Typically, when we think of beach house decor, we think of bright colors, white beadboard and cottage furnishings. Some eclectic furniture pieces are often in the mix, as are beautifully displayed shell collections.This type of beach house has youthful energy.

However, not all beach settings are warm, sunny and vibrant. Some have a cooler, grey-toned and wild or rustic energy. The latter beach home may prioritize natural elements and muted color accents to showcase its stunning surroundings. The beach house decor in these homes has an “old soul” essence so to speak.

Consider these two schools of beach home decor: the traditional and the more rustic.   Source: Houzz

Consider these two schools of beach home decor: the traditional and the more rustic. Source: Houzz

Comparing Two Different Types of Beach Home Decor

To show you the difference, let’s compare and contrast two different types of beach home decor as depicted by houzz.com.

Overall style. Typically, your traditional beach home decor will be just that – traditional. You’ll see lots of cottagey elements, antique pieces are often in the mix; there is a general sense of comfortable warmth and a “kick off the flip flops” kind of energy. If modern elements are in the mix, they offer a transitional feel. In the other camp, interior design will have a more minimal or modern edge. While comfort is still important, muted colors and a lack of beach-themed knick-knacks will give it a more spacious and contemplative vibe.

Both beach houses tend to utilize natural elements that are reflective of the surrounding natural world outside of it's walls. Source: Houzz

Both beach houses tend to utilize natural elements that are reflective of the surrounding natural world outside of it’s walls. Source: Houzz

Natural attractions. Both beach houses will incorporate natural elements into their design, playing on the beautiful naturescapes outdoors. However, a traditional beach cottage will often use lighter and more polished woods, or they may paint the wood white. A northern beach house, one with darker surroundings – perhaps ensconced by trees – might use more rustic wood choices and/or darker wood finishes.

Sans window treatments. In order to magnify the beauty of the surrounding land and waterscape, many beach homes leave off with window treatments altogether, opting to use windows as picture frames to focus on the scene outside. The effects can be very different. While this beach house looks right out on the action and activity of the bustling bay outside, our more rustic beach home looks out on an expanse of mossy forest before a drop of water is visible. These contrasting landscapes – and palette variations – is a large part of why the interior design approaches are so different.

For more information about beach houses, contact your team here at Leslie Saul!  Source: Houzz

For more information about beach houses, contact your team here at Leslie Saul! Source: Houzz

Color schemes. Color is an important element of any interior design, most especially because color affects the energy and mood of a space. In a classic beach home, we typically see nautical blue and white colors or patterns, accented with vibrant pops of turquoise, tangerine, lime green and so on. In our more mature beach house example, blue and white themes may still be a presence, but the rest of the colors will have a softer, muted appearance.

Natural light. One thing all of these homes have in common is ample access to natural light. In an effort to frame the stunning outdoor scenery, all that additional window space yields healthy, inspiring sunlight.

Which type of beach home decor suits your personal style? Share your comments below.