What’s not to love about a beach retreat? Sun, sand, and ideally, a gorgeous beach house that delivers a resort-style home away from home. From Hilton Head to Tybee Island, beach houses across the South are offering up interior design inspiration to make us swoon.
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6 Beach House Decor Trends to Swoon Over
Channel Nature (Naturally!)
A sisal rug. A raw-edged wood table. Lighting fixtures made of twigs or vines. Nature-inspired design is trending, and beach houses are an ideal space to explore this trend. Whether you stock up on houseplants or incorporate natural materials such as stone, sea glass, rattan, jute, and bamboo, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found by the shore.
This Brad Ramsey Interiors design in Alys Beach, FL, shows that adding greenery, from succulents to flowering vines, is a step toward channeling that beach house vibe. Interior Design: Brad Ramsey Interiors, Image: Jack Gardner
This tranquil space at a seaside home in Sullivan’s Island, SC, from designer Susan Galvani, boasts a natural rug and stone table accent. Interior Design: Spruce Interior Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
A jute light fixture brings natural materials to this breezy Kiawah Island, SC, sunroom. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
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Shiplap is IN!
Shiplap is showing up in design projects all over the South. Though rumor has it this trend might be waning in 2022, we have yet to see it happen — particularly when it comes to beach houses. From living rooms and kitchens to bathrooms and everything in between, the clean lines of shiplap offer a casual-yet-elegant vibe that beach houses seek to embody.
“Shiplap adds an instant architectural feature in a home, and warmth, too,” says Georgia-based designer Maggie Griffin, “especially in all-white or monochromatic interiors. Adding this type of wood treatment to the walls — or ceilings even — adds character, dimension, and texture.”
This home in Kiawah Island showcases the stunning contrast between white shiplap and rich wood ceiling beams. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
Though this is actually a lakeside home on Georgia’s Lake Oconee rather than a beach home, the use of shiplap is simply too strong not to include it! Interior Design: Maggie Griffin Design, Image: Brian Bieder
A Wrightsville Beach, NC, residence juxtaposes the clean lines of shiplap with the cozy warmth of earth tones. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
A New Approach to Sea-Inspired Accents
The ocean has inspired many works of art — from Moby Dick to paintings by Mary Cassatt and Paul Gauguin. But recent interior design trends look beyond driftwood and seashells to offer a more eclectic spin on seaside influences, with everything from silver-coated tortoise shells to hand-painted surfboards.
Reminiscent of a clamshell, this pretty outdoor swing is the perfect place to relax. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
This hand-painted surfboard is an eye-catching piece that adds an artistic, ocean-inspired element to this Sullivan’s Island kitchen. Interior Design: Spruce Interior Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
Silver-coated tortoise shells adorn a bedroom wall. Featured in a lakeside home on Lake Burton in Georgia, similar pieces would translate well to a seaside retreat. Interior Design: Maggie Griffin Design, Image: Brian Bieder
Dive in! A neon sign brings a more modern beach vibe to this Kiawah Island home. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
Bring On the Blue
As if an extension of the ocean itself, blue appears to be the most beloved beach house hue, whether popping up in table vignettes to offset a mostly white decor scheme or prominently displayed as a home’s exterior color. And with so many shades to choose from, be it slate, aquamarine, indigo, or navy, there’s no shortage of hues to consider.
“We vacation to the beach to relax and unwind,” offers Derek Van Mol of Van Mol Restoration. “I think blue is a popular beach house color because it calls to mind feelings of calmness or serenity. Much like the ocean, it is often described as tranquil and peaceful.”
Sometimes less is more! Starting with a clean, crisp aesthetic is one of the essential beach house design basics. Opt for a minimalist approach, incorporating carefully chosen furniture pieces and thoughtfully placed art and mementos. When discussing this year’s interior design trends, Atlanta-based boutique hotel designer Libby Patrick of Sims Patrick Studio said, “Overall, I see us moving toward more simplified, relaxed, and comfortable environments and getting rid of the clutter.”
A simple corner wows in a Sullivan’s Island home. Interior Design: Spruce Interior Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
White-on-white with muted seaside tones offers a tranquil atmosphere in this Alys Beach home. Maintaining a completely neutral palette can be highly effective! Interior Design: Brad Ramsey Interiors, Image: Jack Gardner
Set the beach house scene without overwhelming the space with oodles of keepsakes. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
Let the Walls “Talk”
From New York City high-rises to Colonial-style Southern mansions, wallpaper has been one of the most prevalent trends in recent years. It comes as no surprise that it’s also making a consistent appearance in oceanside abodes, showing up as everything from a subtle ceiling addition to a boldly patterned accent wall.
“We are craving color and pattern,” says Maggie Griffin, “and for the color-shy, adding a zippy wallpaper in secondary areas is an easy way to add a little fun and flair without a huge commitment.”
Subtle shades of pink make this wallpaper an eye-catching addition to this bedroom in Wrightsville Beach. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
We love these custom bunk beds against a patterned wallpapered backdrop. Interior Design: Maggie Griffin Design, Image: Brian Bieder
Bathrooms often allow beautiful wallpaper to shine, thanks to the natural light filtering in. Interior Design: Maggie Griffin Design, Image: Brian Bieder
This gorgeous, beachy wallcovering makes for a fun and festive bedroom design. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
The pattern-on-pattern design gives textured depth to this beach house bedroom in Wrightsville. Interior Design: Cortney Bishop Design, Image: Katie Charlotte Photography
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aluxum This article was coproduced with Mark Roussin. Not long ago, the housing market was once the darling of the U.S. economy. It was an unstoppable force, with sellers making money hand-over-fist in ever-rising amounts. Now things are beginning to soften – though notice I didn’t say “decline” or “weaken.” […]