Inspiring Beach House Design
On a recent trip to the beautiful seaside town of Ardmore, Co Waterford, I was blown away by the charm and style of this gorgeous coastal spot. We were lucky enough to visit on one of the sunniest weekends of the year, that also happened to be the weekend of a popular local festival so there was a palpable buzz throughout the town.
The quaint cottages, with doors and windows wide open to the beaming sun, revealed comfortable, homely interiors incorporating fresh coastal colour palettes. The facade of many of the houses are painted in more colourful tones that the usual greys and creams that dominate Irish towns and villages, and it has to be said the people of Ardmore have a serious eye for colour.
Being beside the sea and having the luxury of beach walks, ice cold morning dips in the sea and the fresh sea air is something people who live beside the sea never cease to appreciate. The novelty of seaside living is obviously one that rarely wears off. And I can see why.
So all this got me thinking about coastal interiors and how incredible homes by the sea are. However for me the design of such homes can go two ways. Sometimes homes can be over designed, styled a bit too by the book with merely complimentary colours, rigid furniture and highly structured layouts. With all the natural beauty of the sea, it seems only fitting to me that homes by the sea should be designed in a way that is relaxed, charming with an elegance and style that is understated and chilled out.
So how do you achieve a look that balances both a feeling of elegance and relaxation?
Consider a clean white style kitchen that incorporates rustic features like wooden beams, hanging wall shelves and wooden counter tops. Opting for a more relaxed style there's no need to stress about a cluttered work top - show off some nice decorative pieces like nice chopping boards, plants, your favourite hand soap - the things you really love that make the space your own!
Create reversible living spaces between indoors and outdoors, like this clever window space that also doubles up as a bar/counter to eat at.
Fabrics will be your best friend for creating a relaxed feel within the space, but opt for really nice quality rugs, cushions and throws to give the space that luxurious edge.
Opting for white walls and ceilings will bring that fresh, airy look that will also be the perfect blank canvas for decorative details, materials and colours. I love the dominance of white, with the earthy, rustic vibe and use of very natural colours in this room.
Patterns and textures will bring depth and interest to the space. A giant seagrass rug will do wonders! By keeping the use of colour minimal in this room, this actually allows the patterns and colours to stand out more.
The beauty of white walls and that idea of starting with a 'blank canvas' is how it allows the decorative details to impact. The pendant shade in this space for example is a real focal point, adding texture and playing to the overall aesthetic that focuses on a natural yet minimal look.
Although Ireland's climate makes outdoor pools a poor investment this image was just too beautiful not to include. What we can take from it for our own climate is the use of a hammock for total relaxation in outdoor spaces. As well as the fantastic opening between the interior and exterior areas, most likely thanks to large folding panoramic doors.
If you are in a position to opt for new windows and doors, or embarking on a new build, use these frames to view the outside world and incorporate the beauty of outside into the over design.
One of the nicest things about a home by the sea can be the beautiful view of blue and the varying tones of blues from sea to sky. A clean white space like the image below that is fresh and elegant allows the breathtaking views outside to become an integral part of the design.
Have a lovely long weekend! I am so looking forward to yet another weekend by the sea at my friends beach house in the west of Ireland!