Chic Shore Decor

There are some truisms about good beach house decor. That it should be clean, simple, bright, and airy is an imperative. How we achieve that look, however, is somewhat less obvious. It’s a delicate balance—you want to honor your surroundings, but not drown in a sea of ocean-inspired clutter. As we prepare to head off on our first shoreside retreats of the season, in addition to looking forward to salty breezes and walks along the shore, we’re eagerly anticipating the opportunity to enjoy examples of beach decor done right: rooms that reflect both the beautiful views beyond and a serene beach vibe, such as the above space by Katherine Shenaman.

Natural fibers are divine for seaside living: glass jars capture beautiful beach light and make a room glisten; rope or grass decor feels rustic and beachy but still clean. We simply love these pieces from GDC Home, which perfectly embody the natural beauty of the shore.

A beach home is the perfect place for displaying thoughtful and exuberant collectibles. Such mini-exhibitions hold relics from past years’ trips and blissful beach moments. Carefully curated collections of seashells, antique buoys, old surfboards, and other sea-sourced treasures remind us of the wonders and pleasures of the beach itself, which are always worthy of appreciation—even if the ocean’s spray is only a few yards away. The bold, pop-art -inspired wall decor from Rethink Design Studio (top) is a nice take on this concept. It’s clean, modern, and completely works in its environment—especially when paired with the nautical-style window treatments. Another option would be a grouping of planters from THE FISHERMAN’S WIFE, which are richly colored and wonderfully organic in shape. Statement-making but not too serious, they would look right at home in a seaside living room or on a deck.

For truly vibrant beachside living, try pieces with oversized patterns and shapes or brilliant color combinations that draw on all the flavors of summer. Take some inspiration from the interior shot from ECLECTIC CHARLESTON’S retail location (top), and bring the look home with an aqua chandelier from DWELLING & DESIGN, embroidered Trina Turk pillow from NEST FINE GIFTS, or the beautiful Coraline Sculpture from TROVARE HOME.

A classic beach style can be easily achieved through the never-fail combination of blue-and-white and ornate materials or designs that offer a more exotic feel. SANDRA MORGAN INTERIORS beautifully highlights the golds, blues, and creams of formal beachside decor in a Vero Beach abode (above, left). Bring the look home with a whimsical but classic turtle lamp from PROTOCOL paired with a Chevron and Bone Box from SUMMERHOUSE.

Because a beach house functions as more than a home—among other things, it is a gallery for stunning sunsets, a passage for cool sea breezes, and a place to gather for cocktails after quickly washing the sand out of your hair—you want it to feel as fresh and light as the experiences you wish to have in it. Keep it simple and chic down to every last detail. A glowing Pastiche Orb from Dwelling & Design, a cheerful candle holder from TABLE MATTERS, or a nautical-inspired rope lamp from COTTAGE CHIC would be excellent touches in any beach home, and as Rethink Design Studio shows above, pillows in ocean-inspired hues will have guests dreaming about your good taste.

{Additional credits: GDC Home advertising and brand work created by The Branding Garden, Creative Director: Elizabeth Hall. Photographer Julia Lynn}