Ocean breezes, sandy beaches, sea grasses blowing in the wind and seashells scattered about the shelves and tables; all these evoke the feeling of being at the seaside all year long.  Whether decorating a small showcase room or bringing the theme into the entire home, a beach-themed room design can be easily achieved by incorporating cool colors, natural textures and an overall calming ambience in the space.

Cool colors

White is a primary color in every style of beach themed interior design. White walls, white furniture and white curtains may all be used together or added individually to bring a sense of the cool, airy atmosphere that is the seaside. Blue comes in a close second in the color palette and blends well with a watery shade of green.  Finally, pale gray and sandy shades are excellent as accent trim or in accessories.

beach-themed room design

Natural textures

It goes without saying that pursuing a beach theme is all about incorporating nature into the interior, so using a variety of natural textures is a priority.  Natural materials that are ideal for larger furniture pieces include rattan and bamboo; wicker, which is the technique in which rattan or other materials are woven, is very common in a beach-themed interior. Woven rugs made from natural fibers and plant materials bring an earthy feel into a room and work wonderfully in a beach-themed room, especially if the look and feel of the room is more northern beach than tropical.

Fabrics that suggest the seaside and beach going are light and airy.  Canvas, used on sailboats, makes for durable chair seat covers or heavier curtains, while linen is ideal for tab-top curtains or tablecloths.

Another way to add texture is through natural accessories.  Beach debris can make an excellent addition to any beach-themed room, such as a piece of driftwood used as a table base or a collection of starfish or silver dollars arranged on the wall. Seashells, of course, immediately suggest beach life and the ocean; high-quality specimens may be arranged in a curio or cabinet, while smaller shells could be used to fill a vase and brace the stems of flowers or could be arranged in jars with sand.

Creating beach ambience

While a complete redesign of an interior may be out of a home’s budget, the addition of even a few pieces or accessories can create a beach atmosphere without costing a lot.  The key to choosing solid pieces, such as end tables, coffee tables, bookcases and shelves, is to look for weathered pieces; distressing the finish with some rough sandpaper or a chain can quickly alter the feel of a piece and suggest driftwood or a weather-worn tree.

Comfortable seating pieces, such as a corner sofa, may not seem to say “the beach”, but the addition of some cool-colored throw pillows in shades of blue, green and gray can instantly change that.  A nautical-themed throw or even an ocean or a sea-themed print or painting on the wall can change it up.

Accessories add a lot to a room’s ambience; woven baskets, canvas bins, linen curtains, seashell and beach life prints and sculptures are some examples. Finally, what beach-themed room is complete without some aquatic life; an aquarium, large or small, brings the sea right into any room.