Living in a beach town and working as a designer some styles can become exhausting. So many people move here from up north or out west and want a classic or typical beach house. The reality is that it means something totally different for each one of us.

One element that has plagued beach design style for decades is the amount of water related kitsch. I am happy to say there is a movement away from this. There is really no need to have all this in your home, if you live at the beach, you should already know you are there, you don’t need signage to remind you.

On to a more refined aesthetic centered is calming neutral pallets and natural materials and tones. As a designer I work based on a set of principles, one of which is repetition to create a rhythm. One thing I like to use is to repeat the materials we see outside on the inside.

1. Wood- use wood in your interior. And please don’t just use shiplap. That is so overdone these days. Yes it is beautiful and if you already have it you know the investment was well spent. I would not recommend using the kits form Home Depot, they look like what you have spent on them. It’s better to just repaint if you can’t afford a good lumber to create real nickel joint.

You can use wood in a living room, bedroom or bathroom. If you already have a wood floor I wouldn’t use too much more. You can choose a wall to add a vertical, horizontal, chevron or herringbone to create more interest.

2. Stone – again can be expensive. Honesty stone is being used inappropriately everywhere! The idea is to use material that occurs naturally where you live. So bringing flagstone to Florida is not the best. I would use a limestone or coral here. It works!

3. Neutral tones – paint is the cheapest way to achieve change and upgrade. I know whites have been in style for a while now, I have to admit whites are my favorite color to use in a space because I prefer to show off light and artwork, rather than have a tone of different colors in a space. It creates a negative space for your eye to rest. That is the goal is to create a restful space in your home to rejuvenate your mind and body.

4. Organic furnishings – Repeating material from the exterior to the interior makes the transition form out doors to indoors that much easier. When choosing furniture try to use an accent chair made of cane and wood. The fabric can be a botanical print. These pieces are so easy on the eye and add interest while reflecting what’s going on outside.

5. Accent colors – keep them in the realm of what you see when you take a walk to the beach. Keep them in the blues, aquas, tans, pale greens. This will apply to your pillows, artworks, accent chair, lighting.

Keeping it simple and not overdoing the pieces in your home and following these simple tips will get you where you want to be. I would recommend first purging everything! That way you have a blank slate to work in. Create a plan, make a story board of what you want to use and then use it sparingly. Keep space open and airy, light wall colors, use natural materials inside blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, use botanicals patterns on furnishings and pillows for textural interest, natural accent colors taken from the sea.

Be sure to share this if you find it helpful at all! And comment if you have any questions.