Create a beautiful beach bedroom by mixing casual furnishings and coastal colors with beach-combed treasures and accessories that tell a seaworthy tale.

soft blue bedroom

When designing a beach-style bedroom, consider the images the word beach evokes. Is it a serene seaside shaded by tropical palms? Wild breakers carrying surfers to shore? Starfish-filled tidal pools surrounded by grassy dunes? Or, a sandy patch of north-woods lakefront? Though beach style always evokes carefree days, it can be portrayed in ways ranging from refined to rollicking to reflect an array of design preferences. Here's a look at the common threads that course through classic beach-house bedrooms, coastal cottage quarters, and bedrooms that dance to a calypso beat.

Decorate with References

Blue and white master bedroom

The accessorizing stage is the ideal time to remember what beach means to you and apply your personal touch. Choose finishing touches that suit your definition and remind you of leisurely days spent at the shore. The imagery can be as restrained as duvets sporting tone-on-tone seashell designs or as bold as surfboards displayed as artwork. Antique signs, garden references, lighthouse statues, sailboat lamps, and blue-and-white fabrics underscore coastal and collected appeal. Keep your eye open for decorator fabrics, figural accessories, and bed linens sporting coral, palm tree, conch shell, or sea creature forms or motifs. Weave in silver or chrome light fixtures, shell-framed mirrors, vases that shimmer like sea glass, and woven storage baskets to create an interplay of textures that enhance the view. Display paintings of sailing ships, photos of family beach vacations, and tantalizing travel posters that perfectly reflect your design preferences and your individual life's-a-beach vision.

Build Beach-Inspired Backgrounds

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Nothing says family beach house better than board-and-batten walls, exposed ceiling beams and rafters, beaded-board wainscoting, and hardwood floors. Whenever feasible, add these architectural details to establish been-around-awhile appeal. Not ready to commit to a construction project? Use grass-cloth wallcoverings or walls painted in watery hues to build theme-apt perimeters. Dress windows with a combination of matchstick blinds and breezy sheer curtain panels. Or, make a bolder statement with natty nautical striped or coral-pattern drapery panels that complement other fabrics used in the space. Bring beachy references to the floorboard via sisal or seagrass area rugs or by reviving tired pine floors with washes of white or gray paint or stenciled designs.

Draw color inspiration from your fondest beach memories or use seaside-suitable variations of hues displayed elsewhere in your home. If you prefer calming currents in your sleeping quarters, opt for driftwood grays, sandy tans, sea greens, and azure blues. Like something more lively? Focus your design around tropical tones, such as arresting aqua, sunny yellow, lime green, and hibiscus pink.

Beach-Inspired Furniture


Beach-style bedrooms should feel collected, as if things were gathered for decades and passed down through numerous generations. Renew down-but-not-out furnishings, including dressers, desks, bedsteads, and trunks, with antiqued, timeworn-chic, or brightly painted finishes that suit your decorating scheme. Opt for antique brass bedsteads or beds sporting woven raffia, bamboo, or wicker details. Going island? Move in a four-poster outfitted with a mosquito-netting canopy.

Think of new ways to use old things. Set an old steamer trunk, which subtly alludes to long-ago voyages, at the end of the bed for storage and seating. Arrange a Victorian Era wicker chairs and table to fashion an area for reading and computing. Use reclaimed corbels and salvaged crown molding to fashion a distinctive display shelf. Fashion the finest of finely tuned beach bedrooms by incorporating furniture with different finishes and textures from different time periods.

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