now, you have some decorating to do but it needn't cost you plenty in cash nor frustration. Follow along for breezy ideas that are fabulous and budget~friendly.

Congratulations on making a wise investment, one that's dividends result in better mental, physical and fiscal health well into you and your family's future: your very own beach house, cottage or condo. You've found that ideal spot on the coastal map ~ your little island. But knowing how to decorate your beach house shouldn't be a maddening crash course with long~winded tutorials on fifty shades of beige nor the many taboos of toilet decals.

You just want the basics ~ what works.

Scroll down to peruse some fabulous furniture finds and decorating how~tos to catapult your beach house from wan to WOW!, just enough to get you started without overwhelming your senses and sensibility.


Image credit: Beach house welcome sign is available below.

Decorating Your Beach House - Begin with a Substantial Furniture Piece

Begin your decorating efforts by incorporating one substantial furniture piece ~ ideally in your room's focal point. These white chests are great for getting started.

The white finish is the "blank slate" awaiting your personality, style and color palette. These pieces are more of the cottage genre while those further down might suit your preference for a modern or contemporary element.

Flank either side of the chest with lamps if your space is dark or dull. For tight and dimly lit spaces, opt for a large mirror; it will add much needed light and an endless look. No more dark, cramped space!

For an upbeat, energetic ambiance, use bright colors in your artwork and accessories like those featured below. For a quiet, retreat aura, earthy tones do quite nicely.

The chest far left is pricier while the piece on the right has the same elements for less than half the price. As of this writing, free shipping if offered on both chests.

Tropical Metal Wall Art - Palm Tree Decor

Metal sculptures add a layered, 3D element to your wall space. These unique pieces work well above the console tables featured above. The sculptures bring nature's beauty to your room and add a convincing, tropical ambiance you'll love. Add the fabulous palm leaves on both sides of your room to tie the area together or hang one of the larger pieces on a small wall where the art will consume its width. Greens and browns are great tropical hues and make easy work of decorating around.

More Beach Cottage Chests

Getting Your Tropical Look Started

Here's more choices for creating your beach home's first impression. Again, the pieces on the left are pricier while their companions on the right are budget~friendly. The white finish allows you the freedom to decorate in whatever direction you love. Remember: bright means breezy and lively while brown, earthy tones project a soothing retreat~like ambiance. All pieces offer free shipping save for the far right chest which is only $6.95 a of this writing.

Decorating Your Beach House with Furniture: Cottage Style White Prentice Dresser

Decorating Your Beach House with Furniture: Cape Cod Style Dresser in White Finish

Decorating Your Beach House with Furniture: South Shore Vito White Dresser

Decorating Your Beach House with Furniture: White Berkshire Six ~ Drawer Dresser

Fabulous Driftwood Tables - Nature at it's Finest

These amazing driftwood tables have seemingly the spirit and power of many ebbing ocean tides, thundering waves and the solace of the surf. They're the very essence of nature, its unpredictable elements and the sea at its finest, sculpted into splendor. Ever the crowning jewel in your living space, these fittingly crafted tables will certainly earn their keep as show~stopper and conversation piece. For smaller spaces, the round coffee table will suffice, while larger rooms can accommodate two end tables as well without overwhelming your space. No two will be alike, as nature is the artist. Aren't these driftwood tables something?

Uttermost Driftwood Glass Top Cocktail Table, Teak
Uttermost Driftwood Glass Top Cocktail Table, Teak
Decorating with Driftwood: Glass Top Driftwood Console TableDecorating with Driftwood: Driftwood w/ Glass Top Side TableDecorating with Driftwood: Solid Teak Driftwood Cocktail TableDecorating with Driftwood: Glass Top Table with Driftwood Base

Budget~Friendly Console Tables

Increase Your Beach Home's Storage

Extra storage is always a welcome addition to your beach house but melding it with a furniture piece such as these console tables is a two~for~one bonus. These great pieces can be placed in a foyer or entryway and are a perfect place to put all those little extras that often go missing like cameras, CDs and kids' sunglasses. These consoles also work well in dining areas for dinnerware or extra place mats. Adorn the top with sculptures like the driftwood pieces below or add lighting and top off with paintings or metal sculptures. Make your entryway go from "what ever" to WOW!

Beach House Decorating: Console Table with Storage

Beach House Decorating: Console Table with Storage

Beach House Decorating: Console Table with Storage

Decorating Your Beach House's Walls - Tropical Paintings

These amazing tropical paintings lend a convincing statement to your beach home's decor. First, choose your work according to your love of the piece, followed by what direction you want your room to follow. The striking, fiery elements of the predominantly orange sun glow painting on the left works well to define your room's focal point; it's ideal for contemporary to modern decor. While the piece directly right of it emits a playful vibe. Can you "hear" the island music and lively spirit of Caribbean nightlife? Choosing your artwork is easy if you define the size and the overall "spirit" of the work. Basically, deciding on artwork is like choosing among sumptuous cuisine offered from a fine dining menu: taste first, followed by portion size. Look at the painting and "feel" its message. Every piece delivers its own story. If you love it, it will love you back in years of servitude.

Asian Home Modern Abstract Art Oil Painting Stretched Ready to Hang OPA15
Asian Home Modern Abstract Art Oil Painting Stretched Ready to Hang OPA15
Decorating Your Beach House with Tropical Wall Art: Tropical Fiesta Pallete Knife Original Oil PaintingDecorating Your Beach House with Tropical Wall Art: Hawaii Beach Seashore Sunrise Original 5 Panel/PieceDecorating Your Beach House with Tropical Wall Art: Hand Painted Seashore Beach Oil Painting 3 PieceDecorating Your Beach House with Tropical Wall Art: Hand Painted Oil Painting Pacific Ocean Big Wave

Beach Cottage Accessories: - Driftwood Art sculptures

These fun driftwood sculptures work well with any decorating scheme in your beach house or cottage. Ideal for bedroom shelves, and living room console tables to kitchen counters. Their earthy, weathered hues coupled with the natural element of driftwood lends to their beauty ~you can almost sense the miracle of nature, borne off many tides, tumbling waves and silver moons. These pieces are definitely art that "breathes" life.

Using Lighting to Decorate - Lighting Up Your Beach House

Lamps add both utility and beauty to your decorating efforts. Consider your beach house's "feel" and need for additional lighting before you make your final decision in opting for lamps and/or overhead lighting. Ask yourself if you aspire to create a natural, tropical ambiance or more artsy, modern vibe. Fill dark corners with floor or table lamps. Successful lighting banishes those dark corners while adding a needed, decorative element. Consider color, shape, style and function for the best results.

Tropical Antique Look Bird Table Lamp By Collections Etc
Tropical Antique Look Bird Table Lamp By Collections Etc
Beach House Lighting:Set of 2 Table Lamps w/ Bamboo Style Beach House Lighting: Rattan Rope Style Palm Tree LampBeach House Lighting: Pineapple Table LampBeach House Lighting: Banana Leaves Table Lamp

Using Mirrors to Decorate

Ideal Beach Home Accessories

Mirrors "expand" your space visually while bouncing light about your room. These tropical themed mirrors add a lovely touch above chests, accent tables and buffets.

A different approach to displaying mirrors above furniture or along larger walls is to hang two or several in a line for a gallery look making your room appear larger while adding incredible light to your space. Brighten up and expand any dark or dimly lit area.

For high ceilings, consider hanging several round mirrors vertically to suggest portholes.

Take your mirror's reflection into account. Keep trash cans and other unsightly objects out of the mirror's scope; you definitely don't want double the "unpleasantries."

Good suggestions for the mirror's reflection might be plants or colorful artwork, including the palm tree wall decals featured below ~ it's like having twice the wall art!

How to Decorate Your Beach Home Using Mirrors: Round Cast Iron Mirror

How to Decorate Your Beach Home Using Mirrors: Tropical Leaf Mirror 27" X 35"

How to Decorate Your Beach Home Using Mirrors: Large Polynesian Arched Mirror

How to Decorate Your Beach Home Using Mirrors: Palm Leaf Oval Mirror 25" X 35"

How to Decorate Your Beach Home Using Mirrors: Palm Leaf Lidi Check Mirror 29" X 25"

Rattan & Wicker Tables

Decorate with Natural Beauty

Glass and rattan or wicker (really any natural grass weave) works best for furnishing your beach house, as it won't interrupt your floor space like solid pieces do. Open, light and airy pieces keep your rooms in the breezy, tropical feel. Avoid dark, bulky pieces that weigh heavy on your room's valuable free space. Less clutter, less stress; keep it light.

How to Decorate a Beach House/Cottage with Furniture Pieces: Palm Tree Coffee Table

How to Decorate a Beach House/Cottage with Furniture Pieces: Palm Tree End Table

How to Decorate a Beach House/Cottage with Furniture Pieces: Rattan/Wicker Table

How to Decorate a Beach House/Cottage with Furniture Pieces: Rattan/Wicker Table

Using Accessories to Decorate

your Beach House or Cottage

Accessories are your room's defining pieces. From art to accent pillows and lighting, consider color, texture, size and style as you choose your room's extras.

Texture: Round, shiny and smooth finishes work best for bouncing light around dark or small spaces. Smooth and round textures give the illusion of infinity, as there's no stopping point (abrupt edges).

Size: Large pieces on large walls; small pieces on small walls. Yes, small pieces can be grouped on larger walls, but be careful not to create a cluttered, busy look ~ not what you want for a peaceful retreat. Be conservative if you choose the collection route and reserve it for kitchens and gathering areas. Small pieces used alone on large expanses get lost in the wall, contradicting the art piece's value. Make sure your artwork is the wall's largest aspect.

Style: Consider your beach house's style. Cool and breezy? Soft, tranquil beach cottage? Hip, Caribbean gem? Choose accessories accordingly. Use vibrant colors or soft hues; try not to send "mixed messages" when decorating. Keep to your look from front door to patio.

Color: Decorate for your personality; make it yours. Opt for bright oranges, yellows and reds for an upbeat, lively ambiance. Choose soft blues and sandy hues for a tranquil beach cottage retreat look and feel. Bear in mind though, that adding brighter loud colors will interrupt your efforts for tranquility if you go the quiet retreat route.

There's no right or wrong style; it's all about you!

How~To for Using Accent Pillows

Accessorizing Your Beach House

These accent pillow support the soft decorating palette. The gentler tones absorb light and are quiet; they "whisper."

How to Use Tropical Accessories to Decorate: Tropical Angel Fish Accent Pillow

How to Use Tropical Accessories to Decorate: Beach Scene with Sailboat Accent Pillow

How to Use Tropical Accessories to Decorate: Beach Palm Tree Throw/Accent Pillow

How to Use Tropical Accessories to Decorate: Red Crab Beach Cottage Accent Pillow

How to Use Tropical Accessories to Decorate: Palm Trees Accent/Throw Pillow

Cute Beach House Welcome Sign - 13.5~inch Square

Welcome To Our Beach House Pink Flamingo Sign 13.5x13.5 Framed Art Print Picture by Kim Lewis
Welcome To Our Beach House Pink Flamingo Sign 13.5x13.5 Framed Art Print Picture by Kim Lewis
This welcoming beach sign makes a great foyer or covered patio piece. Your friends and family will feel the warmth!

Share your decorating story.


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