David Bromstad's Beach House Design Dos and Don'ts

We asked Beach Flip's David Bromstad his top beach house design musts and pet peeves. Follow his tips to create a chic and functional coastal space.
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August 25, 2015
By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Alexandra Rowley

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas- Getty Images © 2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

David's Beach House Dos and Don'ts

Looking for chic, timeless style in your beach house (or beach-inspired home)? Look no further than David Bromstad's dos and don'ts. 

Don't Decorate Around a Theme

"Having seashells everywhere, fish netting and every sheet and blanket covered in shells or some type of sea life is old news," David says.

Do Give Your Beach House an Overarching Style

"There are many different styles, from nautical to more contemporary, for a beach home. It all works when done tastefully and doesn't go crazy on the 'themed' look," David says. Consider your personal style, and use that as your base with a few nautical accents. 

Don't Buy Every Nautical Accessory

Lighthouses, fishing nets, starfish and a life preserver all in one display? It's too much. 

Do Nod to Coastal Style

Instead of covering the room with fish netting, nod to classic coastal style in a chic way. Here, Beach Flip contestants Lucy and Daphney  use the material as a whimsical curtain tie-back. 

Do Go Beachy and Bold

Add bold versions of classic accessories for a fresh new look. 

Don't Default to Natural Wicker

Before the renovation, the kitchen and dining room in the Comfort Breeze condo featured sunshine-yellow walls and dated furniture, cabinets and appliances.

Do Try Colorful Furniture

Try painted or synthetic wicker for a durable option that also adds color. 

Do Get Inspired by Your Surrounds

Search for a beach house color palette? Just look outside. "For me, when I close my eyes, I see many colors that represent the beach. Soft blues to striking turquoise, muted oranges and reds for accents throughout," David says. "I adore whites and creams for that gorgeous soft luxurious beach feel."

Do Liven Up Neutral Spaces With Bright Accessories

It's no surprise that David Bromstad is all about color! But don't limit it to the walls: "Adding your beach colors with accents and accessories really makes a huge impact," David says. 

Don't Rule Out Any Design Colors

"I wouldn't avoid any color if it's done in the right way. I have even seen black in a beach theme and it was gorgeous," David says. Get inspired by this gorgeous coastal kitchen with black accents from designer Barry Dixon. 
From: Barry Dixon

Don't Install Carpet

When it comes to beach houses, sand and carpeting don't mix. "Remember, there is a lot of humidity by the beach and carpets tend to get musty," David says. 

Do Consider Hardwood Floors

"I love wood floors in a beach house, especially the ones that have that weathered feel," David says.  "Wood is soft to me and when I picture a beach house, I want it to be cozy and stylish at the same time."

Do Add Area Rugs

"Go for area rugs: they can be cleaned easily," David says.  "I love the look of area rugs with a gorgeous flooring underneath." Look for an inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug with a bold pattern. 

Do Add Weathered or Reclaimed Wood

 "The use of driftwood or reclaimed wood gives that sense of beach" without embracing a theme, David says. 

Do Add Warmth With Driftwood Accents

"Choosing the appropriate home colors, material, textiles and art can create a beach look without doing a theme," David says.

Don't Forget Artwork

Art is essential to give you beach house personality. Here, one of David's paintings is on display in Beach Flip contestants Martha and Alex's renovated condo. 

Do Create Your Own Beachy Art

Use scrap wood and a little paint to create your own beach-inspired quote art to add instant style and personality to the walls. 

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