What could be better than a relaxing stay at your beach house where the décor makes you feel like you’re on vacation the moment you step through the door? Well, it helps if you know that you won’t have to worry about ruining or staining your furniture or if sun damage will wreck your holiday home furnishings.
When decorating your beach house, style is incredibly important to get that beach life feeling. Choose furniture that is durable, multipurpose, and requires very little maintenance. After all, less time cleaning means more time for you to sit in the sun and drink that pina colada.
The best furniture for a beach house conveys a coastal style with materials in colors inspired by the surroundings. Relaxing décor will be easy to maintain and keep clean so as not to spoil the vacation. Hard-wearing wood and Performance fabric will make the best furniture for a beach house.
I’ve looked at how to combine an effortless sense of coastal style with affordable, long-lasting materials. By choosing furniture that not only gives you a calm, relaxed space for you to unwind but also gives you peace and tranquillity when it comes to cleaning, you have set the scene for the best beach house get-away.
Beach houses need to feel as though you are entering a different space from your usual day-to-day home. Natural, soothing colors that reflect the sand and ocean are always winners in coastal style, but some furniture stands up better to the elements than others. To get a great beach house style without wasting money on unsuitable fabrics, let’s talk about the best furniture for coastal décor.
What Is the Best Furniture For A Beach House?
When you start choosing furniture for your beach house, you’ll need to know exactly what kind of place you want and how you’ll be using it. A beach house designed to meet the needs of a rambunctious family of six plus Labrador will be very different from one designed for a couple who likes the minimalist style.
Think about storage and practicality, especially if you have limited space in which to work. Couches that fold out into extra sleeping areas are a great way to make use of space. You may find that instead of a dining table and chairs, you use barstools along a kitchen counter.
A beach house will be more soothing if it doesn’t feel cluttered, so choosing furniture that doesn’t overwhelm the space and can have dual use is always a good idea. If you know your family tends to be messy and will be tracking in sand, spilling lotion, and dripping ocean water everywhere, choose hard-wearing Performance fabrics like Sunbrella rather than easily stained linens.
The best furniture for a beach house will be comfortable, practical, and easy to keep clean. Soothing colors like blues and greens that reflect the ocean work well for upholstery. Wooden furniture and natural fibers add to the restful atmosphere. Stay with a color scheme that is bright and airy rather than dark. Wooden furniture can even be painted white for extra lightness. Pastels and light, airy neutrals will work well for an atmosphere of soothing tranquility.
How Do You Furnish A Beach House?
The best beach house décor will be a reflection of your personality as well as your surroundings. One great tip is to choose a central, focal piece of furniture and design your style around that. Use natural colors that evoke sand and sun; neutral soft greys and ivories are great backdrops to brighter accents. Furniture in natural materials like wood can be brightened up with accent colors that draw inspiration from the ocean. Scatter cushions in blues, greens, and even corals can make a stunning statement against a neutral pale sofa.
Keep color schemes simple and soothing. Keep the style consistent throughout, and your beach house will feel more cohesive and relaxing. While a few sea-themed accessories can add a nautical touch, don’t go overboard with the shells and trinkets. Let the beach house style come through in the clean lines of your furniture. A neutral rug in jute or sisal can hide sand while adding to the coastal theme.
Wood that has been painted white is also a great nautical look, especially when paired against shades of blue. Beach houses tend to have large windows that let in a lot of sun, so look for fabrics that will not fade. Many modern blended fabrics are specifically designed to stand up to bright sun and stains and can be used indoors and outdoors. Choose appealing fabrics that are soft to the touch but also spill and water-resistant. Lighter colors work better in a beach house, giving that air of bright, casual sunny days.
Accessories and Soft Furnishings For a Beach House
When choosing accessories, less is more. Choose accessories that have an organic feel that reflects the coast, like driftwood, glass, and shells. Rather choose one statement piece, like a large conch shell, for impact. The best art will suit the tone of the furnishings and painted walls and pull the theme together.
A single item of furniture can be the centerpiece around which your décor theme revolves. Use your accessories and soft furnishing only to complement it rather than make the furniture feel cluttered. For example, a large sofa upholstered in a pale sandy white would be a statement piece of furniture. Accent scatter cushions would add to the comfort and be subtle pops of color. You can pick up these same colors in small pieces throughout the beach house, which would tie the décor together.
Small furniture items like side tables or lamps can be quirky and colorful without overpowering the statement piece of furniture.
Rugs and curtains in neutral shades will pull everything together and protect floors and furniture from sand, water, and bright sun. To keep that soothing feeling of a cozy beach house, keep to softer colors in a single theme, and avoid overpowering the sense with too much clashing color and unnecessary furniture items.
What Fabric to Use for Upholstery In A Beach House?
It’s best to save the expensive and more delicate furnishings for less-used rooms. Bedrooms can have linens and softer, delicate fabrics, while sunrooms and living areas are best served using Performance fabrics like Sunbrella.
Performance fabrics were once considered for outdoor use only. These were fabrics developed to be stain-, fade- and spill-resistant. They were designed to withstand abrasion and harsh weather. Sounds like just the thing for a beach house. Many people still think performance fabrics are limited to outdoor furnishings, but these days the fabrics come in a huge range of patterns, colors, and even textures.
If you’re looking for fabric that has great longevity and is easy to keep clean, then have a look through the many available types of Performance fabrics. The fibers are made to ensure that you have only to do a minimal amount of cleaning to avoid spills turning into stains.
Beach houses get a lot of sunlight, and these fade-resistant fabrics make great upholstery choices. Cover sofas and ottomans with performance fabrics to avoid stains and unsightly damage. Dining chairs can be upholstered with slipcovers that are easily cleaned and updated.
The Best Material for Beach House Furniture
Even indoors, beach house furniture will be exposed to elements like salt air, water, and oily spills. Ocean air is known to have quite an effect on wooden furniture. The heat can also be a factor in choosing what kind of material furniture to buy. Some properties experience very harsh winter weather, so be aware that these climate changes can negatively affect your furniture both indoors and out.
When shopping, look for furniture that can:
- Withstand temperature changes.
- Resist humidity and excess moisture and won’t rot or grow mold.
- Be wiped down and cleaned easily.
- Last you many years and is durable against abrasive sand and salt.
Which Wooden Furniture is Best For a Beach House?
If you choose wooden furniture, choose hardwoods, such as teak, oak, birch, maple, or walnut.
Teak is such a durable wood, resistant to water and sun damage that it was traditionally used in shipbuilding. As such, it’s usually used in outdoor furniture, especially because it’s so expensive. However, many people are choosing to use outdoor pieces indoors in their beach houses. Remember that all woods will need to be maintained with suitable oils and cleaners to keep them looking their best and preserving them from salt and humidity.
If you go with more traditional indoor wood choices, maple is an excellent choice for furniture that will receive daily use. Maple is known as one of the hardest woods you can find for furniture. The harder maple is usually a lighter color than soft maple. Of the hardwoods, it’s one of the more economical, making it a good option if you want a hardwood on a budget.
Birch is delightfully pale blond wood that makes it an excellent choice in coastal décor. It’s also a very durable wood and is fairly abundant. It’s often used in modern, minimalistic designs and will complement an unfussy, clean style.
A modern trend is to use traditionally outdoor furniture indoors. High-density-polyethylene recycled lumber (HDPE) is usually used for garden furniture because it is weather-resistant, durable, and sturdy. Because HDPE is fade-resistant and can withstand the salt air and high moisture content of the ocean weather, it has always been a fixture in outdoor beach house furniture. For the eco-conscious, it is made from recycled material, and this makes it more appealing. Nowadays, HDPE furniture comes in a wide range of styles and colors, but its durability can make it a more expensive choice.
What Furniture To Avoid In A Beach House
Metal furniture that will be exposed to salty air and humidity is going to rust. While wrought-iron furniture can look very attractive, it must be treated with rust-proofing products. Powder-coated wrought iron stands up better to elements, but you must treat these immediately if you see any chips or signs of rust. Another thing to consider with iron furniture is that it will retain heat very well. An iron table in a sunny spot may be too hot to use comfortably.
While plastic furniture may seem like a cheap option, especially for outdoor furniture, it does not last long in extreme weather changes, often cracking. Plastic furniture does not weather very well and stains within a few years. Plastic furniture also tends to be light and can be blown away if your beach house is in an area that experiences heavy storms.
What Does Coastal Furniture Look Like?
Furniture that suits a coastal-style house needs to consider the setting. The most obvious element is color – you can use ocean shades from silvery blues to deep turquoises in furniture to add to the maritime theme.
Driftwood is such a ubiquitous element of the coast that incorporating the look and feel of driftwood into your furniture is very effective. Think of using bleached woods, silvery grey tones, and organic shapes. Furniture that has a worn and weathered appearance can evoke the feeling of seaside towns and beach huts.
Look for furniture inspired by the shapes and tones of the sand, the surf, the blue skies. Create a relaxed atmosphere with pale colors and natural textures that mimic sea grass, driftwood, and palm leaves. Wicker furniture is very popular in beach houses for these reasons and can be used with easily cleaned cushions that can be updated for a versatile look.
Beach House Storage
Beach houses can be limited in size, and you may struggle with storage. Look for ways to utilize space with your furniture. You might easily convert a long modular sofa into sleeper beds for extra guests.
Window seats are great ways to use awkward nooks for seating and storage.
Cabinets and chests provide extra storage while also giving you extra surfaces to use. Look for designs that come in driftwood shades or incorporate glass or bamboo. Even old furniture can be repurposed for your beach house by brightening it up with white or blue paint.
Bookcases paired with rattan basket shelves can give you a place to store beach items like towels, sandals, and sunglasses.
Don’t be afraid to break the traditional beach house decor mold and choose colors and textures that suit your style. Not every beach house needs to be done in blues and whites and use anchor motifs. Think outside the box with furniture and storage – vintage wicker picnic baskets can go under beds, large wooden coffee tables with shelving can double as a place for drinks and books, a woven table tray could be a drinks service, or a crab trap serve as a side table.
Furniture Every Beach House Needs
- Rugs, especially in natural fibers like seagrass or jute, are durable and stand up to sand and the elements while adding to that coastal style. Striped dhurrie rugs are also great choices for a nautical feel.
- Wicker, rattan, or bamboo furniture is often the first choice for beach house furniture. You can even use it indoors. While it’s a common beach house furniture style, it can be fussy to keep clean and a little dated. Use touches of wicker in baskets or drinks stations for the best effect.
- Ottomans are versatile beach house furniture that double as seating and storage. Use a nautical print fabric to keep in the theme.
- Comfortable sofas in pale neutral colors. Performance fabric or slipcovers are great options. Slipcovers can be easily stripped to be tossed in the laundry or updated if you need a style change.
- Throw pillows and table cloths are a quick and versatile way to add comfort and splashes of beachy color.
- A table or counter surface – whether it’s a full dining table or a breakfast nook – in wood that has been left natural or painted white. Pair kitchen counters with bar stools for extra dining surfaces.
- Vintage furniture can be an excellent choice; mix up old and new and choose pieces that will look good as they age and are worn. Paint over old pieces of furniture and give them a new lease of life.
- Hardwood furniture is strong and durable, able to stand up to scratches, sand, wet towels, and coastal weather.
Light colors in beachy shades work well for upholstery when choosing your furniture. Use materials like wood, bamboo, and jute to evoke a comfortable, natural seaside style. Especially if your family is large or your space limited, use furniture that can double up as extra seating, storage or beds to keep the space light and uncluttered. When choosing fabrics, look for durable and easy to clean, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your inviting beach house.