How do you decorate a second home that includes sweeping ocean views and a backyard of driftwood and sand? This is a common dilemma for clients who wish to keep their surroundings true to nature, yet not go overboard with sea-themed décor. Here are our suggestions for creating a second home that is rich with contemporary furnishings to feel inviting, comfortable and perfect for entertaining guests.
Second Home Decorating Tips
The first thing to keep in mind when decorating your beach retreat is that you don’t want to overwhelm the space. Less is truly more – especially when you want to enjoy the home, not clean it! The focal point of most beach houses are the windows showing gorgeous views of the water. The more open and less cluttered your rooms, the better you will be able to enjoy that view from nearly any room.
While many second homeowners opt for hues that mimic the nature around them (sky blue, sea green, driftwood gray, sand beige), there’s no need to limit your décor to these color families. There’s no reason you can’t bring in shades of a brilliant sunset with touches of pink, orange or red. Purple is an unexpected, complementary color that goes well with yellow, coral, gray and off-white hues. Let your imagination and inspiration be your guide; just be sure that you don’t overwhelm rooms with dark colors that distract from the main attraction outside the windows.
Don’t worry too much about style. An eclectic style, combining traditional and contemporary, is perfect for second homes because it tends to be more playful. Mismatched (style or color or both!) chairs around a classically designed dining table, for instance, work well in a casual environment meant to make the occupants feel at home.
Keep accessories simple. Collections of china and fussy objets d’art don’t belong in a cottage meant to be casual and fun. Simple black and white framed photos can take the place of oil paintings. Pieces of driftwood and shells interspersed with candles create a casual focus for a fireplace mantel.
Beach House Furnishings
When it comes to furnishings, this year’s hot trend of organic design is perfect for a beach or second home. Many of our manufacturers are using repurposed materials such as metal, wood and glass, to create beautiful designs that mimic the lines and shapes found naturally in the California beachscape. We will soon be carrying the Woodbrook Designs line of furniture, which include natural wood finishes incorporated in unique, organic styles that would look right at home in a beach retreat. This pairs well with our Trevor coffee table, with recycled concrete top, which handily withstands lots of use.
Since most second homes have limited space, it’s important to choose furniture that serves double duty. An American leather sleeper sofa, for instance, is a beautiful addition to a living room, great room or game room while also providing extra sleeping space for unexpected guests. The easy care quality of leather combined with the wide variety of colors and finishes available mean that your sleeper sofa can be customized to perfectly match your chosen décor.
Occasional tables shouldn’t be just for lamps and drinks; opt for styles that contain drawers or hinged storage compartments. You could also choose to furnish living areas with cushioned ottomans, such as our Jazz orange storage ottoman, that not only contain space for stowing small items, they double as seating arrangements both indoors and out.
Need inspiration for decorating your beach home? Our in-store design team can help! Ask to see our Contemporary Designs Collection for outdoor furniture and the latest styles from Italian designers to turn your beach retreat into a beautiful place for relaxing and entertaining.