Sunlight filtered through half-open shutters, a gentle salt breeze blowing up from the shore, and everywhere you look the refreshing blue of the sea and sky. Yes, it’s that time of year when our beach house fantasies take hold and we’re longing for the relaxed style that beach living brings. That weatherboard house in the Hamptons may currently be out of reach, but you can at least emulate a little beach house seaside style in your own home.
Hiring a cute cottage near a harbour is a great way to get a taste of seaside life – or you can recreate the feel in your own living room. A palette of pale blues, cream and stone will blend the elements together and give that lived-in look. Bare floorboards and simple wooden furniture are also key to a style that would have evolved in humble homes where fuss was off the menu. Finish with a few nautical notes, but go easy! Think prints of pretty sailboats or soaring seagulls rather than the most flashy anchors and ship’s wheels. The pale palette and low-maintenance furniture are key to making this look feel relaxed, liveable and real.
The romance of the Greek islands is a constant inspiration for designers looking to capture that laid-back, simple beauty of a summer seaside home. To emulate this feel make sure you pick a strong blue that’s bold and vibrant and contrast it to fresh pure white on the walls and floor. Banish prints – your fabrics should look hand-dyed and rustic (luckily the Ikat trend is perfect for this) and add only the barest essentials for your accessories. To anchor this look in its Mediterranean roots pick out a few crafted items like side tables, vases and lamps, either in plain wood and ceramic or draw on the Moroccan trend for metal accents and geometric designs.
Add a taste of the seaside to an unexpected space in your home… the bathroom. You may not yet have that yacht, but a soak in the tub is a watery treat that can be enhanced with a little set dressing. The modern bathroom can feel a little chilly, so the addition of a blue accent – on a bath mat or even window dressing – can add interest while keeping a clean, fresh feel. Work against the gleaming white tiles by adding organic elements like a driftwood mirror or picture frame, woven baskets for storage and a wooden ladder for towels. Want a taste of an indulgent seaside resort? Swap your normal towels out for tassel-edged Hammam towels in blue and grey.